The Finance Outcome of College

“College is the best four years of your life.” That is the common saying all of our parents have said countless times, that will forever be engraved in my conscious. No matter how many times I have questioned my high school work load, the countless hours of SAT practice, and long nights of filling out my college application, I always knew college was the end goal. I never questioned why or what the point of it all was, I just listened and went to work.

In modern day society, the stress on good grades is at an all time high. In every high school, competition to be at the top of the class is a “survival of the fittest” that holds no allies. Day in and Day out, students around the world put in countless hours of studying to please those who have set college as the standard of success.  But is it really worth all the mental and finical stress that college is always granted to come with? That is for the every student and their family to answer. 

Last week, our class was assigned to read the article “Live and Learn: Why We Have College,” and in the article it explained the learning styles that people perceive as the reasons one strives for a higher degree of learning. The three theories that were addressed were meritocratic, democratic, and a hybrid version. Each theory had its own style, sense of motivation for each student represented under said theories and outcomes for post college life. The article did a good job addressing the different theories people fall under, but the article never mentioned the negative side affects to electing to take the college path.

Although college is the place where people enhance their intellectual skills and knowledge, college always brings about some future set backs. In modern day society college tuition costs a pretty penny for average American citizens. The average cost of a 4-year institution is estimated at $22,261 per year. (http://www.statisticbrain.com/average-cost-of-college-tuition/). And for a two year institution it is estimated $9,180 per year. (http://www.statisticbrain.com/average-cost-of-college-tuition/). These costs don’t include room and board or costs for random materials needed for the average student. Most American citizens don’t have the extra money lying around; therefore in order for their children to go to college they take out loans

Loans may seem like a good idea at first glance, but they are very deceiving. Most families will take out loans, but what they don’t see coming is the fine print that is easily left out. Once a loan is taken out and spent on college, it must be repaid eventually. Usually the repayment on the loan borrowed begins once a student graduates college. It is planned that most students pay a certain amount each month in order to gradually pay back the money they borrowed. The tricky thing is that interest is constantly added on over time. Which usually results in more money to pay back then borrowed. That is because most American families cannot pay back their student loans in full right after their student graduates. So as time passes that interest grows and grows which just adds to more debt to be paid off. 

The estimated amount of students that are in student loan debt is around 37 million. Student debt is also the second most common known form of debt in America behind mortgages. As said before, most students take out loans therefore most have some type of skin in the game when it comes to finances. Therefore the national average amount owed by a college graduate is estimated at $26,600. Not only is this a hefty amount to pay back, but it also takes a long time after college to pay it all back. Which, in result, stacks up interest creating a larger amount to pay back. The amount of households headed by a college graduate under the age of 35 that still haven’t paid back their loans are at around 40%. These aren’t just assumptions these are facts that are relevant to every citizens that aims for a higher education. (http://www.fastweb.com/financial-aid/articles/3930-shocking-student-debt-statistics)

This blog is not meant to put the significance of a college education down by any means. College makes our country better from an intellectual standpoint, but there are other factors that go into this decision. College is not for everyone, and there is nothing wrong with that. Many people never step foot on a campus and end up very successful in life. It all depends on the person and the resources they have available to them. The article we read “Live and Learn: Why We have College,” addresses the significance of college when it comes to schooling and shaping tomorrow’s future leaders. But I felt that the financial issue of college was amiss and needed a say in why we have college.

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