TRENTON, Mo. — Taking on thousands of dollars worth of student loan debt is a reality for most college students. Estimates say that two-thirds of graduates from Americans colleges and universities graduate with at least some level of debt.

The institute for College Access and Success says the average student graduates with more ;than $20,000 in debt. KMZU’s Brian Lock was able to chat with Jordan Cox, a Financial Aid Adviser at North Central Missouri College in Trenton, about how to lower student loan debt.

Click below to hear their conversation, which aired as Friday’s KMZU Newsmaker.


Student loan debt plagues millions of Americans, but there are options to reduce your debt. Cox suggested loan consolidation can be a more manageable option to pay off loans.

Getting ahead of student debt, however, is the best way to avoid the debt piling up as a student makes their way through school. Cox said colleges like NCMC accept A+, a scholarship program sponsored by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

A+ provides funding to eligible graduates of A+ designated high schools to attend certain community colleges, vocational technical schools or private two-year colleges.

In addition, Cox suggested incoming students use College Vine, an online resource which consolidates scholarship and grant applications. Many institutions provide grants and scholarships as well.

To learn more about the A+ program, visit the DESE website.