A study in America: Four years of college, 100.000 dollars in debt

Nearly two-thirds of the graduates of a four-year college degree in America must use school loans today. The financial burden for America’s students is more and more oppressive. President Barack Obama will judge it.

Robert Applebaum has “the” idea of how the American economy can be stimulated: by the waiver of tuition debt. “Responsible people who have done nothing more than to strive for higher education would then thousands of additional dollars that they could spend each month in order to give the economic momentum,” the 35-year-old lawyer advertises from the state of New York. Almost 100,000 dollars in debt from the study drags Applebaum himself around with him – after he has been five years paid off his student loans.

When he graduated from Fordham University Law School in 1998, there was “only” debt of around 75,000 dollars. However, the debt grew, as Applebaum did not see in his first job as a prosecutor with an annual salary of 36,000 dollars in the situation, the loans to operate. His frustration over the legacy increased when the American government hung up assistance programs for banks, insurance companies, and car manufacturers. Washington should help rather Americans who had to go into debt for their studies, scolded Applebaum. About Facebook, he began to campaign for a remission of debt. The initiative “Forgivestudentloandebt” (see: Forgivestudentloandebt.com) met with keen interest. On Facebook Applebaum has now nearly 200,000 supporters.

Colleges: fees deter from studying

No wonder: almost two-thirds of the graduates of a four-year college degree in America must use school loans today. 1993 were less than half, has the independent educational institution “Institute for College Access & Success” determined. In addition, the borrowed amounts have doubled in the past ten years, on average, from just 9300 to 19.200 dollars. Adjusted for inflation, this represents an increase of 58 percent. Overall, the liabilities for study add up to more than 500 billion dollars. At the same time, the Ministry of Education reported an alarming rise in cases in which student loans cannot be operated longer.

But many Americans have no choice but to borrow for a college degree. According to estimates by the Ministry of Education paid undergraduate students at a state college in 2007/08 almost 12,000 dollars for tuition, room, and board. At private colleges, there were just under $ 29,000. Compared to 1997/98 is the – adjusted for inflation – an increase of 30 or 23 percent. In contrast, the median income is adjusted for inflation rose by only 5.6 percent over the same period. The victims of this development are mainly children from low-income families. “You have the dream given up long before the current crisis from the study,” says Sara Y. Goldrick-Rab, a professor of education policy and sociology at the University of Wisconsin.

Even students from well-off families need financial assistance

The situation for students from families with low and middle income is the fact that they have to compete with students from well-off families to financial increasingly exacerbated. “It is not uncommon for families to apply with an annual income of $ 200,000 for support, especially if they have several children who go to college,” says Rodney Oto, director of the Department for study aid on the fine Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.
At the same time, it makes the economic crisis, the universities more difficult to support students. Many states have state universities cut funding or announced cuts. The private universities feel the crisis: the endowment of Harvard University has shrunk about June to December 2008, at 22 percent. Many private universities are forced to lend more university places to students who can donate their families. “Talented children from low-income earners will fall in educational hierarchy,” therefore predicts specializing in education issues economist and president of Williams College in Massachusetts, Morton Owen Saddle Piero.

The more ambitious now sounds the promise of President Barack Obama. He wants to provide a package of measures from tax cuts and reforms in lending that every American can afford a college education. Above all, his draft budget provides for additional billion remains committed to supporting needy students. Twenty years ago, the Pell grant cover families 55 percent of the cost for the four-year degree at a state college on students from low-income. Today there is only 32 percent. Obama, therefore, wants to increase the maximum amount for the last 5.5 million Pell scholarship holders by nearly 770 US dollars to 5,550 US dollars. Overall, students and their families should get 2,010 state support in 130 billion dollars, 32 percent more than in 2008. That sounds promising. But nor Congress has not approved the project.