Is attending the “dream” college worth the high price? In the article “A Lifetime of Student Debt? Not Likely,” by Robin Wilson, the reporter for Chronicle of the Higher Education, explains the fallacy of educational debt for students and the benefits of receiving a college degree.
Wilson claims that the problem with educational debt is that students are borrowing money carelessly, managing debt unwisely, and ignoring advisors purposely.Wilson argues that the concern is not the amount of money being borrowed, but the number of students borrowing money. The fiscal management of loans is a growing concern with students in today’s society. Wilson reports, “In 1993, Project on Student Debt has found, fewer than half of graduating seniors had loans, compared with 65 percent in 2003-4” (261). In other words, Wilson believes the number of students borrowing money from banks has elevated over time (261). Students see the opportunity to borrow money and do not necessarily focus on the necessity, yet the availability (261). For the most part, Wilson claims that many students do not pay enough attention to the amount of money they are borrowing.
Wilson believes that students who are attending college over exaggerate the amount of debt they owe and do not know how to manage money correctly. Those that borrow money for a four-year degree are in debt of approximately $18,000, and although there are many students without student debt, there are multiple students with a tremendous quantity of borrowed money (Wilson 258). In addition, she believes students are in debt because of the occupation and college they have chosen (Wilson 258). Wilson herself writes, “Part of the confusion over the student-loan issue is that undergraduate debt is frequently conflated with graduate and professional-school debt–which is typically much, much higher” (259). In other words, students befuddle debt by combining higher education with lower education (Wilson 259). In reality, separating the debt from undergraduate years is essential due to the time by which debt has to be paid.
If those debts are not paid off timely, interests ensue and because of that Wilson argues in this article that student debt is out of proportion compared to appropriate fiscal management.As a final point, Wilson provides the idea that advisors are aware of the complexity of college loans and there should be no reason for students to ignore advisors. She explains that counselors that work in the educational department know the struggle with managing loans (Wilson 264). Jacqueline E. King, assistant vice president for policy analysis at the American Council on Education, states, “College academic advisers are intimidated by the complexity of financial aid” (qtd. in Wilson 264). This claim supports Wilson’s thoughts because she reports that an enormous number of students are taking out additional loans which complicate the ability for students to control their debt (264).
As an example, Wilson uses the University of Syracuse, and shows statistics that 63 percent of the university’s students took out loans; this data shows that the University of Syracuse is the college with the most students borrowing money (264). Donald A. Saleh, vice president for enrollment management at Syracuse University, states that we can educate and caution students about what we think is right, but if they can borrow money, we cannot prevent that from happening (qtd. in Wilson 265). This information proves that educators at a college cannot keep students from taking out too many loans (265).
Although college advisors and educators cannot prevent students from borrowing money, it is incumbent on educators and advisors to advise a student on wise investing. In conclusion, advisors and students should know that not over-borrowing money, staying out of debt, and controlling student loans, are essential aspects of going to college. Not only should a student look at other schools besides their dream school, utilizing programs and accessing available scholarships through the universities and their school is a smart decision. In her article “A Lifetime of Student Debt? Not Likely,” Robin Wilson proclaims that students can lower their debt and that student loans are manageable. So instead of choosing the “dream” college, Wilson believes students should choose the most financially fit school.