Student Debt: You Are Not a Loan

From early on, we are taught that education is a ticket to a better future. But the reality for many of us is much different than the promise. The costs of college are going through the roof, making it unaffordable to many young workers, and leaving many graduates with huge student loan debts. And after all the money, effort, and debt, today many graduates are rewarded with poor job prospects.

  • As states all across the U.S. cut their higher education budgets, universities make up for it by forcing the students to pay more. From 1975 to 2011, the yearly tuition for an undergraduate degree from a University of California school went up over 37 times, from  $300 to $11,160.
  • Tuition has gone up even faster in the last ten years. From 2001 to 2011, tuition at the University of California schools has increased by over four times, from $2,716 to $11,160. During the same period, tuition for California State Universities has tripled from $1,428 to $5,472.
  • The average student that takes out loans now leaves school with $40,000 in debt for a Bachelors degree and $55,000 in debt for a Graduate or Professional degree. Ten percent of all borrowers owe more than $54,000 and three percent owe more than $100,000.
  • One in ten borrowers default on their student loans within two years. Over 800,000 students were in default in 2011. The Federal government has denied students the right to declare bankruptcy on student loans, and they can go after any income a student might have to collect the money owed. The government can charge a penalty of 25 percent the value of the loan if the student goes into default.
  • Currently, there is over 1 trillion dollars owed in student loans – more than the entire credit card debt in the country.
  • The government currently projects that it will make $185 billion from student loans over the next ten years.