How students are paying off college debt

College debt is something that is always on a student’s mind, whether they’re paying their way with two jobs while taking full-time classes or they’re taking out a ton of loans. Spending this amount of money usually leads to student debt and is not supposed to be taken lightly. When it comes to talking about college debt, most Minnesota State University, Mankato students have a lot to say. 

“I have worked hard these last two years to save all my money so that I could pay off this school year and not have to worry about debt or working while being a full-time student. It was really hard at times but I’m very grateful for it now. I may get a small job this semester to help give me some extra cash,” Paige Peterson, a freshman at MSU, said.

Although Peterson has been hard at work to be financially stable as a student, she feels comfortable with where she’s at now. “There is no stress or urgency and that is a great feeling. It’s something not many students get,” Peterson shared.

Hanna Maxwell, a freshman at MSU, has gone through a different experience and expressed her frustration with how the government chooses to help pay for college.

“It is very frustrating how the government expects your parents to pay for your college. My parents are still struggling to pay off their own debt, much less mine. I’m left with my only option of taking out loads of loans. I also have to pay thousands of dollars for electives that have nothing to do with my major. That doesn’t seem very fair and I know many other people feel the same way,” Maxwell stated.

Similarly, freshman Emma Rea has taken out loans throughout her college career to pay for tuition while also trying to balance money for food and other activities.

“I took out a ton of loans for this school year as I will with the rest of my three years. It does worry me a little knowing I have debt waiting to be paid off, but I’m confident with my major that I will be able to pay it off comfortably. I work 10 hours a week just to help out with groceries and gas money. However, none of it goes towards my student loans,” said Rea. 

The cost of college is another factor some students consider when selecting a college that is right for them.

“One of the reasons I chose Mankato is because it was one of the cheaper options. My parents went to a very expensive private school for college and still worry every day about all the money they still have yet to pay. I didn’t want that to be me. So I am working to pay off some of my loans while I’m in college,” Brady Weinberger, a freshman at MSU, said.

In addition to this, Weinberger commented, “It is frustrating because I’m missing out on some of the college experience since I have to worry about all the money I am spending.”

Header photo: Many students at MSU work different campus jobs, such as on Mav Ave and other food service providers. (File photo)

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