by REBECCA HICKOK
According to Forbes, 75% of private non-profit college graduates who took out student loans are in debt. Of those 75%, debt is 15% higher than 2008, averaging at $32,300. Drake is no exception to this raise in debt, with undergraduate full-time tuition at $42,694 for the 2019-2020 academic year, with an additional $10,848 for room and board.
Despite the prices of tuition raising each year, Drake University placed 68 of 183 institutions for the U.S. News ranking of Best Value Schools.
Junior Digital Media Production major Leah Berkheimer chose Drake University because the size was right for her and her mom went to Drake. However, she doesn’t feel much stress about student loans. Her mom takes out the Parent Plus Loan, so she feels that most of the stress is on her mom.
“I feel like my parents really tried to educate me and prepare me for what having loans is like,” Berkheimer said, “so high school didn’t really help me that much.”
As national student debt rises, many high schools have increased interest in teaching about financial literacy in regard to continuing education, according to a 2019 New York Times article.
Berkheimer expressed her gratitude for her parent’s knowledge saying, “I think that I would’ve been significantly less prepared for the responsibility of student loans if I hadn’t had the help of my parents.”
Berkheimer reported that her high school didn’t educate much on student loans. The only thing she felt that was explained to her was how credit cards worked.
Berkheimer feels a little relief about her future because of the job placement rate Drake has earned. In 2018, Drake University’s job placement rate was 89.2%.
Corey Bird graduated in 2013 from Drake University, receiving his Juris Doctorate Degree. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Zoology, and chose Drake University for graduate school because he received a partial academic scholarship. He chose to become an attorney because he thought he would be good at it and make a good living.
“Even with the massive loans, I thought it [college education] was better than no education,” Bird said.
After practicing law for three years, Bird started a business completely unrelated to law. Bird said that education enabled him and his wife to start a successful business while having the tools to be attorneys if it didn’t work out.
“I had zero education on loans and paying them back,” Bird said. “I had no appreciation for what I was getting into.”
While studying at the University of Wisconsin and Drake University, Bird didn’t worry too much about his future of paying loans back. However, he did work as much as he could, especially during the summer, with loans being the main reason he worked.
“Even though the loans are absurdly high, I think I have a much better life than if I didn’t go to college and incur student loan debt,” Bird said.
Drake Student Accounts offers an online program to students called GradReady at Drake, which provides assessments, education, and plans to students. This helps student to prepare how to pay for college, how to obtain good credit, and how to plan for after college. The after college planning includes plans for paying back student loans, paying for car and mortgage. To learn more about the GradReady program, visit the Drake University Student Accounts website under Financial Literacy.
For questions about Drake Student Loans the Student Accounts office may be reached at (515) 271-3174 or firstname.lastname@example.org.