The Occupy Movement’s Common Thread Is Anger, writes the New York Times. Many thought a college degree — in any subject — would lead to a good job.
In Boston, a hub of colleges and universities, a higher education theme emerged among protesters. “What did I spend the last four years doing?” asked Becky De Freitas, a recent graduate of Gordon College in Wenham, Mass. “Fluent in Mandarin and French and no one wants to go for that? And it’s like, now what?”
Gordon, a private college, estimates that tuition, fees, room and board will cost $39,040 a year. While most students receive scholarships and grants, De Freitas is likely to owe quite a bit for her Mandarin and French fluency.
College debt will exceed $1 trillion this year, reports USA today. In 2010 alone, students borrowed $100 billion.
Students are borrowing twice what they did a decade ago after adjusting for inflation, the College Board reports. Total outstanding debt has doubled in the past five years — a sharp contrast to consumers reducing what’s owed on home loans and credit cards.
Defaults are up, despite federal forbearance options.
The credit risk falls on young people who will start adult life deeper in debt, a burden that could place a drag on the economy in the future.
“Students who borrow too much end up delaying life-cycle events such as buying a car, buying a home, getting married (and) having children,” says Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of FinAid.org.
“It’s going to create a generation of wage slavery,” predicts Nick Pardini, a Villanova University graduate student in finance.
Student loans can’t be discharged in bankruptcy.