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New Jersey College Helps Grads with Debt

New Jersey College Helps Grads with Debt

Learn how to handle student debt.

By Kathryn Knight Randolph

March 15, 2011

According to CollegeBoard’s Trends in Student Aid 2010, the typical college student now graduates with an average of about $23,000 in debt. What’s worse – so many students graduate without the skills to handle their debt. Many experts are beginning to say that a student debt crisis is just around the corner.

But imagine a school that actually cares about your student debt after you’ve earned your degree. A college in New Jersey is beginning to receive major props for not only educating their students but also teaching them how to handle the student debt that comes as a cost of college.

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An article on CBS MoneyWatch.com revealed that Saint Joseph’s College in Hartford, Connecticut has taken it upon themselves to educate their student body on dealing with debt responsibly. And their track record so far is quite impressive:

  • While the level of national student debt is increasing, St. Joe’s is decreasing. In fact, the average amount of debt students graduated with dropped by $5,000 between 2009 and 2010.
  • The default rate of student loans within two years of graduation is just 2% — one third of the national average.
  • St. Joe freshmen earn a 66% average on a personal finance quiz distributed at the start of their college career. Upon graduation, the average score is 84%.

Must of the New Jersey school’s student body’s financial education is distributed through an interactive, online platform, MoneyU. According to their website, MoneyU was founded by a mother who wanted to spread the message of financial literacy to not just her children but to their friends and their friends and so on. While she began the venture giving lectures to parents on how to talk to their children about money, the concept evolved into the game-based eLearning center that it is today.

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MoneyU combines difficult lessons on student finances with fun, interactive elements, creating an environment where students actually want to learn about credit scores, interest rates and repayment plans. While there are schools that provide MoneyU programming, students can access these eLearning sessions without the administration of their school.

To begin your MoneyU experience, encourage your school to adopt the program or learn on your own for a one-time cost of $30.


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