College applications for seniors were due on Nov. 30. Sophomores and juniors are scrambling to keep a high GPA and prepare for SATs for when the time comes to apply to college. Students are indoctrinated to believe that in order to get the best job and earn the most money they must go straight to a four year college. Teens live with unhealthy levels of stress, but to serve what purpose?
Studies have shown that student debt has gone up 250 percent in the last decade and the average student owes upwards of $30,000 in student loans. The university system is set up to discourage students from changing their majors or areas of study due to the high cost already incurred. So 17 and 18 year olds are expected to know exactly what they’re going to study right out of high school, but the average teens can’t know for sure what they’re good at or what will make them happy for the rest of their working lives and most can’t afford to change their majors.
“We’re lending money we don’t have to kids who can’t pay it back to educate them for jobs that don’t exist anymore,” said actor and television host Mike Rowe. He wants to let people know that a four year degree isn’t the only path for young people to take in order to be successful.
Kids are asked to declare a major and borrow a huge amount of money that will take years to pay off for an education in something they don’t know if they will be good at or if they will like. Students can’t experiment with their skills and desires in fear of falling even further into debt and many end up majoring in something that they’re not comfortable or satisfied with.
In this climate it is important for students to remember not to rule out community college as a chance to experiment with different areas of study and also to make college a lot more affordable. It is important for students to remember that they can choose a path that won’t leave them heavily in debt by the time they graduate.