UNR Student Debt: Your Guide to Understanding and Tackling Loans

by Madeline Potts, GenFKD

This article comes from the Campus Contributor Network. Over the course of the semester, students from across our campus outreach program will analyze their school’s finances and assess the overall return students see on their educational investments.

UNR students need to make sure they’re taking advantage of all the educational resources at their disposal in order to tackle debt after graduation.

UNR student debt by the numbers

UNR undergrads pay $19,301 a year (in-state) to attend the university. The average student takes out $34,824 in student loans. These loans often accumulate interest (sometimes while the student is still in school) and can take years to pay off.

The three-year default rate for UNR students is 5.5 percent, which, while a couple ticks lower than the national rate of 7.3 percent, is something to keep your eye on as default rates continue to rise.

The University of Nevada, Reno offers a few loan options for students, including the Garvey-Rhodes and Blundell Undergraduate need-based loans and one specifically for nursing students.

UNR doesn’t offer any specific programs for their students, but the state of Nevada does offer one through the Nevada Health Service Corps specifically for health practitioners.

Educating students on loans

UNR provides several educational resources for financing an education. The university recently began using a money management tool called SALT Money and implemented the Nevada Money Mentors.

SALT is an easy and effective way for students to learn how to manage their money through online tools. The Nevada Money Mentors program provides one-on-one mentoring where students can build a budget, learn how to re-finance their loans and manage their finances. Both of these tools can be found through the UNR website.

Since these programs are so new, it may take a while before UNR students begin to fully take advantage of them. However, with advertising for both programs popping up around campus, they’re sure to grow in popularity.

Implications for the future

It is estimated that the current total student loan debt in the United States is totaling $1.2 trillion with around 70 percent of Bachelors degree holders graduating with debt.

Paying off student loans can be challenging and can even delay other major life decisions. Many millennials are deciding to put off marriage, purchasing a home and saving for retirement until they have taken care of their student loans. According to USANews “52 percent (of students) said their debt affected their ability to make larger purchases such as a car.” In turn, this affects a students ability to start there life.

UNR has acknowledged that college loans and budgets are a very real problem for many, if not, most students. Through these new programs, UNR students are learning to take charge of there finances and their future.

This debt, however, doesn’t have to be crippling. Through financial literacy programs such as SALT and the Nevada Money Mentors, students can take hold of there future and there student loans.

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