Have you noticed that more and more students are graduating with student loans than perhaps ever before? Why is there so much student debt? Is it a mere acceptance of debt or is it just a sign of the rapidly increasing tuition costs and fees? When you stop to look at students’ debt and whether it is possible to stay debt free, it forces you to think what is the primary cause of students debt being higher than ever before.
Possible Reasons for Students’ Debt Being so High
Acceptance of Debt – As we all know, the U.S. has a deficit problem. For decades, if not centuries, the United States (and most of the world) has bought into the mentality that deficit spending helps the global economy. The myth that has become so commonly accepts goes something like this: if we spend more right now (even if we don’t have it), it will fuel the economy and we will be able to pay back what we borrowed from the stimulated economy. The only problem is that the U.S. seems to be going further in to debt. When students grow up in this mindset, it is easy to see how this could be an influence in their acceptance of student debt.
Rapid Increase in Tuition – If you have been to college lately or are planning for your child’s upcoming fee, you should know that tuition is increasing at an alarming rate – sometimes as much as 3-5% per year. A friend of mine started a school paying $28,000 and four years later, the tuition was over $40,000. How can students be expected to pay these fees and avoid debt in the first place?
Lack of Knowledge – Students are earning college debt more than ever before because of their lack of knowledge when it comes to finances. Parents’ efforts to prevent their children from worrying about financial matters actually takes away from their knowledge and they enter college without basic understanding of budgeting or controlling their spending. When left on their own, they quickly move towards financial ruin.
The truth is that students debt does not have to be this way. Students can be smart with their finances and recognize the dangers of going into debt. It may take extra effort to resist the cultural norms, but students can learn how to be debt free.