KYW Regional Affairs Council
"College for the Cost-Conscious"
By Paul Kurtz
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The nation's total student loan debt is now around $1 trillion. Individually, the debt burden is causing many young college graduates to return to the nest.
"I still live at home with my parents -- I can't afford to move out. My school loans are out of this world," says Michelle DiCicco of Roxborough, a recent graduate of Misericordia University.
Michelle has a full-time job in finance, but she is shackled by student loan debt.
Her father, Lou, says the bottom line is grim.
" She's in about eighty thousand," he tells KYW Newsradio. "It's about 800 dollars a month for... what is it, 15 years?"
Lou and his wife, Jill, say they won't make the same mistake with their youngest son, Nick, who is 18 and enrolled at Community College of Philadelphia.
"It was my decision for him to do Community," she says, "because I saw how much debt my daughter has, and I don't want him to do that. There's no way. I'm paying less for him to go to Community than I did for him to go to Catholic school."
A growing number of students are giving up campus life to reduce their costs. Kelly Baeringer says her son, a junior at La Salle, decided to become a commuter after racking up about $100,000 of student loan debt in just two years.
" He would've come out with $200,000 in debt," she says. "And I think he just kept thinking about it and thinking about it, and just this last semester he's, like, 'I don't want to do it anymore, Mom, I want to live at home.' So he's gonna drive back and forth to school. I only had to take out a $13,000 loan this year, compared to $40,000 (previously)."
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