Keep college expenses in mind

Nick Solari

College is awesome, isn’t it?

I like having my classes cancelled. I like having a meal plan every semester. I like going out on weekends with my friends.

And I know I’m not the only one. Most of us enjoy these things, no?

Well that’s great—and you should. But you should also keep your college expenses in mind while you’re here.

Before you know it, you’ll be graduating and you’ll need to find a job. And if you’re like me, you’ll have a whole lot of student debt you’ll need to start paying off six months after you leave this place.

According to, the average tuition for a four-year private school is $31,231. But guess what? You go to Quinnipiac—so that number is much higher.

Quinnipiac students leave the school with an average debt load of $44,552, according to “The US News Short List.” That’s the sixth highest debt load in the country.

Look at it in these terms: tuition for an undergraduate student is $42,270, per the Quinnipiac website. So if you’re like me this semester, and you’re taking five classes that are three credits each, you’re paying $8,454 for each three-credit course.

There are 15 weeks in each semester. That means you’re paying just over $187 for each class in a course that meets three times a week, assuming we have as many classes we’re supposed to have each semester. For a course that meets twice a week, that number soars to a bit over $281.

The best thing you can do, inevitably, is get a job shortly after you graduate. The loans will begin stacking up, and it might seem obvious, but the easiest way to manage them is to have an income.

So it’s about getting a job. Depending on your major, the steps might be different. For most, though, the same basic rules apply.

You need to have work experience; go out, make connections and learn on the job. There’s no way to better prepare yourself for a post-graduate life of paying loans than by making sure you have people you can reach out to once you start looking for jobs.

Also, show that you care. Dare to clean up your social media accounts. Sure, it might be hard at first to not tweet about how much alcohol you consumed the night prior, or refrain from Facebooking a photo of yourself doing something inappropriate, but you’ll be happy in the long run that you considered your future.

Trust me when I say this: it goes by a lot quicker than you can ever imagine. I remember being a freshman, thinking that I had a whole lot of time to ready myself for post-college life.

Then I blinked, and I’m now weeks away from being a senior.

So as the final few weeks of the semester press upon us, consider the amount of work you have to do before the summer. Get ahead of the game so that you can plan for some fun on May weekend. Plan out your summer by getting a job with some experience in your particular field.

Because before you know it, college will be over and you’ll have student loans to pay. Scary, right?

And trust me—the premise of paying off college debt isn’t going to seem so fun for some of you in a few years. I’ll be right there with you.