by Alexis Bonari
Children in the
No experience + overwhelming debt= financial nightmare
While our parents can be forgiven for encouraging us to all become the next President of the
The reality is quite straightforward. Finding a decent job is contingent upon two factors:
1. Having a degree.
Notice I said a degree, not two or three degrees with minors in five different subjects.
2. Having real-world experience on the job.
Too many college students fail to ask themselves what they’ll realistically be qualified for when they graduate. Science and technology majors MUST pursue an internship during their junior and/or senior years of school to be competitive in the recession economy. Liberal arts majors should try to work part-time at a company in their field of interest for most of their college careers.
Without experience, the job you get won’t even come close paying the numbers quoted by your college guidance counselor.
The role of universities and professors.
Professors also play a key role in the ever-increasing student debt trend. As a liberal arts major with two separate undergraduate degrees, I speak from experience. Well-meaning professors encourage students to get more than one undergraduate degree with the idea that multiple degrees will help the student land a higher paying job or will make for a more successful graduate school application. Multiple degrees leads to massively increased student loan debt. The extra degree makes little to no difference, and it costs thousands of dollars to achieve.
The golden ratio of debt.
Very few entering freshmen understand the golden ratio. This ratio is as follows: for every 10K you take out in debt, you will be paying from 100-150 in monthly loan payments for the ten years after graduation. When taking your salary into consideration, you also have to consider the effect of taxes. Student loans aren’t tax deductable. Your $30,000 salary ends up being $25,000 take-home. A $500/month student loan payment greatly reduces your standard of living. If more college students were told about the effects of debt in these terms, we would see a substantial decrease in student borrowing.
A little education goes a long way.
Essentially, every college and university should create a mandatory course for entering freshmen that teaches basic strategies for managing debt. Realistic salary and employment figures for all majors should also be provided. Students need to go into debt with their eyes open. The alternative is being a slave to debt for the first ten years of their working adult lives.
Bio: Alexis Bonari is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at onlinedegrees.org, researching areas of online education degrees. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.