By Rocky Fodali, Trending Writer
Although education is essential in promoting a more productive, successful society, higher education does have a “dark side” that is surely evident to many college students. Most teenagers upon leaving high school have goals or dreams that they wish to accomplish in their future. Some people may want to be doctors, some hope to be scientists, whereas others seek a profession in the business field. Despite being such different occupations and specializations, these lofty aspirations carry with them one profound commonality: the need for a higher education. In order to be offered a job though, everyone must have a degree from some sort of higher institution, which typically requires additional years of schooling after high school. The dilemma, or dark side, associated with higher education is the ever-increasing costs of tuition.
With such expensive bills to pay, individuals often cannot finance their education with their own wealth. So, many are forced to take out student loans, placing them in large amounts of debt upon graduation. For instance, per Forbes, “the average Class of 2016 graduate has $37,112 in student loan debt, up six percent from last year”. This number is a staggering handicap, especially when the percentage of increase is taken into consideration. Average student loan debt went up by six percent in a year! Think about this: if debt continued to increase at the same rate, then the average Class of 2017 graduate would have to pay $39,339, the 2018 graduate would pay $41,699, and the 2019 graduate would pay $44,201. Whereas this might seem like a small, insignificant increase, these numbers should be worrisome for all college students. Average debt is increasing at more than $2,000 a year with no sign of slowing down.
However, some may pose the question that this is of no real concern because degrees will land college graduates profitable professions. This is foolish to believe though. Students struggle under the weight of seemingly insurmountable debt, whereas banks and universities benefit and profit at their expense. Instead of focusing on starting their lives and enjoying their youth, students are paying bill after bill, prolonging their future for a past necessity. Their paths are halted for something in which they really did not have a say. Without a degree, there are limited opportunities for a profitable future. Therefore, higher education often entraps students in a snare of detrimental debt, limiting the lives of many young adults who should really be concerned with things like their careers or simply having fun.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, November 21st print edition.
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