Friday, February 12, 2016

Millennials going broke paying for college

Generations of parents have worked hard to send their children to college, believing higher education is the best path to a better future.

Millennials going broke paying for college


Generations of parents have worked hard to send their children to college, believing higher education is the best path to a better future.

But faced with the soaring cost to obtain a college diploma, members of the so-called millennial generation, ages 18 to 34, are on track to become the first in America not to do better than their parents.

This country says it values education, so why do so many students have to go deep into debt to get educated? In fact, student loan debt is expected to hit $1 trillion this year, which for the first time will push it above credit-card debt.

In a sobering look at student-loan debt, Inquirer reporter Alfred Lubrano detailed the potential for a financial meltdown that could have a ripple effect in the economy if financially strapped students are unable to repay loans, many with high interest rates.

With so much overwhelming student debt, loan defaults are increasing and will only get worse in a sluggish economy in which college graduates are unable to find jobs or to earn enough to cover steep loan payments.

Nowhere is the student debt crunch felt more than in Pennsylvania, where 70 percent of students have taken out loans and the average debt per student is more than $28,000. In New Jersey, the average debt is around $23,000, and 66 percent of students have loans.

Nationally, the average student debt is $25,000 per person — the highest level in American history.

It’s not surprising that high tuition rates often beget high debt, especially in Pennsylvania, which has 22 of the 30 most expensive state schools in America. At the same time, state funding for public colleges and universities has been cut.

But while the state legislature must find a way to make higher education a greater priority, colleges and universities also must do a better job of finding efficiencies and keeping costs down. Schools with big endowments must shoulder more of the load by providing more grants and scholarships.

A college education is an investment in the future that benefits everyone. Everyone involved should keep that in mind as they try to make college affordable for more young Americans.

We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

The Inquirer Editorial Board's Say What? opinion blog showcases the work of the editors and writers who produce the newspaper's daily and Sunday opinion pages.

Find out more about The Inquirer's Editorial Board here.

The Inquirer Editorial Board
Also on
letter icon Newsletter