College Grads’ Optimism Overshadowed By Crippling Student Loan Debt

By Ana Veciana-Suarez
Tribune News Service

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Total U.S. student debt rose to a record-breaking $1.31 trillion in 2016, the 18th year in a row to make a new high at a time when other household debt has declined.

Tribune News Service

Listen to commencement speakers at college graduations this season and you’ll be inspired to scale mountains, discover cures, end hunger, invent a pollution-free energy source, and write The Great American Novel. In short, you’ll be pumped to chase dreams.

But why, oh why hasn’t anyone challenged graduates to figure out a way to tackle the student loan crisis?

Total U.S. student debt rose to a record-breaking $1.31 trillion in 2016, the 18th year in a row to make a new high at a time when other household debt has declined, according to a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

What’s more, the amount grads owe after they toss their mortarboards into the air keeps inching up, and up, and up.

More than two-thirds leave college owing money, to the tune of $37,172 on average.

Most former students I know, however, owe a lot more, and that liability is both millstone and shackle.

This is a generation overwhelmed by debt, and not because they’re shopping at Zara and H&M, either.

In fact, student loan debt is about $620 billion more than the total U.S. credit card debt, a fact I want to reiterate because I’m tired of watching my self-righteous peers wagging a collective finger at newly minted graduates.

It also goes a long way in explaining why this younger generation can’t afford rent, can’t buy houses, and delays marriage and other “adulting” milestones.

I know it’s tempting to blame irresponsible parents who didn’t save enough for college or slacker millennials who want everything handed to them.

Related News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *