Study: Kansas students about $27,000 in debt after college

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- The cost of college continues to rise, but Kansas colleges are some of the most affordable according to a new study. says Kansas is ranked the 15th state in the nation for lowest student debt. On average, a student will owe about $27,000, but there are ways to lower your secondary education bill.

“Everybody can afford to go to college. Maybe everybody can’t afford to go to Harvard,” said Jamie McEwen, Financial Literacy Coordinator with Washburn University.

McEwen says on average, after four years, one of their students will owe $27,000.

“The standard repayment for a student loan is 10 years. At that level of debt the repayment is about $300 a month,” McEwen detailed.

Among other Kansas schools, Emporia State students graduate with an average $24,000 debt. KU around $28,000, and the highest, Southwestern College in South Central Kansas at $37,000.

“It is somewhat of a burden, but it’s not an insurmountable burden because having a degree over a High School diploma makes you on average about $20,000 more a year,” she added up.

While cost may seem discouraging, experts say you can find grants based on income and check for often overlooked scholarship programs.

“There are tons of scholarship out there. You don’t have to be a 4.0 woohoo student to get a scholarship. There’s interest scholarships. There’s lots of different opportunities for scholarships and students don’t take advantage of that enough and really work at it,” she encouraged.

McEwen stressed that the best thing you can do is talk to financial aid advisors at any of the colleges or universities. They can help you find scholarships and even help you apply for aid.