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Graduates drowning in debt from high cost of college

By Nick Perry
Seattle Times higher education reporter

Tyson Hunter dresses sharply, works out most every day and can't wait to make his mark on the business world.

Hunter, 23, also happens to owe $152,000 in student loans, accumulated in four years at Boston University. He graduated last year with a bachelor's degree in business administration, and now earns $40,000 a year at a market-research company.

His loan payments soon will top $1,000 a month — the amount of a small mortgage, and about a third of his salary. If he makes the minimum payments, he will retire his student debt when he is 53 years old, having handed lenders some $300,000.

"Buying a house? That's not even in the 10-year goals," says Hunter, who has temporarily moved back into his mom's Bothell condo to reduce expenses. "The next two years are going to be crippling. Hopefully, after that, it won't be as crippling."

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Lisa Fishenfeld
General Studies Student Council 2008-09
Vice President of Student Life
Columbia University
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen of General Studies,

Is everyone excited for the HOMECOMING GAME today?! Kickoff will be at 1:30 PM, but festivities/giveaways/such will begin earlier. Free shuttles will start running to the stadium at 11:00 AM. Those looking for a group of GSers with whom to ride up to the game should meet at 12:00 noon in the GS lounge. If you don't make the noon crowd, feel free to hang around the lounge to find others in the same situation. The shuttles leave from the gates at 116th St. and Broadway.

Have fun, wear your Columbia pride and colors, and remember: GO LIONS!!!


Directions & Game Day Info

Spectator Opinion: Power in Numbers

Power in Numbers
By Editorial Board

The lack of viable statistics about the School of General Studies’ student body has been fodder for several General Studies Student Council meetings this month. Typically, most issues facing GS students concern housing, finance, and academics, but the lack of published statistical data related to these areas causes problems for GSSC, students, and applicants. The GS administration should provide more information about GS students’ studies, finances, and living situations beyond what is published annually by the Princeton Review so that solutions to longstanding problems can be addressed more effectively.

Currently, the University does not publish information about the number of years GS students spend at Columbia. Administrators contend that coming up with such an average is not plausible, but both applicants and the 54 percent of GS undergraduates who study full-time would undoubtedly consider this information important. Even after enrollment, the University fails to provide statistics on the percentage of GS students who succeed in procuring University housing. Although cursory demographic, academic, and campus-resource data is collected annually for publication by the Princeton Review and on the GS Web site, a more frequent and comprehensive snapshot of GS is needed.


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