A new survey says nearly nine out of every 10 Hoosiers value education beyond high school. But with one major caveat: Cost. The average college graduate in Indiana leaves school with $29,000 in student loan debt. However, according to the survey conducted by Indiana-based nonprofit INvestEd, Hoosiers say they simply want help with financial planning for college.
INvestED Vice President of Marketing Bill Wozniak joined Inside INdiana Business host Gerry Dick to explain how the organization is helping Hoosiers navigate education funding options.
“We try to help any Hoosier with any question about funding college,” said Wozniak. “We want to help Hoosiers plan and pay for college with the least student loan debt possible.”
INvestEd is also focused on workforce development aid for students who want certificates or training as opposed to a traditional college or university.
“The real important thing these days is how to help people get retraining, additional training, or help with the debt they currently have. And as opposed to a 401k, or different types of benefits, which are standard things related to paying for college or repaying debt that you have… these issues are very high on the minds of Hoosiers.”
According to INvestEd’s survey, nearly 90% of Hoosiers believe it is important for Indiana’s colleges and universities to offer innovative options for students such as income share agreements to help pay for tuition. What’s more, 85% of respondents said they would choose to pay for college using a percentage of their future income.
Wozniak says these income share agreements are becoming very popular and are also a great option for students that don’t have someone to cosign on a loan. He credits Purdue University in leading the way on the income share agreement front and says other schools are “looking very seriously” at following suit.
Overall, Wozniak says it is up to the state and higher education institutions to come up with creative ways to keep students out of debt.
“The interest in education, the value in education is not waning. The schools. The state. All of us can come up with ways to limit that student loan debt so students are still able to get that education. That’s front and center.”