Financing Higher Education
Families with high school members considering college or technical college may have questions about the risks and benefits of financing that education. In 1990, 1 in 5 undergraduates borrowed money while today it is 2 in five that finance education. Many students choose to work full or part time to reduce the amount of loans that are needed. Balanced school and work can be a challenge with 62% of students attending a public 4-year and 13% of technical school actually graduating. Without the final degree and pay increase potential it is difficult to pay off the average $5.00 – $11,000 student loan debt.
How Much to Borrow
It is possible to calculate the payoff of a 2 or 4 year college degree, length of time to finish, lost income while enrolled, income levels of employment in major field. Go to http://www.payback.wisc.edu to estimate the costs and benefits of attending college.
There are four primary federal loan programs, Perkins Loans, Subsidized Stafford Loans, Unsubsidized Stafford Loans and PLUS Loans. As families prepare their taxes, it’s a good time to prepare the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), a form students and families must use to apply for all forms of federal financial aid. For a brief introductory factsheet, “Understanding Financing Options for Education” check out the Waupaca County UW-Extension Website.