Nov. 10, 2011
On Tuesday, an interesting article appeared in my news feed from The Wall Street Journal, which showed that more students are choosing to attend public universities over Ivy League institutions. Why, you may ask? Students do not want to be saddled by the excessive loan debt.
An average Ivy League student is expected to pay approximately $55,000 per year in tuition, room, board, fees, etc. Upon graduation, a student would be saddled with over $220,000 in college loan debt. Pair the debt with the fact that employment offers are hard to come by in this economy, and this could easily factor into the reason why many students are making the decision to attend public universities.
Is the huge debt worth it in the long run? While these schools may offer a large alumni network, the overall debt should leave one to question their decision. Higher education is expensive, but the same opportunities are available at state colleges and universities.
When I graduated from high school in 2000, I chose to attend a small four-year college near my hometown in Maryland. While I had some scholarships, I still had to contribute through student loans. The opportunities I was presented were similar to the ones my friends experienced at Ivy League universities, but I ended up with less student loan debt. I do not regret the decision to attend my college, and in fact, I consider myself lucky to have saved for the same experiences.
While the students in the Wall Street Journal piece may be questioning why they didnt attend Boston College, Stanford University, and Cornell University, they will learn in the long run that opportunities present themselves on merit and the connections they will make in the real world.