The majority of American students graduate from high school with hopes of pursuing a postsecondary education. Graduating from college is a part of the American Dream, yet it is becoming more difficult to achieve. With recent graduates owing an average of $35,200 in student debt and incomes remaining stagnant, many Americans wonder whether pursuing a college education is worth the cost. The average public university tuition rate has risen to $21,000, with the private college tuition rate rising to $42,000. High tuition rates continue to affect most Americans in a variety of ways.
Many students decide to pursue a two-year degree to avoid high tuition. Though many students may qualify for a more advanced degree, attending a two-year program is a decision that parents often support. Choosing to attend a community college may seem like a good decision for most students, yet the reality is that they might lack the necessary skills for many better-paying jobs.
Students are often enticed by expensive college programs, believing that they will be exposed to a quality education and a wealth of opportunity. However, graduation leaves students overwhelmed with student-loan debt, forcing them to work jobs they would not have otherwise chosen. Limited job prospects after graduation often discourage students from applying for more desirable jobs in their major, ultimately defeating the purpose of their high-priced degree and affecting their quality of life.
The increasingly expensive student loan rates will ultimately affect recent graduates' children as well. With many graduates using a 20- to 30-year repayment plan, they will have trouble financing their children’s education because they will still be paying off their own student debt.
Many college graduates are now opting to live with their parents. High tuition rates and debt have made living independently an impossible goal for many new grads. Some cope with months of unemployment prior to the decision to move home, but the difficult economy leaves young adults with no other choice than to seek financial assistance from their families.
Ninety percent of low-income students finance their education using education loans, obtaining more student loan debt than middle-class students. With tuition rates steadily rising and a dearth of financial assistance from family, many low-income students are choosing to drop out or not attend a university at all, ultimately diminishing the possibility of financial stability and achieving a four-year degree.
- CNN Money: Surging College Costs Price Out Middle Class
- Digital Journal: Rising Costs of College Tuition Leaves Students Weighted in Debt
- New York Daily News: Rising College Costs Combine with Fewer Grants to Cause More Borrowing
- The Seattle Times: College Debt Rising Faster Than Tuition, Fee Increases
- CNN Money: College Costs Climb, Yet Again
- CNN Money: Boomerang Kids: 85% of College Grads Move Home
- CNNMoney: Class of 2013 Grads Average $35,200 in Total Debt
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