Drowning in Debt

By Babette Res

College in America is not cheap compared with the rest of the world. When attending college, students take on loans of thousands of dollars to pay for it. These loans create a huge debt during and after their college life. What is it all worth for students to follow a proper study program for their future?

Especially in a time where having a degree for many jobs is much needed.

The competition for every random position is rising. College graduates are expected to have a large amount of experience, by doing lots of internships and fieldwork.

And of course their education plays a big part in getting a job. In America the costs of college and university are high, compared with the rest of the world. This leads to huge debts for students. How much are students willing to pay, to get a job?


Rebecca Jones, an undergrad student at Syracuse University in New York City is lucky to have parents who completely provide for her undergrad degree. ‘’I’m fortunate to not have any debt yet. My parents are able to provide for my tuition for undergrad school. When I’m finished I will work to save some money so I can also start with grad school.’’ Finishing grad school is the same as having a Master’s degree. Rebecca continuous: ‘’I think it’s worth it to be in college or university. Once I have my degree I’ll be able to have a good job. Of course, the tuition is very high. But it will get me where I want to be.’’


America is known for their expensive universities. There are the top ones in the Ivy League, as Harvard, Yale, Columbia, where the tuition fees are up to almost 100.000 dollar per year. But also, the ‘cheaper’ ones, like community colleges, have still high tuitions. Especially compared to Europe. It could still cost you 50.000 dollars annually.

Not every student is able to pay that, so they lend it from the government or via a private bank.

Lending money leads in many cases for students to debts. Nationwide the total student-loan counts 1.6 trillion dollars. This number is so extreme that researchers characterize this as a time of crisis. And this will only get worse if the government won’t interfere. The Obama administration tried to fix some sort of regulations for debts. But the Trump administration backed down.


Aileen Gallag is a teacher at Syracuse University, and sees a lot of students making forced decisions, about their career. ‘’They will choose their career based on their debt and how they can pay it back. I also worry about the accessibility to private universities for student with lower income. They will be in huge debt once they are finished so at one point they might not be able to go to universities. You also see students working harder and take extra curriculums to finish in three years instead of four years, so they don’t have to pay for the last year and save it up.’’


Lending money for school influences every major decision people make in the future. For credit card ratings for example, but also when buying a new car or a house, your student debt can be challenging.

The decision to start at college or university in America is an important one for the rest of your life. Students as Rebecca Jones are willing to pay huge amounts of money, to have a good career. Even though the loan you’re taking on, could provide for a bright future, for some students it’s a reason not to go to college.