The Long Road to Financial Success
55932260 - blurred background of students in cap and gown at their graduation ceremonies.
This is not to say that recent college graduates are having an easy time in the job market. With more graduates being churned out of colleges every year, the workforce needs to absorb them at an increasing pace. Many recent grads are finding it difficult to compete with people who are already employed at companies with the requisite experience to do the job well. In 2012, the American Economic Journal conducted a study which indicated that graduates in poor labor markets are likely to lose as much as 9% of their annual earnings across the board. However, within a decade those losses will be erased.
One of the most troubling aspects of a high-class college education is student loan debt. Since US college education comes at a premium, students are compelled to take out loans to finance their education. Presently, student loan debt is $1.2 trillion + and growing fast. The average balance on a college graduate’s student loan debt is $29,000 + and there are some 40 million people using student loans to finance their education. The sheer cost of education is one of its most crippling drawbacks. Especially for students who may not qualify for all the loans and entitlements they need.
In fact, the problem has become so severe that young people are delaying big-ticket purchases like homes, vehicles, and vacations because they are buried in student loan debt. The social costs are equally restrictive, and people are choosing to marry later in life once they have their finances in order. There are ways around paying for education, notably federal government grants, and loans. College students, and those wanting to attend an institution of higher learning will do well to read a FAFSA guide on how to apply for Federal student aid. An increasing number students at US colleges are benefiting from funds transfers from friends and relatives abroad to supplement their tuition costs. In this vein, the increasing prosperity in the global economy is helping to reverse part of the student debt burden that is being placed on new immigrants in the US.
Educated employees stand the best chances of Gainful Employment
There is no doubt that college-educated professionals have a far greater likelihood of being gainfully employed than those with a high school diploma. The problem is that student debt is a daunting prospect and one which is unlikely to go away anytime soon. The upward mobility that education promises its students is being stifled by crippling student loan debt that acts contrary to the motivation for education.
Those who are able to pay for a college education without incurring significant debt are in a much better position than the majority of folks who require financial assistance to get ahead. The statistics paint a positive picture for those holding bachelor’s degrees or advanced degrees, versus those with just a high school diploma or less. The percentage of employed people with advanced degrees is typically 97%, while those with less than a high school diploma is lower at 88%.