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Post-graduates enter real world with large debt, no guarantees for financial success

Brittany Schock/ Asst. photo editor

In the United States, the so-called land of opportunity, many are facing a reality check: even with a college education, we still are not guaranteed financial success.

About half of recent college graduates can’t find full-time employment, and many more are underemployed. This is, clearly, due in part to the 2008-09 recession, but there lies a deeper, uglier reality beneath America’s recent economic setbacks, according to a recent CBS News article

There simply aren’t enough jobs for everyone to go to a four-year college and get a job in the field of their major.

No one wants to hear that they, or their child, cannot do anything they set their mind to. And with remarkable determination and maybe a little luck, one can at least come close to making their dreams come true.

But what about everyone else? The average, unremarkable students? The ones who do just enough to get by in undergraduate classes – the phrase “Cs earn degrees” comes to mind – and the ones who choose a major simply so their parents will stop nagging and they can graduate on time? These graduates are left with little hope, few worthwhile skills and experiences and lots of wasted time and money.
Many students graduate with no plan at all, some without any work experience, and are thrust unceremoniously into society and told they have all the tools to be a success. That is a lie.

More than $1 trillion is owed nationally on student loans, with a vast majority of students borrowing at least some money to pay for college. One Ohio Northern University graduate was recently quoted as saying she will owe $900 a month on student loans.

For perspective, I recently purchased a moderate, two-story home with a monthly payment that includes taxes, homeowner’s insurance and required mortgage insurance of $635. She will owe more than 40 percent more each month on her student loans than I owe on my house.

President Barack Obama said last month that he paid off his student loans about eight years ago, around age 43, about 20 years after graduating. And whether they agree with his politics or not, most people would consider the president a success in terms of life.
Is a lifetime of debt worth it when you consider electricians made an average of $48,250 in 2010, with the main education source being apprenticeship, which might also be paid?

The formula for success in America simply needs rewritten to include more educational variables, rather than keeping college a constant. 

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