Tuesday, September 4, 2012

(Opinion) student debt: The kids are not alright

There is much you can say about the world we inhabit, its cold, cruel, sadistic or on the positive side, full of possibilities, but for young people across the globe, It’s debt inducing. Student debt has always been an issue but now it is becoming a real problem to the point where analysts are touting it as the next crisis. In the US. According to an article in the mercury news, student debt will affect college graduates looking to buy a home will be denied due to student debt affecting the average graduate ‘debt -to- income ratio’[1]. This is no doubt attributable to student debt reaching the 1 trillion mark and graduates having to “carry a average burden of $25,250”[2].

The problem of student debt is even affecting students from relatively wealthy backgrounds with a jump from $26,639 to $32,869 within the space of three years[3]. As a result of affluence, better off households do not for the most part receive the financial assistance of scholarships and grants afforded to lower income households to offset the cost of student debt[4]. In knowledge of this, students from middle class to upper class backgrounds are now enrolling in less prestigious institutions in an attempt to offset the cost of attending a highly rated university[5].

Student debt has strong links as to why there are high rates of youth unemployment in many countries across the globe with “over 75 million (young people) worldwide looking for work”[6]. In Canada, students have struggled to find ‘summer jobs’ which has culminated in a employment reaching its lowest rate since 1977[7].
Students usually find it difficult to find work after graduating from high education institutions due to a lack of experience and a lack of positions to be filled. 

Such a trend has been experienced by law students as “law schools are becoming very expensive and are not always able to provide students with the job opportunities they were promised”[8]. This is because the application to enter such schools are just as competitive as the job market they will enter after they graduate as student are required to “distinguish themselves from other applicants. A good GPA, high scores on the LSAT and the ability to write are the most important qualities”[9].

In sum, Student debt will always been as it always has but with the current indicators suggesting that student will affect the progress of graduates through the monetary choices  must be addressed by through legislative efforts to help lighten the burden weighing heavily on student across the globe.

[1] T. Grant, 2012, Student Debt pushes homes out of reach, study finds,
[2] Ibid
[3] D. Kadlec, 2012, Student Debt: why even the affluent struggle,
[4] Ibid
[5] Ibid
[6] ILO, 2012, youth unemployment,
[7] L. Payton, 2012, student jobless rate shows need for government help, says MP,  http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/07/11/pol-students-youth-jobless-rate-high.html
[8] M. Ceppaglia, 2012, Job market affect Law Students,
[9] Ibid

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