A solution to decrease future student loan debt in the US
By Matthew Hunt
September 2, 2012
Most people believe that a college degree is one of the best investments in a person’s life. However, there are pitfalls for earning that degree.
In May of 2012 the student loan debt in the United States exceeded the $1 trillion marker and is exceeding that number as we speak. Students who come to college straight out of high school don’t usually understand how much money it really takes to earn a degree.
Yes, there are some who have worked their way through school and pay their own way, but a large majority of students who don’t might not realize that earning that degree comes with baggage. If you are a student that is fortunate to go to college on a scholarship, then you should be thankful not to be in this category.
Every student can apply for financial aid, but that doesn’t mean that you will receive the same amount of aid as the person next to you. There are so many different ways for students to go about getting funding for college, but as a student there is more than just paying for courses.
Not every student is fortunate enough to live, or have a job where they go to school. Students have so much more on their plates than a person who decides not to pursue a college degree. There are many students that must live in the dorms, and financial aid will not pay for most of this and could well exceed over $10,000 a year.
Universities throughout the country should consider programs that won’t place students in loan debt after they graduate college. One of the best examples is College of the Ozarks where students graduate debt-free through participating in the on-campus Work Education Program. This program has students work 15 hours on campus each week, and students earn scholarships and much more through the program.
The college of the Ozarks may be a private university where not everyone who applies is accepted, as acceptance is based on financial necessity. In society today nearly every student is financially needy. If universities would consider a program that discourages debt and does not participate in the federal student loan program, imagine how much money students would save and how much our student loan debt would decline.
The reality is that it is too late to forgive the over $1 trillion in student loan debt that has been built up thus far, but if universities would consider programs like the one at College of the Ozarks in the future, then we could alleviate one of many of the debts that the United States faces today.