Researchers keep telling students how high student debt is right now, and they say it’s on the rise. People observing Pierce College could argue otherwise.
Many students attend Pierce College to save money, and by doing that, they cut back on debt.
For Running Start students, the state pays for the first two years of college.
With two years of college completed, high school graduates will either not go on to a four-year college or only have to pay for two more years for their bachelor’s degrees. With Running Start becoming more common, student debt will become less common.
Running Start students save the most money because the government pays for their first two years of college. It’s a free associate’s degree, not counting book costs and student fees.
Running Start student Christina Randolf is a senior in high school. She feels that taking advantage of the running start program can save college-bound students money.
“That’s one reason for going,” she says. “It’s also good to get a head-start on college.”
Randolf and her friend, Brandon Fisk, are not sure if they want to go to a four-year university after they graduate from Pierce. If they don’t, they won’t have paid any tuition for college. They won’t have gotten in debt for any student loans either.
Since most freshman and sophomore college students are high school students still living at home, those students’ costs of living will come out of their parents’ pockets instead of out of their credit cards.
This also means the average college student will not get a credit card until halfway through college. Also, the average junior in college will be about 18 years old instead of 20. Younger students are less likely to know how to get and use credit cards.
Running Start students save a lot of money during college, but non-Running Start students have money-saving strategies too. Nicole St. Peter lives with her parents instead of renting her own apartment.
“I don’t have to pay rent,” she says, “and they provide some of my meals.”
St. Peter uses her paycheck from being a peer mentor at Pierce to pay for gas and food, but she says it helps her save money to live with her parents.
Other students save money and avoid debt by staying on their parents’ cell-phone plans, getting jobs at Pierce, and buying used books.
With all the ways people can save money at Pierce, student debt will soon decrease.
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost
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