Facts and Tips

Check out some financial realities for college costs and student loan debt as well as ways to save money as a college student.

  • $75,542 = cost to attend Southern for an additional year plus the estimated loss of first year's annual starting salary for college graduates, according to nace.com. Save money by graduating in four years!
  • $73 = cost for every 2024-25 class.  Go to class!
  • -2% savings rate for adults < 35; 3% for 35-44, 6% for 45-54 and 13% for 55 and older.  Moody's Analytics study
  • 70% of College Students Stressed about Finances article


Student Loan Debt

  • More than 44.7 million Americans have such debt in excess of $1.71 trillion 

  • Student Debt Snapshot from Comet Financial Intelligence

  • Recent Southern alumni median loan debt is $32,585 and average repayments of $272 monthly.

  • National student loan default rate is 7.3%.

  • Southern has a 2.7% student loan default rate.

  • 7 Ways to Save on Student Loans article

  • Keep student loan debt less than your starting salary

  • It’s much cheaper to save money than to borrow it

  • Money is important as is sound financial guidance

  • Three ways to graduate college student loan debt free


“Live like a student in college, so that you don’t have to live like one after graduation”


Financial aid refunds often result from the over-borrowing of student and/or parent loans.

How to Save Money While in College

  • Buy used or rent textbooks

  • Use college student discounts

  • Use prepaid meal plan instead of eating out

  • Resist impulse buying and buy what you need using coupons and sales

  • Stay healthy to avoid medical bills

  • Understand your cell phone plan

  • Brew your own coffee

  • Make a budget and stick to it

  • Keep good records of all your finances


Net price = Cost of Attendance – Gift Aid
Net Cost = Cost of Attendance – Financial Aid
Financial Need = Cost of Attendance – SAI (student aid index)