But How Much Should I Borrow? What's Safe?
Some students and parents are concerned about borrowing to pay for college. At Oregon Tech we agree that you should carefully consider if you need to borrow, and how much you should borrow to ensure that you can cover college costs and complete your degree.
A typical purchase for many recent college graduates is a car to use for commuting to work and personal activities. Most people take out a car loan for some or all of the costs of a new vehicle, which typically means borrowing $20,000- 25,000 over a period of about 5 years, and keeping the car for about 10 years. So not counting interest or other car expenses, that's about $2,000 a year if you keep it 10 years.
Borrowing for college is similar to borrowing for a car: it's an important “purchase” that you need in order to get the job you want, and position yourself for future career and personal success. Borrowing can be a positive experience that provides you what you need – a degree – and has a long-term benefit for the rest of your life. For students at Oregon Tech, the average amount borrowed is $27,300. If your career lasts 40 years, that's about $680 a year, which is much cheaper than the car loan; and your degree will continue to appreciate in value, not depreciate, over your life time.