The Student Loan Debt Crisis

The inflating bubble of student loan debt is not only a personal crisis for those of us attempting to pay back the costs of our education, but it’s also a national dilemma of epic proportions. While generations of high school students have been indoctrinated to believe that going to college is worth the investment, does that logic still apply?

Here at Forget Student Loan Debt, we will attempt to prevent continued growth of this unnecessary bubble by making it clear that there are alternative options to racking up enormous levels of debt related to higher education costs by shedding light on the true value of a college degree, and providing resources for those who are currently burdened by student loan debt.

The Student Loan Debt Bubble

Higher education is no longer what it used to be. While we’ve been trained to think of college as a necessary step to securing our future, college and universities across the country have moved on from the traditional academic model and transformed themselves into something less useful – big business. With nearly 20 million students enrolled at almost 5,000 schools across the country, it’s no wonder this change has come.

Colleges and Universities, even the highly respected and widely recognized ones, are now being run not by educators, but by business people who no longer look out for the best interests of their students, but instead for the best interests of their schools own bottom line. Recent years have seen quality sacrificed for profits, with tuition rate hikes, text book price increases, program cuts, and other changes that negatively affect campuses across the country.

Though tuition rates can hit as high as $50,000 or more per year, employment rates for new graduates have sagged to record lows, and debt ratios have ballooned into unsustainable territory. College may be fun, it may be unique, but is it too expensive? From an investment perspective, unless you’re majoring in hard sciences (engineering, biology, physics or some other similar field), it just might be…

Here are 20 statistics that might make you rethink your decision to take our expensive college loans:

The Debt Crisis – Revealing Statistics

1. The cost of college tuition in the United States has increased by over 900 percent since 1978.

2. The average college graduate in 2010 joined the workforce with approximately $25,000 of student loan debt.

3. Two-thirds of all college students will graduate with student loan debt.

4. Total student loan debt in America recently eclipsed total credit card loan debt, reaching a level well over $900 billion.

5. The average college student in the United States spends less than 30 hours per week on academic pursuits.

6. Modern college students spend approximately 50% less time studying than they did in decades past.

7. 50% of college students in the United States have never taken a class where they had to write more than 20 pages.

8. 32% of college students in the United States have never taken a class where they had to read more than 40 pages per week.

9. The average college student in the United States spends 51% of his time socializing, 24% of his time sleeping, and only 7% of his time studying.

10. In 2010, the average unemployment rate for college graduates under the age of 25 was 9.3% (about equivalent to the general U.S. population).

11. A full one third of college students will end up accepting job offers that do not even require a college degree.

12. In the United States, over 18,000 college graduates currently work at parking lot attendants.

13. In the United States, over 317,000 college graduates currently work as waiters and waitresses.

14. In the United States, over 365,000 college graduates currently work as cashiers.

15. In the United States, nearly 25% of retail salespeople have college degrees.

It’s Your Move

Still want to go to college after reading this post? Sound off in the comments section below!

By: 

Tim's experience struggling with crushing student loan debt led him to create the website Forget Student Loan Debt, where he offers advice on paying off student loans as quickly, and cheaply, as possible. His new website Forget Tax Debt, offers similar advice to people with back tax problems.

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Comments

  1. David Turner says:

    Yes, it’s a fact that they are more concerned about money, that’s why they get paid first. There are too many new and low-level educators with extremely high tuition rates graduating or dropping way too many students knowing that the work force is not going to handle these unemployed or underemployed.

    When students and professors admit the material is not great, they are not learning what they need to, Lincoln College of Tech (AKA Southwestern) didn’t respond well either. Books were terrible, we lost 90% of students and many teachers quit before graduation in 2013.

    Few people have an income high enough to cover their student loans. GPA for the graduating classes that year and the following year are very low, and because students cannot transfer credits to many other colleges, it became almost impossible to complete a degree.

    Plus, the daily expenses built up while attending classes lead people to jump on any job (even low paying ones), instead of continuing their education. When the economy crashed, it hit us especially hard. So we sit underemployed and deep in debt.

    Attending college was a bad decision. Don’t forget that we are very low on the education side of the world, some high schools in certain countries educate you for careers in Jr. High, High School, and then College as well, but not in America.

  2. Madeline Enos says:

    No one believes me when I tell them I’m buried in too much debt because of my college degree, but I am! When I started working in 2010 I had 5 times more debt than my annual salary! It’s unsustainable! I don’t feel like I’ll ever be out of debt, I can’t afford to do anything fun, and I’m having so much trouble paying off my student loans. How do they expect us to survive like this???

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