The Indiana University trustees are examining student loan debt and how much of it is tied to tuition costs.
According to an IU report from last year, the average student graduates with $16,000 in debt. Assistant Vice president of University Student Services and Systems Jim Kennedy says that number is a bit misleading. He says nearly 60 percent of IU students graduated last year with no debt at all. That, he says, is no accident.
“We have a wide variety of tools that have been available: cash course, we are doing some more early counseling, some better entrance and exit loan counseling, annual loan statements,” he says. “We also have our net price calculator out there to estimate early on the costs.”
Increasing costs for living expenses, tuition and just about everything else is something Kennedy says cannot be prevented, but he says the university is committed to offering as many services to students as possible to help foster financial responsibility. Senior finance major Jason Wirth is in more debt than the average IU student.
“I think that there are ways students could live more frugally, but its not as if students, in general, are living extravagant lifestyles to begin with so the question is what do you look to cut,” he says.
Wirth says he could not have attended IU without loans. He did not want to sacrifice academic quality for money.