This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
STEM AL


STUDENT SURVIV


Mariana Sierra, project manager, Gas Transmission, Pacific Gas and Electric Company A


college education is one of the major purchases you will make over a lifetime. But like cars and houses, the “business of university” comes with so many loan prod-


ucts and grant services it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Hispanic Engineer & Information Technology magazine (HE&IT) magazine asked the opinions of students, financial aid professionals, and STEM executives to get insights on everything from student borrowing to debt and financial aid programs.


Seven years ago, a Washington, D.C.-based public policy and advocacy organization found that nearly half of all student borrowers carried an average balance of $3,176 in credit card debt, and 58 percent of Hispanic college students are graduat- ing with unmanageable debt. To raise awareness throughout college campuses and communities, the National Puerto Rican Coalition traveled across the United States and Puerto Rico coordinating various workshops to address the importance of credit building and financial literacy.


The first mistake that many students and families make is assuming they can’t afford to pay after looking at the sticker price of colleges or universities, said Erin Timmons, manag- ing editor at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NAFSAA). According to Timmons, author of “University Business: Less Debt, Easier Payback,” financial aid can significantly reduce costs.


But going by recent headlines that over 70 percent of under- graduates in 2012 left school with a diploma and debt, to the


50 HISPANIC ENGINEER & Information Technology | Fall 2014


tune of nearly $30,000 per person, and that stu- dent loan debt is totaling $1.2 trillion—surpassing both credit card and auto loan debt in size, it’s hard to see just how much of a reduction financial aid can make. In a recent interview with Inc.com, Mark Cuban, “shark” investor on the television series Shark Tank and owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, observed that colleges allow students/ potential students to borrow more and more money for tuition because it’s guaranteed by Sallie Mae and the government.


Erin Timmons, managing editor, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators


The flip side, Timmons noted, is that the way to avoid taking out loans is to start research early. Colleges and universities of- fer what they think students might need, but students are not obligated to take the full amount offered, she said.


“There’s so much spiraling around in the media about out- of-control loan debt, and amounts that students are having trouble paying back,” Timmons said. “But NAFSAA wants to


www.hispanicengineer.com


GUIDE


FINANCIAL AID: HELP OR HINDRANCE?


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60