Student Debt: Success or Scam?
In American society, having a college degree holds weight. Working towards a college degree shows employers that students are motivated to succeed. A college degree can determine many things such as, raises, well-paying careers, and most importantly success. Attending college is highly encouraged by teachers, parents, friends and other mentors that students come across on a daily basis. ‘Successful’ is a word that everyone wants to describe themselves as, and American society says that a college education is one of the steps that can help students move in the right direction towards success. Every person is different, which means different personal and finical issues. Depending on the person, college can either be worth the time and money or not.
Person A, is an example of positive effects of attending college. Person C, is an example of the negative effects of attending college. College tuition is very expensive, public university tuition is averaged at $25, 290, and private university tuition is averaged at $50,900. Person A has a finically stable background and money saved, so the price of tuition is not a problem. Person B does not have a stable background and no money saved due to personal issues, so the price of tuition is a challenge so they have to take out student loans so they can attend college. Students choose to go to college so they have more opportunity to choose their career. Person A, chooses the career of their choice because they enjoy it and salary. Person B wants to choose a certain career but it raises the tuition so they choose another career that they do not enjoy as much but it has a good salary. “Students in the sciences, engineering, computing, premed programs, and the fine arts often pay more. For example, at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, students enrolled in the College of Engineering pay up to $5,000 more in tuition than students pursuing other majors” (College Data.) Student loans are a factor of attending college. Students take out student loans if they do not have the money to pay for their college tuition. Students take out money from loaners who lend them the money to attend college, in return after the student has graduated college they must pay back the loans plus interest. Interest rates vary by the loaner, undergraduate degrees interest rates vary around 4.45% and graduate degrees interest rates vary around 6.00%. Person A either has to borrow a little amount of money in loans or none at all. Person C is not financially stable, they have to borrow student loans to pay off their college tuition. Student debt is a huge issue in America, it is one of the largest debts America encounters. Money Watch is an article featured on CBS News that speaks about college and the financial issues that come with it they stated, “For the 2013-14 school year, the government sank $126 billion into undergraduate student aid” (MoneyWatch.)
Graduates attend college so they can establish a steady career. When college graduates apply for careers, most careers look at what college the graduate attended, college recognition. Person A graduated from Harvard University as a chemistry and physics major. Harvard University is one of the most prestigious colleges in America, and has recognition. Harvard Universities tuition is $63,025. Person C graduated from South Texas College also as a chemistry and physics major. The tuition at South Texas College is $11,892. Although South Texas College has good reviews and is a college it does not have the same recognition as Harvard University. If Person A and Person C both applied for a job for chemistry and physics, Person A would most likely get the job. “The rankings, it turned out, mattered a great deal. The more elite a school, the better its alums’ paychecks. The effect also increased over time. Among students who had graduated high school in 1980, those who had gone on to a top private university eventually made 20 percent more than their counterparts from bottom tier public school. The Atlantic Magazine covered an article about careers and wages they stated, “For the class of 1972, the wage boost was just 9 percent.”
A career is not always guaranteed with a college degree. Graduates that come out of college with a degree are still not guaranteed a job in the field that they studied and not guaranteed a high paying career right away. Graduates that go out in the real world need a job to pay for all of their expenses, beyond what they owe on their student loans. Although students attend college so they can have a higher chance – or even a chance at all at pursuing a career, the career is not always guaranteed. “Millions of college graduates who saw a degree as their ticket to a good-paying career and a secure life are working in jobs that do not require their education or even a high school diploma, sometimes leaving them with small wages to pay thousands in student debt, according to a new study” (The Denver Post.) Person A went to a prestigious college, got a career in their trained field, paid off their little amount in student debt and just bought a house. Person C went to an average college and could not find a job right after gradation so they had to get a job at a Target so they can pay off their necessities (rent, food, utilities, and personal purchases.) Six months after Person C graduated college, they needed to start paying off their student loans, which can be a huge inconvenience and challenge because Person C is making an average of $9.33 an hour.
It is hard enough for graduates to deal with the amount of debt they are in themselves, but people have personal problems that can make it more challenging. For Person A, college was worth it because, they had enough financial stability to choose a prestigious college that cost $63,025. Also, because Person A got a career in their field with a steady salary right after college which helped pay off their student loans. For Person C, college was not worth it because although they have a college degree they could not find a stable job. Since Student C took out student loans they are still obligated to pay back their student loans.
NACAC, College Data, College Education, https://www.collegedata.com/cs/content/content_payarticle_tmpl.jhtml?articleId=10064
Nykiel Teddy, March 19, 2018, Student Loan Interest, https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/loans/student-loans/student-loan-interest-rates/
Harvard at a Glance, Harvard University, https://www.harvard.edu/about-harvard/harvard-glance
O’Shaughnessy Lynn, March 13, 2015, Money Watch, CBS News, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-biggest-problems-with-americas-colleges/
Target Salaries, Glassdoor, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/Target-Salaries-E194.htm
Weissmann Jordan, May 17, 2012, does it Matter Where you go to College, The Atlantic, https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/05/does-it-matter-where-you-go-to-college/257227/