EDITORIAL: College loans could be a perfect storm for future economic problems
As the nation recovers from a deep recession caused by long-ignored problems in the housing market and on Wall Street, lawmakers and university officials would be wise to tackle student loan debt now.
Otherwise, high unemployment and anemic growth could become the new normal.
Outstanding student loan debt now stands at $956 billion, according to a recent Federal Reserve report. That number will continue to rise and threaten the nation's long-term economic health as more and more young people saddled with debt have less money to spend.
That's why it's vital for everyone from President Barack Obama to state lawmakers and university officials to play a part in solving this problem.
There's no clear-cut solution to this problem, and it certainly won't be an easy fix, but creating a committee to review the recipients of the loans before approving them would be a good start.
Right now, it's too easy to borrow money without being aware of the consequences.
From the time members of this Editorial Board were in middle school, we were always told to go to college because it will increase our chances of getting a job. Now, however, it's not looking that way.
In a tough economy, some are told that more schooling is the answer: Go to grad school, get a doctorate degree. Other times, some are choosing a life of struggle in the form of working their way up the ladder.
The trouble is that college is no longer affordable. Higher education has, for lack of a better term, turned into a pyramid scheme.
The government, the state and university officials have promised, duped us really, into thinking being more than $30,000 in debt before we are 25 is a better option than staying in our hometowns and saving money.
When really, college isn't the right choice for everyone.
It's not clear for this generation how this push for higher education is going to turn out. But we aren't viewing the glass half full, but rather one that has been slowly lending itself to other causes.