Congratulations, America! Credit card debt has now been exceeded by student loan debt.
Certainly you know a college grad or two flipping burgers while trying to service their Whopper (har) of a student loan. (Average student loan debt is now over 30K
, btw.) Can someone spell “Indentured Servitude?” Or how about the many who have student loans but never graduated?
And speaking of those who never graduate. Here’s a statistic that I’ve never seen heralded: According to the National Department of Education, college freshmen who graduated in the bottom 40 percent of their high schools, 76% will NOT earn a diploma…even if given 8 1/2 years. ($!)
But yet we continue down the same ole cattle paths. Parents still want their kids to get a college education come hell or high water. (And it sickens me when I hear of parents jeopardizing their financial futures to use their home equity or IRA’s to help fund their kids out-of-control college costs.)
The greatest gift a parent can give their child is the opportunity to explore their giftings and talents
and from there, develop a clear plan of action which may
or may not
include college. This could come in the form of a “gap” year or two after high school or finding opportunities so they can job shadow prospective careers.
It’s also high time that apprenticeships get the attention they deserve. They are a brilliant option for many kids. (My hairdresser friend Kent put it so well when he talked of apprenticing his daughter in the profession. She could spend thousands of dollars going to school or she can take a longer apprenticeship route, earn while she learns…and come out with a clientele when she’s finished. And no student loan debt.)
It is incumbent upon parents and universities to look at the new realities and speak the truth accordingly to our kids.
Scary? Yes. But not as much as a 100K student loan repayment plan on a 25K/year salary. Just read some of the heart breaking comments on those articles I referenced.