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Are college loans really necessary?

I recently was accepted into University of California Santa Barbara and to pay room and board, they recommend $8,000 in loans. Are getting loans a good or bad idea for college? #college-tuition #loans #college

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Jen’s Answer

If you do not have the funds available then yes loans should be considered necessary. For a small loan like 8,000 that can easily be paid back once school is to finished.

Jen recommends the following next steps:

Look into scholarships
Find out about work study or working for the school/dorm to pay room and board.

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Lowell’s Answer

Hi Matthew,

My two cents. The cost is probably $8,000.00 per year. Over the course of college you would then be looking at a total cost of $32,000 over the course of four years. That's a lot of money. The second thing you need to consider is whether or not the loans are subsidized or unsubsidized. This means whether the or not the federal government will pay your interest on the loan for you while you are in school. If the loans are unsubsidized and you don't make any interest payments while you are in school then you will have the principal amount plus interest to repay starting six months after graduation. If they are subsidized then you will only be responsible for the $32,000 which you also will need to start paying back six months after graduation. I would say it all comes down to your ability to work and study. Consider taking out a loan the first year to see how well you acclimate to the college workload, and then decide if you can balance a job or not. If so you can get a job, pay for room and board monthly and won't need to take out as much for room and board.

You could also look into becoming a resident assistant. These are peers who help run the resident halls, participating in hall events and mentor new freshmen on campus. It usually comes with perks like free room and board, but check with the school to find out for sure.


If not apply for additional scholarships. If that doesn't pan out then the loans all four years should be your last option.

I hope this helps.


Lowell recommends the following next steps:

Check and see if the 8,000 is just the cost for one year
Find out if your loans will be subsidized or unsubsidized
Learn more about how to become a resident assistant

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Daniel’s Answer

It is a good idea when there is an end goal in mind. Meaning that should you use loans, you are accepting the responsibility to pay it back with interest. Are you ready to pay on your loans 6 months after you graduate? Or will you consider graduate school?

Also the career you are looking to pursue should be worth it. If it is not completely worth getting the loans than definitely look into scholarships or work study programs or getting a part time side job.

Remember a loan, you have to pay back. Scholarships and grants are free money.

Lastly, is the program that you are looking to pursue in your home state? If so, I'd recommend staying to get in-state tuition. This way if the school is near your house, your room and board will not be much.

Daniel recommends the following next steps:

Seek Scholarships
Check to see if the program is in homestate
Look into Federal workstudy programs
If all else fails, then use loans for what you NEED, not for what you want.

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Linda’s Answer

As previously mentioned, it is important to evaluate your economic state. However, also keep in mind many students qualify for grants which you don’t have to pay back. It is important to apply for scholarships and other means of paying for your education, as many are in debt for years once they complete their degree. Speak to your universities financial advisors to learn what will be best for you. Your financial status can change. But put simply, anything you borrow must be paid back. But In order to receive grants and other benefits you’re required to apply for FAFSA.

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Naketa’s Answer

That can depend per individual. In most cases, yes they are. Loans can assist you with a variety of things such as tuition, room and board as well as other things you may need such as a computer or books. You must use your loan funds wisely because you will have to pay that money back. Don't worry,

Naketa recommends the following next steps:

There are a variety of scholarships that you can apply for. This can definitely reduce the amount of loans to take out.
You can also apply for work study or find a part time job out side of campus to assist you. Each College or University has a job center that will assist you in finding employment.
See your Financial Aid office to see if you qualify for any Financial Aid Grants.