Student Loan Debt
Millennials Face the Worst Debt Crisis of Any Generation in History
There was once a time when society placed a high priority on higher education; a time when the older generation went out of their way to bestow to the young a better start than the one they had.
For good reasons. Society needs well educated young people entering the workforce, landing good paying jobs, paying federal taxes, contributing to the Social Security and Medicare Fund, buying homes, owning cars, having children and raising families.
At one time states also played their part. Most state supported colleges and universities derived 65% of their operating budgets from the appropriations made by their respective state legislatures. Today, less than 30% of the funding for colleges and universities comes from state appropriations. As state support has declined, tuition has skyrocketed.
Over the last decade, student loan debt has more than doubled to 1.5 Trillion. Millennials now carry the greatest debt burden of any generation in history. Their debt burden is not driven by mortgage or credit card debt. Student loan debt is 74% of the total debt owed by those aged 25-34, a 7-fold increase since 1989.
As a result, homeownership rates among those 24-32 have declined. Young people are putting off having children and raising families. Little wonder that the birth rate in American has plummeted.
The cynics may say it’s their fault. But in the end, it’s the country that will suffer if college debt becomes a life-long stranglehold around the necks of the country’s young, or if college education becomes a privilege extended only to the off-spring of wealthy parents.
For the sake of a country that needs a healthy and prosperous young generation, we must look for a way to ease the debt crisis plaguing America’s millennial generation.