Sure, nobody can take your education away from you once you attain that degree. But when you stop and think about the loans you have to pay off, you can’t help but fear missing out on payments and defaulting on your student loans.
This is especially so when you’re a fresh graduate tens of thousands of dollars in debt – debt that has a very real effect on your lifestyle and credit rating.
Let’s face it: college is an essential service that we need to not only keep our country alive, but to allow hard-working folks to climb up the ladder of life. The problem is that everyone knows this, and everyone is doing their best to squeeze as much money as they can from education.
This means that as colleges raise their tuition fees, more and more people are locked out of the system unless they take out costly student loans that have the potential to totally eradicate any potential gains they earn with their degree.
This is the problem we face when we borrow our way through college.
We conveniently forget that a degree does not guarantee a job, especially now that our economy is still reeling from the recession and its effect on the global economy. Not only do graduates have to compete with each other for job opportunities, but they also have to compete with more seasoned workers who were laid off from jobs they held for years on end.
Working hard will inevitably get you ahead in life, but the road to that good life is made needlessly difficult when we let colleges keep on raising tuition fees just to pay off for pretty but ultimately redundant buildings. It also doesn’t help that these colleges would prefer advertising to affluent (aka rich) students to enhance their prestige instead of providing grants for the low-income students that really need that money – at the expense of taxpayers’ dollars obviously.
And this isn’t just about the schools either. We need to get Congress to stop playing “whack a mole” with their bipartisan politics and extend low student loan interest rates. We also need to wake up state governments to focus less on “merit” aid and more on “need-based” aid. The capable achievers can help themselves just fine, especially when they come from modestly prosperous families, but it is the students from low-income families that need state assistance.
Yes, we conveniently forget a lot of things when we let college bills hit the roof, but it is up to us to do something about it. In the meantime, we all have to gnash our teeth and get it over with just to get a decent shot at life.