And part of the reason may be the recent increase in the interest rate attached to student loans, according to a new survey from COUNTRY Financial. The perceived value of the investment necessary to gain a college education has eroded dramatically in just six years.
According to the COUNTRY Financial Security Index, one in five of those surveyed are paying off a student loan, and the impact of that obligation is affecting other life decisions.
RBR-TVBR notes that while the recent developments on the student loan front are certainly not good, the trend reported by COUNTRY has been in progress.
Here are the results going back to 2008, showing the percentage of respondents who consider a college education to be a wise investment:
“It’s disappointing to see Americans devaluing a college degree. It’s clear that the Great Recession is still rippling through the U.S. economy, now shaking our confidence in higher education. But as much as rising tuition costs and student loans tarnish the perception of this investment, having a college degree remains an important differentiator in the job market,” says Joe Buhrmann, manager of financial security support at COUNTRY Financial. “To balance college education costs with other life decisions, create a financial plan to help you track your finances. Then map out that plan with your loan counselor so you can make regular, manageable payments.”
RBR-TVBR observation: It’s our opinion that while loan interest rates are certainly a factor eating away at the value of going to college, the true culprit is the rapidly escalating cost, period. The fact that this is occurring precisely when many business sectors say they have unfilled openings due to a lack of qualified candidates is not a good combination.
We suspect that any assistance broadcasters can offer to help send kids to college, via contest, scholarship or otherwise, will be very popular with audiences everywhere.