Living on student loans possible with discipline, education

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Supporting oneself while attending school full time often means biting the bullet and either borrowing money from mom and dad or through a student loan.

Either way there is an agreement to be made—a contract entered into by each party. Though mom and dad may be more forgiving, the government will charge interest and not take bankruptcy for an answer.

Josh Jacobs, a sophomore general education major from St. George, is also employed part-time. He has used student loans in the past to help pay for his tuition. However, last fall, Jacobs broke his leg and found he was unable to work.

“It kept me afloat while I was out of work,” Jacobs said. 

Jacobs also has a disability and has found the money useful in helping him pay for the supplies he needs to function as a student who is hearing impaired. Without this, he would have to rely on his mother and father to help. Jacobs considers this a positive in his educational life.

Cora Hamer, a freshman general education major from St. George, had to rely on her parents to pay her tuition last semester.

Even though her parents paid her tuition in the fall, Hamer said borrowing money through student loans simply to live is not the best idea.

“I have seen others leave college and be weighed down with debt, and I don’t want that for myself.” Hamer said.

Students said that pursuing an education with loans has made their transition into college far easier than it would if they’d have had to come up with the funds on their own.

“I wanted to improve my life with an education, and without that help I would not have been able to afford it,” Jacobs said.  “My parents can’t afford to pay it on their own, and I am responsible in making decisions about the money loaned to me.”

Using loans to pay for gas, food and lodging relieves some of the pressure, especially when the money does not need to be paid back until the student leaves school.

Stefan Peterson, a sophomore English major from St. George, is currently living on student loans.

“I can go to school and be good at it the entire time I am here,” Peterson said.”Without that money, I would not be able to focus all of my attention on school.”

The key to succeeding financially is to be responsible with loans. Pay extra attention to what is being taught about receiving and using the money.

“I don’t like having the feeling of debt,” Peterson said. “I don’t take too much, so I won’t have to pay too much back.”