Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

October 27, 2012

Report ranks Indiana 11th for student loan debt

IU Kokomo’s average student debt fell below the national average.

Indiana’s average student loan debt among graduates of four-year universities is the 11th highest in the nation, according to a new report.

Indiana’s average debt was $27,500 last year, or $900 higher than the national average of $26,600, according to a report released last week by the Project on Student Debt.

The debt levels of students who graduate with loans continued to rise last year, the report said.

“Most students in the Class of 2011 started college before the recent economic downturn, but the economy soured while they were in school, widening the gap between rising college costs and what students and their parents could afford,” the report states. “State budget cuts led to sharp tuition increases at some public colleges, increasing the need to borrow.”

Nationwide, the debt load increased by 5 percent.

Indiana University Kokomo’s numbers fell below the national average, though, at $25,839.

That’s lower than the average debt at the Indiana University Northwest, East and Bloomington campuses but higher than the average debt at the South Bend and Southeast campuses.

Jack Tharp, senior director of financial literacy for the university, said mounting student loans are a concern across all IU campuses.

“We’ve got some work to do,” he said.

Tharp is tasked with managing a debt relief program IU unveiled earlier this year.

They’re making progress on the initiative, Tharp said.

All first-time students will soon be required to complete an online learning module about finances, budgeting and loans before they register for classes, Tharp said.

The university is also developing a one-credit-hour course in financial literacy. It won’t be required, but it will be available, Tharp said.

“We’re working against the clock to have it ready by next year,” he said.

Tharp said he hopes to unveil a new student-driven website about finances sometime next month.

It will feature blogs and forums where students can answer other students’ questions about anything related to money and finance, Tharp said.

He said the questions could be as simple as “How do I establish good credit?”

Maybe other students will want to know whether living in dorms or off campus is more cost effective.

“We want to engage students about the issues confronting them,” he said.

Tharp said he’s not entirely sure how Indiana got in the spot it’s in, having the 11th highest average student debt load in the country.

“That’s a tough question,” he said.

He said he thinks part of the problem is the state’s diverse network of community colleges and private and public universities.

Tharp said students have the ability to move around from campus to campus with relative ease. They’ll attempt degrees or programs at different colleges and then decide it’s not for them, he said.

“You can begin to accumulate a lot of debt,” he said. “We see students coming to us from Ivy Tech with a lot of debt. That affects our numbers.”

Ivy Tech Kokomo officials said the community college is still the best investment in higher education in Indiana.

Many students should be able to pay for their degree without loans.

With Ivy Tech’s tuition rates, a full-time student taking 12 credit hours, and receiving a full federal Pell grant award of $5,550 and an Indiana O’Bannon grant, can cover the full cost of their tuition, fees and books without taking out a loan, officials said.

“Unfortunately, even with our low tuition rates, some students still choose to take out student loans,” said Michelle Simmons, vice chancellor of student affairs for Ivy Tech Kokomo. “Our goal is to ensure that our students are educated and knowledgeable regarding their loan obligations.”

All new first time, full time students are required to attend a mandatory new student orientation session prior to registering for classes, Simmons said. Financial aid options, including student loans, are discussed during those sessions.

Financial aid advisors make presentations and distribute materials to all first year seminar classes, in hopes of increasing the students’ financial literacy, Simmons said.

“We also have taken a more aggressive approach in contacting students who enter default/delinquency status, over the last few years,” Simmons said. “We hope that all of these initiatives will assist in lowering the loan default rate of our students.”

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • tornadodamage34-20-04.jpg Kokomo Skating Arena: 10 years gone

    If you drive past the intersection of East Morgan and North Ohio streets these days you’ll see some trees, a parking lot and a Dollar General store. What you won’t see is the Kokomo Skating Arena, a landmark which stood on this corner for decades until a tornado caved the roof in April 20, 2004. Those who knew it well said they won’t soon forget it.

    April 20, 2014 6 Photos

  • Question Time: Name a baby (or babies) today

    “Imagine you’re having a baby (or babies) today. What would you name it (or them) and why? (You can give answers for a girl, a boy or both; and any combination for twins, triplets, etc.)”

    April 20, 2014

  • 400SUnion.jpg Counties move forward with flood mitigation one year later

    One by one, properties were bulldozed from the neighborhood between Carter and Murden streets in downtown Kokomo, physically erasing evidence of residential flooding in an area long prone to it.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 400SUnion Counties move forward with flood mitigation one year later One by one, properties were bulldozed from the neighborhood between Carter and Murden streets in downtown Kokomo, physically erasing evidence of residential flooding in an area long prone to it. Removing homes along Park Avenue, near Waterworks Park

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Flooded area - E Murden 01 Jaimz family seeks closure after losing everything Ashley Jaimz and her sister, Amanda Urbina, took a drive through the Cedar Crest neighborhood the other day to view how residents were faring in the wake of a Nov. 17 tornado. The drive was intended to provide some closure to Jaimz, who is still stru

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - FEMA 03 Kokomo resident whose basement collapsed during flood repairs own home

    Walter Raderstorf can still remember sitting in his living room inside his home on West Park Avenue, realizing he had escaped a brush with death. “I was in the basement carrying stuff up and I came in here and sat down,” he said. “It wasn’t 30 second

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Late Kokomo teacher dedicates estate to foundation Longtime Kokomo School Corp. teacher Holly Kirkpatrick will continue to have a positive impact on students thanks to a $38,000 donation from her estate to the Kokomo Public Schools Education Foundation. Kirkpatrick died in November 2012 after teachin

    April 20, 2014

  • flood anniversary Thomas family ready to move on after flood In the Thomas household, few things take precedent over baseball. You’d be hard-pressed to find a couple more dedicated to youth baseball in Kokomo — or anywhere else for that matter — than Michael and Lashanda Thomas, who have passed that love of th

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • EasterEgg hunt 10 'Controlled chaos' at city's Easter egg hunt With buckets and Easter baskets in hand, hundreds of kids 10 years old and younger packed Kokomo's Northwest Park Saturday to see who could grab up the most Easter eggs. Organizers split the kids up in three age groups, 0 to 3, 4 to 6 and 7 to 10, wi

    April 20, 2014 4 Photos

  • NWS-FloodFollowDay2-15.jpg April flood brought people together to bail out community

    [Editor’s note: On April 19, 2013, a record flood hit Howard and Tipton counties. Today, we look at some of the financial aspects of the flood. In Sunday’s edition, look for stories about people who were affected, what has changed in the floodplains and how the communities are moving forward.]

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries