Students Graduate At USA, Many With Uncertain Futures


It was quite a day for South students!

“We are so excited! Let’s do this! Go Jags! Class of 16!”

A wide variety of diplomas were handed out today in USA’s Mitchell Center.

“I’m graduating with my master’s in nursing!”

“Professional health sciences!”

“College of education.”

“Getting my PhD. in clinical and counseling psychology.”


Over 1,000 graduates and undergraduates packed the arena to the familiar tune of Pomp and Circumstance and made that long walk to the stage. But that paper comes with a price tag. Studies have shown the average Class of 2016 graduate can face over $37,000 in student debt. These millennials are entering schools in a time of higher tuition, and therefore, more debt.

“I had some loans, but probably about $30,000.”

And only a few have a means to pay them.

“(Do you have a job lined up?) Yes! At Mobile Infirmary.”

But for every one person with a job, there were at least two without.

“I don’t yet, but I’m planning on it, first thing in next year.”

“Not yet, hopefully soon.”

And many are putting off paying back that money as long as they can.

“Yeah, I’m starting grad school at the University of Alabama.”

But today, for right now, this is all that matters.

“Oh, I’m so honored! I can’t believe it! I’m so excited, thank you!”

The millennial generation is still lagging in the workplace, making up about 40 percent of the unemployed in the U.S.

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