As the price of a college degree increases while American incomes continually decrease, Americans are starting to wonder: is a college degree worth it?
The answer is no. With a boastful claim to increased opportunity and ‘aheadness’ in the job market, a college degree seems nonsensical not to get. Yet this necessary commodity, one that promises job advantage and an ultimately a successful future, it certainly does not yield mercy to the premature pockets of todays young financiers. With the starting line in the race to success continually being pushed back as tuitions rise across the nation, a re-evaluation of racer participation must be considered.
In sharing their sentiments and experiences, two college post-graduates offer their frustration in dealing with the aftermath of their educational debt. Erik Solecki, a Kettering University graduate, finished his degree with a bachelor’s in Industrial Engineering, as well as $185,000 in student debt. Solecki imagined his starting salary would range between $70,000-$80,000, enough to off-set his debt within a few years time, but when reality brought nine months of unemployment and a job salary well-below his expectation, regret and bitterness began to settle in.
“Such a specialized, technical degree is supposed to lead to a great career, so I was willing to take out the debt…Now, I engineer high-end autos. Ironically, I’ll probably never be able to afford one” Solecki sighed.
Saniquah Robinson shares a similar mentality since gaining her $82,000 diploma from Temple University. With both a Bachelors and Masters
Degree, Robinson has been forced to settle for a contract work job, only after three years of job searching for a master’s level position. A mother of three, Robinson was recently turned down from purchasing a home because of her income-debt ratio—a story all too many know.
“I once believed that part of the American Dream was to earn a college education and this would ensure a great career and financial freedom. Unfortunately I am losing hope.”
According to the Project on Student Debt program, class of 2010 graduates put the national average of student debt just over $24,000 post-graduation, an astounding increase of six percent since just 2009. Adding to the turmoil, unemployment rates for college graduates rose from 5.8 percent in 2008 to 8.7 percent in 2009—the highest annual on record.
For decades, high school students have been under the impression that going to college was undoubtedly the best route to a successful
career, yet the numbers yield a different story. The financial futures of thousands of American students have been jeopardized and disfigured due to the unavoidability of student loans and haunting debt. This is a backwards budget system and these so called current practices are out of date.
The race to success will not slow; it is time to change lanes.