Option to Stay in High School Through 14th Grade Comes Too Late for Many, According to American Financial Benefits Center

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A growing movement is changing the way some students experience the transition from high school to college. Schools that run from 9th through 14th grade are allowing students to graduate high school with an associate’s degree or with Junior standing in their first year at college. These “early college” programs, which started in 2002 but have gained significant traction since the Obama administration, allow a high school student to take college-level courses for two extra years before paying for university costs. The programs essentially cut the traditional four years of college in half, significantly lowering the cost of a higher education. American Financial Benefits Center (AFBC), a private company that helps borrowers complete applications for federal student loan repayment plans, recognizes the potential this new system has to curtail student debt in the future while acknowledging that, for most, this plan has come too late.

“Americans already owe nearly a trillion-and-a-half dollars in student debt,” AFBC Manager Sara Molina began, “and some of those people that owe that money would have absolutely loved if programs like this were available when they were in high school.”

Though they may represent a lost opportunity for many Americans who are already beyond high school drama and are now engulfed in the student debt tragedy, early college schools do provide relief to a group of students who need it. Because the schools drastically reduce the cost of college, students from low-income households will get some much-needed help in the transition from high school to college. The colleges also focus on STEM classes (science, technology, engineering and math), helping students to prepare themselves not only for college but for the modern job market.

Americans already owe nearly a trillion-and-a-half dollars in student debt and some of those people that owe that money would have absolutely loved if programs like this were available when they were in high school.

Sara Molina

Manager at AFBC

For example, one “early college” school offers students an option to graduate 14th grade with an associate’s degree in either computer systems technology or electromechanical engineering technology. There are positive factors in favor of early college high schools. If they become widespread, they will reduce the amount of debt that future students will acquire while preparing those students, many of whom will likely come from groups demographically underrepresented on college campuses, for a job market increasingly based on STEM disciplines.

Still, the proliferation of early college high schools will create a bitter taste in the mouth of millions of Americans who borrowed an average of nearly $40,000 each to get through college. For those who fall into this category, an important option to consider is enrollment in an IDR, or income-driven repayment plan. These plans help a borrower stay current on a student loan by formulating monthly payments based on income and family size. “IDRs might be the answer for the people who racked up a bunch of debt before programs like this were available, but who struggle to make their monthly payments,” Molina added.  

About American Financial Benefits Center

American Financial Benefits Center is a document preparation company that helps clients apply for federal student loan repayment plans that fit their personal financial and student loan situation. Through its strict customer service guidelines, the company strives for the highest levels of honesty and integrity.

Each AFBC telephone representative has received the Certified Student Loan Professional certification through the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA).

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To learn more about American Financial Benefits Center, please contact:

American Financial Benefits Center
1900 Powell Street #600
Emeryville, CA 94608

Source: American Financial Benefits Center

Categories: Financial News, Financing and Student Loans

Tags: 14th grade, associates degree, extended high school, income-driven repayment, STEM courses, student debt, student loan repayment, student loans

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American Financial Benefits Center works to align each client with the different U.S Department of Education programs available to them based on their income and occupational situation.