Average student loan debt up for college grads - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Average student loan debt up for college grads

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It's the latest snap-shot of growing student debt and may would call it discouraging.

A recent report shows the average student loan debt nationwide has reached a high. In just one year, the average student loan debt went up 5%.

While it might not phase most students at Augustana College, yet, some of them chose their school with that in mind.

"I definitely considered that when I chose Augustana. One of the main things I liked was the placement rate and the fact they offer financial aid like scholarships. I found that really attractive," Michael Krogstad said.

And that's something financial aid director Brenda Murtha takes pride in: the job placement rate sits around 97%. But that isn't taking away from students keeping focus on what they'll owe.

"There are ways lenders are there to work with students and the schools are there as well. Students shouldn't feel shy about contacting their school when it comes to getting information for repayment," Brenda Murtha said.

Murtha says the discouraging part, with the economy, may be less about student loan debt and more about unemployment. Regardless of what students will pay, she and students agree: education will always be worth it.

"I'm not surprised it's gotten higher. With the economy, it is an investment. I'm OK with having to pay it but I'm more concerned with getting a job first," Kelly Silvers said.

"I'll do my best while I'm here, trust in myself and in Augustana to help get me a job,"Michael Krogstad said.

When it comes to paying back those loans, she encourages grads to seek assistance with their lender to make sure they're taking advantage of their options.

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