College should be one of the most memorable times in a person's life, not a time of financial stress, anxiety, and hopelessness. However, with the rising cost of attending college and student loan debt more than quadrupling over the past two decades, obtaining a degree is proving to be a strain, especially for students who are financially burdened. One group of low-income students from Columbia University is using social media to shed light on the dismal realities of being a poor student in one of the most prestigious and expensive Ivy League schools in the nation, with a Facebook page entitled Columbia University Class Confessions.
Many students graduate with epic amounts of student loan debt -- unless they attend one of seven work colleges in the US. These colleges require students to be employed at the school in any one of a variety of roles, both to earn money for tuition and to gain real-life work experience as they go, thus making college more affordable.
While the student debt crisis remains a hot-button issue on a national scale, Oregon lawmakers have come up with a novel idea for funding higher education: Have students pay a small percentage of their salary over the span of many years.
As the cost of college soars to unsustainable heights, its efficacy has been seriously called into question. Students now have direct access to employers, open-access online courses and a jaded outlook of "finding the right fit" when selecting a place to pursue their higher education. With so many colleges giving such a low return on investment, more people demand to know what they're actually paying for.