Student Loan Debt: A Case Study

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In the recent culture of the United States over the past few decades, the need for a college degree has risen massively. Virtually every career in the global job market requires some sort of degree and there are numerous ways to get that degree. Such as: four year universities, online colleges, community colleges, etcetera. The largest challenge that this brings is that all good careers require degrees and there are millions of young adults and families who simply cannot afford the cost of college. Student loan debt is at a high and many adults are still being haunted by college debt much later in their lives. With more funding from federal and state governments, less money comes out of the school’s pocket, which can lighten the costs on the…show more content…
As of 2013, the United States average amount of student loan debt owed by graduates was $29,400 (Ellis, 2013). “Outstanding student loan debt quadrupled from $260 billion in 2004 to $1.1 trillion this year” (Yellen, 2014). This kind of debt at such a young age is a tremendous burden for college graduates trying to enter the job market. Not only the job market, but graduates are also hindered when entering the housing market and the market of purchasing a car. Many things such as “Rising college costs, the greater numbers of students pursuing higher education, and the recent trends in income and wealth have led to a dramatic increase in student loan debt” (Yellen, 2014). In Virginia alone the average amount of student loan debt owed by graduates is approximately $25,017 which is an enormous debt for a young adult to begin their career with; however it does not seem so bad when compared to Delaware’s staggering $33,649 which is the highest in the United States (Ellis,…show more content…
“Despite the renewed popularity of PBF [Performance Based Funding] for higher education, little is known about the extent to which these policies actually impact college completions. Part of this research gap is due to implementation challenges at the state level, where several states adopted but later discontinued PBF models.” (Hillman,, 2014). For example states such as South Carolina, Colorado, and others have started then discontinued, with some even reinstating after doing away with the plan (Hillman, et. al, 2014). Therefore “[t]his instability makes it difficult to assess program impacts, so researchers suggest studying states that have sustained performance funding for several years without discontinuity in their operations” (Hillman, et. al, 2014). In addition to these proposed ways to fund higher education, some researchers and educators see community college as an alternative and potential solution to the outrageous cost of four year colleges and universities. As stated by professors Demetra Kalogrides and Eric Grodsky, “In the context of rapidly expanding postsecondary enrollments, community colleges have the potential to play a critical and often overlooked role as a postsecondary safety net for initial four-year students who are ill prepared to successfully complete or finance their college educations.” (2011).

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