Here is a article to add to this: Nearly half are overqualified for their jobs [link]
The Study is based on 2010 Labor Department data, says the problem is the stock of college graduates in the workforce (41.7 million) in 2010 was larger than the number of jobs requiring a college degree (28.6 million).
That, he says, helps explain why 15% of taxi drivers in 2010 had bachelor's degrees vs. 1% in 1970. Among retail sales clerks, 25% had a bachelor's degree in 2010. Less than 5% did in 1970.
"There are going to be an awful lot of disappointed people because a lot of them are going to end up as janitors," Vedder says. In 2010, 5% of janitors, 115,520 workers, had bachelor's degrees, his data show.
This sort of overqualification is more visible in places like South Korea where its economy is considerably smaller than the US but there is an intense pressure to get college degrees regardless of everything else. Almost a decade ago, I happened to see a documentary on South Korean college graduates having tough time getting jobs. One extreme case was a man who actually had a Ph.D. but ended up making a living as a milk deliveryman. Even for other postgraduates who were more fortunate were not that much better off; tenured academic positions were in a scare supply and many of them had to get by with positions like non-tenured part-time teaching jobs in colleges and cram schools.
I would not be surprised to see a similar trend in the US.
I think the main problem with student debt is actually coming from for profit schools. The Government Accountability Office did a report on this actually, these schools only enroll 10% of students nationwide, but this 10% takes out a quarter of federal student loans and make up almost half of the student loan defaults in the nation. That means 10% of the students in the nation, going to a very specific type of college, are resulting in a massive amount of the statistics we're all hearing on the news.
It doesn't mean the students are really to blame either. The GAO report found that a lot of the recruiters at schools they were investigating were either being deceptive, or outright committing fraud. Basically exaggerating how job outlooks are after completing a program, and in the extreme cases, having students unknowingly falsify financial aid forms.
This is because recruiters earn a commission on the students they persuade to enroll. These schools make the majority of their profit on federal loans, but they do not lose money when a student defaults on a loan.
It's actually a huge problem. It's not to say these schools can't be beneficial to some people, but that in a lot of cases they are unsuccessful. If the government is going to keep basically providing the profit for these private industries, then I think the government has every right to step in. Yet they have not.
tl;dr. Don't get student loans. Problem solved. Get a job, apply to every scholarship and grant, go to community college for your general studies, don't pick a major that won't make you money if you know you can't afford the major.
I'll agree with you on community colleges and scholarships. I have been able to avoid any debt due to this. I also understand that a job can definitely help, but most college students will not find jobs that are able to pay for college completely.
There is a point you are missing with the grants though. If you have parents who are middle class, chances are you will not qualify for any government assistance. Unless, of course, you are legally independent, but for most people (save those who get married, have a child, join the armed forces, etc), this is not legally possible until you are 26. Despite living on my own, without any financial help from my parents, for a year, I could not qualify as independent because the parameters for doing so have become very strict. It mainly comes down to your parents tax bracket, and unfortunately that stops some who need assistance from getting it.
I'm not missing that point at all. I simply said apply, I didn't say that'll even work. My parents are below middle class and I didn't receive any financial aid when entering college at all. It's just a good idea to apply anyway. It's free money. Worst case scenario, you waste five minutes.
Not everyone can find a job to pay for it. For example with me I don't own a car and live in a rural area. I can't get a car because I don't have a job and I don't have a job because I am limited in how far I can realistically apply for jobs (also there are only buses through my village).
Because I want to be an engineer and I need the degree to do that job and you need a masters if you ever want to become a chartered engineer. If I become chartered then the salary I can get should cover the costs of Uni + more (about £50k median or 60k mean)