ETSU undergraduates have averaged a loan debt of $33,160 in the year 2015, an increase from last year’s $32,776.
The average amount of debt nationwide for 2015 has reached $35,000; last year the average was at $30,000 nationwide.
White House data released this year stated that 831,000 students in Tennessee have an average student debt load of $26,707.
“More students are applying for financial aid every year because they have to borrow more money for all kinds of things, whether these be miscellaneous items, meals or residence,” said Assistant Director of Financial Aid Lisa Bell.
Students receive information from ETSU and that state after graduation with information that will teach students about available repayment plans and options.
“Loan exit counseling is required by the state and ETSU, but not mandatory,” Bell said. “Students can get more info from the government website, which gives them calculations and information.”
Studentloan.gov gives students the necessary information on what kind of loans they can receive, what to pay after they have graduated and advice on budgeting their payments on their student loans.
“I definitely encourage students to apply for jobs with great employee benefits that will lower student debt,” Bell said. “Employers can pay for grad school, which will benefit students seeking better paying jobs without having to pay for furthering their education out of pocket or taking on more loans.”
Bell also encourages Graduate Assistant jobs that will pay for tuition and give stipends as well as experience in the field in which graduate students plan to work.
“Apply early for financial aid, and get all of your requirements in as soon as possible,” Bell said. “Students who apply early get access to available funds before others, so don’t let yourself get behind and pay attention to date requirements.”