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Hoosiers struggle with college costs – WRBI Radio

(Statewide) – A new poll from the Gallup and Lumina Foundation reveals a troubling reality: Hoosiers may lack clarity about the true cost of higher education.

The survey found that only 23% of U.S. adults without a college degree can estimate the annual net cost of a bachelor’s degree from a public university within $5,000 of the actual cost. The effects of the financial fog can be overwhelming for students.

Gabriela Espinoza, a 27-year-old nursing student at IUPUI in Indianapolis, said looming college debt is casting a shadow over her future.

“I’m trying to figure out what my debt is going to look like and how long it will take me to pay it off,” Espinoza explains. ‘Luckily I’m in a position now where I live at home with my mother, and she has helped me. You know, eventually I’d like to think about moving out and living on my own.”

Of those surveyed, 75% believe that a bachelor’s degree is “extremely” or “very” valuable. However, cost is a major deterrent for many seeking a degree. Experts say higher education leaders need to clarify the true cost of college to reduce confusion and provide a path for the millions of Americans who have considered college but haven’t yet enrolled.

Of those who took part in the survey, 31% had considered quitting their studies in the past three months due to the cost of studying.

Parker Madison, another nursing student at IUPUI, said cost is a major problem.

“If you get a college education, you might still make the same amount as someone without a degree,” Madison noted. “I feel like sometimes a college education isn’t even worth it.”

More than half, about 56%, of unenrolled adults said cost is a very important reason why they don’t pursue a post-high school education. Debt is also a factor for students who have dropped out of college. 35% of students say loans have prevented them from completing their studies.

(Story from our newsgathering partners at Indiana News Service)