Opinion: The student loan crisis is crushing America

By AVALON SALVADORE

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, outstanding student loan debt in the United States ranges between $902 billion and $1 trillion with around $864 billion in federal student loan debt. “You don’t want to get a loan because in the future you’ll always be paying it off,” said Kelly Johnston, a senior at Citrus Valley High School. (Avalon Salvadore / Ethic Photo)

Almost every student has dreamt of going to college. As a little kid, college is idealised as a place filled with people and experiences meant to help you on your journey to adulthood. But the reality is far different than expectation. First, there’s application fees and then the big kahuna, tuition itself.

Thousands of dollars are spent on tuition even without room and board. Kids from middle class or impoverished families can not reasonably pay for themselves to attend exorbitantly priced college on their own without loans or scholarships. This disadvantage is especially exacerbated by a global economy wherein almost every profession requires a degree for the job.

Right now, the student loan debt in the United States is over a trillion dollars,;this debt has become the largest household debt in America since the recession. 

However, there have been strides to make public universities more affordable such as the Free College Promise in California, making community colleges free for the first two years. This program offers an affordable alternative to brand-name colleges that cost upwards of $40,000 per year.

But most kids are pressured to jump straight from high school into a 4-year university. From the start of high school, kids are influenced to think that a prominent future is dependent on what college they attend. Millions of students stress about being accepted to UCLA or USC, and if they are accepted then they are faced with the exorbitant student loans needed to attend these brand-name schools. There’s an unfortunately high chance that it may not end up being a fruitful investment in the future.  

Though career school is still an are option, the only way to succeed in today’s society requires some level of a degree. Schools need offer more accessible options for less fortunate students and maintain an inclusive atmosphere wherein everyone has a chance to succeed in a world where education is the greatest commodity a person could have.

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