How Your College Education is Paying for Touchdowns (or Lack Thereof)

The college experience is priceless. How can you put a dollar sign on meeting the most diverse, interesting, and intelligent group of people you will ever encounter, and high-fiving complete strangers when your team has 2 touchdowns by the first quarter?

We all know we’re paying too much for college. We all complain and cry a little everyday as the interest bumps up our once “small” loan debt to numbers beyond our comprehension. We pay a large sum of money for an education that sometimes feels wasted on us due to procrastination and the occasional frat party. Some even skimp out on buying textbooks to save a few bucks.

Yet, do we ever blame football? Basketball? The attractive men’s volleyball team? Of course not.

According to the Huffington Post, our greatest unknown fears are put in writing : College football is stealing our education.  The student loan debt crisis is old news but here are the current statistics. There are 43.3 million Americans with student loan debt, he total U.S student loan debt being 1.26 trillion. About 70% of college students end up with $30,000 in student loan debt. All in all, the price of tuition continues to rise and therefore so does the debt.

The issue is not that education is expensive because of course we all know that going in. The issue is that the uptick in tuition may not be going to the things that lead to our success but the athletic department instead. According to the Huffington Post, schools with strong football teams correlate with increased tuition up to 55% or in some cases 65%. Pouring more money into football at many schools leads to faculty or degree programs being cut. Ironically, the claim that athletic departments bring so much to the school has not been proven. The opposite has, that “Over 80 percent of collegiate athletic departments actually lose $11 million dollars or more for their universities yearly.

It is difficult to claim that USC as a whole has allowed academics to suffer due to football. Evidently, USC graduates do very well. However, is it really necessary to pay the equivalent of a mortgage every year? Especially when our team is realistically pretty mediocre…

Interestingly enough, the White House claims that “student loan debt is an investment in human capital that typically pays off through higher lifetime earnings and increase productivity.” They released an entire study “proving” student debt helps instead of harming the economy. The proof lies in the fact that students with the most debt have usually gone through graduate school which means higher income and opportunity in the future. However, what happens when you get zero financial aid assistance during undergrad? What do you do then?

Perhaps taking a closer look at the White House study would prove me wrong, but at the end of the day, even if high unemployment leads to higher enrollment rates at universities how is the average American expected to manage such large amounts of debt with such an unpredictable job market?

Sources:

A Look at the Shocking Student Loan Debt Statistics for 2016

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-greenwald/college-football-is-steal_b_8282690.html

http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2016/07/19/student-debt-helps-not-harms-the-u-s-economy-white-house-says/

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