By Georgia Nelson
When Bridget Sweeney first applied to college, her preferences were determined by the amount of financial aid available at each institution and the overall cost of tuition and housing. The combination of financial aid, assistance from her parents and student loans has allowed Sweeney, now in her Junior year, to afford an education at UMass Amherst. However, the concern of repaying student loans – an estimated $40 000 – has already begun to weigh on her mind.
For many students expecting to graduate in the coming two years, the burden of student debt is a lingering concern. Currently, the nationwide debt from student loans is sitting at $1.3 trillion – a 170 percent increase over the past 10 years, according to Fortune.
Based on the UMass financial aid information, the cost for full-time students in 2017-2018 is $27,669 – a 2.94 percent rise from the previous academic year. Sure, education is needed in order to secure a well-paying job, but at what cost? With college fees on the rise, an increasing number of students have to refinance or even reconsider their college ambitions.
Bridget Sweeney, communications major, is one of these students –
“Nowadays, young adults choose colleges based off of what is most financially realistic and what allows them to come out with the least debt,” said Sweeney.
“I myself looked into a private college before committing to UMass Amherst and the difference in cost is astounding – $45,000 compared to $20,000 and both with financial aid included… It’s just frustrating how much education can cost and how education is required almost everywhere.”