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BSC EOC Program Director Participates in Student Loan Roundtable at WVU

  • Created
    Wednesday, June 05 2013
  • Created by
    Jim Nelson/Media Relations - (304) 327-4103

(Bluefield)—Participating in a panel discussion at WVU, Dr. Sarita A. Rhonemus, Educational Opportunity Center program director at Bluefield State College, joined students and parents, academic administrators and student program directors who urged Congress to act to prevent student loan interest rates from doubling on July 1. The roundtable on student loans, was organized by U.S. Senator John D. Rockefeller, IV.
Several issues of concern were expressed during the roundtable, according to Dr. Rhonemus. "Do students truly understand what they are getting into when they take out student loans? Do they understand the consequences of debt?" she asked. "There is a compelling need for increasing students' financial literacy because many students don't fully appreciate the responsibility they undertake to repay their loans."
Rhonemus provided testimony shared with her from a college graduate who asked to remain anonymous, "I have had trouble finding a job in my field. It is very difficult to understand why I am paying $400 per month to a school for an education I am not using, and it contributes to my depression. I have no savings and no quality of life. Everything seems pointless—I am drowning."

"That student speaks for many," Dr. Rhonemus observed. "Many students who graduate from college fail to land a job that can support debt repayment while maintaining a standard quality of life and then find themselves in a very difficult place. It's called "Post-Commencement Stress Disorder."

"Educational institutions and Congress simply cannot ignore this problem," she explained. "Until legislators understand how serious a problem this is and make addressing it a priority, the growing burden of student loan debt will continue to damage lives, hold people back, and hurt the economy." If Congressional action is not taken, the jump in student loan interest rates could increase student debt in the United States by $3.7 billion.