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      Michigan Tech student government charts graduation debts

      The price of higher education is always on the rise, and Michigan Tech students are seeking to send a message to state legislators by shedding some light on the debts they will graduate with.

      The Undergraduate Student Government Debt Wall charts how much debt Tech students expect to graduate with.

      USG President, Tony Sharp, said the impending debts are outrageous, and more financial aid is needed.

      "Itâ??s affecting everybody," explained Sharp. "Almost everybody is going to come out of school with debt. There should be so much more funding toward higher education because now you canâ??t do anything without higher education."

      According to Michigan Tech's website, in-state tuition is about $13,500 and out-of-state is just over $28,000, which doesnâ??t include things like housing and classroom expenses.

      Many students agreed the thought of looming debt after graduation is somewhat less than pleasant.

      "I think about it daily, because I came here, and my mom and dadâ??s paying my fees, so I have to pay them back," said graduate student, Sachin Chinde. â??My first couple of years of salary will be gone only paying my debts.â??

      "We go from zero to $100,000 here,â?? Sharp said. â??Thatâ??s like a house payment once you get out of college."

      "I donâ??t like it, but it is what it is. I know that Iâ??m going to graduate, and Iâ??m going to have a well-paying job as long as I do what I have to do in school here," added junior, Ian Hatzilias. "So, itâ??ll get paid off."

      The USG plans to present the data from their debt wall to state representatives in the hopes they will begin taking higher education funding more seriously.

      "The state is already in financial crisis, so itâ??s a little difficult for that to happen," Hatzilias said. "I think there would need to be a lot of rearranging of funds throughout the state in order to accomplish that."

      "I want them to give more and more jobs, like research kind of jobs, so it will be give and take," Chinde added. "So, it will be a two-way relationship."

      Students said until more aid can be given, time is money.

      "Make your debt worth it,â?? Hatzilias said. â??If youâ??re going to be a lot of money into debt, get good grades, and make sure that youâ??re going to be able to pay that off when youâ??re done, because otherwise youâ??re doing it pretty much for nothing."