By Donovan Swift
Outstanding student loan debt is at an all-time high of 1.1 trillion dollars, making it the second largest consumer debt class behind home mortgages, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This hasn’t stopped The University of Tampa from raising it’s, already stifling, tuition to nearly twenty-four thousand dollars. While the University may be over charging its students, it is only partially to blame for the enormous student debt throughout the country.
The federal governments apathetic approach towards issuing student loans results in giving funds to many who will not be able to pay them back. The government doesn’t deem the students major of choice a proper thing to calculate the amount of loans with, while they will likely pay those loans back through their career, and the students who are pursuing less rewarding majors, financially speaking, are highly unlikely to do so. The federal government has to be more selective as to who they are lending money to or we are headed towards another financial crisis because if young people are coming out of school with a mountain of debt, they will not be able to contribute to the economy like in the past by buying homes or cars.
Universities across the country exploit the young peoples’ determination to go to school by raising tuition costs in correlation with federal loans. Colleges have to be more reasonable in these times of economic turmoil and stop treating students like piggy banks. The intent of colleges is no longer to produce great minds, but instead to produce revenue.
The federal government and universities are the leading cogs of this financial burden, but are not the only ones to blame. The perception that everyone should go to college is an irresponsible notion that teachers, and most parents, shove down young peoples’ throats. Too many students who struggled through high school go to college and don’t finish.
According to a study done in 2011 by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, just 56 percent of students finish a four-year degree within six years. Students who are under-qualified for college often times obtain debt by dropping out, or by prolonging a four-year degree over numerous years. Some high school students would be better suited to attend trade schools and would be able to earn money faster, and in turn stimulate the economy. Some people are simply not meant for college and the idea that is is for everyone is an, extremely expensive, misconception and needs to be eradicated from the minds of high school students across the nation.