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Some colleges acknowledge students need debt relief

In today’s struggling economy, millions of consumers are suffering under crippling debt. A huge amount of this debt is in the form of student loans, which are getting close to the trillion dollar mark in America. Unfortunately, student loan debt relief is hard to get, since most types of student loans can’t be discharged through bankruptcy. For many Florida residents with financial challenges after graduation, this can mean years of creditor harassment and even wage garnishment.

A number of universities are recognizing this problem, and taking steps to address it. Some are reducing their tuitions for students who qualify, or slowing the rate at which college costs are hiked. Others are increasing forms of financial aid and coming up with creative ways to award students with aid, scholarships, and more that prevent them from going into debt while getting an education.

For example, the University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill uses its proceeds from Student Stores and trademarked merchandise to fund grants and scholarships. 38 percent of the college’s in-state tuition goes toward need-based grants for undergrad and graduate students. And Pennsylvania’s Albright College has stated their intent to increase financial aid by $3.8 million and to meet 100 percent of demonstrated student need starting in 2007.

Having a college degree can help many people avoid unemployment and personal bankruptcy. But for some students graduating with a large amount of student debt, their problems could only be starting. With more colleges stepping up to the plate and offering forms of relief, we may see fewer Americans with student loan troubles in the future.

Source: USA Today, “Universities attempting to lower student loan debt,” Julia Craven, July 5, 2013

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