Don’t Cancel Student Loan Debt; Cancel Your Plans to Attend College

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Opinion

Are you considering going to college or university? Think twice.

The current higher education system is rigged against you, and the consequences could haunt you for years. The truth is, a college degree is not the golden ticket it once was. In fact, it might be more of a burden than a benefit.

One of the main reasons for this is the federal government’s backing of student loans. The government offers various loan programs to help students finance their education, but these loans often come with high-interest rates and unfavorable repayment terms. The federal government’s loan programs have made it easier for students to borrow money to pay for college, which in turn has led to a surge in demand for higher education. This has allowed colleges and universities to raise tuition prices with little regard for the quality of education they actually provide.

As Cliff Maloney, founder of The PA Chase, pointed out during his appearance on TimCast, “The quality of the college degree is plummeting, while the price is skyrocketing.”

This increased demand has also decreased competition among private lenders, further contributing to the rise in tuition fees. Additionally, the government’s loan forgiveness programs have incentivized students to take on more debt, as they expect their loans to be forgiven in the future. This expectation has allowed colleges to continue raising tuition prices, as students are less concerned about the long-term financial implications of taking on massive amounts of debt.

The result? A whole generation of Americans burdened with crippling student loan debt.

Currently, there are about 45 million Americans with student loan debt, totaling over $1.76 trillion. According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, the average cost of tuition and fees for a private institution has more than doubled in the last 30 years, even after adjusting for inflation. This has made it increasingly difficult for students and their families to afford a college education without taking out substantial loans.

The burden of student loan debt often delays important life milestones, such as buying a home, starting a family, or saving for retirement.

What many high school students aren’t aware of is that there are plenty of alternatives to college and university that won’t force them to take on tens of thousands of dollars worth of debt. Many of these alternatives can lead to successful careers without incurring the cost and time associated with traditional education.

Vocational and trade schools offer practical training in fields like plumbing, electrical work, and culinary arts. Apprenticeships combine on-the-job training with classroom instruction, providing a pathway to a career in construction, manufacturing, or technology. Online courses and boot camps offer flexible learning options in areas like coding, web development, and digital marketing.

Military service is another option, providing valuable training in fields like engineering, healthcare, and technology. After completing your service, you may be eligible for educational benefits to further your education or enter the workforce.

Entrepreneurship is also a viable path, allowing you to develop your own skills and expertise while building a successful career. Instead of taking out $100,000 or more to get a degree, you could get a loan to start a business and set yourself up for future success.

It’s clear that the rising cost of higher education and the burden of student loan debt are challenging the traditional view that college is the only path to success. Undergraduate enrollment has fallen by 6.6% since 2019, with community colleges experiencing a 13% drop.  Graduate program enrollment has also decreased, albeit slightly.

In a world where college tuition is overpriced and a degree is virtually useless, it’s time to consider alternatives. The federal government’s backing of student loans has contributed to the skyrocketing rates of inflation, and the quality of education has declined as a result. Instead of taking on massive student loans and hoping for forgiveness, it’s time to build your empire through other means.

Chadwick Dolgos is the founder and editor of the Washington Wick. You can follow Chadwick on X at @thechadwickpaul.

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