Forget financial aid, soon-to-be college students need financial ed

“If I had only known then what I know now.” If it feels as if you know where this one’s going, it’s probably because you’ve heard it before. As student indebtedness continues its steady upward climb, it’s increasingly become a common refrain among cash-strapped college students and graduates, groaning under the weight of hefty student loan payments. Yet at a time when a $1 trillion student loan bill nationally continues to balloon and cripple so many, a new survey finds that the root of many students’ financial woes may have started long before they ever set foot on campus, CNBC reports. According to the first annual High School Student Borrowing Survey, conducted by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), nearly 50 percent of high school seniors in the U.S. can’t even guess how much money they will need to pay for college. What’s more, “even greater numbers appear unable to understand the basic terms of a student loan,” the survey concludes.

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