Web Extra: Majoring in Debt

Updated: 11/20/2013 10:25 PM
Created: 11/20/2013 5:34 PM

The cost of higher education is not only a concern to students and parents. The 4-year colleges and universities in the Northland are themselves putting great effort into helping keep college costs affordable.

As part of our Eyewitness News series, “Majoring in Debt”, we asked administration officials at UMD, UWS and CSS to share with us their thoughts and efforts in this area. The following links take you to the full statement we received from each of these colleges.  

The best advice often comes from people who have been there. As part of our interviews with college students, we asked them if they had any advice to tell prospective students.

Here are their comments for others who don't want to end up Majoring in Debt.

Kayti Stolp, College Counselor

  • Educate yourself on what financial aid is.

" I am really passionate about educating high school students on how important it is to educate yourself on what financial aid is and what it means to graduate from college with $70,000 worth of loans."

  • Look at all your options.

Stolp says we need students who are interested in computers.  "... we need students who are coming into those programs. Students who are good at math and science," Stolp says. "There's great jobs right here in our community in those areas."

Niki Corbin, Radio Announcer

  • Really consider what it is that you want to be doing.

"... there are certain professions that I don't think need as much education. Experience matters. So really emphasize that experience aspect of it and work toward an appropriate education level."

  • Consider two year colleges.

"There are some amazing programs that can offer a good professional lifestyle," Corbin said.

Benjamin Kaasa, Lawyer

  • Live within your means.
  • Pay attention to the entrance and exit counseling that is offered by the schools.

"If you face a hardship make sure you contact your lenders to let them know what's going on."

  • Come up with a life goal.

"... Make sure you are on the path to that goal, you're not spending too much or living within a lifestyle that you can't afford," Kaasa says.

Rachel Malone, Computer Systems

  • Consider staying in-state.
  • Be aware of costs if you are going to school in another state.

"I think had I been a little more aware of what I would pay," Malone said. "I probably would have stayed in-state."  Malone also advises students to watch their spending.

Carlos Guerra, Surgical Technician

  • Just go and knock on doors, keep going. Keep searching. Do not give up.

"A beautiful thing is that the doors are there and the opportunity is there," Guerra said. "With the right attitude, things can be accomplished."

Chuck Young, Truck Driver for Minntac

  • Talk to a counselor at a college.
  • Know the direction the school is going.

"Then choose what sounds interesting to you and pursue that path," Young said. "You can change your mind later on."

Young says if you get into a trade that is viable, "You are going to have a good future."

Brittney Hanson, Public Relations

  • Start saving early.

"It's like retirement," Hanson says. "New parents need to start saving early."

Hanson says it is really in your own hands. "Ask yourself a lot of questions about what you want to do with your life," Hanson said. "Hopefully that will help guide your school choice a little bit more."

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