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December 20, 2014
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editorial

Post-grad problems


Weissmann writes, “This part is basic, but can’t be repeated enough: bachelor’s holders have about half the unemployment rate of high school graduates. BAs are still suffering from double the low rate of joblessness they enjoyed pre-recession. And yes, they’re even worse off than they were during the tepid economies of the early nineties or pre-housing bubble oughts. But on the whole, you’d much rather have a degree in this job market than not.”

I’m sure all the post-grads who read this let out a collective sigh. However, we still face many problems.

Post-grads are often left feeling helpless in the hands of colleges, loans and jobs. It seems to me that it is up to those institutions to help and support us; we can’t do it on our own. Colleges and universities should make sure the tuition rate isn’t unbelievably high, the government and banks should make sure loans don’t have high interest rates and that post-grads will be able to pay them or defer, and it is up to our employers or future employers to make sure we are being treated and paid fairly, just like any other employee.

I understand that post-grads won’t be paid the same level as seasoned employees and that we are supposed to pay our dues and rise through the ranks, but a low salary, coupled with living expense and especially loan payments, makes that nearly impossible. If we can’t save money, where are we headed? No one wants to be bankrupt by the time they are 25. According to an article in the Huffington Post, “In 1990, the average student loan debt in this country was $8,200. By 2010, that figure had more than tripled to $25,250, according to a report by the Institute for College Access and Success” (www.huffingtonpost.com/lilly-odonnell/college-costs-loans-debt_b_1890254...). To me, those numbers are startling.

The cost of college coupled with the cost of loan repayments is making college more and more unaffordable for the average American. Most graduates are starting their lives out in a huge amount of debt. We struggle to make payments on our student loans when we can’t find work or have low-paying jobs. A conversation about college reform has already started; now it’s time to make some changes. Let’s find solutions to help college graduates start out on the right foot.