The significance of higher education cannot be overestimated; however, many American students are facing the issue of not being able to afford it. For this reason, they have to take a loan with the expectation to repay it after graduation. Nevertheless, a diploma does not necessarily guarantee a high-paying job; therefore, young people have a number of difficulties paying off this loan. This issue is considered to be one of the most relevant problems among students in the U.S., which raises various discussions. There is an apparent need for policy changes so that higher education could become more affordable. College debt has an adverse impact on the welfare of students, because unemployed graduates cannot repay it, which becomes a financial burden by preventing success and providing a risk for penalties.
There are several reasons that contribute to this problem, including high unemployment rates and low demand for specialists with a diploma. At the same time, the student loan debt not only stays at high levels but also increases every year (Bricker et al., 2015). Some researchers agree that these issues force young people into a long debt, disrupt their opportunities for success, and make “college a poor value proposition for many families” (Barry & Dannenberg, 2016, p. 4). Another justification for changes is that a high cost for a college provides a greater risk for students to get a disincentive and a penalty (Glater, 2015). The difference between household earnings and the amount of debt creates a divide between generations (Elliott & Lewis, 2015). In addition, the high costs prevent academically talented students from acquiring the knowledge and qualification that they need to progress in their field of study.
In conclusion, it would appear that college debt seriously affects the well-being of students in a negative way. Taking into account high unemployment rates in certain occupations, it can be extremely hard to find a job and repay a debt. This factor does not only limit their opportunities for success but also produces risks for additional financial losses. Young people are burdened by it even after acquiring their diploma. Many families start to question whether saving money for higher education is worth the risk since it never stops rising. For this reason, policymakers should consider making changes so that America will not lose skilled professionals who could not afford to go to college.
Barry, M. N., & Dannenberg, M. (2016). Out of pocket: The high cost of inadequate high schools and high school student achievement on college affordability. Education Reform Now.
Bricker, J., Brown, M., Hannon, S., & Pence, K. M. (2015). How much student debt is out there?. FEDS Notes, (2015-08), 07.
Elliott, W., & Lewis, M. (2015). Student debt effects on financial well‐being: Research and policy implications. Journal of Economic Surveys, 29(4), 614-636.
Glater, J. D. (2015). Student debt and higher education risk. California Law Review, 103, 1561.