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Tackling the challenges of financial aid and student loan debt

Maryland has one of the highest amounts of student loan debt
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Posted at 8:17 AM, Jul 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-26 08:28:59-04

BALTIMORE — Maryland has one of the highest amounts of student loan debt in the country, second only to Washington D.C.

Administrators, state leaders, and elected officials are holding a virtual meeting today to discuss the challenges facing college students.

Student loan debt can haunt college graduates long after they get their diploma and leave campus.

According to researchers at the Education Data Initiative, Maryland residents are more likely to have a large amount of student debt than their peers across the country.

The amount of student loan debt in Maryland is staggering.

According to the Education Data Initiative, Marylanders have $35.9 billion dollars' worth of student loan debt, with an average student loan debt of $42,861.

More than 800,000 people in the state have student loan debt, with about half of them being under 35 years old.

With numbers like these, the non-profit Maryland Center for Collegiate Financial Wellness is holding a virtual meeting for administrative professionals and officials to talk about what is being done to help students and their families deal with the challenges of being able to afford a college education.

The non-profit also offers financial coaching and resources to people trying to tackle their student loan debt.

Organizers hope today's meeting will help bring key stakeholders together so they can bring financial education to college and career students in Maryland. In turn, they hope to help better determine what financial aid and services are available to students who are facing mountains of debt.

Presenters include U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen, assistant secretary for the Maryland Higher Education Commission Dr. Emily Dow, along with the co-founder of Creating Assets, Savings and Hope (CASH) campaign of Maryland.

Tuesday's meeting is not open to the public but the Maryland Center for Collegiate Financial Wellness is a non-profit which offers counseling to connect people with student loan debt with services and programs that are available to help get them out of debt.