Due to towering student debt and costly higher-education expenses, young America is struggling to build wealth and gain financial stability — and students are blaming the nation’s colleges and universities for this issue, The Huffington Post reports.
While 10 percent of college attendees say that students, not institutions, are at fault for America’s student debt problem, 39 percent disagree. They point to colleges and universities as the culprits behind the staggering levels of student debt. This survey, conducted by the Harvard University Institute of Politics, also finds that 58 percent believe that skyrocketing student debt is a “major issue” — even those who aren’t even enrolled in college agree (54 percent).
“Young people who are coming of age today understand that getting a postsecondary education is important [but] they have a lot of fear about the rising cost of higher education,” said Rory O’Sullivan, Policy and Research Director at Young Invincibles.
Over the past three decades, the cost of a college degree in America has increased by 1,120 percent! More than seven million borrowers have defaulted on their loans as the nation’s student debt swells up to $1.2 trillion. Tuition and fees in America’s public colleges averages to about $8,400 for the 2013-2014 year. For private colleges, that number nearly quadruples to $30,500.
As a college degree is nearly essential for scoring a well-paying job, students are welcoming the crushing debt. But these outstanding student loans takes a toll on the economy as college graduates are less likely to pursue mortgages or car loans. There is a new generation of thirty-somethings that “subsequently don’t have enough cash to make investments in assets that can appreciate in value,” MN wrote.
Colleges simply focusing on aesthetics rather than academics adds to rising tuition costs. University of Pennsylvania, for example, must have put in tons of cash for their new golf simulator in one of their fitness centers. Iowa State University dropped $46.2 million for a new rock wall and hot tub. While these sound nice, college students are footing the bill for these lavish amenities.
“Too many colleges are acting in the interest of building prestige over providing an affordable pathway to higher learning for their students,” Matthew Segal said, head of millennial advocacy nonprofit OurTime.org.
Going back to Harvard University’s survey, another 32 percent shift the blame to the federal government. “The U.S. Department of Education collected $42.5 billion from borrowers in fiscal year 2013 alone,” HuffPo added. Only eight percent said that their state government is fault.
More than 70 percent of the Harvard poll’s participants admitted that their financial circumstances determined whether or not they attended college.
“People are finally realizing that the college arms race must stop if we are ever going to rein in costs,” Segal said.