Industry Market Trends

Friday Focus: Tackling the Student Debt Crisis with Scholarships

May 31, 2013

During a brief speech at the White House on May 31, President Barack Obama, surrounded by college students, remarked on the state of student debt and noted how education loans have a significant impact on lifestyle choices, and ultimately, the economy. The speech was part of an effort to urge Congress to prevent subsidized student loan interest rates from doubling this summer.

"Americans now owe more on our student loans than we do on our credit cards, and those payments can last for years, even decades, which means that young people are putting off buying their first car or their first house. [They're] the things that grow our economy and create new jobs," the president said.

American student debt is showing no signs of slowing down. According to the latest debt report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, outstanding student loan balances increased by $20 billion during the first quarter of 2013. Total loan balances were $986 billion as of March 2013.

Other findings including a Fidelity Investments survey reveal that 70 percent of the class of 2013 will graduate with an average $35,200 in college-related debt, which includes federal, state, and private loans, in addition to personal and credit loans. Of the 750 college graduates surveyed, 39 percent admitted that they would have made different choices in their financial preparation for college.

College costs and student debt will rise further if interest rates on new federal student loans double in July. As the president calls on Congress to take action to halt the hike on rates, students can better brace for any impact and prepare for their financial future with scholarships.

The U.S. Scholarship Guide website offers students advice on the best approach to getting a scholarship award, such as searching locally and committing to community service. Organizations such as the Institute of International Education help students from around the world find scholarships based on their fields of study and countries of origin.

Scholarships can also help reverse the skills gap in sectors that are facing talent shortage the most - such as manufacturing and engineering. As previously reported, various scholarships for STEM majors are available to students across the country.

IMT Career Journal invites you to apply to its parent company's scholarship, the ThomasNet North American Manufacturing Scholarship Program, which will award $1,000 to up to 30 scholarship_logo featuredstudents who have an interest in manufacturing-related disciplines at a two-year, four-year, or vocational school. The deadline is July 1, 2013.

View more details and the full press release here.