Issuu on Google+

November 19, 2013 Debt Wall gives visual representation of how much debt students accumulate KATELYN WAARA News Editor It is nearly impossible to go to college without accumulating some form of debt. According to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, new estimates of the state of the student loan market show that overall debt amounts are approaching $1.2 trillion. Federal loans alone are crossing the $1 trillion mark. Over 7 million student borrowers are in default on their federal or private student loans. If you are unaware of these numbers, it is difficult to visualize the amount of debt students carry. Last week, Michigan Tech’s Undergraduate Student Government (USG) sought out to tackle this visualization issue with the debt wall. On display in the library starting on Tuesday, Nov. 12, students were invited to provide their input for the debt wall project. Participants were asked two questions: How much debt do you expect to graduate with? and How much debt would you graduate with if you had not received any non-loan financial aid? The idea of the debt wall was inspired by the Prudential Life Insurance commercial, which ran during the most recent Super Bowl. That ad asked people to help create a visualization for how old the oldest person they knew was. “The idea was then picked up by the News: 3 Logging days: Pequaming Mill Students laid down a circle representing their expected debt and how much their debt would have been without any non-loan financial aid. Photo by Maxwell Curtis Student Association of Michigan who did a very small version of the debt wall. We decided that such a big issue deserved more real estate. So we purchased a 30’ by 50’ tarp to raise awareness for the student debt crisis,” said David Shull, public relations chair of USG. News: Winter driving tips 4 Pulse: Each student was given a different colored circle to place on the 30’ by 50’ tarp, which created the base of the graph. “The green and red stickers serve two purposes, said Shull. The red stickers highlight the severity of debt for students attending college in Michigan. “However, 6 Grow a beard with pride Opinion: the green stickers serve to remind students what an awesome job Tech does at investing in its students…” added Shull. By the end of Sunday, Nov. 17, over 315 students put their mark on the graph. USG plans to display the debt wall once a large enough location is chosen. 11 Snow making: more harm than good? Sports: 13 Aggressive defense leads to big win in Men’s Basketball


Related publications