By: Brian Dresdow
Many seniors leaving the University of South Carolina in May will have to figure how they will pay tens of thousands of dollars in student loans they've taken out.
Senior USC political science student Nick Kaiser says his loans total over $50,000 from the past four years.
"The fact of the matter is my life is owned by student loans," says Kaiser.
USC Financial Aid estimates about half of the students at South Carolina take out over $190-million worth of loans every year.
USC Professor Dr. Tom Regan says the total national student debt is over $850-billion. He says a majority of students leave college with some kind of student debt.
"Right now the greatest percentage of the students coming in, 67 percent... almost two third's of all students have some kind of student debt," says Regan.
USC Financial Aid Director Ed Miller says students need to be mindful of their debt as they look to the future.
"If they don't do a good job of managing and repaying on time it can be very problematic," said Miller.
Kaiser says he plans on joining the military after graduation to help pay for his loans.
"Every pay check from there the majority of it will go toward paying off my loans until their gone," says Kaiser.