These days, you’d be hard-pressed to find a recent graduate who doesn’t have student loans. The average 2012 college graduate owes about $29,400, a whopping six percent increase from the previous year. But debts for architecture students surpass the national average, according to a 2012 survey by the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS). In fact, B.Arch students can expect to graduate with $42,300 in federal and private loans, while those who earn an M.Arch will owe around $72,000. On top of that, students are often saddled with “hidden costs,” including materials for models and project submissions, additional textbooks, and technology.
Thankfully, relief may be on the way.
Last week, Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) introduced the National Design Services Act (NDSA), a bi-partisan bill written by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the AIAS that could help alleviate student loan debt for architecture students. Similar to young lawyers, doctors, and teachers, architectures grads would receive loan assistance for lending their design services in underserved areas.
“Millions of young people aspire to help their communities build a better future – but a lack of opportunity and the crushing cost of education hold them back,” said AIA CEO Robert Ivy, FAIA, in a press release. “As a result, the design and construction industry faces a severe shortage of talent at exactly the moment America needs to rebuild for the future.”
If you’d like to sign an online petition in support of NDSA, click here.