By: Dan Miller


My daughter needs a few more courses to complete her Bachelor's degree, having attended two different schools so far. Last week she got her financial aid letter for the coming year.

"Thank you for choosing MTSU. Enclosed is your financial aid award letter for the 2003-2004 academic year."

She has been awarded two programs: an “estimated unsubsidized amount” for $5,500 and a PLUS for $6,500 for a total of $12,000 for the one academic year. All she needs to do is initial the paperwork and these awards will be deposited to her account. The wording is very unclear and nebulous.

These are nothing but straight loans -- on the one the interest even begins accumulating immediately. I am incensed at the presentation here and am convinced that many students sign these things not fully understanding that they are simply borrowing money.

I am sickened at the increasing onslaught of people in my office who are trapped in careers and jobs they hate because of the burden of student loan debt. My first client this week comes in with $140,000 in educational debt and hates his profession. Don’t assume that any degree will magically guarantee a big income – and don’t trap yourself with student loan debt.


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