Student Debt and The Right College for You

How to make the best, and most fiscally responsible, choice for your future


When it comes to applying to colleges, stress is something that comes along with it. Getting accepted isn’t the only worry students have today. The price of college has skyrocketed over the past years; many students now consider how will they pay for college as a bigger fear than getting into a school itself. It is a fact that student debt haunts you, many adults are still paying it off years after graduating.

Student loans can be defined as “Money owed on a loan taken out to pay for educational expenses.” “Rapidly rising college tuition costs have made student debt the only option to pay for college for many students.” The amount of student loans taken out annually is over 45 million dollars. This also comes with the annual student loan debt per graduate- $16,723, according to This is way more money than an average college student has, or will see, in a while. According to “Student Loan Hero” the median monthly student loan payment of a borrower aged 20 to 30 is about $203 a month, which at first glance isn’t much but imagine paying that every month for 30 years.

But the stressful process doesn’t stop there. Next, comes all the factors of choosing a school that fits your major, commercial interests, and location preference. Even if you find a school with all of those checkpoints there’s still the fact that schools are extremely competitive nowadays, so there’s the added anxiety all students have with the lingering dreadful thought, “what if I don’t get into the schools I apply to?” According to one of our Patchogue-Medford guidance counselors, Mrs. Goldfader, an important thing to take note of while applying to schools is to have a backup school in mind. While speaking to her, she also gave a token of golden advice to our stressed-out students, “Choose wisely both academically and financially, because your decisions now will follow you for the years to come.” Which is a wonderful way of painting a clear picture of how important the path you choose is.

In respect to whether the school you choose to attend matters, according to an article written by, “The Atlantic” titled “Does it Matter Where You Go to College” – it all depends on the students’ interests. That when it comes to the more elite schools, grades and ranking are more focused on because of how competitive it is to get in. When speaking on the topic of paying for these elite schools, the article’s author Weismann says “Figuring out the payoff of an elite education is a tricky task for economists because of this sheer number of variables that can come into play. Some students are smarter than others. Some are richer, or more motivated.” So really it just depends on the student themselves in. Same goes for the less elite, more financially manageable schools.

Choose wisely both academically and financially, because your decisions now will follow you for the years to come.

— Mrs. Goldfader, PMHS guidance counselor.

So, while deciding which schools to apply to, it is important to keep in mind the other key factors to success in finding your dream school. Look into the debt that you may fall into and prepare yourself for any possible outcome. It is also crucial to investigate the various scholarships offered to you in every possible place, and the financial support you might have not thought you were eligible for. Also understand that stressing yourself out won’t make the application process easier, so take a deep breath and understand that everyone feels the same way you do.

Would you rather attend a school with higher status or cheaper price?
Cheaper college-34
Better Status-28