Student Loan ApplicationStudent loan debt is back in the news again. Based on data from the 2009 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, the Project on Student Debt has recently publicized these numbers:

  • For the past 4 years, approximately two-thirds of students graduating from four-year colleges have student loan debt upon graduation
  • Nationwide, the average debt for graduating seniors with student loans rose to $23,200 in 2008, an increase of about 6%/year between 2004 and 2008
  • At some colleges, average debt soared to as high as $106,000

The good news is that there are ways to minimize and control student loan debt and many personal finance experts who offer tips on how to do this. These tips for affording student loans are not new—just a little dusty from not having been used for a while.

Liz Pulliam Weston, a personal finance advisor at MSN Money, wrote a terrific article with tips for affording college and student loans:

How much college debt is too much?

Two years later, with the country in a deep recession, that question is even more important. In addition to a refresher course on understanding your personal finances and federal loans vs. private loans, Ms. Weston also provides recommendations for student loan limits based on the degree you plan to pursue.

If you’re starting to think about going back to school next year, now is a good time to familiarize yourself with tips for affording your student loans after you’ve graduated.