Student loans have become a necessity for the millions of high school graduates who have decided to attend college. With the cost of college tuition rising and the increased amount of competition for limited scholarship funds, the need for student loans has risen. Above all, students can use the student loan process to learn valuable financial lessons in their post-graduate years.
As of 2005, the average costs for four years of in-state college tuition was $41,000, with out-of-state tuition often climbing towards the $60,000 to $80,000. Unless students have parents who are wealthy and willing to pay out such large amounts of money, student loans are important. However, students should not see loans as an all-or-nothing proposition. Often, students rely on a multitude of sources for funding college with student loans making up a lion’s share of the tuition. Student loans can be coupled with part time employment and smaller scholarships to keep student debt low.
The most important aspect of student loans is that they provide a flexible means for paying off college tuition. Student loans offered by the federal government allow low interest rates for students while they are in college so that interest does not accumulate during matriculation. As well, a six to nine month grace period after graduation allows students some breathing room while they find their first job. Anyone considering going to college from high school needs to consider student loans as an investment for their career.