By Karel Schulz
On October 28, I walked into Picken Hall on the Fort Hays State University campus to Rm. 202, a room many students know. This room is the Financial Aid room. While no one was able to talk to me or answer my questions, I took to the internet to find answers.
According to the FHSU financial aid website, over $59 million is given to students in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and employment options from the University. There are over 13,000 students on the FHSU campus meaning that the financial aid office can offer each student just a little over $4500. This is more than other universities can offer many students, but is it enough to battle the overwhelming amount of student debt?
According to the College Access and Success Project on Student Debt, the annual average college graduate will be in debt $29,400 as recorded in 2012. That is up almost 6% since 2008. This debt has been detrimental to college graduates all across America as the job market still is in shambles. Still, according to CNN Money, a college grad still has a higher chance of scoring a job than someone without a degree.
The fear of student debt has scared high school seniors from coming to college. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics stated in October of 2013 that only 65.9% of high school seniors went to college after graduation. The NY Times says it is the lowest it has been in a decade. Whether this statistic is showing that the student debt is what is causing seniors form avoiding college, I cannot say, but in the past decade is when the spike of student debt has rose.
Student debt is going to cast a dark shadow on graduating college seniors, but FHSU will continue to raise money for their incoming students to avoid the student debt as much as possible. The financial aid office offers multiple difference scholarships to students to search through in the community and nationwide. On the FHSU financial aid website, they are stating that the 2016-17 scholarship application is ready to go for student use.