LETTER TO THE EDITOR: IU and Purdue helping students limit debt
Since college has been a thing, the problem of the debt that is accumulated has been a hot topic. In fact, 70 percent of college graduates have debt of some kind, and when they all owe on average $37,172, it becomes increasingly hard to help these students.
So why aren’t more universities ensuring that students graduate with as little debt as possible? Well, a couple colleges in Indiana have decided to take the initiative. Indiana University and Purdue University have both stepped up to try to help students at their schools to graduate as close to debt free as they can.
Both schools offer programs designed to help students with their future financial situations after their college careers. In 2012, Indiana University created “MoneySmarts”, a program designed to help students make good informed financial decisions before, during, and after college. Due to this program at the school they have been able to experience a $126.4 million reduction in student borrowing and total borrowing at the university has fallen 19 percent.
Purdue offers the “Back a Boiler” program. This program is advertised as being “not a loan, not a grant” and is described as just providing flexibility and freedom in funding your education. The Back a Boiler program is an Income Share Agreement in which a student receives their education in exchange for a commitment to pay a percentage of their post-graduate income for a fixed number of years. The standard payment period for the agreement is about 10 years, while the national average time to repay student loans is 20 years.
With the extremely prevalent issues of student debt in the country, it is good to see universities step up and show that they care about their students’ futures.