Rising costs shatter New Jersey student’s dream to attend UW

In a column in Time magazine, a New Jersey mother laments the fact that her son will not be able to attend the University of Wisconsin because the university has hiked out-of-state tuition to the point that it is unaffordable to an average family and student aid is virtually non-existent. She writes: “Out-of-state tuition, room, board, and fees for Wisconsin run more than $48,000 this year. Even with the money I’d saved in his 529 fund, there is no way I can afford to send him there, particularly on top of the cost of my elder son’s education. Their father and I are journalists, not hedge fund managers.”

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Wisconsin average student loan debt is $29,460

A new report from the Institute for College Access and Success finds that the average recent Wisconsin college graduate with student loan debt owes $29,460. The state ranks fifth in the nation with 70% of 2015 college graduates having student loan debt, compared with 68% nationally. Nationwide, the average student loan debt for 2015 graduates was $30,100, a 4% increase over 2014. “We need to make college more affordable and debt less burdensome for students and families,” said TICAS president Lauren Asher.

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New polls find overwhelming support for allowing refinancing of student loans

Public opinion research in key Wisconsin state Senate Districts by respected national pollster Paul Harstad finds “lopsided support” for allowing people to refinance their student loans, just like you can with a mortgage. Between 81 and 85 percent of those polled in state Senate Districts 12, 14 and 18 favored the idea.

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We can manage college debt without costing taxpayers anything, Erpenbach says

“The cost of higher education should not be a burden,” says State Senator Jon Erpenbach. “We know that refinancing of student debt is a viable alternative for those caught in high interest rates. All that is lacking in the Republican majority Legislature is the WILL to actually get something done.”

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Wisconsin students have one of the highest levels of student debt in the nation

A new series by the USA Today Network-Wisconsin explores the causes and problems related to heavy student debt in Wisconsin, where seventy percent of college graduates leave with debt, “making students here the third most likely in the country to have debt.” On average, each debtor graduates about $29,000 in the red — more than ever before, the report says.

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