Higher education in America has grown from a institution catering to the rich sons of the upper class to something that every self-respecting, ambitious person needs. But something strange, indeed, almost contrary to logic has happened. Because although colleges now open their doors to the poor and the middle-class, as more jobs begin requiring a college education, the price of college has actually increased. And why? Not because the education system is overstretched, or over-burdened, though that is part of it, especially in the case of state institutions (other colleges, especially the Ivy League, have a substantial endowment fund sustained by donations and investments, so substantial, in fact, they could allow people to attend for free and not lose money).
Because college is a for profit industry, even if most colleges are non-profit. Student loans are a killer business to get into; did you know, for example, if you declare bankruptcy, your (private) student loans don’t go away? It’s a risk-free loan for the creditor; you have to pay it, even if you can’t. So the creditor gets to set a payment plan for you to follow, and you’re effectively enslaved by your debt. So colleges raise their prices, private institutions raise their loans to match, and the student debt in this country climbs even further, beyond one trillion dollars.
President Obama just disclosed that he only finished paying off his college debt in 2004, after he had been elected Senator. He graduated from Harvard Law in 1991, so that’s thirteen years, and he was a college professor and a practicing attorney during that time, two positions with high income. So what chance does the average American student have off paying off their debt? And the worst part is, they never tell you about this. Did your teachers warn you about the costs of college?
One thought on “$1,000,000,000,000: The Tragedy of Student Debt”
This is such a neat story, I can’t believe the burden of student loan will be on my shoulders in a couple of years! 😮