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Valerie Jarvis, a Moffat County High School science teacher, helps Gage Gould, an MCHS freshman, put plastic wrap over his solar convection oven Friday at the high school. Jarvis took out about $100,000 in student loans to pay for the last year of her bachelor’s program at Iowa State University and the entirety of her master’s degree from the University of Southern California.

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For parents with college-bound teens, dodging debt is an uphill battle

Possessing a musical ear and an acceptance letter from Colorado Mesa University, Kaitlen Bird is ready to strike out on her own. But, whether her father’s financial resources are ready to bear the cost of her education — roughly $16,200 a year for a full course load, housing and a meal plan — is unclear. “Right now, that hasn’t all been decided,” Joe Bird said when asked if he and Kaitlen are considering college loans. He hopes a mutual fund he set up for Kaitlen when she was born —just as he did for her sisters, Rebekah, 15, and Christa, 13 — will be enough to pay for her bachelor’s degree in music.

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