For the past few years, the public has made it clear that the cost of education is a problem in the country that needs to be addressed, with multiple news outlets and politicians like Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren (D) calling it a crisis.
The cries aren’t far-fetched. To break it down, according to the Institute for College Access and Success, in the United States,
- 69 percent of college students graduated with student debt in 2014
- The average amount of debt, per student, was $28, 950.
- According to Statistic Brain, there are currently 17,487,475 students enrolled in a higher education institution.
- Equating these statistics together, that would mean the total amount of student debt in the U.S. would be three hundred forty-nine billion, three hundred twenty-one million, fifty-six thousand, eight hundred and sixty-two dollars and fifty cents. $349,321,056,862.50.
The numbers are there, and there is no denying the amounts. But why is it so newsworthy?
The Huffington Post published three analytical charts about a month ago to show “just how dire the student debt crisis has become”.
According to the charts, the real problem stems from the fact that while the amount of debt has stayed relatively the same, keeping in mind the effects of inflation, the average income has not moved with the times. In the first chart of the article on HuffPost, it is stated that “median wages have increased 1.6 percent over the last 25 years while median debt has risen 163.8 percent.
The student debt could also have lifelong effects also, or that’s what Mark Kantrowitz said in Time.
In his article “Why the Student Loan Crisis is Even Worse Than People Think,” Kantrowtiz said,
“students who graduate with excessive debt are about 10% more likely to say that it caused delays in major life events, such a buying a home, getting married, or having children. They are also about 20% more likely to say that their debt influenced their employment plans, causing them to take a job outside their field, to work more than they desired, or to work more than one job.”
Photo courtesy of Donkey Hotey on Flickr, part of Creative Commons.