Our society’s idea of success relies heavily on a college education. However, the exorbitant cost of tuition requires students to take out loans. Wages are not rising to match the pattern of increasing tuition, leaving students with debt that’s impossible to pay off. This topic is one that frustrates anyone dealing with student-loan debt, and various sources are frantically working to come up with a solution. Many people are largely uninformed about the depth and reality of this crisis.
The United States has reached an overwhelming total of $1.5 trillion in student debt. This has been the case for six years, and our country has done nothing to alleviate it. Many people are advocating for student-loan debt to be forgiven altogether. According to Katrina vanden Heuvel, “The reason for the debt crisis is clear: The cost of college has exploded in recent decades while median household-income growth has been relatively flat.” Heuvel goes on to argue that the rising tuition is a result of states failing to keep up with the cost and leaving it up to families to account for. She also states that there is obscene growth in college administration salaries, even though the education quality is not increasing. As a student about to attend college, this is extremely frustrating. I feel obligated to attend a decent university, but realize that the cost of tuition cannot be justified with the quality of the education. It is an understatement that university administration are overpaid. I believe that the cost of college needs to be reevaluated, and ultimately realigned with what the university is actually providing students.
The effects of student-loan debt are devastating. Farzon A. Nahvi, an emergency medicine physician graduated from medical school five years ago. He said, “I cannot afford to buy a house, still ride my bicycle to work and continue to skimp on meals in order to cover more than $3,000 in monthly loan payments.” This man dedicated an overwhelming amount of money, time, and work to become a physician. He is living like a poor college student. The idea that professions in law and medicine (and others) are no longer paying enough to keep up with a decent lifestyle is devastating. When advanced fields of work cannot reward individuals, they are no longer worth the time and effort. Why would I spend so much time and money to become a doctor when I’ll barely be able to afford three meals a day? If our nation does not properly deal with the debt crisis, we will see a dramatic decline in the quality of healthcare, law, business, and other areas of work that require college degrees. People will no longer have the work ethic to keep up with the demands of a modern lifestyle. Families will sacrifice everything they’ve worked for just to afford a mediocre education. I am terrified of my future as a college student. The burden that will be placed on my family to provide me with an education is not worth the outcome. As my generation enters the era of “higher education,” I question the sensibility behind college and the incredible burden it will introduce into my life.


Here are the articles I annotated on this topic:


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October 29, 2018 2:35 pm

Emma, I truly did appreciate how you were able to incorporate your own perspective seamlessly with the support of the outside sources. I agree with you completely. As a student looking to continue my education in college, I want to find a school that has both good programs and is financially achievable. This article from NYT could help you discover more supporting facts. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/08/25/opinion/sunday/student-debt-loan-default-college.html

October 26, 2018 8:25 pm

I thought that when you said “Why would I spend so much time and money to become a doctor when I’ll barely be able to afford three meals a day?”, it was really impactful because it put into perspective just how much debt people are being out under, where even a good-paying job can’t solve your debt. Reading this article almost gave me a panic attack because I was thinking about how much debt I’m going to be going into immediately after I turn 18. I will have been a legal adult for about a week before I go thousands of dollars into debt. I think that your really put this feeling of dread and hopelessness into perspective for someone who doesn’t have to take out student loans.

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