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What is the general opinion of having a college student help pay for college by taking out a student loan? My friend wants to avoid having the son be responsible for a school loan debt at the end of college

We have a son who just finished his Freshman year at a private college ( and will have a daughter attend there in another two years) and we also want him to avoid as much student loan debt as possible.
The only student loan that he has taken out is the Perkins loan -- it was for $1500 last year and he qualifies for $650 for this next year. It has an interest rate of 5% and once he does start paying it off, he may be able to deduct some of that interest on his income taxes (assuming the tax laws allow it then)

We are going to try at all costs to avoid the Stafford loan, but would use it if it was the only way he could complete his education. He works VERY hard during the summers and is able to come up with 25% of the cost of his private education himself.

The one thing we cannot do (maybe I should say Will not) is take out a parent plus loan -- we were older when we had our children and by the time they all graduate from college, we hope to be within a year or two of retirement, and we don't want to be saddled with parent loan repayments in retirement.
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