Is a degree worth possible debt?

April 17, 2014 Editorials Print Print
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It’s no secret that education isn’t cheap — but at what cost do students earn degrees?

Unless your parents are over 40 and have collected a college fund on your behalf, chances are you’re a student putting yourself through school.

And while there are countless forms of federal aid and scholarships available, some students don’t qualify for that funding.

In a world where escaping student debt post-graduation is slim to none, it’s important to consider the significance of earning an education while retaining some financial stability.

Citing an economic mobility project conducted using data from the Current Population Survey from 2003 to 2011, Forbes.com said: “Sixty-nine percent of students with a bachelor’s degree were employed before the recession, compared to 64 percent with an associate degree and 55 percent with a high school degree.”

Forbes.com went on to say,“those with bachelor’s degrees earned an average weekly wage of $645 after the recession, compared to $681 before the recession. For those with associate degrees, wages dipped from $512 weekly to $452. And for high school graduates, weekly pay shrunk from $438 to $394.”

Now, it’s important to consider these numbers compared to the amount of student debt graduates are left with after earning a degree. According to ABC news, 1.8 million students earned a bachelor’s degree in 2013, with 73 percent saying they owe more student debt than they could manage.

Yahoo Finance said the average student borrows around $27,000 to earn an undergraduate degree.

However, despite the amount being so much, Yahoo said the longer a student stays in school, the more accessibility he or she has to higher-paying jobs.

It’s also important to consider the financial obligations tied to borrowing money before doing so.

While student loan repayment options are manageable for some, it’s crucial to know about payment plans and the amount you still owe. I’d suggest meeting with a financial adviser before taking out any form of government or bank loan.

Students often think a plethora of employment opportunities await post-graduation; however, the American economy says otherwise. Students must remember that earning a multi-thousand-dollar degree doesn’t always lead to a multi-thousand-dollar salary.

A person’s education not only determines how intelligent he or she may be, but also the kind of work ethic and skill set he or she may possess. There’s no denying that financial gain is an important aspect of earning an education, but sticking to what you’re good at is pertinent as well.

A college degree reaps more benefits than faults, but students ought to be aware of the consequences of their financial investments.

While tuition and interest rates continue to increase, the ultimate question of whether earning an education is worth it remains up to the student — and although education shouldn’t be viewed as a catch-22, it’s the unfortunate reality students must face when considering a degree or financial security.

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