Living in East Lansing, Michigan, the home of Michigan State University, the cost of higher education is around $450 per credit hour. Multiply that by the average 12-16 credit hours taken by a full time students. You're looking at over $11,000 for a Fall/Spring semesters worth of classes. Most American families have a hard time sending one child to college, imagine 3 or 4. But there's hope with community college and saving a lot of money. Lansing Community College is only $85 per credit hour and you might even see the same professors there. These are the numbers and they grow every year. So, how does the average student pay for classes.
In 2015, college debt has already surpassed 1 trillion dollars. The inevitable pop is bound to happen in my lifetime and that's a scary thought. 2008's downward spiral of the world economy is still having ramifications to this day. The news may tell you consistent growth month over month is happening and that unemployment is lower than ever before. Sure, with low paying jobs, the highest incarceration rate in the world, and the least skilled millennials waiting to take charge. Even with a degree, I know people still at home making less than most who work in retail. This all sounds like the end is coming, but a tide of changes to policies and regulations would have to happen on Capitol Hill.
I'm not holding my breath on that one.
The impending fuckstorm could kill the institution that is supposed to train the workforce to live the "American Dream". Colleges are already receiving minimal government assistance while Nike & Adidas cut checks to your local colleges Athletic Department. What we might be witnessing is the full privatization of all colleges once the loans stop since no one is even making minimum payments. Unable to clear student loans with bankruptcy will have paychecks being held until the debt is paid off. Loans will become hard to come by like in the housing crisis, millions will be unable to attend a school of their choice, and colleges will certainly lose on enrollments. This could bring vocational schooling into the spotlight or hell who knows, colleges might lower their tuition to sustain enrollments. There's a future of uncertainty is a country that's dealing with so much change in the social, economic, and political climate.
This conversation is far from being over, but why don't we start talking about. At least to prepare for what is bound to come. Sweeping things under the rug or kicking the can is what America loves to do. The same thing we've done with racism and see where that's gotten us.
Can't really stop thinking about this as I go to school, but at least I know to do it sans loans.