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One of the biggest decisions every high school graduate has to face comes at the time of applying to college. Deciding to go and where to, is going to have a big impact on the student life, and in most cases a big factor for this is money. As an effect of that concern student-loans were developed. However the increasing student-loan debt over the past years, have made parents and students ask themselves is the risk worth it? As reported by Robin Wilson in her article “A Life time of Student Debt? Not likely” taking a loan to pay college is a great deal. She clarifies that after graduation few sacrifices may be needed to repay the loan but, compared to what student’s acquire after college it is a smart loan to take. In the other hand, Kristina Dell points out in her article “I Owe U” student-loans are not the best idea a college applicant could have. Repaying student-loans is very difficult especially because college graduates are paying back their loans with their low income salaries due to the wages of a recent graduate normally has, which leads to rough situations. Few people like high school advisors are trying to help control the debt by informing students and parents, but both they have not had a profound impact yet.
For many students going to college in the US comes with a very important economic decision. Many families think of college as an investment, the money spent on tuition and fees would be covered by potential earnings the graduate would have. However tuition has had a high increase over the last decades. As Dell’s article points out “… the cost of college has soared 538% over the past 30 years” (pg.42).
Many high school students look to get into their dream college which in most cases has tuition costs that may not be suitable for their economic standings. Regardless of these factors and without thinking on probable consequences, some students end up over borrowing money. This situation have led to a rise on unpaid loans plus and an increase on the number loans, making the national student-loan debt a public concern.
High school advisors and nonprofit organizations are working to control the situation. People like Bob Giannino-Rancine or Kantrowitz are trying to inform and prevent parents and students of over borrowing money to pay college. They try to find out ways to make expenses cheaper during college years, or suggest students to get into a community college for the first two years and then transfer. However they know their work has no effect on the problems if students do not think maturely on the matter.
Wilson’s article expresses that taking a loan to go to college is a worth effort decision, some sacrifices may be needed but in the end it is an investment that pays. By quoting Lauren J. Asher she clarifies her point “A college degree is still a good investment, but the financial risk for the student has increased”. Wilson also says that there are plenty of “silent” students who are repaying their student-loans without moaning about it. These students are also the ones who had borrowed reasonable amounts of money. She says “Of the 65 percent who face debt, the average they owe is around $20,000. That is just below the starting price of a 2009 Ford Escape.”(pg. 257), and that “About 8 percent of undergraduates borrow at least double national average” (pg. 257).
According to Wilson’s article there are a lot of cases of students who pay their loans while living a regular life. For example the case of Mr. Carter a borrower of a $30,000 student-loan who says “We definitely have been able to live like normal people”. Also cases of students like Sara M. Harrington who now has a 9 month-old daughter with her husband. Although she limits herself to have just one car, use cloth diapers, breast-feed her baby and avoid expensive nights out to repay her $23,000 student-loan. She still has enough money to form time to time buy some expensive things like a big screen TV or patio furniture. Proving that repaying a loan it is a manageable situation.
In contrast Dell does not believe that student loans are productive for students nor society, in fact she thinks it is hurting them. The article shows how this situation has gotten out of control and that in various cases student-loans are rather a prejudicial than a beneficial economic decision. She specifies that college education is still paying more than just a high school education but, employment rates is a factor also to be consider. “If you go to a four-year college and get a degree and can’t use it in the labor market, you’re not getting much of a return on that investment,” (pg.41).
As well as Wilson, Dell also narrates people situations in the article to show the profound impact a student-loan debt can have. For example the case of Jeri Leigh McDowell a student who is still living with his mom and is looking for a better job than her $9.50 per hour job at a hotel to repay her $90,000 loan. Who says “Every-one at my high school was super impressed when I got into Tulane, and I thought it would open doors. I was an idiot” (pg.44). This and other students like Amanda Vodola are working exhaustively long periods of times to repay their loans. Not only is hard to repay the loans it is extremely difficult to get out of them. Dell states that “In 2008, only 0.04% of student-loan recipient filed for bankruptcy succeeded in getting their college loans dismissed”. And also adds to her article this whole debt situation is not only affecting students but also society in general by reporting that “41% of borrowers who entered repayment in 2005 became delinquent or defaulted within five years” (pg. 43)
High tuition costs made necessary for some students the acquisition of student- loans in order to finance their education. However this is not the increasing debt major cause, the main causes are students who over borrow money without thinking in the consequences. Points of view may vary from person to person, some as Dell may think that taking a student-loan is a very risky decision that should be controlled and sometimes avoided. Others like Wilson believe that loans should be controlled too, but loans as they are right now are worth it. There are ways to lighten college expenses like reducing meal plans or transferring form a community college but is hard for parents and to students to admit that their dream college is not going to be good option.
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