Kentucky college students borrowed a record $1.2 billion for higher education during the 2010-2011 school year, and the average student will spend a decade shelling out $200 a month to retire their loans, new data shows.
"We have achieved a college-going culture with our students," said Ted Franzeim, senior vice president of the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority, which administers financial aid programs in the state. "The good news is one of the issues we faced was low aspirations. I think that's really changed. The bad news is ... the supply of funding to support those students hasn't increased as that population has increased."
KHEAA data presented last week at the meeting of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education shows that college students in the state owe an average of more than $19,000 apiece, and student indebtedness is growing at a rate four times greater than the state's gross domestic product, with no end in sight.
"Basically, student debt is growing faster than the economy," Franzeim said. "As student debt increases, there's less money available to grow the economy."