[Opinion] Is Student Debt Worth It?

[Opinion] Is Student Debt Worth It?

Chloe Marasigan, Editor

As spring approaches graduating seniors are faced with the task to select which colleges to attend and juniors are urged to narrow their own university list; however, one factor is evident in the elimination process—student debt.

Authority figures’ opinions regarding student debt are often a two-sided coin, either the money owed will be a liability students will soon regret, or debt is a small price to pay for an unforgettable college experience.

The latter is frequently spread by university recruiters who market towards open-minded students and emphasize the benefits of attending their college because it is their job, not because they care about their students’ well-being after they obtain a degree. They will seduce students with amenities the school offers such as “state-of the art gymnasiums” or “luxurious libraries” and overall, “the college experience you can only get here!” Statements like these are often highlighted because recruiters are aware of their extreme tuition, resulting in them focusing on the positive aspects of their campus. Recruiters know that if they display the tuition to their entire audience, students with budgets may reconsider their options, so another common endorsement is that scholarships and financial aid will help pay off these debts.

Regardless of any guaranteed luxuries, it should not overshadow the possibility of the “college experience” not being everything recruiters and media advertise. Media portrays college to be a “once-in-a-lifetime experience” and while it’s true you only go to college in your young years once, there is no contract ensuring the college experience will be enjoyable for everyone who attends.

The question remains, is the gamble of earning a degree and living the early American dream worth risking a student debt?

Truly, there is no right or wrong answer. One student may heavily value the experience they may have attending college while another may primarily care about the degree. But the real truth is, recruiters should not conceal the accurate sum students will need to pay off, and media needs to end romanticizing the supposed lively college experience that is not even guaranteed. Without complete information it deceives students and leaves gaps of crucial facts they need in order to choose the right school for them.

The problem lies in there not being enough valid resources for students to research and learn about what student debt will actually entail.

To resolve this, high schools and colleges should facilitate in-depth information sessions regarding student debt and loans. If recruiters were to provide true facts it would implement a more honest and healthy environment for students and can allow more effective conversations to take place in learning how to deal with debt if they wish to attend an expensive college.