Student Loans

Llama
cogdogblog / Flickr

North Carolina's students are graduating with more debt than ever before.

The average student graduating from a public, or private-non-profit school will graduate with $23,893 dollars in debt. In 2008, the average student had just $18,000 in debt.

We wondered...just what could you buy with $24,000?

How about a Toyota Camry L with keyless entry?

Or perhaps you prefer more than 1,700 bottles of wine from GlenMarie Vineyards in Burlington, NC.

Virginia Foxx
Office of Representative Virginia Foxx

The issue of rising interest rates on government subsidized student loans wasn’t a topic on most people’s minds until about a year ago. That’s when President Barack Obama stepped onto the stage at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Memorial Auditorium and “slow-jammed the news” with late show host Jimmy Fallon.

President Obama brought his message of affordable education for all to the Tar Heel State as part of a day-long college tour.

Gurnal Scott: University of North Carolina juniors Maria Rodriguez, Emalyn Penn and Mariella Albarado sat together at UNC's Carmichael Arena hoping for specific words to come from the President.

Maria Rodriguez: I want to hear him say that there are going to be cheap student loans. That's exactly what I want to hear him say.

Lawmakers have passed a bill that would allow community colleges to opt out of offering low interest federal loans to students. Legislation enacted last year would require all community colleges to participate in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. It allows students to borrow directly from the federal government. But some community college presidents say if too many students fail to repay these loans it may jeopardize the institutions' ability to provide other federal financial aid.