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NV conservation group supports FERC's transmission planning rule; Memorial Day weekend includes Tornadoes and record-high temperatures; A focus on the Farm Bill for Latino Advocacy Week in D.C; and Southeast Alaska is heating homes with its rainfall.

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U.S. Supreme Court allows South Carolina gerrymander that dilutes Black voters, Sen. Ted Cruz refuses to say if he'll accept 2024 election results, and Trump calls Mar-a-Lago search an attempt to have him assassinated.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Debt dilemma poll: Hoosiers wrestle with college costs

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Friday, April 19, 2024   

A new Gallup and Lumina Foundation poll unveils a concerning reality: Hoosiers may lack clarity about the true cost of higher education.

The survey reveals merely 23% of U.S. adults without college degrees could estimate the annual net cost of a bachelor's degree from a public college within $5,000 of the actual expense. The repercussions of the financial fog can be overwhelming for students.

Gabriela Espinoza, a 27-year-old nursing student at IUPUI in Indianapolis, said looming debt from school casts a shadow over her future.

"I'm trying to figure out what my debt is going to look like and how long it's going to take me to pay off," Espinoza explained. "I'm luckily in a position right now where I live at home with mom, and she's been helping me out. You know, eventually, I'd like to think about moving out and moving on my own."

Among those polled, 75% believe a bachelor's degree is "extremely" or "very" valuable. However, cost is a major deterrent for many who wish to get a degree. Experts say higher education leaders need to bring clarity to the true cost of college to reduce confusion and provide a pathway for the millions of Americans who have considered college but have not yet enrolled.

For those participating in the poll, 31% have considered stopping coursework within the last three months due to the cost of attending college.

Parker Madison, another nursing student at IUPUI, said the expense is a major concern.

"If you get your college education, you still may be making the same amount as someone without a degree," Madison pointed out. "I feel like sometimes the college education's not even worth it."

More than half, about 56%, of unenrolled adults said cost is a very important reason they are not pursuing a post-high school education. Debt is also a factor for students who stopped out of college, with 35% of students saying loans prevented them from returning to finishing their degree.


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