Students need to rally to prevent serious debt

The financial burden on college students has become overwhelming. With the rising cost of tuition, students are weighed down with the stress and burden of being several thousand dollars in debt upon graduation. Granted, the education can be worth it with professions that earn top pay, but what about graduates who enter fields that do not have large salaries? How are those people supposed to pay their debts if their checks are not able to make a dent in their loans?

Those are the questions that several hundred students of Minnesota State College and University asked recently. On Feb. 14, the students rallied against rising college costs that plunge millions of students into debt. According to the Minnesota Star Tribune, legislators present at the rally acknowledged that college tuition is getting so expensive that it is pricing many students out of higher education. They also announced that they were introducing a bill that would allocate millions to Minnesota State colleges and universities to stop the escalation of student costs.

The student rally shows that as a collective force, students are powerful enough to influence legislation. Debt from loans is a serious problem for this generation of college students. The average debt for a college graduate has soared 50 percent in the past decade, according to the Project on Student Debt. According to a 2006 study done by the College Board, the average undergraduate student will be $20,000 in debt upon graduation. Considering these numbers, it is becoming increasingly obvious that students need to take action.

No student wants to work multiple jobs just to be able to register for classes each semester. It is hard enough for students to concentrate on schoolwork while maintaining their social lives. Many students are paying their way through college on their own in addition to individual expenses like cell phones, car repair, food and gas.

Student loan debt is a harsh struggle many graduates deal with for years after they have earned their degrees; at times it effects when they want to purchase houses or start families.

Yes, loans are needed but to lessen the cost, interest rates need to be lowered. Students who want to better themselves by getting an education should not be punished by having to constantly worry about how their loans are going to be paid. In addition, it is urgent that students rally and push for legislation that can lessen the financial constraints of college and increase the amount of federal money set aside for financial aid. If there is any lesson to be learned by the students of Minnesota, it is that through action, change is possible.