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Is College a Debt Sentence?

4 Dec

by Emily Sobecki; esobecki at ivytech.edu

We all have heard the horror stories about people graduating from college with a debt of an abundant amount. This can be anywhere from $25,000 – $100,000. But is this really necessary? Well yes, a proper education is extremely important to helping you reach your dream career in many cases. However, is the career of your dreams worth the stress of having to owe back thousands upon thousands of dollars in debt? Here are some helpful tips, tricks, and basic information on keeping your college debt down.

Know Your Major:

An education is extremely expensive, so try not to pursue one unless you have a specific major in mind. If you do, you could rack up debt only to find yourself even more confused than you were at the start. There are academic advisors on campus who are there to help those of you who may be undecided. Many times what happens is a student will not speak with their academic advisor and just when they think they’re about to graduate, they find that they took classes that they didn’t need, or classes that won’t transfer and are not actually ready to graduate. To avoid this happening to you, it is key that you make an appointment with an academic advisor and make sure you are on track. Be involved in your education.

Choose an Inexpensive School:

Sure it feels good to get your degree from one of the top schools in your region, but you have to wonder if you could have obtained a similar degree from a less expensive college. Many community colleges and small town schools offer very practical programs that will help you land a high paying job without receiving a debt sentence, and if you’re reading this, you probably have this covered as you are most likely a student at Ivy Tech.

Location, Location, Location:

Pick a school in the middle of the country because a lot of students tend to go to the East coast or the West coast. The schools in the middle need to fill their seats and are willing to bargain a little to attract goal-oriented students.

FASFA and Grants:

Before you pull ANY loans, look good, hard, and thorough for ANY/ALL grants and scholarships that are out there. There are so many scholarships available. They can be for things as easy as having red hair, being left handed, having a certain heritage, and specific income levels. And there are some that just want you to write an essay about a particular topic. This can be more time consuming, but in the end it’s worth it. Honestly, would you rather spend time or money?

Here are a few of the scholarships offered at Ivy Tech:

  • Academic Excellence:
    This is for students who have completed a minimum of 36 credit hours, obtain a GPA of 3.5 or higher, completed 36 credit hours at Ivy Tech, and must submit a a letter of recommendation from a faculty member, division chair, or academic dean.
  • Avon Scholarship:
    This is for students who are residents of Avon, Indiana and have a GPA of 2.5 of higher.
  • Bright Ideas in Broadripple Scholarship:
    This is for students who need financial help, and are a single parent.
  • Hispanic/Latino Grant:
    This is for students who are Hispanic or Latino.

There are many more scholarships and grants available to students at Ivy Tech, along with many other tips that can help you keep your debt down. Hopefully these tips and tricks can help you get on the right career path, without sentencing you to debt.

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The Campus Insider Print Issue — August 2012

23 Aug

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16 Aug

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