Facebook Poll: Should High School Graduates Worry About Racking Up School Debt?

Posted on 05/03/2012

More than half of college graduates with bachelor’s degrees under the age of 25 either couldn’t find a job or were underemployed according to a recent analysis by the Associated Press. National Public Radio reports that Americans now owe more on student loans than they owe on credit cards-- $857 billion in student debt compared to $704 billion in credit card debt. So as high school graduates prepare to enter the world of higher education, we wanted to know whether you thought they need to take school debt into consideration.

Jordana Megonigal: I don't know if you can worry about School Debt in the form of Education loans, but they DO need to worry about the "school debt" in the form of credit cards and that sort!! Two different sets of rules for two different types of debt....

Patricia McCorkle Crandall: We all did. My children did and do. It's just a part of life for us. We got nothing free! My children also worked a minimum of 20 hours a week all through college in order to have spending money. The three of us are still paying off their loans. I think it establishes responsibility and awareness.

Colin Tice: There should be more time spent educating prospective students on ways to finance their education. I have heard some horror stories of high interest rates and tax returns being garnished. As well, some people are delaying loans 5 and 6 years after graduating and destroying credit ratings. So then they are forced to rent when they could be investing in a home. My high school offered no input on this. They handed us FAFSA forms with a packet of College brochures and that was it.
Rusty Stafford: Of course. Debt is not a tool to gain wealth; which is a common motivator for prospective students to attend a college or university.

Zachary Weldy: Absolutely High School grads should worry about debt. They need to understand 1. The school you go to doesn't really matter in most any real work situations. Keep that in mind when pricing schools. 2. You can't go in debt $80k for a social workers or Psych Masters degree, because that information just isn't worth that much unless you can pay for it. 3. And most importantly because of the long-term implications, debt is serious, and there is no distinction between 'good' or 'bad' debt. Ultimately a $1 owed to another man is $1 worth of claim that man has only your life regardless of what it is for. Small school loans aren't necessarily the end of the world, but it is very serious. Financial ruin, personal or national, is all the same regardless if you got there by making 'investments' in education or whatever other good thing. Grads better worry about it.

Jodee German Moffett: Yes they should worry. I know people who have college degrees and are not even working in their field. College is not for everyone.
Starr Hammond: I am trying to get this point across to my two teenagers right now. Today's generation just doesn't understand debt and the implications. We should be counteracting all of these credit card offers our seniors are getting with lessons on interest and bankruptcy!

Rhiannon Wells: Yes. Some degrees are useless. They need to really think about what they want to do and work toward training toward a specific field before they go to school!

John Verstraete: I have become very anti-bank/anti-debt over the last couple years, and I want to pass that on to my kids. God willing, and if I stay responsible with my finances, my kids shouldn't have to shoulder much burden for college. There's also a good lesson to be learned in paying your own way through. Another thought is that although things may be very different in 20 years when my future kids may be going to college, at least kids these days need to realize that with our tough economy and change in market dynamics, many degrees won't pay off like they used to. Graduating is not going to mean you'll have the job to pay the school loans, let alone the big dreams of new car and home on top of all that.

Beth Marshall: I vote with Dave Ramsey on this one- If a four year college is your plan, consider an awesome state school rather than private. Great value for the money and lots of scholarship $$ available.

Marina Ponton: I think it is important to educate new high school grads about what school debt really means. In the work place, it’s about education and experience... not just education. Being practical can make a huge difference when you are a new college grad and have to start paying the bills!

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