Our Office Owes $305,000 in Student Loan Debt

Erin Edwards

And that's a conservative estimate.

Spurred by Anthony Dominic's article "The Price of College in Central Ohio" in this month's issue, we wondered: as an office, how much do we owe in student loans?

As it turns out, our staff was more than willing to disclose its student loan skeletons through an anonymous survey.

The method behind our survey madness. Bribe them with chocolate money.

Of the 20 Dispatch Magazines staffers who participated, 10 are carrying student loan debt. The lucky ones either paid off their debt already or never carried any debt (thanks, mom and dad!).

$305,000. And we work in a newsroom. This is no consulting firm, folks.

What's the sentiment about all that debt? Not surprisingly, those with zero debt said they felt "happy" almost across the board; also "grateful." The most common sentiment among our debtors was "I feel like crying." One staffer expounded upon that: "I feel like crying, because it's so hilarious."

It begs the question: What could we buy with our collective $305,000 windfall if the government suddenly embraced forgiveness?

How about:

  • Three company Teslas for driving to interviews in style
  • An Atrium downtown loft, where we'd run an Airbnb
  • A listeria-free kitchen for Jeni's (because we want them to reopen as soon as possible)
  • A donation to help Central Ohio non-profits during The Big Give May 12-13
  • A pimped-out food truck to park at The Columbus Commons
  • Happiness (see above)

One person mused about all the vacations they could take with that student loan debt. Another said their debt made them feel "like not getting married or buying a home."

But our degrees are worth it. Right?

P.S. We've got student loans to pay off, so please buy a subscription or look at some ads on this story about student loan debt, won't you?