LEARNING COSTS: CQUniversity Gladstone student Trina Hartley expects to face a $15,000 to $25,000 debt after graduating.
LEARNING COSTS: CQUniversity Gladstone student Trina Hartley expects to face a $15,000 to $25,000 debt after graduating. Christopher Chan GLACQUN

University students face hefty debts once study is finished

UNIVERSITY life is often painted as a fairly relaxed existence but for many it remains a challenge to support themselves while they are studying.

A recent Universities Australia study found full-time undergraduates now leave university with an estimated total debt of $37,217, a figure that has increased by 30% since 2006.

The average personal debt of a student rose from $28,861 in 2006 to the current figure of $37,217.

CQUniversity Gladstone bachelor of learning management for primary age students first-year student Trina Hartley said she expected to finish her degree with a significant debt.

"I'm in my first year of a four-year degree and I expect I'll finish with anywhere between a $15,000 to $25,000 debt," Ms Hartley said.

"I don't expect I'll pay it off quickly; I'll have it (HECS debt) for a while once I graduate."

Ms Hartley still supported the current system; she would rather deal with her debt after she had finished university.

"It's a lot better knowing it's sitting there and not having to pay the debt off as I go," she said.

The 17-year-old worked part-time while studying, and said it was sometimes tough to maintain the balance.

"It is a bit tough but the uni offers us time management plans and estimates of work required, which helps," she said.

CQUniversity graduates score above national average when it comes to finding work



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