Apr 30, 2010
At first glance, a college degree may seem like a good investment for your future. Indeed, studies suggest that higher education enables individuals to significantly improve their earning capacity. But the question is, how far does it go in providing good value for money? In recent years, some graduates have come to the conclusion that a college degree is not worth the time, effort, and resources you put into it.
Graduates of for-profit universities have found that their debt load makes it impossible for them to earn a decent living. Around 53% of these graduates carry around $30,500 or more when they leave the university. Meanwhile, 24% of students from private nonprofit schools and 12% of those from public colleges carry similar debt loads.
As if their debt problems aren’t enough, it is compounded by the tough job market. The graduates of 2008 faced a job market in ruins after the financial crisis and recession. At this point, their main concern isn’t how they can repay their loans but if they can even get a job at all. According to Sandy Baum and Patricia Steele of the College Board, “Too many students are borrowing more than they are likely to be able to manage.”
The study from College Board also revealed that, in terms of numbers, blacks are most likely to borrow; 27% have a debt of $30,500 up. Among the whites, the figure stands at 16% while it is at 14% for Hispanics. Asians tend to borrow least as only 9% of them have this burden.
Given this figure, financial policies need to be strengthened to let students borrow only what they can realistically repay. In addition, it is important to help students become financially literate before they undertake any borrowing for postsecondary education. Their expectations should be based more on facts, not just hope.
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