Loan Debt Rises Part 2


Contributing Writer


In the last issue, The Navigator ran the first part of Storm Cuthburt’s article, Loan Debt Rises.

The article outlined how students accumulate $20,000 in student debt on average.

Then, readers were informed of the financial aid booking process and some student’s personal experiences with financial aid.

The following is the second part to Loan Debt Rises.


Student loan regulations


With the amount of student loan debt spiking, the government enforces a cap on how much the average student can borrow.

Piedmont’s Financial Aid Department notifies students who are approaching their maximum amount.

As soon as a student reaches $31,000 total, their debt is considered outstanding.

At that point, a comment code is placed on the student’s award letter and is eventually addressed with the student.

However, a graduate student may have a much higher limit because they can borrow more.

Still, the Financial Aid Office will continue to tell them to be careful about how much they’re borrowing because their income when they graduate is not necessarily going to be able to service the debt.


Encouraging tools


Piedmont financial aid stresses how important it is to understand these obligations and be aware of financial aid status.

For example, The National Student Loan Data System and The U.S. Department of Education are great sites to use for information.

The database details several features, such as viewing loan history, allowing one to track his or her Pell use and allowing the student to view frequently asked questions.

“We would like to encourage students to be informed about their aid,” Anderson said. “And now that they’re in school, this is the time to talk to us while they have questions. That’s why we are here. And once they’re off campus, they’re not going to have the time.”