Debt, Debt, and More Debt

Already as a freshmen college student I constantly stress over my future debt that I will have to pay off some day. I constantly ask myself, “Is this worth it?” If a student pays for college in all loans at Western Michigan University for four years, like myself, they will owe over 200,000 dollars after interest. There are different ways to pay loans but many college students do the “6 months after you graduate” plan. The thing is, how many students have a full-time job 6 months are they graduate decent enough to pay off their loans as well as any other bills and payments they might have like car payments, electric bills, etc, etc. According to statistics from http://frugaldad.com/2013/01/04/college-isnt-cheap/ , one in six students default on their loans and unemployment rate has shot up from 7.1 percent to 12.1 percent.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the cost of college has risen over 42 percent since 2000. http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=76 . The government, parents, teachers, etc say apply for scholarships, grants, and loans, but there are only so many scholarships out there and even when students do obtain scholarships it only covers a little portion of their cost. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that every cent counts but since the cost of college is over 20,000 for in-state students at a majority of universities such as Western Michigan University, it isn’t exactly easy to obtain that much in scholarships.
Recently, articles have been published about Obama’s new “college scorecard.” http://www.thecollegesolution.com/the-new-federal-college-scorecard/ Basically what it is, is a tool for students to compare colleges by the various costs, graduation rate, loan default rate, median borrowing, and employment, so that students can get – in President Obama’s words –“the most bang for your educational buck.” Sure it might help them find their best option, and in turn, owe less money, but the cost of college is still the same. Arizona State University is about $22,446 after tuition, books, room and board. San Francisco State University is about $19,430. Everywhere you go, you will still find approximately the same rates.
Another factor I personally think about is where the student actually wants to be. Some students want to travel or get a chance to live somewhere fun and new. Maybe the student wants to live in Florida or California and attend college there but they live in Colorado. Nowadays, it is nearly impossible to do so. Out-of-state tuition at Western Michigan University is around 40,000 dollars. Yes, students can gain in-state tuition but that’s after a year of living and working here and going through paper-work and hell and back.
You also have to add in the fact that some students don’t have families that will pay their way through college or don’t have the option of obtaining loans. Some students might only have one option, which is to find the cheapest community college and get a degree there, which isn’t a terrible option at all, but it doesn’t give the student much of a choice. Students really don’t have much of a choice anymore it seems. I feel as though it is only going to continue to get worse if the cost of college continues to rise the way it is, especially if household income does not rise. If household income could rise or the cost of college could fall or stay the same then maybe this problem will go away. But for now, with the continuing rise of the cost of college, one day only the rich will go to the college and the rest will be working at McDonald’s and Burger King.

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