Maine Has 2nd Highest Student Loan Debt In US 

Nearly 200 students graduated from Beal College Saturday.Saturday May 5th Husson and the University of Maine will hold their commencement ceremonies.But after they turn their tassels, they have to find a job to repay their student loans.”Student loan is an investment that a student makes in themself and in their future,” said Gianna Marrs, the Interim Director of Student Financial Aid at the University of Maine.For the May 2012 graduating class at UMaine, nearly three quarters of the graduates have taken out loans to pay for their degree, averaging a debt load of $24,600.”I think it can be a rather shell shocked thing for them,” said Connie Smith the Associate Director of Student Financial Aid at UMaine. “But we’re doing everything we can as a school to avoid that from happening.”Based on data from the website Project On Student Debt, students in Maine will leave school nearly $30,000 in debt. That’s the second highest figure in the country behind only New Hampshire.”I think that it’s important to be aware of what debt students might have to take on to reach their academic and career goals,” said Marrs. “But on the other hand I think we need to look at the individual student debt which is what they are borrowing, the individual student, and what is their future earnings potential what are they using the money for, but overall I think it’s critical to make sure students are smart consumers.”Our elected representatives are debating interest rates for those loans in Washington D.C.”It’s been set at 3.4 percent and by law if there is no action it will jump to 6.8 percent July first, but the political parties are on board saying they don’t want to see this happen,” said Marrs. “The question is how do they pay for that to keep the interest rate low.”For those students 25 to 30 thousand or more dollars in debt and to future students and their families, this is now the reality.”College costs are going up, that families are less prepared to help their children through college because of their own financial difficulties,” said Marrs. “This is a poor state so I think that families do not have large wealth to draw on to put their children through school.”