Forum highlights student debt concerns
Published: Sunday, October 14, 2012
Updated: Sunday, October 14, 2012 23:10
As 51.4 million people watched the vice presidential candidates debate domestic and international issues last week, 37 million people were accruing interest on their outstanding student loan debt, totaling about $85 billion in loans, according to the Huffington Post.
Issues important to students have been neglected in the presidential and vice presidential debates so far — namely the rising costs of tuition, increasing amounts of student loan debt and unemployment rates for many students after graduation.
Before the vice presidential debate last Thursday, the Young Invincibles, an organization that advocates for policies affecting people between 18 and 34 years old, came to campus to hold a student forum in the Marshall Student Center on the debt crisis.
Only a handful of students attended from student organizations such as College Republicans and Enactus at USF, an organization that promotes entrepreneurship, “It’s never too much for students to understand the financial burden they will have after graduation,” Katharine Gonzalez, Enactus at USF executive director, who organized the event, said.
While students shared their experiences with loan debt and finding employment, the Young Invincibles informed participants of facts and statistics surrounding student debt and unemployment.
According to the Young Invincibles, 10.1 percent of 18-to 34-year-olds are unemployed in Florida, and nationally, approximately two-thirds of college students graduate with debt, while the average cost of a four-year public university has gone up 84 percent in the past 20 years.
“I think the biggest issue facing students is trying to get a job and juggling it with school,” Luis Laracuente, a senior majoring in political science and executive director of College Republicans, said. “When I came to
college, I didn’t know much of all the information on loans and percentages.”