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CMD Insight for Architects


By Shervan Sebastian, Manager, Federal Relations

The American Institute of Architects understands the impact that high student loan balances has on the development of present and future architecture professionals.

As student loan balances surpasses $1 trillion and is twice the totals of 2007, we know that this is a critical moment to highlight the impact of this problem, but to also work towards finding effective solutions to lessen this financial pressure.

To capture the impact on young professionals, the AIA conducted a poll of 610 architecture students in July and August of 2013 and the results, while not startling, painted an image of an area of professional development where more undoubtedly needs to be done.

Over 60 percent of architecture students polled expressed worry that high balances would lead them to consider leaving the field. 63 percent of those polled felt that high loan balances negatively affected their careers. And 53 percent expected to take 10 or more years to pay back their loan balances.

The AIA knows this issue requires creative solutions.

Presenting the first NDSA Advocacy Image titled “NDSA: Rise”.

This bill helps by providing architecture students with the opportunity to work at community design centers nationwide in exchange for student loan and would provide increased design support for communities nationwide.

Share this image with friends, colleagues and others within the profession. Highlighting the NDSA helps to inform the architecture community of the ways we can support present and future architects.

Visit the AIA’s NDSA Advocacy Page. Sign the NDSA petition. And contact your Member of Congress to let them know that there is a bill that helps architects and our communities build for the future.

The most effective way to help this initiative is by meeting with your member of Congress and their staff in person about the NDSA. You don’t have to travel to Washington, D.C. to do so – meetings can be held right in your hometown. There are still recesses remaining this year to get a meeting scheduled.

The AIA has even provided the tools you need to make the scheduling process as easy as possible. You can submit your scheduling request using the language in our draft request form, and brush up on the 7 Easy Steps to Scheduling an In-district Meeting. There are even prepared talking points to help guide you through your meeting.

The architecture community can do more. The NDSA can help.

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This content is published by the AIA Government and Community Relations Department, 1735 New York Ave., NW, Washington, DC, 20006. To contact the AIA’s Government & Community Relations team, send an email to


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