GENESEE COUNTY (WJRT)- (03/19/19)- Late night studying, fast food, and student loan debt. For many, it's part of college life.
Right now, undergraduate students can borrow from the federal government up to $57,550 to pay for their education.
But their parents and graduate students have no limit. The Trump administration wants to change that, by putting a cap on how much they can borrow.
"When you have students that go into expensive programs or elite universities cost are much higher, those loans can be a critical determination if that student stays enrolled or not," said Director of financial aid at the University of Michigan Flint, Lori Vedder.
Vedder understands the need to take a hard look that the debt students are building while working towards a degree, but says there are other ways to limit that debt.
"I think if we want to do anything with loans, if Congress would give us the ability at the institution level to be a little more intrusive in the sense that we want to do more counseling around loans. And maybe even limit the amount of loans that students can borrow at the institutional level," Vedder said.
Vedder says looking at earning potential after graduation is a way to cut down student loan debt.
"Whether it's based on enrollment, how many credits they are taking, by program, that we know traditionally statistics show that the rate of earnings is lower, those kind of things where there is some research behind it as to why we would limit, " Vedder said.
2019 statistics show, there are more than 44 million borrowers who owe $1.5 trillion in student loan debt in the U.S.
And on average, college graduates ages 18 to 34, carry about $36,000 in debt, according to a 2018 study by Northwestern Mutual Life.
Debt that can take a lifetime to pay off.
"Not many people read the fine print and so they are doing it to get it out of the way and then they don't hear another thing about it until they leave school and they're sent exit counseling and they are on their own, " Vedder said.