In an effort to assist students in danger of being overwhelmed by the rising costs associated with a college education, New York State has set up a new website packed with information on how those aspiring to obtain a university diploma can avoid unnecessary expenses.
The Internet resource – collegefinancecenter.org – outlines how students can access various forms of financial aid, apply for loans, grants and scholarships, and use budget and repayment calculators. The site additionally presents information for graduates about loan repayment options and assistance.
Jane Lynch, the popular actress who stars in the hit television show “Glee,” appears in an advertising campaign to promote the website, which is run by the New York State Higher Education Corporation’s National College Financial Center. “You need to go in with your eyes wide open,” she told the Daily News, disclosing how her recently deceased mother had taken on responsibility for the college-related debts incurred by Lynch’s nephews and nieces. “She died getting calls from collectors and worrying how her grandkids were going to pay off these loans. I think it’s a bigger problem than people are talking about.”
Lynch’s concerns are clearly not unfounded, as a recent report by Sallie Mae revealed that the typical federal student loan has shot up by 55 percent over the last four years. According to Rebecca Weber, the executive director of the New York Public Interest Research Group, college students around the country are lately having an increased financial burden placed on them as a result of shrinking state budgets and rising tuition costs. NYPIRG has been promoting the New York State website – and the issue in general – with a social media campaign entitled “Don’t Major in Debt.”
“We need as much assistance as possible,” Julio Basabe, a 20-year-old College of Staten Island student, told the Daily News. Basabe has taken out $7,600 in school loans and figures he will have to assume thousands of dollars more over the course of his university tenure. Seriously concerned about his debt level, especially with the depressed employment scene, the student said, “It’s very daunting to know that I have no certainty of being able to pay that back.”