USA Celebrates 50th year of commencement, students talk paying for college

USA grads display their caps Saturday.

2,200 students walked across the stage at USA today, the 50th anniversary of the school handing out degrees.

We asked students how they paid for college.

“Actually I’m very blessed, my father was able to help me pay through school and my father paid out of pocket every single semester, said Emaleigh Sargent.

“I got scholarship from my government,” said Mana Alhaydar.

“I’ve been an athlete here so that’s helped with the student loan aspect,” said Nicole Durham.

Others worked several jobs, some lived on allowances and side-jobs in addition to school.

“Work and planning,” James Taylor said was the key to managing student debt.

He also said his mother inspired him to save money and give back.

“She definitely taught us to save and tithe,” he said of he and his sister.” If you save and tithe, you’re off to a great start.”

Even still, some students are scared of making those first student loan payments.

“I am scared of those student loans,” said Michael Dorsey. But he also said that his degree gave him hope that he could find a good-paying job to work to pay down any debt.

Overall, students graduate with an average of $35,000 in debt.

Every student we asked had similar advice: apply for every scholarship and every grant you can.

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