In 2016, Franklin High’s graduating class received $1.5 million in student loans.
That was nearly $500,000 more than the school’s budgeted $900,000 tuition and fees for that same year.
The $1 million in debt comes after the school spent nearly $600,000 in the first five years of the school year.
In 2016-2017, Franklin spent $934,500 on its student loans, more than double what it spent on tuition and student fees in 2015-2016.
It spent $3,846,000 on non-academic expenses in the same period, a nearly two-fold increase from the previous year.
More than a third of Franklin’s students, or about 10% of the graduating class, had student loan debt as of January 2019, according to the district’s annual report.
The district’s student loan servicing fee, which is based on the total amount of debt a student owes, has skyrocketed from $1,200 in 2016 to $2,300 in 2017.
Students who took out a line of credit and have debt owed on a personal loan can be charged interest rates of up to 15% on those loans, which can make a student’s debt load even more difficult to manage.
The school also requires students to keep their student loan repayment records on file, and they’re often kept secret from parents, and even their schools, according for the district.
For students who can’t afford to pay, there are also financial aid options for students.
One of the most popular financial aid programs is the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which protects students’ privacy and prevents schools from collecting and disclosing their student data without their permission.
For instance, students have the right to privacy and have the ability to opt out of certain types of information that could potentially be used for discriminatory purposes, including race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity and disability.
“The fact that students are using the school for student loan payments means that the school has been doing a lot of the work to make sure that they are able to pay their bills,” said Mark Miller, president of the American Federation of Teachers.
“But they can’t do it without the students consent.”
Many students are being forced to take out more debt to pay for school