25 March 2013

Student Loans: The Good, The Bad, And The Impossible

As college students, I'm sure most of us have had some experience with student loans. While student loans are, without a doubt, a worthwhile investment, they seem to be an increasing burden on the typical American graduate.

With the price of tuition constantly increasing, loans have become another necessary evil in the lives of students. Sure, they're a great way to build credit, they have a low interest rate, and they're absolutely necessary for most students, but how big are the consequences?

It's no secret that graduates have been having a hard time finding employment in their fields after college. Yet, they leave college with roughly $27,000 in debt with no way to pay that back.

With tuition increasing and career availability decreasing, are student loans getting young adults in over their heads right out of the gate? What can be done about the situation? How does this debt end for graduates?

I don't pretend to have the answer. I can't see how this will all work out. I just hope we can find a solution before higher education become unattainable for the average American.


  1. Luckily, I have avoided student loans by applying for a million scholarships to pay for school. However, I realize that student loans are the only option for most students, but I think they do tend to hurt students in the long run. They do get paid off, but it is a burden to students until they pay them, which could be 20 years down the road. I do not know what a better option could be, but it would be in students' best interest to use as few student loans as possible.

  2. It's really a tough thing. Like Kaitlin, I have managed to avoid student loans, but I have a good friend who is going to graduate with somewhere around $20,000 debt, all from student loans. While I realize that isn't nearly as bad some people manage to score after graduating, it's far from ideal. I can't even pretend to have a solution or I'd be trying to find a way to call it my own and make money for myself. I can talk about the one thing that is absurdly priced, that's textbooks. I think, on average, I spend around $600 a year on textbooks. After my four years of college, that will come out to almost $2500 spent on textbooks alone. I can't count the amount of times that I have gotten a textbook for a class and then not used it, without getting aggravated. Until someone can give me a respectable reason for me spending $60 on a digital copy of a textbook that doesn't seem to cost anything to make or $300 for a brand new, only edition Chemistry textbook, I think that is the biggest waste of my money in college. I like to cluelessly pretend that every bit of my tuition is used wisely, but I know that I am getting bested when it comes to class materials. Let's make those things more affordable, then I'll try to brainstorm on the next thing to fix. I'm better working with just one thing at a time.

  3. I have avoided student loans as well, but I can only imagine the stress of having them after college with no way of paying them back and my heart breaks for those people. The economy is just so bad and I wish that there were other options, but I honestly don’t know what that could be.
    I’ve never applied for scholarships or grants (free grants) but I heard that there are sooo many out there. So maybe before a young adult starts college, they could try to rack up on as many as they can and then go from there. But I do know that, that’s not an option for every student, so I’m really lost on what a solution could possibly be.
    But like Zach said, it would help if the text books weren’t so expensive. There really is nothing worse than paying $180 (or more/less) for a book and NEVER opening it. Because of course when we try to resale them, the values DROP and we never get that money back. So maybe there could be a way to get cheaper books for classes. That would help tremendously.

  4. I also avoided student loans, but several people I'm close with either have graduated with loans that need to be paid back or ended up dropping out of college for a while in order to try to save money and avoid loans/pay back the loans they already took out. The only thing I can come up with at the moment is making it easier for people to understand the application process for applying for grants or scholarships. I know there are people who can help you, but sometimes the process becomes overwhelming for people.

  5. Well, unlike everyone else who has commented, I carry the burden of student loans. (Sad face) it scares me to even graduate, because I know soon after, I will have to pay it back. Sometimes I wish college was free! I mean, why not? Why should we have to pay to further our education? These are questions I ask myself frequently! Who knows, maybe by the time our children go to college, there will be a better conclusion to all of this.

    Jasmine Redus