For decades now it’s been a sellers’ market for American universities. Conventional wisdom held that the most important way to succeed in life was to get a college diploma, no matter the cost.
Perhaps you’ve noticed university tuitions going up and up. And up. Inexorably.
And so has the debt incurred by their students and those students’ parents. It now totals about $1.6 trillion.
This being another tedious presidential election season, such a massive debt burden has attracted the attention of feeding politicians seeking to reap votes from younger Americans tasked with repaying the loans they signed up for.
As we wrote here earlier this week, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Julian Castro and a growing list of the growing field of candidates have announced various plans to make public school tuitions free and to forgive these massive debts using — you guessed it — new taxes on someone else, namely the well-to-do.
Now comes a new wrinkle in these schemes and the universities’ hopes of continuing to reap huge tuition increases.
A new poll of nearly a quarter-million Americans has found fully two-thirds of them have buyer’s remorse about their diploma, their major and the higher education experience in general. How much longer do you think folks are going to keep paying such fees that produce such dissatisfaction and unhappiness?
Not surprisingly perhaps, the new survey found the top regret was incurring immense debts for that higher education, a debt whose payments run on for many years, causing postponed marriages and families.
An estimated 70 percent of college graduates this year finished school with loans to repay averaging $33,000.
Even older baby boomers are incurring college debts as they return to school for training in new areas not affected by automation and other labor-saving methods. The survey by PayScale found that even Americans over age 62 had some $86 billion in unpaid debts, theirs or their childrens’.
The second largest graduate regret was their choice of college majors. Sen. Marco Rubio has noted in speeches that the occupational demand for Greek philosophers has not been good for about 2,000 years.
Three-quarters of humanities graduates expressed regrets over their choice of study areas, tied to their difficulty finding employment in those areas at higher paying jobs enabling them to pay down the debt.
Most satisfied were majors in math, science, tech and especially engineering. More than a third of computer science grads and four-in-ten engineering grads had no regrets about their area choice of studies.
Interestingly though, teachers expressed the least regrets over their career choices, second least to engineers, despite the chronically low pay of such educators.