It's no secret that it costs more and more to go get a college education. The average college student will graduate with over $24,000 in loans before they finish their undergrad career. Think about that for a moment. You're 22, you are about to graduate, and are already starting out in the hole.
Not only that, but you are going out into a job market that is far bleaker than the numbers will have you believe. While the current unemployment rate is just under 5%, the jobs that are available are part time, low wage, and more often than not, temporary/seasonal/contract. There's multiple reasons for this which I will get into in another post. I know many friends, including myself, who are living at home and working jobs that are not related to their field of study, jumping from temp job to temp job.
The American Dream has turned into the American Nightmare. With the current election playing out as it did, it's clear the problem will only get worse. Welcome to 21st Century Indentured Servitude.
"The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender"
-Proverbs 22:7 ESV-
What's a Person to do? Luckily, a few things.
- Look into repayment options that best fit your income. Most student loans are meant to be repaid in about 10 years. If you have Federal Loans, there are plans out there that are designed to help if your unable to afford your current payment plan. Link Below.
- Get involved! Go to town halls of local politicians and demand them to help figure out this educational crisis. There has been a sweeping air of activism and civic involvement over these past few months. I doubt it's going away any time soon.
- Think carefully before you chose a college and major. There's really no right answer to this, except be informed and make a wise choice. Even a Physics degree from Harvard is no guarantee you'll find a job.
- Pray. Trust the Lord will provide. "And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 4:19 ESV-
- Finally. STAY AWAY FROM FOR-PROFIT COLLEGES AND PRIVATE LOANS!!!!!!!!!! No good can ever come of either of these. For-Profit Colleges are notorious for having sub-par educational standards and high costs. More often than not, you're better off going to no college than going to a for-profit college. Private loans are much less forgiving than Federal Loans.
To Quote Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: DON'T PANIC
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life."
-Matthew 6:25-27 NIV-
This life and all it's problems are temporary. Our concern, above all, should be to follow Christ, love our neighbors, and to see all peoples of the world know, worship and grow (KWaG) as disciples of Jesus Christ.