A college education is more expensive than ever before, and debt-saddled students are graduating in an environment where perhaps half of them can expect to land jobs in their fields. After awhile, you have to wonder if it’s worth the cost.
Megan McArdle at the Daily Beast argues that it might not be. She draws an uncomfortable parallel between college education and the housing bubble.
“I have certainly benefited greatly from the education my parents sacrificed to give me,” she writes. “On the other hand, that kind of education has gotten a whole lot more expensive since I was in school, and jobs seem to be getting scarcer, not more plentiful. These days an increasing number of commentators are nervously noting the uncomfortable similarities to the housing bubble, which started with parents telling their children that ‘renting is throwing your money away,’ and ended in mass foreclosures.”
And while the sheriff can’t come to the door and repossess your education, she notes that neither can anyone necessarily rescue you from your loans. Even bankruptcy doesn’t necessarily get you out of paying.
Ultimately, in the absence of massive changes within the system, the best thing for students to do is to seriously examine their goals when choosing a particular college — not always an easy solution for a teenager, but one that could save them big bucks in the long run.
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