Thursday, April 14, 2011

Student Loan Debt Approaches One Trillion Dollars

This week the New York Times published a well-written article about American student loan debt -- which is increasingly common, increasing in size, and arguably starting to make an impact on the U.S. economy.

I've blogged before about the fact that Americans already owe more in student loan debt than credit card debt. This article, while providing a nuanced overview of the personal and macroeconomic impact of high student loan debt, also puts a sticker price to it -- U.S. student loan debt is likely to hit a trillion dollars this year.

This isn't to say that students should forget about college in order to avoid student loan debt: a college diploma remains a wise and strong investment for individuals. But the growing cost of college, and the drawbacks of high student loan debt should serve as a reminder of the importance of scholarships and fellowships, including those for underrepresented minorities ("URM scholarships and fellowships"). For Pacific Islanders, if they were allowed to apply for URM scholarships and fellowships, this could reduce their need to take on high debt in order to fulfill their potential.


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