Posted: Oct 22, 2013 9:45 PM by MTN News - Missoula
MISSOULA - According to the department of education, more students are borrowing money for college. They are borrowing more than ever. And a startling number are struggling to pay them off.
Montana students are no exception.
The Montana University System is aiming to keep college affordable and suggests students consider potential salary and compare it to the debt they'll have once they've graduated, before choosing a major.
In Montana, about 64 percent of students take out loans for undergraduate degrees.
On average Montana students graduate with $25,000 in student loans for a bachelor's degree. And in the state, the default rate for student loans is at 8.2 percent. That represents students who went over a year without making a loan payment, who are not in forbearance or deferment.
"By implementing these programs, the financial literacy program, additional financial aid and default prevention, these three-pronged approaches to affordability, I think is more cutting-edge. There is no other state in the country right now that is providing default prevention and services on these federal loans," said Ron Muffick, MUS Director of Student Affairs.
Before loans were serviced federally, Muffick says that Montana's default rate was one of the lowest in the nation, at 1.8 percent.