Students are doing all that they can to avoid taking out loans. My personal experience means working full time in the summer and two part time positions during the school year.
I am a Community Advisor at my college and that pays me the amount of my room and board cost. While that helps, I also work at the front desk in my residence hall when I can. This comes to 30 hours a week, on top of having a full course load and an internship with MPIRG. I have been a full time student for two years and have taken classes over the summer in order to graduate early this December.
Even with all of my efforts and my parents’ assistance, I will be graduating with $19,000 of student debt once I graduate. And this is just one example of the extreme lengths students are taking to get a higher education degree in order to have the least amount of debt after graduation. We are all in a similar situation where we admittedly miss out on some experiences because we are working more hours and graduating as soon as possible and using any amount of time we have to reduce the amount of debt we would have.
That is why I support HF1097/SF997, the Education Opportunity Credit - what we are calling Opportunity Minnesota. This innovative piece of legislation based off of a bill that passed Maine’s legislature overwhelmingly in 2007. It relieves student loan debts for Minnesota residents that have graduated from a Minnesota higher education institution and continue to work in the state following graduation. It is designed to both relieve student debt and remove the cost barrier that prevents many Minnesotans from attending college.
Come join us all at the Capitol this Thursday, March 14 at our 10am press conference in room 125 and in the afternoon for the Senate Higher Education Committee at 3pm in room 123. Register HERE to let us know you are coming! We all feel the effects of debt. Let’s stand together to support Opportunity Minnesota on Thursday!