Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The college study swindle, the student loan bubble, and a lifetime of debt

There was a time when a very good college education could be had for students at the cost of working a part time job.In the 1960's, a 4-year education at a state university equated to less than $2500.00, or an average of $625.00 per year.A private institution such as MIT would cost under $4000.00 for the same 4-years.However, starting in the 1970's, education costs began to rise due to two factors.The inflation that occurred during the 'stagflation' of the Jimmy Carter years, and the influx of government money from the G.I. Bill after Vietnam. The education did not necessarily get better than the decade before, but now that universities had a huge influx of cash coming from Uncle Sam, Universities began to focus on projects outside the educational scope, and began to hike tuition costs to pay for these things.

As we moved from the middle 90's through the first decade of the 21st century, tuition costs for students have skyrocketed. Costs for an education are in many cases 400% higher than just 30 years ago (1980), and those coming out with diplomas are actually less educated than their 1960's counterparts. In a Washington Post report from 2005, a study showed that nearly 31% of college graduates are for better lack of the term, illiterate.Another phenomenon that has taken place is the advent and rise of student loans. For nearly 30 years, banks would go through a student loan clearing house known as Sallie Mae, where these loans were guaranteed by the US government. It was a stigma to borrow money for education, because those loans would affect your credit score and even job applications. However, Sallie Mae has now gone by the wayside, and the Federal government has become the primary source for student loans. And like the 1970's, universities realize that they can charge students what they want knowing that the government will print money at will, and loan it to students like water.

This is why college tuitions at many institutions now are $30,000 to $50,000 per year, not even counting living expenses.How bad has it gotten for college minded adults? In an article this week put out by the American Dream online publication, 16 reasons are laid out as to why college education in America today is now a scam, and how it has become a lifelong cycle of debt to any borrower.This does not even take into consideration the phenomenon happening since the 2008 credit crisis. Due to the recession and high unemployment, the majority of college graduates over the past two years, and looking into the future, have little or no chance of a job in their career field to even begin to pay off their loans, much less begin a life or work towards retirement.College has become the model and paradigm of a system that thrives off of titles and Degrees, but cares little about education and experience. With less learning taking place on campus, and the costs becoming more than it would take to purchase a home with no guarantee of a job waiting once you graduate, is it worth your future to be in bondage to student loan debts that may last decades and hinder your ability to have a decent life?

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