Hello and thank you for tuning in to Voices by The Impact news.


I am Jihyon Cha from South Korea.


As an exchange student studying in the United States’, what really surprised me the most were high tuition fees. Lots of college students in South Korea are having hard time with the burden of high tuition. However, the college tuition fees in United States were much expensive than in my country.


For the students who just fresh out of high school and ready to set the world on fire, college is place filled with hopes and dreams. However, at the same time, college is also place where worry and anxiety about debt is start. Student loan debt is serious problem that most of students feel tremendous empathy. This is our life of fact which is closely related to reality, so here we go.


College tuition in United States varies according to different types of university. But, according to The College Board reports, the average cost of tuition and fees for 2015-2016 school years was $32,405 at private college, $9,410 for state residents at public colleges, and $23,893 for out-of-state residents studying at public universities. It multiplied by four for most undergraduate courses and by two for most master’s degrees. Considering housing, meal plan, books and other expenses such as transportation, studying in university in United States seems really hard.


Under these difficult circumstances, many students who cannot afford the tuition and expenses for school have no choice but to take out a student loan. The data of 2015 from the New York Federal reserve shows that 65 percent of student loans are held by Americans younger than 39, reaching the $1.3 trillion burden of student debt. The aggregate student loan balance has increased steadily. These heavy loans will weigh them down for a long time. It could be take whole life from getting a first job to retiring from work. The repayment rates also are very low. What’s worse is that getting a job is really hard in tight labor market.



To handle these huge debts, students have to work while they are in the school. It’s not an easy task, but it is the most common way for the average student. Most college is offering a school part-time. In many cases, part-time is considered six to nine hours of schoolwork.

Many students who can’t afford these drop out before completing a degree. Problem is that they are still responsible for all student loan debt and lag far behind the other students in an employment. This situation makes them harder to repay their debts.


In this regard, there are many repayment options for Students in debts. Most of them are a form of financial aid. The most ideal way, scholarship is a form of financial aid which never have to be repaid. Grant is the other forms of financial aid which only rarely have to be repaid. Other than that, one of the most popular options is the Income-Driven Repayment plans. If a student’s loan debt is high but their income is modest or zero, this option would take burden off. It allows borrowers to cap their monthly payments to 10%, 15% or 20% of disposable income for up to 20 or 25 years. More specifically, Income-based repayment and Pay As You Earn belongs among such policies.


As the problems are getting serious, the burden of the student debt is becoming a top financial issue in the 2016 presidential campaign. $1.3 trillion in students loans was bad enough to stagger students who are leaving college with an average of $35,000 in student loans. Hillary Clinton promised the “The New College Compact” which aimed to current student loan borrowers, future student loan borrowers and entrepreneurs. Donald Trump told at Town Hall event in response to a student’s question on the high cost of college, “Colleges are not watching their costs. We’re going to really look into that something with extensions and low interest rates.” Even though there are differences in a way to help student repay their debts, it is true that student loan debt is a very important topic on millennials’ lives. Closer look, Mercy college has the lowest tuition among the private universities in New York. Comparing to Columbia University’s fee $50,526, one of the universities which has expensive tuition fees, Mercy College’s tuition fee, $8,886 is quite cheap.


Most of all, we need an ultimate solution which otherwise students in debts will suffer for a life struggling to pay money back.