Student loan debt has increased in the past decade by more than 144%. In fact, student loan debt is second only to mortgages or housing payments for most American families. There has been some talk from the current administration forgiving student loans, but that has not happened as of yet.
The cost of higher education is rapidly rising with no end in sight. Students are graduating with astronomical debt as they start their new careers.
Justifying the cost of higher education
With so much money flowing into higher education facilities, why does the cost of education keep rising? Here are some of the reasons:
- Colleges and Universities continue to raise their fees year after year. They justify the cost by improving buildings and grounds, staying current with technology, and hiring top-notch professors. The cost per year averages out to $35,000+ per student. This includes tuition, room, board, and book expenses.
- Parent Plus loans allow parents to take on student loan debt rather easily, even when they have no reliable means to pay it back.
- Pell grants and scholarships used to be the major source of funding for many students. Unfortunately, these resources have not increased to meet the demands of higher education. Even with a scholarship or grant, most students need a loan to pay the difference.
- Much of the country’s student loan debt is taken on by graduate students. Many feel that the loans are worthwhile if they can graduate with a higher-paying job waiting in the wings.
With no end in sight, it seems inevitable that the rising cost of tuition can cause financial problems for the student and their families down the road. Some will end up defaulting on their loans. Others may find themselves considering bankruptcy.
Should you find yourself in one of these situations, seek experienced guidance and remember that you do have rights and options for dealing with overwhelming debt. Even if you can’t get rid of your student loans, you may be able to eliminate other debts and make the loans more bearable.