Student Loan Debt Increases By $2K Every Second, Is Free College Tuition The Answer?By Chris Brandt
The Federal Reserve's Consumer Credit Report showed that as of March 2017, student loan debt is increasing by $2K every second. The real-time total student debt as of the writing of this article is $1,432,529,813,419 and it is still moving. By the time this article gets published, it will have increased more. Which brings us to a very important point - since many students have a hard time repaying their loans, legislation should really push for free college tuition. Wrong and here's why.
The primary cause why the student loan debt is ballooning is payment delinquency for various reasons. Two of the most common reasons are students have acquired other loans they need to repay and their income is not enough to make a repayment. The report revealed that 39 percent of those who have student loan debt said that one or more of their loans are in deferment and 18 percent are behind.
The report also revealed that educational attainment also plays an important factor on debt repayment. The percentage of those falling behind on their loan repayment is higher among those who completed less education than those who completed a higher level. Statistics showed that 26 percent of those lagging behind their repayment completed some college, a technical degree, or a certificate. On the other hand, 12 percent came from those who have completed a bachelor's degree.
These statistics reveal two things - how serious the problem is and free college is not the solution. The stark reality is a lot of colleges are not producing graduates that have the power to generate enough income that enables them to repay their loans.
An analysis of the Department of Education's College Scorecard data revealed that 36.5 percent of loan holding students at the average four-year public college are not able to earn more than $25,000 even six years after graduation. Another 22.2 percent of those who have student loan debts only started paying three years after they graduate.
To put everything in perspective, the problem does not really lie solely on the cost of college education nor the solution on free tuition. If universities, especially public and state universities, provide quality education to students, they are making them more well-equipped and giving them more opportunities to earn more when they graduate. If the graduates have more earning power, student loan debt repayment won't be a problem.