Financial debt seems unavoidable for incoming college students. But in many instances, financial irresponsibility is not to blame for a person’s high rate of debt. Necessities like food, transportation, and even textbooks can set people back years once tuition factors in. Today, attaining financially stability early in life seems too far out of reach; but one Seton Hall professor is offering his advice about financially stable college majors.
The discussion is part of the “Future of Higher Education” series, via Caucus: New Jersey with Steve Adubato. Show host Steve Adubato and guest Robert Kelchen sat down for a chat about college affordability. Kelchen is an assistant professor of higher education at Seton Hall University and the author of Higher Education Accountability. Kelchen wants to make everyone aware that colleges in New Jersey offer scholarships and grants to help with tuition costs. He also stresses the importance of pursuing a major that will make students happy but also financially stable after graduation.
Seton Hall Professor on Choosing the Right College Major
“The typical debt for someone with a bachelor’s degree is about $37,000 right now,” said Kelchen. “But if you went to graduate school, or if you went to an expensive private college and your parents helped you pay, that’s where you see $80,000 to $100,000 in debt, or even more.”
The range of debt that college students and graduates possess is enormous, there’s no question. But Kelchen thinks the real barrier is the varying price scale people encounter for the same amount of higher education.
“Colleges charge different prices to different people,” he explains. “But the way they do that is they set a high price as a sticker price for everyone and then they’ll give you grants or scholarships based on financial need, academic ability, whether you’re good at sports, or something else. And you end up with students paying a whole range of different prices.”
Many students and parents shy away from institutions with a high sticker price. However, it is imperative in many instances that a student go through with applying to a school; if for no other reason than to see the types of “discounts” they’ll get.
Want to learn the other advice Kelchen has to help attain financial stability? Then check out this edition of Caucus: New Jersey with Steve Adubato.
For more stories that impact New Jersey residents, click over to our Hot Topics in NJ series.
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