The second problem is that student loans allowed colleges to raise their costs—to feather their nests at students’ expense. College costs have risen much faster than inflation. To take just one example, in 1966, tuition at the University of Southern California was $1,200 a year, which in today’s dollars would be $8,751.59. So how much does a year’s tuition cost today? $42,162! No wonder students have become indentured servants, in hock to the federal government and other lenders till they reach their forties, at which point the lucky ones may have to co-sign their children’s student-loan papers.
From a Huffington Post survey comes this sobering comment: “During college I made an enormous mistake: I accumulated $83,786 in student loan debt, getting a Master of Music in opera performance. . . . In my current circumstances, I cannot pay $1,000 or more per month. I know that I got myself into this situation, but it distresses me that my horrible judgment during one period of my life is likely to impact my life negatively forever.”
What a great society! As banks were said to have lured unsuspecting borrowers into unaffordable housing mortgages before the 2008 crash, so the federal government, and others, have for years lured unwary students into taking out loans that don’t advance their careers. Someone ought to find out where the inventor of federally guaranteed student loans for all, Lyndon Johnson, is hiding and drag him out so he can be horsewhipped.