Today’s student debt will be an economic issue for the next fifty years.
A college degree was once an investment in the future: a path to a good job, a home, a healthy family, and a retirement. Today, while the U.S. Department of Education is raking in record profits, right behind Exxon and Apple, students are postponing their futures to pay their loans. Due to inflating tuition costs, a weak job market, and a multi-trillion-dollar student loan industry that can’t be escaped even through bankruptcy, college graduates are finding themselves locked out of the middle class. Their future – and ours is at risk. The entire economy is suffering for the rich to get richer.
Across the U.S., student loan debt is still on the rise.
- Total education debt in the U.S. approached $1.2 trillion in 2013. Outstanding student debt has more than doubled since 2005.
- 38.8 million Americans carried student loan debt in 2012, up 56 percent since 2005. Average debt per borrower reached $24,800 in 2012, up 33 percent since 2005.
- In 2009-2010, outstanding student loan debt surpassed U.S. credit card debt and auto loan debt. Student debt is now the second largest balance of household debt after mortgage debt.
Did you know:
The U.S. Department of Education is forecast to earn $127 billion in profit over the next decade from lending to college students – according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Private companies like Sallie Mae make millions on servicing these loans, turning college students into a new cash cow.
This month, the Alliance for a Just Society delivered a letter to the U.S. Department of Education calling for an end to profiting off the backs of college students.
In mid-May, the Department of Justice fined Sallie Mae $97 million for a host of illegal behaviors including overcharging military service members’ loans, and mishandling borrowers’ payments to maximize late fees and penalties.
We need your help. Please take this survey.
Tell us about your student loan debt.
We’re collecting information from across the country about the burden of student loan debt — its impact on your plans and your future.
In the 1960s, tuition at public colleges and universities was low cost or nearly free. Students could work full time during the summer at minimum wage and more than cover the cost of a tuition and books for the next year.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
We are asking every state and the U.S. government to prioritize a debt free college education.
Please take and share the survey with your friends.
image credit: The Week
Your future and our economy are at stake.