IVY LEAGUE??!! MILLENNIALS AND COLLEGE
One of my favorite commercials of all time was the one where a young daughter got accepted to an Ivy League School. The middle class parent kept wondering the house saying “IVY LEAGUE” in a daze. At the end of the commercial he is renting out his daughter’s room to an apparent Russian immigrant named Yuri.
College has become one of the biggest issues for those of us who are middle class and have millennials. Student debt has reached on average $35000 + and this is just for a 4 year degree. Imagine what it is for Ivy league enrollees or students who continue on to earn a graduate degree.
We have drilled into our millennials heads that the only way to have a successful career is to enter into an academic institution of higher learning and throw hundreds of thousands of dollars at an education in hopes to be wealthy.
This way of thinking has gotten us with incredible amounts of student debt along with millennials ever older staying with their parents because of said debt. The Pew Research Center data shows that in 1960 only 24% of young adults total—men and women—were living with mom and dad. In 2014 43% of young men were living at home, which is the highest rate since 1940 and in 2013 according to Pew 45% of women college students lived with their parent.
These numbers are staggering. There are several factors that play major roles in this. First every high school program across America promote College Prep curriculum. On the surface this is an amazingly great thing for our youth. However, what about those who cannot afford to go to college or just do not want to. What happened to the trade industry? I would contend a degree in general studies would have far less value than a trade skill learned such as carpentry.
We have made college the be all end all. We have pushed our kids to go to school to better themselves but in reality is they leave school $1000’s of dollars in debt are they truly bettering themselves? I have a good friend who has a married Niece who is paying over $700 per month in student loan debt. The both are professionals with very good degrees but essentially they are paying a second rent. They are scrapping and scrounge when 20 years ago they would be firmly entrenched in the upper middle class.
Imagine for a minute what it would be like for us back in the late 80’s or early 90’s to start out with a $500 per month student loan bill? I doubt we would be any better off. We as a generation need to help swing the pendulum back to cost effective and functional education.
The second part of our issue is the functional education. Do kids need to be steered back into the trade industry? Should we offer opportunities in school that do not involve college as the only means of education? Other countries have kids at a very young age pick either path. We give our children one choice go to college or fail. Is this truly the right choice?
For those of you who still have students in your home who have not entered college age, promote as little student debt as possible. Encourage them to attend school and so something they like AND can get paid for it. If your millennial is not quite ready for college material send them to a trade school or let them work for a while before they enter school. Encourage kids to look for life skills they can enjoy and find methods to pay for these skills.
Lastly something has to be done about our current educational system. We cannot continue to give these kids the amount of debt they are starting out with and actually expect them to not default on it. We are headed for a banking crisis in this country based on student loan debt. A new chart made by FindTheBest shows not only has college tuition grown significantly faster than inflation, health care costs or the price of food, but higher education has gotten much more expensive due to a stagnant median income in the United States
We cannot continue at this rate and expect our kids to survive. We are creating a large amount of debtor millennials and then end results cannot be good.