Harvard Article: Student Debt Problem Is Not About High Tuition Fees


Student debt has become a national problem worth more than $1 trillion. However, one Harvard Business School article said that the real problem involves more than high tuition fees. The author of the article has presented several points why student debt has become a problem. The first reason that was stated was because most college students choose programs with poor employment outcomes.

Majors, such as engineering, computer science, accounting, and those that have quantitative reasoning, will much more likely yield high returns for those who got them. On the other hand, those who earned degrees in arts and humanities, psychology, and other non-quantitative majors are more likely to malemployment - being in jobs that do not really require a bachelor's degree. Moreover, those who have a master's degree, no matter what they majored in, will not suffer malemployment.

If a person finds himself in a job that does not require a bachelor's degree, that also means he or she will receive a salary that is lower than what they expect. Therefore, if they finish college with a debt, paying that will be a burden because the salary they're receiving is not enough.

The second reason why a student gets into debt is because they select costly institutions or kept an expensive college lifestyle. Students need to change this kind of mentality and instead look for more affordable options with quality and have comparable employment outcomes.

The third and final reason why students find themselves burdened with college debt is because they fail to complete college. If a students wracks up debt during his freshmen to junior years in college and then suddenly stops, they will find themselves in the same situation as the first group - in jobs with low returns.

In order to avoid wracking up unreasonable college debt that will be difficult to pay off, students and parents should consider education as an investment. They have to consider whether the investment they will put will gain higher rewards in the future. Then, it could help them avoid pitfalls that would lead to overblown student loans.

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