Noted financial adviser Suze Orman to speak at vet school commencement
Published: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 10:53 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 2:11 p.m.
Personal finance guru Suze Orman has a message for college students debating whether to take out thousands of dollars in student loan debt to get a master's degree or professional degree: Make sure it's worth it.
"It's worth it if you emerge with that degree because you know it's what you want to do with your life. And it has to be in a profession where you can pay that loan back," Orman said during a telephone interview from her home in Boca Raton Thursday night.
Orman flew back from the Philippines, interrupting a worldwide tour to deliver the commencement address Saturday for the UF College of Veterinary Medicine. Her niece, Katelyn Stender, will be among the 87 students graduating from the vet school, said Sarah Carey, director of public relations for the college.
The ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Carey said. It will be live streamed and available at http://mediasite.video.ufl.edu/Mediasite/Play/616dc9acf5564ba3bf86eee8a9955f791d
It also will be available for on-demand viewing at that link within minutes after the conclusion of the ceremony, Carey said.
Orman, a popular television personality with shows on CNBC and QVC, said she is giving the speech pro bono because of what she saw the college do for her niece and her classmates. "The payment is an incredible education for my niece," Orman said.
Orman said was very involved in helping her niece decide what field to go into and where to study after getting her undergraduate degree at UF.
"She was so over the top to get into Gainesville," Orman said. "I've never seen anyone blossom in a few short years as Katie did."
Orman said she plans to address the student loan debt crisis in her speech on Saturday. "These kids are ecstatic but faced with the reality of paying back $150,000 in student loans," Orman said.
A student loan is a great loan to get because it is an investment in who you are going to become, she said, but it is also the most dangerous loan to get because it is not dischargeable in bankruptcy court in most cases.
She said she has received calls from thousands of students who went back to school to get their master's degrees as an answer to unemployment, only to find themselves saddled with $1,000 monthly student loan payments and a career they don't like.
"You will hate your life for the rest of your life," she said.
Orman also said she objects to the rates on student loans today. The Stafford Loan rate will double to 6.8 percent starting July 1, a rate that is more than double the rate on some mortgages or new car loans.
She supports legislation by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., to bring the student loan rate to almost zero percent.
"It's a travesty that one of the highest rates is loans that students pay," Orman said.