Student loans hamper startups

Rhode Island is considering lightening the student loan burden for entrepreneurs because debt can halt startup growth, the Wall Street Journal reported. More

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Higher Education

Student loans hamper startups

BLOOMBERG FILE PHOTO/MICHAEL OKONIEWSKI
STUDENTS WHO BORROW to pay for college graduate with an average of $40,000 of debt, which can hinder attempts to start a business.
Posted 8/14/13

NEW YORK – Rhode Island is considering lightening the student loan burden for entrepreneurs because debt can halt startup growth, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Heavy student loan debt can be the toughest impediment for recent graduates launching a startup. “I mentor students all the time," Vivek Wadhwa, a fellow at Stanford University Law School, told the Journal. “The single largest inhibitor to entrepreneurship is the student loans.”

With that debt burden in mind, the Rhode Island Student Loan Authority is looking at the feasibility of delaying or reducing payments for grads who start a business or go to work for a business, according to the Journal. The goal is giving recent graduates “the opportunity to try working for a startup or creating a startup instead of having to run off to Arizona and start working for Intel,” said Charles P. Kelley, Risla executive director, in the Journal report.

The average student who borrows amasses $40,000 in debt by graduation, the Journal reported. Graduate and professional degree recipients who borrow total an average of more than $55,000 in debt, including undergraduate debt.

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