College Students Drowning In Debt

By Brandon Patton

When you get your college diploma, will you owe money like most college students? As a student myself, I always took an interest in the business side of college. After all, most people fail to realize colleges are in business to make money. I tried paying attention to the prices of things, whether it was textbooks, commuter passes, or even goggles for a science lab. Young people are raised in a society where not going to college makes you look like an underachiever or unmotivated, despite most people being accepted into schools they have no plan in place to pay for. Just how much does the average student owe?

Allie Bidwell from the US News explains that the average amount of student loan debt was approaching $30,000 according to a 2013 report from the Institute for College Access and Success. Young adults simply put are going into debt for trying to better themselves and receiving higher education, and that needs to be changed! During my sophomore year in school, Eastern Michigan University announced a “0,0,0” campaign. That was the first year ever the school didn’t increase tuition, fees, or room and board prices for the following year. This was seen as a way for Eastern to increase its population and was outstanding news to so many. My question though, is why should such an action be so uncommon? Why wouldn’t more schools refuse to increase fees and prices so more students could attend?

According to Kyle McCarthy from the Huffington Post, as of 2014, 40 million Americans have student debt. He went on to state that ”the population with student loans is actually greater than the entire population of Canada, Poland, North Korea, Australia and more than 200 countries”. The article really had a lot of shocking facts and trends like how despite wages decreasing, debt only continues to increase. Lastly, huge corporations have the ability to file for bankruptcy and even gamblers can do the same. For college students though, bankruptcy simply isn’t an option.

Young adults continue to be put behind the eight ball trying to better themselves and their families by obtaining a degree. Why would we not lower the cost of college so that the economy can be boosted by purchases made afterwards? Emily Coyle from Cheat Sheet.com reports that from 2004 to 2013, consumer debt posted a nine percent growth. In the same amount of time, student debt tripled to $986 billion. Are these numbers scaring you? They should. More needs to be done to stop this unfortunate trend. Everyone simply won’t receive full scholarships or have funds set up for them when they turn 18 to go to school. We have to compete with the rest of the world, and in turn, we have to stop justifying overcharging our youth for doing what’s right!

I am a CBS 62/CW 50 Community Affairs Intern. I am a huge sports fan and of course you have to love your hometown teams! I currently attend Eastern Michigan University, I love dogs and my family.

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