What Cost for a Future?

For most of my life I always just assumed I would go to college, then I did, then I graduated. Following graduation I found out exactly how difficult it is to find the job I wanted or even one that requires a degree. My first two months out of college I washed windshields at Sam’s Club gas stations. In my next series of posts I want to examine the value of a college degree that has been struggling to keep up with inflation.

The Millennial generation is coming of age as the most stressed generation. Little wonder considering college graduates are entering a contracting economy with a crushing amount of debt. How much? About $26,600 per person.

Graduates, however, are not the only ones shouldering the burden of a pricy education. Parents are sacrificing their retirements to help foot the bill:

The good news: More than three-quarters of those parents surveyed who are saving for college are also focused on saving for retirement.

The bad news: Many of those families who say they are saving for college also admit that they are doing so through their retirement fund. One-third intend to use these savings for college. The other two-thirds say that they would use their retirement savings to pay for college, only if necessary.

Do not misread me- going to college is the best choice a person can make. I simply want to examine the rising costs of doing so. A situation where an entire generation has mortgaged their future for the hope of something better.

If you have any personal experience — as either a parent or student — feel free to chime in. Better yet, send me any possible solutions you may have heard of or thought up.

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Virgil Thomas is the Technical Support Guide with the Eden Alternative. His focus is on social media outreach and connecting a generation of culture change advocates. A recent graduate of the University of Maryland Baltimore County, he earned a degree in Political Science with a focus in Political Philosophy. As son of Dr. Bill Thomas, Virgil grew up around the Eden Alternative and the culture change movement. Since his freshmen year of college, Virgil has been active in the blogospher, writing for a student-run blog, USDemocrazy.com. He has been a contributor to ChangingAging.org since 2010. When he is not at work Virgil practices Martial Arts and enjoys time with his two German Shepherds, Carter and Valor.

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