EDUCATION SHOULD NOT BE A DEBT SENTENCE
When high school students across the United States sit in their gown with creases from the packaging and a square cap slightly tilted to the side, the valedictorian’s voice echoes throughout the football stadium on how excited she is about heading off to college to chase her dream. This excitement in her voice is usually filled with inspirational quotes from great leaders and how each graduating student has the opportunity to pursue their passion through higher education. For those students who’ve performed at a high level while in high school usually receive scholarship offers and support from other programs in place to financially assist them when pursuing school at the next level. For the majority of co-ed hopefuls, finding financial support through loans or using credit cards to fund their college experience is a necessary evil, where many don’t fully understand the long-term ramifications of acquiring this debt or don’t care at the time. The lack of education on this process and rising tuition prices throughout the years have left millions of college graduates and dropouts with crippling debt that will follow them long after leaving campus.
"AS OF 2019, IT IS ESTIMATED THAT AMERICANS CARRY OVER $1.5 TRILLION OF EXISTING STUDENT LOAN DEBT."
More than ever, companies are expecting entry level applicants to have a college education to be considered, which is similar to what having a high school diploma was over 20 years ago. This competitive landscape in the job market has helped fuel this massive debt crisis, forcing students to take on more loans, borrowed money, and maxing out credits cards to pay for all the essential fees and living expenses needed to pay for this experience. This has left approximately 45 million Americans with student loans, with an average of $30,000 of accumulated debt after graduation. In addition to the thousands of dollars students are taking on in the form of loans, the use of first-time credit cards also poses a major problem because of the extremely high interest rates that can reach 25% or higher in some cases. Over 30% of students have made a late payment or have already maxed out at least one credit card. With no major changes to the U.S. tuition pricing structure on the horizon, the accumulation of major debt for our future leaders will continue to climb.
United States ranks among the highest in yearly tuition costs compared to the rest of world, making it hard to compete with other countries like Denmark or Finland who offer free education to native citizens. This huge discrepancy in the costs for education has made this a major topic in the upcoming presidential election. There are some prospective candidates that have aspirations of eliminating most of the existing loan debt, while creating an educational system that is free for future students. With college debt continuing to be a major topic of debate over the next year, there will be many different perspectives and plans presented to Americans to better address this epidemic. Until major changes are made, the best we can do as a society is encourage young adults to pursue the amazing benefits of the college experience, but to educate themselves on the financial responsibility they’re taking on when funding their schooling.
At Hey Dude we believe in the pursuit of personal freedom through educating our next generation of leaders. This week we launched our College Ambassador Program to help students become more aware of challenges related to acquiring debt and to suggest ways to manage debt after their collegiate experience:
- Understand the details of your loans including the grace period before paying, the payment options and interest rate.
- Keep a strict budget while in school
- Live like a student after graduation until you’re in a stronger financial position
- Have fun with very little money by enjoying nature or volunteering.
In addition, our College Ambassador program is now accepting applicants for those who are looking for ways to make a little money by earning 25% commission on all the comfortable shoes sold through the special referral link we provide them. The program ends in April 2020, where the top two earners during the open selling window will split $25,000 towards existing debt accumulated from college expenses. We are excited to provide this program for the many students willing to put in the work to earn some cash and hopefully they can use this as an opportunity to help Hey Dude Shoes spread the word on managing their finances while chasing that degree.
Education should not be a debt sentence.2 comments #heydude4earth