Tuesday, December 28, 2010

How Higher Education is Making Us Broke

Student debt is higher than credit card debt.

By Shanon D. Murray
With student debt nearing $1 trillion and Americans owing more on student loans than on credit cards, you know it’s bad when the national media finally pays attention. And that’s exactly what happened this week when CNBC premiered a special called “Price of Admission: America’s College Debt Crisis.”

The report was compelling and well done except for one glaring omission: It didn’t feature any students or families who were African American or of any other non-white ethnicity. If CNBC goes as far as to say college debt is a national crisis – and indeed it is – then that fact should have been made obvious in its reporting about its effect on students and families from all ethnicities and backgrounds.

And the effects are deep and far-reaching. College seniors who graduated in 2009 carried an average of $24,000 in student loan debt. Meanwhile, unemployment for recent college graduates climbed from 5.8 percent in 2008 to 8.7 percent in 2009 – the highest annual rate on record for college graduates aged 20 to 24, according to the Project on Student Debt.

And when college students graduate into a recession, a likely result is student loan defaults.

Click to read more of “Right of Black” co-host Shanon D. Murray’s column on TheLoop21.com.

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