The ideal plan after graduating college is pursuing the dream job and building a family in a nice house. Yet, this ideal plan will only be a reality for certain students, especially to those who have no debts from college. In the 21st century, college debts are rapidly increasing, which makes it impossible for college undergraduates and graduates to pay off their loans. What will happen to students with too much debt?
The majority of the college students end their college careers with a tremendous amount of student loan debt, passing the responsibility to pay the debt to rest of the family members. The truth is, it really is nearly impossible to pay off all debt before graduating. According to studentloanhero.com, the average student loan debt for Class of 2017 graduates was $39,400 which was an increase of 6% from previous year.
In many cases, former students end up being enslaved by the debt they have to pay. Their arrears will continue to increase with a high rate of interest. Because of this, many are discouraged to continue their higher education and instead go straight into searching for jobs. New York Times shared that only around 60% of high school graduates are attending college while rest do not receive higher education. Then these graduates have a much harder time pursuing their dream careers because most companies prefer candidates with higher degrees. Subsequently, they become the minimum wage workers, worsening their capability to pay off their student loan debts.
When students become minimum wage workers, they have a hard time repaying their loans. In order to pay off these debts, he/she needs to get a stable job that can pay off the debt, but companies look for insightful workers who usually receive higher education than others. This will only be achieved when the college tuition is lowered, so the intelligent future generation can help our economy. In order to lower the cost of the college tuitions, the government needs to create more loan forgiveness programs or re-design the federal aid program.
However, if college becomes completely free like high school, students will experience a lack of motivation. Since some financial pressure on students can keep them motivated, there needs to be a little cost of tuition. Additionally, tuition ensures that professors, administrators and custodians can keep their jobs.
In the end, it will take students more than 10 years to cover their student loans. The easier solution to these problems would be lowering the college tuition. If college tuition were to be lowered, students will have to stress less about paying the debt.
Minju Cho, Grade 11
West Ranch High School