The Norman Transcript

Opinion

May 7, 2014

Accruing debt in college

NORMAN — Thousands of college students will walk across the stage this month and receive a diploma. More students are attending college and then graduate school.

If their debt load is similar to that of last year’s graduates, 71 percent of them will have an average student debt of $29,400.

Since 2004, student loan debt in the U.S. has nearly tripled. The total is now higher than for credit cards or auto loans, according to the Oklahoma Society of CPAs.

The statewide organization said the student loan debt in Oklahoma remains below the national average, but the delinquency rate in our state is higher than the national average, even after seeing a recent decline, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

Additionally, the most recent figures from the U.S. Department of Education showed that Oklahoma had one of the highest student loan default rates in the country.

State CPAs have some advice for future students:

· Consider beginning studies at a less-expensive community college and then transfer to a four-year college later.

· Start saving money now. Once you start getting a paycheck, it will be tempting to spend every bit of it, but give serious thought to having a portion deposited automatically into a retirement or emergency savings account.

· Be careful with your credit. If you can learn how to live within your means now, it will serve you well throughout your life. When you use a credit card to finance your purchases, you’re paying extra every time you buy because of the interest that the credit card companies charge you.

Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • State, local jobmarkets look up

    A tight labor market is often a big problem for economic development professionals. They need to be able to promise companies that there are willing workers in the community’s labor pool....

    July 26, 2014

  • Keeping the war buried

    International outrage over the downing of a Malaysian passenger plane over Ukraine on July 17 does not appear to have affected either the actions of pro-Russia forces in that country or the material support Russia is offering the rebels. ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Gaza’s victims: civilians and peace

    After more than two weeks of fighting between Hamas and Israel, there is no question which side has the upper hand. Thursday’s strike on a U.N.-run school for Palestinian children increased the Palestinian death toll to more than 760. By ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Be careful out in the heat

    This week’s triple-digit temperatures are contributing to heat-related illnesses. The state health department’s Injury Prevention Service reminds Oklahomans of the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke....

    July 25, 2014

  • Get smart on crime

    It’s no secret that prison guards have become the frontline mental health case workers in Oklahoma prisons. Accessing mental health services outside of prison is tough but even harder behind the walls....

    July 25, 2014

  • James Garner will be missed

    Editor, The Transcript: Norman native son James Garner was a fine actor on stage, screen and television. I enjoyed the “Maverick” TV series and, in particular, the 1959 episode “The Strange Journey of Jenny Hill” in which the very popular ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Quite the resilient bunch

    The people of Moore are a resilient bunch. They’ve bounced back from tornadoes before, but the current renaissance may be the quickest yet. FEMA officials said it would take two years to see some sense of normalcy. That’s hardly the case....

    July 24, 2014

  • A fresh start for VA

    All of us have high hopes for the confirmation and success of Veterans Affairs Secretary nominee Robert McDonald. If confirmed — and most believe he’s a shoe-in — McDonald will take over a paralyzed system of health care that is not ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Call up National Guard

    We’re not sure it will help, but you have to hand it to Texas Gov. Rick Perry. He deployed up to 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure his state’s border with Mexico this week....

    July 23, 2014

  • It’s only getting worse

    Conditions for children in Oklahoma were starting to look up for a few years, according to the annual Kids Count reports. Now we know it wasn’t getting better. The recession was impacting the rest of the country, dropping their scores....

    July 23, 2014