Why are “college” and “debt” synonymous?
In today’s world, I think it’s safe to say that college degrees are increasingly more important to obtain jobs with a living wage. More people are going to college and getting degrees than ever before. It’s no surprise that in our capitalist society, college has become increasingly profit-based. The word “college” is synonymous with “debt”, because who can pay for college otherwise? Certainly not me.
An article by The Wall Street Journal noted that, currently, “2/3 of college students borrow to pay for college, and their average debt load is $23,186 by the time they graduate.” It’s easy to see that our method of paying for college is not sustainable. As colleges continue to raise tuition and as school supply costs continue to increase, college students will continue to pay for college however they can- by taking out loans.
As a student myself, I have ample experienced this problem. I can’t imagine how I would afford college if I did not have my tuition paid for. I know of students that work at UPS by night and in return UPS pays for their tuition, but this is not a sustainable system for most students, especially a pre-med student. We can’t survive 4+ years with minimal sleep and our workload. So if I did not have my scholarship, I would have a job, like I do now, but I would probably be taking out loans.
While I am lucky to have a scholarship, friends close to me really struggle with the price of college, but even textbooks are super expensive. My first textbook was $250 and I was so excited to be in college that I bought it new. I was too captivated by how shiny and clean the pages were. Big mistake. I ended up not even using it.
It makes me wonder if the reason college is so expensive is because we’re gullible. We’re excited about the thrill of the new experience; we want the shiny new Macs and the new backpack. Prices of textbooks and technology in college increase because we are willing to pay that much for our materials (keep in mind that two months ago, we were asking for permission to use the restroom.) I wonder if that’s our fault or the institutions’.