Local college students, Kander discuss financial issues

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COLUMBIA — Local college students met with Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander Monday to discuss financial issues faced by students.

Some of the issues discussed included student loans, rising prices of student housing, the ability to take classes during the summer, balancing academic and work life, graduate school, career choice after graduation, and other topics.

D'Andre Thompson is a 2014 graduate from the University of Missouri. He is now pursuing a master's degree in business administration from Columbia College. Thompson said he hopes incoming college students can learn more about student loans and alternate plans to pay for college.

"It just seems to be a national issue with how students are accumulating debt and not really understanding the process for repayment and how it may affect their lives down the road," Thompson said. "A lot of students are...not aware of how that starts or what the alternatives are to receiving payment for school and tuition."

“Having the opportunity to speak with students directly about their experiences has proven to me that no matter how well prepared they may be for college, far too many students still face staggering student debt," Kander said in a press release Monday. "That impending debt unfortunately affects the school they choose, the career they pursue and their ability to get ahead after graduation." 

Kander said during the discussion the average student loan debt a college graduate from the state of Missouri has is about $26,000.

Kander is one of four candidates running for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.