Monday, Sept. 1, 2014

Americans aren't sold on massive student debt

By JJ Feinauer, Deseret News

Published: Fri, June 20 2:55 p.m. MDT

 When asked "Is getting a college education worth taking on high levels of student loan debt?" 43 percent of respondents told YouGov "no," while only 24 percent responded "yes." The rest — 33 percent — responded they were "not sure."

When asked "Is getting a college education worth taking on high levels of student loan debt?" 43 percent of respondents told YouGov "no," while only 24 percent responded "yes." The rest — 33 percent — responded they were "not sure."

(Jacquelyn Martin, Associated Press)

Americans don't think college is worth the massive amounts of student debt that it increasingly leads to, according to a new poll by YouGov.

When asked "Is getting a college education worth taking on high levels of student loan debt?" 43 percent of respondents told YouGov "no," while only 24 percent responded "yes." The rest — 33 percent — responded they were "not sure."

YouGov also found that the answer varied little by income and education level. When taking into account race, however, nonwhites were considerably more likely to respond that a college education is worth the debt, with 40 percent of blacks and 31 percent of Hispanics answering "yes." Only 20 percent of whites, on the other hand, said the debt is worth it.

Is a college education worth the high debt? | Create Infographics

JJ Feinauer is a web producer for Moneywise and Opinion on DeseretNews.com. Email: jfeinauer@deseretdigital.com, Twitter: jjfeinauer.

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1. Ordinary Guy
Centerville, Davis, UT,
June 20, 2014

I have a son who is completing his residency to become a doctor. He has enormous debt because no one in the family had the capacity to pay his fees. At this point he wishes there was no burdensome debt. Who wouldn't. At the same time, without the loan there would be no education or degree or profession. Thank heaven for a system that provides for the less affluent to rise to positions where they can make a contribution. We are all better off.

No one is forced to accept student debt. Most, if not all, rejoiced when they were approved for the loan.

2. FreedomFighter41
Provo, UT,
June 20, 2014

Imagine if we had spent $2 trillion to educate our kids rather than toss it into a toilet in the middle-east.

3. Ricardo Carvalho
Provo, UT,
June 21, 2014

Utah schools have some of the lowest tuition rates found in the country. With a four year degree costing somewhere around $25,000, there is very little reason for our students to take out "massive debt". I have a hard time understanding students who go to schools where tuition is $20,000 per year or more resulting in high debt upon graduation, when such good, lower-cost alternatives are available. I hope students and parents look carefully at what that extra debt buys them.

By the way, thank you state legislators for pretty generous support of higher education in Utah.

4. Mom of 8
Hyrum, UT,
June 21, 2014

Since my husband and I are still suffocating under crushing debt from our college years, we're strongly encouraging our children to find ways to avoid it.

Live at home, go to school part-time, work full-time, major in something that will actually lead to a job, etc.

We have one son old enough for college, but he's working full-time instead because he doesn't know what to major in, and he doesn't want to spend time in school until he does. Another child is taking practical courses at a technology center so he can have a decent job when he later goes to college. A daughter earned her CNA so she has steady work while she pursues her education.

I'm also encouraging my children to pursue careers that will always be needed: plumbing, electrician, HVAC repair, etc. A college degree is a wonderful thing . . . as long as you're not still paying for it 20 years later. Then it's a living nightmare, I know.

5. Seldom Seen Smith
Orcutt, CA,
June 21, 2014

Don't expect to get a decent paying job with a degree in basket weaving (e.g., english, history, political science, dance, art, geography, philosophy, journalism), those days are over. In a related matter, many with the aforementioned majors, unable to get a job, end up entering law school. Our society needs more lawyers like it needs more parasitic disease.