The Bottom Line: Student debt: Good or bad?

Reubin Turner

By Reubin Turner
City Editor

It’s a question that almost every student will ask themselves when they graduate — how I am going to pay for student loans? During the course of one’s undergraduate and graduate education, students can rack up hefty bills when it comes to repaying loans. At private institutions especially, loans from the government and private entities can be up to $100,000 or more. The question remains — is it worth it? Well, it depends.

For the most part, students should not be afraid to take out loans to pay for an undergraduate education. After all, obtaining a degree is considered be an investment. This is one of the reasons the governments helps to subsidize the cost of college for students through grants, and even provides loans to students who come from low-income backgrounds. Julie Margetta Morgan, a policy analyst with the Postsecondary Education Program at the Center for American Progress, stated in an opinion piece for U.S. News that there is enough evidence to suggest that obtaining a college degree it still worth it. While the recession a few year ago did cause the unemployment rate to spike, parents and students should not stress out too much about the cost of college. For the most part, the economy does put a premium on postsecondary skills.

However, there is such a thing as a bad investment. Because college is considered an investment, students should make sure that they are attending college to obtain a skill set they can use upon graduation. One type of unemployment economist study is a type called “structured unemployment.” This type of unemployment deals with the harsh reality that there are vacant jobs in the economy because people don’t have the skill set to fill them. Jobs that require skills in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields are often vacant because students do not take classes in these fields. For some, making a good investment simply includes taking a few classes that would diversify one’s skills and resume greatly.

Another key component of making sure you get the best out of your college education is ensuring that you are motivated, and attempting to get the most out of your education. Many students come to college not fully engaged. But in whatever degree you are obtaining, I encourage you to try and go the extra mile and add to your human capital. Seeking internships and developing relationships with professors can all help to ensure that the return on your college investment is high.