Drowning In Student Loan Debt
Millennials are the most diverse generation in American history.
They’ve grown up with technology, have a strong sense of family values, and tend to get married later. Millennials are the most educated generation, and because of this are are more likely to fall into student loan debt .
Student debt is something few college students have been able to escape. According to a Harvard IOP poll, 42 percent of college students age 18-29 graduate with college loan debt. With the constant rise of tuition at post-secondary institutions throughout the country, student debt is hindering millennials and their ability to acclimate to society after graduation.
Kenya Moncur, a first-year student at the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs, is one of many students left uneasy about the amount of debt they are taking on to attend college.
“I’ve already begun to experience college debt and the uncertainty of finding a good paying job after I graduate that will compensate for [my] debt,” he said.
The average tuition and fees for students at George Washington University is $50,435.
According to College Board, the average cost of tuition during the 2015-16 school year at a private institution is $32,405. In-state residents at public colleges, might pay as little as $9,410, while out-of-state students at public institutions can pay as much as $23,893.
Whether they attend a public or private institution, 57 percent of students surveyed in the Harvard Institute of Politics poll agree that student debt is a major problem. Two-in-five students said that they or someone they live with has debt from college loans.
Gabrielle Ballard, a freshman at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was forced to take out loans when her parents could not afford to make the payments on time and she running out of time to register for classes.
“I’ve worked my entire life to get to here and then I almost lost it just because I couldn’t pay my tuition,” she said. “I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to stay at MIT.”
According to MarketWatch, the U.S. has amassed over $1.2 trillion in student loan debt and 1-in-4 student loan borrowers are in delinquency or default on their student loans.
The struggle of an affordable education has not gone unnoticed.
During a press conference with White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, he highlighted the effects of student loan debt on millennials and the Obama Administration’s attempts to ease the stress student loan debt may have on students.
The Obama Administration has worked to make college tuition affordable by cutting out the middle man, banks. Now the federal government gives student loans directly rather that subsidizing banks who give students loans. With this plan, students have low rates when paying back loans and will ultimately pay less.
“[Student debt] has become a universal issue for college students,” Gabrielle said, “so when it comes to electing a president, college students aren’t going to vote for just anyone. They are voting for someone who’s dedicated to fixing the issue they face.”