LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) -October marks the start of student loan repayments after the COVID-19 payment pause has ended. Colleges like Siena work with their students to make sure they have a plan when it is time for that first monthly payment. This starts before enrollment and ends when loans are paid off.

When Erin Pendergast first came to Siena, she sat down with her parents and Kathleen Fenlon of financial aid. With the help of her family and employment at three jobs while in school, she is financing big dreams.

“I’m studying Communications in Journalism and Creative Arts, so that’s pretty exciting. I can see myself doing something in this field exactly,” said Pendergast.

Director of Financial Aid, Kathleen Fenlon, says the goal of college is to be employed around the time of graduation in a chosen field. The skills learned are meant to help alumni pay back their debt with more ease and can be revisited with resume reviews and mock interviews.

“All of our students that attend Siena will have some type of career experience before they graduate. Whether that be an internship or other job experience,” described Fenlon.

Starting off in a new field may not yield the largest salaries for students with large monthly payments. Fenlon suggests contacting your loan provider for accommodations. “It is really important for students to take a good look at this to understand the different options that are available to them. There are payment options based on what the salary they are making is.”

Anyone looking to go to college or continue their education is recommended to apply for FAFSA in order to receive federal student aid. The 2024-25 form will be available in December.