The challenges associated with college costs, student debt, and postgraduation financial management continue to make headlines, with very little progress being made in identifying ways to curb what seems to be a growing—and worsening—issue.
APTA’s Financial Solutions Center, launched 1 year ago this month, was designed to help physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students respond to those challenges by helping them deepen their financial knowledge and potentially refinance student debt at a discounted rate. But as the news will attest, the underlying issues affect a broad swath of those who are pursuing or have completed a college degree. Here’s a roundup of recent coverage of college costs and student debt in the news.
The February issue of PT in Motion magazine takes a look at the financial realities faced all too often by graduates of DPT programs—who, on average, have incurred about $83,000 in loan debt—and suggests how to change those realities for future generations. According to some of the individuals interviewed, what’s needed are educational programs as early as high school to teach students basic financial literacy.
Those interviewed include PT educators, financial aid officers, and PTs in the field. All agree that too many PTs carry a debt load that not only consumes a large chunk of their starting salary, but that actually can affect their career path. Experts such as Mary Ann Wharton, PT, curriculum coordinator at St Francis University in Pennsylvania, believe that graduates saddled with so much debt may make career choices “based on saving money,” rather than primarily on taking advantage of opportunities to expand their clinical expertise.