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Smart Money
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Smart Money is a new program created by the Student Development Division to address the growing number of Collin College students postponing or even abandoning their academic pursuits.  This trend is due to the combination of higher educational costs and increased personal debt.  Many entering college students are completely unaware and under prepared for the financial responsibility they will encounter after their high school graduation. This program will seek to lessen the impact of poor money management skills of current students through educational opportunities, resource development, and the establishment of community contacts.

National Data

  • Average student-loan debt of borrowers in the college class of 2011 rose to about $26,500 (a 5% increase from about $23,350 the previous year)

  • Two-thirds of those who earn bachelor’s degrees in 2011 had loans

  • Approximately one-fifth of that debt was from private student loans (which has fewer consumer protections and repayment options than federal loans)

(source:  Institute for College Access and Success)

  • Percent of undergraduates with at least one credit card:  84% (up from 76 percent in 2004)

  • Average number of credit cards = 4.6 (half of college students had four or more cards)

  • Average balance on credit cards grew to $3,173, while median debt grew from $946 (2004) to $1,645

  • Credit card debt between $3,000 - $7,000:  21%

(source:  Sallie Mae’s National Study of Usage Rates and Trends 2009)

  • The percentage of students graduating in 2000 with some level of student loan debt was 64%.

  •  The percentage of student loan borrowers with unmanageable level of debt* was 39%. (*Unmanageable debt level = monthly loan payments exceeding 8% of personal monthly income.  55% of the total 39% were African American and 58% were Hispanic).

  • Low income students with loan debt were 71% as compared to 44% for wealthy students.

  • The average balance for student loan borrows was $ 20,104 on accounts with credit card companies and loan underwriters upon graduation.

  • Since 1976 the Pell Grant has decline from 84% of tuition at four-year institutions to 39% in 2002.

  • Studies show that wealthy families are shifting college costs from savings to student loans.

(source:  The Burden of Borrowing Report 2002)

Tennessee Bankers Association

"Young people are also the fastest growing group of bankruptcy filers in the United States."

-- April 25, 2006

How Can "Smart Money" Help?
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