For years college was seen as a springboard for the American Dream – a way to propel oneself up the corporate ladder by proving you had established knowledge as well as a work ethic from years of study. College was seen as the golden ticket for many, but in reality, higher education means higher debt.
In fact, student debt has reached such epidemic proportions that it’s having a direct impact on our overall economy – not to mention it serves to damper the goals and dreams of those saddled with it. Here are just a few stats which help paint the grim picture of student debt as it looms large for many people:
- The total amount of student loan debt is $1.47 trillion as of the end of 2018 — more than credit cards or auto loans.
- Around 178,000 students graduated owing more than $100,000 in the 2015-2016 academic year, up from 51,000 in 2003-2004
- In the first quarter of 2019, over 6% of all student loan borrowers owed more than $100,000, up from 5.4% in 2017
- As many as 44.7 million Americans have student loan debt, according to a 2018 report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York
- Percentage of College Grads with Debt: 71%
- The class of 2017 graduated with 2.5% more debt than those who finished in 2012 and 14% more than those who graduated ten years earlier.
- Borrowers in the Class of 2017, on average, owe $28,650, according to the Institute for College Access and Success.
- Most student loans — about 92%, according to a December 2018 report by MeasureOne, an academic data firm — are owned by the U.S. Department of Education.
Student debt has reached such astronomical proportions that it’s become a hot-button topic for politicians, with many of them touting plans to ease this tremendous burden on people who are just trying to improve their lives and increase their earning potential with education. It’s a massive issue which many hope the government will step in and help rectify, but relying on then to fix this issue may be pure folly.
To me, this issue is further proof that many of the traditional paradigms can often serve as a pitfall which hinders ones’ pursuit of the American Dream. Bettering oneself through education is one thing but saddling yourself with insurmountable debt in the process serves to do one thing – make you a compliant worker bee with a need to get out of debt. Debt is just another control mechanism which prevents people from reaching their full potential. Understanding this is important.
This entire scenario is just further proof that people need better options for building a better future. I don’t mean to downplay the importance and need for education, rather I’d like more people to learn about the UnFranchise – as it can serve as a life-changing source of ongoing income which leverages the spending you have to do anyway. Student debt carries with it some shocking stats – but it also reinforces the need for everyone to develop a Plan B with the UnFranchise!!!