When Shanti Collins graduates from Grand Valley State University, she expects to be $50,000 in debt.
The 20-year-old Detroit native works as a receptionist at the Lanthorn student newspaper to help pay rent and living expenses. She receives $2,750 each semester in federal Pell grants, on top of loans.
Paying for college is difficult, she said, but it’s possible.
“I feel like financial problems shouldn’t be a reason why kids don’t go to college,” she said. “You have to get an education in order to make it.”
That’s what many students across Michigan face: An expensive education, increasingly necessary for a well-paying career.