College education in America is a bad joke. Instead of preparing the next generation of leaders for the jobs of tomorrow, the college education “industry” has become a giant money making scam. We constantly preach to our high school students that they “need” to go to college and we tell them to not even worry about how much it is going to cost because a college education is “always” worth the money. Then we lend them outrageous amounts of money so that they can pay the gigantic bills for the “education” that they are receiving. But the truth is that the quality of education at America’s colleges and universities is absolutely abysmal these days. I spent 8 years at U.S. universities, and most of the courses that I took could have been passed by the family dog. Sadly, once our young people graduate they quickly discover that there are way too many college graduates and not nearly enough good jobs. Today, we have millions upon millions of young Americans that are enslaved to student loan debt for the rest of their lives. They were promised a bright future, but instead most of them are discovering that they are going to be working really hard to pay off financial predators for decades to come. Unfortunately, for most college graduates a diploma is simply a ticket to a crappy job and a lifetime of debt slavery.
The following are 35 shocking facts that prove that college education in America has become a giant money making scam….
The Student Loan Debt Bubble
#1 After adjusting for inflation, U.S. college students are borrowing about twice as much money as they did a decade ago.
#2 According to the College Board, college tuition is absolutely soaring.
Average tuition and fees at public colleges rose 8.3 percent this year and, with room and board, now exceed $17,000 a year, according to the College Board.
#3 Average yearly tuition at private universities in the United States is now up to $27,293. That figure has increased by 29% in just the past five years.
#4 In America today, approximately two-thirds of all college students graduate with student loan debt.
#5 In 2010, the average college graduate had accumulated approximately $25,000 in student loan debt by graduation day.
#6 According to the Student Loan Debt Clock, total student loan debt in the United States will surpass the 1 trillion dollar mark in early 2012.
#7 The total amount of student loan debt in the United States now exceeds the total amount of credit card debt in the United States.
#8 Over the past 25 years, the cost of college tuition has increased at an average rate that is approximately 6% higher than the general rate of inflation.
#9 Back in 1952, a full year of tuition at Harvard was only $600. Today, it is $35,568.
#10 The cost of college textbooks has tripled over the past decade.
#11 One survey found that 23 percent of all college students actually use credit cards to pay for tuition or fees.
#12 According to recent Pew Research Center polling, 75% of all Americans believe that college is too expensive for most Americans to afford.
#13 College has become so expensive that it is causing many college students to do desperate things in order to pay for it. For example, an increasing number of young college women are actively advertising on the Internet for “sugar daddies” who will help them pay their college bills.
#14 The student loan default rate has nearly doubled since 2005.
#15 Approximately 14 percent of all students that graduate with student loan debt end up defaulting within 3 years of making their first student loan payment.
The Quality Of College Education In America Stinks
#16 The typical U.S. college student spends less than 30 hours a week on academics.
#17 According to very extensive research detailed in a new book entitled “Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses”, 45 percent of all U.S. college students exhibit “no significant gains in learning” after two years in college.
#19 35% of U.S. college students spend 5 hours or less studying per week.
#20 50% of U.S. college students have never taken a class where they had to write more than 20 pages.
#21 32% of U.S. college students have never taken a class where they had to read more than 40 pages in a week.
#22 U.S. college students spend 24% of their time sleeping, 51% of their time socializing and 7% of their time studying.
#23 Federal statistics reveal that only 36 percent of the full-time students who began college in 2001 received a bachelor’s degree within four years.
Not Enough Jobs For College Graduates
#24 Only 55.3% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 were employed last year. That was the lowest level that we have seen since World War II.
#25 According to the Economic Policy Institute, the “official” unemployment rate for college graduates younger than 25 years old was 9.3 percent in 2010.
#26 One-third of all college graduates end up taking jobs that don’t even require college degrees.
#27 In the United States today, there are more than 100,000 janitors that have college degrees.
#28 In the United States today, 317,000 waiters and waitresses have college degrees.
#29 In the United States today, approximately 365,000 cashiers have college degrees.
#30 In the United States today, 24.5 percent of all retail salespeople have a college degree.
#31 The percentage of mail carriers with a college degree is now 4 times higher than it was back in 1970.
#32 Right now, there are 5.9 million Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 that are living with their parents.
#33 According to one recent survey, only 14 percent of all Americans that are 28 or 29 years old are optimistic about their financial futures.
#34 Record numbers of Americans are going to college, but incomes for young American adults just keep falling. Since the year 2000, incomes for U.S. households led by someone between the ages of 25 and 34 have fallen by about 12 percent after you adjust for inflation.
#35 Once they get out into the “real world”, 70% of all college graduates wish that they had spent more time preparing for the “real world” while they were still in school.
So is going to college always a bad idea?
Of course not.
But it is a huge gamble.
There is no guarantee that all of the time, money and effort that you put into getting a college education is going to pay off with a promising career.
If you want to go to college, my advice would be to get someone else to pay for it. Failing that, try to get the best quality education that you can at the lowest price possible.
And try to go into as little debt as you possibly can in the process.
Today, there are millions of college students that wish that they had done things differently.
For example, the following student loan horror story comes from a recent Business Insider article….
“I am the first in my family to go to college. Without family support, I self-financed three college degrees (BA, MA and PhD) at state colleges between 1988 and 2005 using Pell Grants, multiple jobs, scholarships and $90,000 in subsidized and un-subsidized student loans.
My loans have been bought and sold so many times it is impossible to keep track of changes in rates, balances and terms of service since I have never had to resign any promissory notes. Eventually, I was able to consolidate the loans with Sallie Mae at a 7% interest rate. My loan payments have ranged from $400-600/mo. depending on the loan provider and lowest possible payment option available.
…I am currently a public school teacher with an income of $50,000, barely enough income to pay the interest-only payments. I have never missed a payment in over ten years … and my loan balance stands at $105,000. To date, I have paid over $40,000 in loan payments and because my income restricts me to interest-only payments, and the 7% daily capitalized interest rate, I now owe $15,000 more than I borrowed….
My student loan situation has nothing to do with a lack of financial responsibility.
I have never missed a student loan payment and I have paid off $20,000 in credit card debt and a $10,000 car loan since graduation. I have no mortgage or any other outstanding debt, just my student loans. I have a credit score of 820. However, because of the usurious interest rates, capitalization of interest and the sole option of interest-only payments, I will never be able to pay off my student loan.
It’s just not possible, unless I win the lottery.“
Please learn a lesson from those that have gone before you.
Student loan debt is very cruel and it can ruin your life.
So do you have a student loan debt horror story to share? Or do you have an opinion about the money making scam that college education in America has become?