Throughout the United States, Canada, and abroad, the media is swirling with constant news articles covering the student debt crisis that is crushing the lives of young adults. With skyrocketing tuition costs and a less than stellar job market after receiving their diploma, financial aids and grants that are insufficient to cover tuition costs, we are told that graduates will be paying off their college loans for years. Since college graduates are now supposedly delaying major life milestones like marriage and buying a house in order to repay all their student debts, some journalists have even stated that students are questioning whether a college degree is an affordable choice.
However, the idea that the generation walking across the stage each May is more disadvantaged than any other generation before them is simply false. While the media claims that the problem is with student debt, the truth is that student expectations are soaring higher than is realistically achievable. The vast majority of young college graduates were not immediately rewarded for their studies with a fulfilling, high-paying position to lead a middle-class lifestyle right out of the gate. For decades, graduates have been underemployed at the low end of the totem pole with squat salaries while living in the cheapest rented space possible.
The latest student debt crisis as a whole is a myth as studies have proven that debt has actually held steady through the past few years. In fact, interest rates have made the average payments on student loans lower than ever at an average of just $276 a month on borrowed money around $25,000. Taking a closer look at the situation, it becomes apparent that tuition fees are not soaring as advertised. Factoring in tax credit and rebates, net tuition as the percentage of family income has increased by only 3 percent in the last ten years. While it may be true that the job market is fairly more competitive than in the past, graduates should be willing to move for jobs, pay off the debt fast, and move on.