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Seminar Aims to Help Students Understand The Steep Cost of Student Loans

As many students graduate college, they enter the workforce with an overwhelming amount of debt.

The Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce held a seminar Thursday morning on how to help students avoid getting in over their heads with student loans -- and how getting their education closer to home can save them money, while boosting our local economy.

Data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows the cost of college is steadily rising every year. Students can save money, and not compromise the quality of their education, by taking advantage of schools like SUNY Broome, and Binghamton University.

Financial advisors from Morgan Stanley say most of the time, students entering college don't realize how much student loans can cost -- and how long it could take to pay them back.

"Part of our discussion was today was whether an 18-year-old can really conceptualize that amount of debt on paper in the future?" Steve Campbell, a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley, said. "What is $60,000 or $80,000, if you're not paying it back like you would a credit card 30 days from now?"

According to the Federal Reserve, student loan debt among Americans currently totals nearly $1.3 trillion.

Campbell says though students often want to experience college in other areas, they should weigh their local academic options. He recommends prospective students visit local campuses, and see what the schools right in their backyard have to offer.

Morgan Stanley workers, along with officials from the Chamber of Commerce and local universities, plan to visit area high schools, and talk to students about the realities of student loans and college costs.