Tuesday, April 10, 2018 As APTA's Financial Solutions Center Marks 1 Year, Student Debt Looms Large in the News The challenges associated with college costs, student debt, and postgraduation financial management continue to make headlines, with very little progress being made in identifying ways to curb what seems to be a growing—and worsening—issue. APTA's Financial Solutions Center, launched 1 year ago this month, was designed to help physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students respond to those challenges by helping them deepen their financial knowledge and potentially refinance student debt at a discounted rate. But as the news will attest, the underlying issues affect a broad swath of those who are pursuing or have completed a college degree. Here's a roundup of recent coverage of college costs and student debt in the news: The Urban Institute released an interactive map that charts the intensity and distribution of student debt across the country. A new online tool allows users to zero in on county-by-county data on median student loan debt, monthly payments, nonwhite population share, and average household income, among other statistics. The (unsurprising) bottom line: student debt problems are generally more severe in areas with higher-cost colleges, but this article from Inside Higher Ed points out other nuances of the data. Where do people have the most college debt? Here are the top 10 states. CNBC distilled the data from the Urban Institute project and came up with a list of the "10 states where student debt is a big problem." Also from CNBC: an exploration of the disproportionate share of student debt held by women. According to the American Association of University Women, women hold about two-thirds of all student debt in the United States. This CNBC analysis identifies 4 major reasons for the disparity. Student loan forgiveness programs may be too costly to become widespread. Statistics website FiveThirtyEight.com looks at how the federal government may not have anticipated the cost of various loan forgiveness programs. Expansion of those programs is unlikely, and reductions in offerings may lie ahead. Many currently enrolled college students face financial trouble including hunger and homelessness. National Public Radio was 1 of several media outlets to report on the results of a recent survey of college students that found more than 1 in 3 reporting that they were food insecure, with the same ratio reporting that they were housing insecure. And nearly 1 in 10 said they were homeless. The APTA Financial Solutions Center features 3 major offerings: the APTA Financial Education Program, a customizable, multiformat learning platform powered by Enrich; the APTA Student Loan Refinancing Program, provided by Laurel Road, which offers discounts on loan repayment rates for eligible APTA members; and a lookup service that helps users find a Certified Financial Planner. In addition, the webpage offers resources on scholarships, employment, and other member discount opportunities.