Students Graduate with Degrees in Debt


09/28/2006 - If Renita Burns keeps it up, she'll graduate from Temple University with honors and more than $30,000 of debt, CBS News correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi reports.

"I think a lot of (us) don't think about how much we have until we graduate, and then it's like 'Eesh,'" she says.

Who would want to think about it? Burns is a junior, and she has more than $15,000 in federal student loans — an amount that doesn't even come close to covering a year at Temple. Her mom is a teacher, and her dad is a retired cop — so like a lot of students, she's too rich to qualify for most financial aid, yet too poor to pay for college without it.

"It’s like a circle, and you’re caught in the middle. It sort of feels like you've got to find another way," Burns says. She did.

Burns took out a private loan, the fastest-growing form of student aid. In 2004, lenders provided about $14 billion to students, an increase of more than 700 percent from a decade earlier.

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