One of the more disheartening realities facing America’s next batch of potential college kids is the fact that if they so choose to venture into the hallowed of halls of higher education that they may end up regretting it financially down the road. Examining the numbers behind the student debt crisis just may make your stomach churn, and sincerely it should.
New York Fed data revels that today in America, the combined student debt sits above the trillion dollar mark. An unfathomable amount of this debt has been piled on in just the last 6 years, rising from $579 billion. It’s not all that shocking when you realize that the very possibly greed-hungry powers that be have inflated prices for almost every aspect of schooling in the past decade. It’s a horrific reality that no amount of fumbled justification from college heads will appease. They are charging more because they can, and students all over aren’t letting them explain their financial scouring away so easily. Statistically, half of America’s students are taking out loans to pay for their educations (compared to only a third that were a decade ago) and they are being flogged for it worse than any other generation before them.
The average student loan debt in this modern age is $24,301. I assume that this is a LOT of money to anyone reading this, and if it isn’t, odds are you aren’t crumbling under the burden of such a thing like a crippled mule. That’s not just a cheap jab at the country’s entitled offspring; it’s a direct shot at the heart of the problem. Who is really suffering here?
Children of the middle class are the main demographic caught up in this roil. They are the ones who are taking out these loans to try and take a step up class wise. It’s a gamble that seems to be nastily stacked against these kids and by sticking it to them, the college heads and loan companies are damaging the country as a whole. Experts forecast that as this debt-bloated generation goes to move further down the roads in their lives that many aspects of that beloved “American Dream” will be unattainable. If you’re sinking in a quagmire of black debt are you going to even be musing on the notion of purchasing a home or that new car? The trillion dollar debt it offsetting other debt-based large purchases and that damages more than just the lives of these students. I’m not stoking the crisis mentality, but logically, if students continue to be plundered financially, that down the road they will not be spending as much as they normally would be. If this non-spending occurs at such a large scale, it is obvious that this would affect that nationwide economy in a strictly negative way.
It’s a scary notion, seeing as the economy is just now wriggling out of its depressions. Experts have noted the potential for this to happen, but agree that it is a worst case scenario in most ways. If tuition and fees continue to skyrocket into the future, student enrollment will most likely drop out of necessity. Damning yourself now in hopes that your life may benefit from it some day is a daunting dare, one that most people simply won’t take.
The million dollar question still rests at the feet of hard, cold, green reality.
“Is going to college worth it anymore?”
Instead of trying to spin some very un-sagely advice I’ll turn once again to the professionals and their numbers and let them speak. Goldman Sachs’s Alec Phillips is one of those who say that going to college is still the better choice. Holding a BA degree will typically net you 150% more money in any given job than it will if you had only your high school diploma. It’s hard to disagree with that. Business has always had its tentacles in every orifice of the American way, and only time will tell if that 150% winds up being worth it.
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