by Merry Pham
If there’s one thing that Millenials bring to mind, it’s that we are dreamers. The peaceful “white picket fence” still holds an allure for many: a successful career, a happy family and a stable home. For others, they long to fulfill their passion for creative and fascinating jobs, sports and travel. But Millenials also have quite a damper on their dreams—a storm cloud of student debt that is over $1 trillion. The Federal Reserve of New York details the continual rise of student loan debt nationwide: “At the end of 2003, American students and graduates owed just $253 billion in aggregate debt; by the end of 2013, American students’ debt had ballooned to a total of $1.08 trillion, an increase of over 300%”.
Let’s break this down. According to the Institute for College Access & Success, “seven out of 10 students in the class of 2012 graduated with student loans, and the average amount of debt among students who owed was $29,400.”
The issue of student debt isn’t just about the data. The impact on individual dreams and society as a whole is very real, and it affects everyone. The New York Times asked, “What are the roads not taken because students must take out loans for college?” Unsustainable and unmanageable loans to students are active roadblocks to success when the purpose of loans should be to clear more paths—clear more life-fulfilling options.