For those dealing with paying for education using student loans here are a couple of excellent charts put together by a Raleigh neighbor and brainiac Doug Short.
As you can see, the explosion or pole vault of college cost and the rocket like trajectory of federal loans to students don’t paint a rosy picture for the affordability of a higher education moving forward.
The real tragedy here are the people who are already
enslaved indebted to a student loan lender in a stagnant economy. Laying out a fortune in future earnings seems to make smart justifiable sense when your future earnings are set to grow. But what if they aren’t? Oh crap.
There is nothing on the horizon that would lead me to believe the cost of college is going to start shrinking dramatically or that real wages are going to go through the roof. The roof will NOT be on fire.
My prediction is at student loan spending and debt will reach a point where people will start to finally wake up and say they can’t afford this higher education ruse and enrollment starts to decline. Then and probably only then will colleges realize we need to do something to make college more affordable so we can fill all the seats in all these buildings we built in the last 20 years.
If people keep paying there is no incentive or reason for tuitions not to keep reaching for the stars.
You know why college tuition is rising so fast? It’s for the same reason rock stars date models. Because they can.
In case you are feeling suicidal right now after looking at that data. Here is a pretty picture to distract you and keep you off the ledge.
Update July 26, 2013
As if on cue, the New York Times has this article out today on the future of declining college enrollment.
College enrollment fell 2 percent in 2012-13, the first significant decline since the 1990s, but nearly all of that drop hit for-profit and community colleges; now, signs point to 2013-14 being the year when traditional four-year, nonprofit colleges begin a contraction that will last for several years.