MTU student debt noted

HOUGHTON – As college tuition goes up and state and federal aid for students remains the same or decreases, students are facing growing amounts of debt. To illustrate how this affects local students, the Michigan Tech University Undergraduate Student Government is inviting people to visit their debt wall and place a sticker estimating their debt after graduation.

“We took a page from the Prudential Life Super Bowl ad last year where they asked how old is the oldest person you know, but we’re asking how much debt do you think you’ll graduate with as a student,” said David Shull, USG public relations chair.

This is the first time Michigan Tech has hosted such an event, but Shull said last year the Student Association of Michigan hosted a similar event where participants placed markers on an 8-foot-by-4-foot graph.

Tech is going a bit bigger, with a 30-foot-by-50-foot graph. Participants can take an orange sticker, representing debt including loans, or a green sticker, representing debt including aid that doesn’t need to be paid back, like scholarships or grants, and place it in the proper column of the graph.

“Right now it just ticked over one trillion dollars in student debt around the country, so it’s a pretty big issue,” Shull said.