Summer classes could cut down student loan debt

You want the best for your child when it’s their turn to join the real world. But, CNBC says most graduates have more than $35,000 in student debt when they leave college. It’s more than $1 trillion nationally. Summer classes could bring that number down.

They could mean your child graduates sooner. Murray State University estimates the cost each year, including all expenses, to be $29,918. If summer classes save a student an entire semester, that would be $13,459 that a student would save.

That’s why many students in our area started school on Tuesday. This week on Murray State’s campus, you won’t see many students walking to class or handing out in the quad. But, summer classes are still going on.

Hugh Wells started his sophomore year Tuesday to graduate sooner. “That’s why I’m taking the summer classes. I’m trying to get it out of the way, at least the gen-eds anyway,” he said.

Murray State Associate Provost Bryan Van Horn says he thinks more classes in the summer can mean fewer student loans in your future. “It could save you a semester or even a full year of room and board, housing, and lost wages,” he said.

Wells isn’t the only student taking the lonely stroll to class. Kayla Cayce is counting on summer classes to get her social work degree in four years. “If I didn’t take the summer classes, then I would have to take a whole other semester," she says. 

It’s the same price per credit hour in the summer as it is during the school year: $317. But, summer courses range from three to 10 weeks.

To keep her loans to a minimum, Cayce started out in community college. But, she says: “I had a few electives that I took there that weren’t going to go towards the major that I’m in right now.”

It’s why Van Horn says to be careful before signing up for summer classes and make sure wherever you go, you can transfer those credits.

There is still time to enroll in summer courses throughout our area:

Murray State University  

University of Tennessee at Martin

Southeast Missouri State University

Southern Illinois University

West Kentucky Career & Technical College

John A. Logan College 

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