Its not very often when I spot a great article on college debt and then see it posted by another writer who focuses on this social disaster. However, that is what happened yesterday when I read Ken Serranos article (Massive College Debt Can Burden Graduates for Decades) which appeared in USA Today and soon saw a link to it on Glenn Reynolds Instapundit cite. (Reynolds is quoted in the article.)
Most poignant is the story of Kathleen Bijas, 27, an emergency room nurse from New Jersey who makes $60,000 per year and has $160,000 in student loans. Her monthly loan payments total $1,608. Two paragraphs capture much about the financial situation in which she now finds herself:
Saddled with $160,000 in student loans, the emergency room nurse from Ocean Township uses about half of her take-home pay to whittle down her debt, she said. At 27, she lives at home with her parents while the $1,608-a-month payments take their toll despite a stable job and comfortable salary.
I wont be able to buy a home. I cant buy a car, said Bijas, who now makes about $60,000 a year. The idea of getting married and getting kids is frightening. If I can't afford to move out of my parents house, how can I afford to raise someone? Its all going right out the window.
Ms. Bijas really hits the nail on the head. College loan indebtedness will affect the housing industry, the auto industry, and the formation of families for decades. It will slow any economic recovery.
It is time to stop increasing loan amounts and produce cost-saving alternatives to bricks-and-mortar colleges. As Professor Reynolds notes in the article, You shouldn't have to borrow six figures to get a college education.