Last year, I asked students in my class a question which made a lot of them uncomfortable: “Why are you in college?” Some of them said to get a better job, some said to find a career, some said because they didn’t have anything else to do after high school, and some said because their parents told them to go to college.
Colleges across the United States are struggling to pay bills which results in increasing tuition rates. The rate increases impact student debt, and for students to be entering college with such a low understanding of that debt is bothersome. Should an 18-year-old understand everything they are signing when it comes to money? Yes. Of course yes they SHOULD. But they don’t. Should students who want a college education finish college with student loan debt of $100,000 or more? No. Of course no. But they do.
What is the best answer? I don’t know. I don’t think college education is a “ponzi scheme,” but I do believe the costs that students pay for tuition is way too high… which leads to student loan debts of $100,000 or more. Personally as a graduate student I have over $60K in student loan debt, and it is a struggle to keep it lower while getting my PhD. When I hear about how much undergraduates pay for their tuition in California and Oregon it makes me cringe, especially when I hear they are paying with loans. Here are some other stories about debt struggles: Stories on Student Debt.