Information about Student Debt and Loans


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Aniah Warvie, Staff Reporter

Student debt is an issue many American students and graduates face. Student debt is a form of debt that is owed by someone who took out a loan to attend post-secondary school. Loans can be taken out to help students pay for college tuition, books, and other fees; the loan must be paid back later in time. 


According to, “Student loan debt in the United States totals $1.71 trillion and grows 6 times faster than the nation’s economy.”


While many know that student loan debt is a pressing issue in the world today, a recent Cat’s Eye survey showed that 89% of Rancho Cucamonga High School students do not know the difference between subsidized and unsubsidized student loans. 


Subsidized and unsubsidized are types of student loans that are available for people seeking a post-secondary education. These are federal student loans for eligible students to help pay for the cost of higher education at a four-year college or university such as a community college, technical school, or trade school. That means loans are issued in part by the federal government. With federal student loans, eligible borrowers can receive $5,500 to $12,500 a year. Direct subsidized loans are available to undergraduates with financial needs, and direct subsidized loans are available to undergraduates and graduate students; with no requirement to indicate financial need. 


In addition to federally-funded student loans, students may also take out private student loans to help pay for school. 


RCHS math teacher Mr. James Hansen said he went to a public college which was not nearly as costly as it is for today’s students. Hansen’s decision for choosing his college was not factored in by tuition costs. “I was looking for a college I could go to that’s not far from home but can get me around and about,” said Hansen. 


Hansen said he does not like how much student debt has changed since he has been in school. “I do not like that a lot of school tuition rates go up from students receiving loans from the government; undergrad students have had to pay off $100k in debt which is crazy to me,” said Hansen.


Hansen said if he could give financial advice to his past self, he would consider going to a junior college. 


Another teacher at RCHS, anatomy teacher Mrs. Beth Chirichella, said she went to junior college for three years before transferring to Cal Poly Pomona. She earned a scholarship she received from her dad’s job to help her pay for her first year at Cal Poly. Chirichella’s parents helped her take out a loan.


Chirichella also said she has a great niece that attends Oregon University and is going to graduate with a tremendous amount of student debt. “It is crazy to think that once you get a job, you technically have half a house to pay for and being in that much debt at the age of 22,” said Chirichella.


If Chirichella could give financial advice to her past self, she would save up money and think about scholarships. 


With student debt so prevalent in today’s society, it is important to know about the benefits and disadvantages of student loans. Taking out student loans can help students afford college fees and tuition. For information on how to qualify for loans, please read about the FAFSA.