W I S C O N S I N T E C H N I C A L C O L L E G E S Y S T E M | 2 3 W I S C O N S I N T E C H N I C A L C O L L E G E S Y S T E M | 2 3 W I S C O N S I N T E C H N I C A L C O L L E G E S Y S T E M | 2 2 $ 2 4 1 6 3 $ 2 4 1 average cost for one year at a university* *Sallie Mae 12 monthly loan payment $359 $359 $359 $359 $359 $359 $359 $359 $35,051 average student debt Making financial sense of college. The facts tell the story: student debt is a growing problem. Average student debt in the U.S. is $35,051 for 2015 graduates, according to Mark Kantrowitz of Edvisors.com.9 Using the U.S. Department of Education’s Repayment Estimator, the monthly payment on a direct subsidized loan for the average student debt would be $359 for a total repayment amount of $43,124.10 This amounts to $4,308 per year from your student’s earnings. Consider what else your child could do with that money (savings, transportation, rent, etc.). To avoid the big IOU, here are some financial items to consider when selecting a college: The borrowed amount doesn’t include the full cost associated with obtaining a degree, which often includes room and board, books, computers or tablets, food and transportation. One year of full-time student tuition at a Wisconsin Technical College is under $4,000. A student attending a local community or technical college can often live at home, saving thousands of dollars in room, board and travel. Technical college students have access to a wide range of scholarships and grants, just like students at other higher education institutions. The level of earnings doesn’t always depend on the level of the degree received. According to Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, nearly 1/3 of all Americans with two-year associate degrees earn more money than Americans with four-year degrees.11 Section 4 Making financial sense