Student discuss loan debt and financial plans

By Ali DeRees

Tuition rates rise. Degree requirements keep piling on. This leads to students taking out more loans and therefore more debt. More than half of college students in the state of Michigan leave school with some amount of debt.

Oakland University students have many different approaches when it comes to financing their academic careers.

Senior and Spanish Language and Literature major Ashli Pearson will be graduating in April with student loan debt.

Pearson said it will take her seven to ten years to pay off her student loans.

She is confident that she will able to pay off the debt, but says she finds it “stressful and somewhat limiting as far as where I can live and what I can do in the next few years.”

Pearson currently works a part time job and would recommend it to other students.

“I think working part time can help with time management,” Pearson said. “It’s nice to have cash in your pocket for unexpected expenses and also to continue saving money even if it isn’t much.”

Pearson does not recommend working full time as a student if you are financially able to work less.

“It will undoubtedly affect your academic performance,” she said.

The key to managing your debt is having a plan and staying informed Pearson said.

“I think the best thing a student can do is be realistic and informed about their present financial situation,” Pearson said.

She believes being informed on your financial situation will reduce future stress for students, mainly because “there is already enough everyday stress involved in attaining a degree,” Pearson said.

No financial plan is the same for every student, many students work full or close to full time to avoid student loan debt.

Senior and Journalism major David Addy will be graduating this year with no debt.

He is the Chief Operating Officer of an online distribution store through EBay called Wholesale Daddies 2013.

“We sell all sort of different items,” Addy said.

Addy also works as an intern at the Oakland Press.

Previously, Addy worked in sales at Emergency Restoration in Troy, Mich. Addy worked 40 hours a week there and currently works 20 hours a week.

“I love working, I just love it,” Addy said.

Addy says he transferred to Oakland University form Central Michigan University in order to work while going to school.

“I didn’t feel like I was productive enough,” Addy said.

Though he has a busy work schedule, Addy knows school comes first. He has a set academic plan that works well with his work schedule.

He takes two to three classes in the winter and fall semesters and then takes classes throughout the summer. Those summer classes are very helpful, according to Addy.

“People need to utilize summer classes,” Addy said.

All together it will have taken him four and a half years to get his degree. 

Addy lives at home to save money. His financial advice for students is simple, “don’t live beyond your means” Addy said. 

 

Contact staff reporter Ali DeRees at [email protected]