I knew receiving an education after high school was important, but I did not predict the massive amount of expenses that I would be forced to deal with post graduation. I feel as if I have been living on some sort of dreamy, fantasy planet where all my college expenses are magically being paid, allowing me to remain a student of higher education.
The thing is, when I began my college career at the vulnerable age of 18, the last thing I was concerned about was where this money was being taken from. About halfway through my second semester of my freshman year, I was actually appalled to learn that these outrageous expenses were eventually going to be paid for by me. I, myself, was going to be paying thousands of dollars in order to obtain a degree to do something in whatever the “real world” was.
According to commonsensenewsnetwork.com, the cost of a college education doubles every nine years.
Currently, 65 universities charge more than $40,000 a year in tuition. Factor in housing, meal plans, and general expenses and you’re racking up an immense debt. The inevitable “pop” of the student debt “bubble” will occur on July 1, 2013, when interest rates on federally subsidized student loans increase by 6.8 percent, according to usnews.com.
The blame for why this crisis is a concern is still in question. Usnews.com states that President Obama has been urging Congress to come to an agreement to make the “bubble” float on without causing too much of a ruckus.
When writing this article, I recalled a moment during the second presidential debate when Jeremy Epstein, a 20-year-old college student (same age as myself) asked the presidential candidates, “How can I support myself after I graduate?” It was the first question of the debate and I remember it being the last question I watched during the debate.
Governor Mitt Romney was the first to answer the question. In his response, he said they had to do two things: “Make it easier for kids to afford college” and ensure “when kids get out of college, that there is a job.” Frustration doesn’t even begin to explain my emotion at his vague response.
He also said, “We had to make sure the loan program remained” and claimed that he “knew what it took to create good jobs for graduating college students.” I don’t know what Jeremy Epstein thought, but Mr. Romney’s indistinct response left me with more questions.
President Obama immediately followed Governor Romney’s response by commending Jeremy for attending college in the first place.
I was not sure if this “admiration” our president showed to Jeremy made him feel better, but it certainly did not make me any less anxious about my impending college debt due to these questionable loans. He then continued to give Jeremy three reasons why his “future was bright” and did so by mentioning that his administration would be “keeping the loans available to people like you, Jeremy.”
Wait, I was under the impression that the loans were the problem in the first place. I realize Jeremy did not directly address the issue of loans, but isn’t it a factor (along with job availability and tuition increasing) within the vicious cycle of student debt?
The problem we college students currently face is lying in the hands of people who seem very nonchalant and hold very generalized ideas on how to “fix” it. I still sign away $25 a month to my private loan program without really knowing how it is helping and continue to fret for my personal finances of the future.
The blame for who is responsible for this crisis is still up in the air and, frankly, there seems to be the absence of a very bright future. I just wish for answers, clear and comforting, to encourage me along on the road to obtaining my degree.