Dept. of Education issues college scorecards - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Dept. of Education issues college scorecards

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

In the State of the Union Address, President Obama called on Congress to change the Higher Education Act so that affordability and value are included in determining which colleges receive certain types of federal aid.

In short, where can students get the most bang for their buck.

"We do a lot on our campus to make sure we educate students on loans and default rates and making good financial decisions," says Southeast Missouri State University Director of Admissions Lenell Hahn.

She says more students are looking at the expected debt load before they graduate.

And freshman on campus say they're always keeping an eye on how much they'll owe after graduation.

"Cost of tuition actually played a very large role in me choosing to come to Southeast," said freshman Jordon Hendricks.  "I looked at other schools in the area, Missouri State, the University of Missouri, and I knew coming to SEMO I wouldn't graduate with a lot of debt and I would get a degree that would help get me a job in the future."

Today, the U.S. Department of Education released college scorecards which show the net cost, graduation rate, median debt, and expected income after graduation.

The yearly cost of education ranges from just more than $6,000 per year at Three Rivers College, to more than $13,000 per year at Southern Illinois University.

And students have to pay out anywhere from $71 to more than $200 a month over a period of ten years to pay off the loan.

"It's a huge factor especially in an economy like this," says freshman Drew Young.  "It's also good to know the money my parents are putting into me isn't an outrageous number."

Hahn says she likes SEMO's numbers and the university uses it as a very good recruiting tool.

"To perspective students it lets them know that we care a lot about affordability and making sure they can get a good quality education at Southeast as well as being able to finance it," she said.

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