Lifelong Success or Lifelong Debt?

Is a college education truly worth the cost?


Luke Busot, Staff Writer/Editor

As many seniors know, applying to college is not a very stressful experience. There’s writing essays, applying for scholarships, creating resumes, and waiting for a response from your dream school. But, aside from all of that, there is the stress of the incoming student loan debt.

Student loans were not always as big of an issue as they are today.

In 1970, the average student loan debt of college graduates was $1,070, compared to the 2021 student loan debt of $30,000. Many would then argue that the student loans are equal in value due to the inflation of the time, but that is simply not the case.

If you convert that $1,070 in 1970 to 2020 money, the student loan value turns into a whole $7,170, which isn’t even in the same ballpark as today’s student loans ( And just to top it all off, the average interest rate (APR) for student loans can reach as high as 13%, which makes it nearly impossible to pay off your loans (

You may be thinking, “Oh I just won’t take out student loans, easy as that!,” but I’m sorry to tell you that it is pretty unavoidable.

In 2001, 70% of students took out a form of student loans. This number might seem insanely high to you, but 2021 is considerably higher. The percent of students in 2021 who took out student loans is 83%, which is extremely high. Almost all students end up needed government aid for their education and then they stay in debt for years (

But there are some positives to going to college. According to the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, “On an annual basis, bachelor’s degree holders earn about $32,000 more than those whose highest degree is a high school diploma” ( On top of that, the poverty rate for bachelor’s degree holders is 3.5x lower than for those who only have a high school diploma (

In the end, college still is worth the cost and is definitely worth attending. While the money might seem scary to us high schoolers right now, everything has a way of working out in the end.

Plus, there are always ways to get money for college, like scholarships and grants. So, don’t stress it and study where and what you want to study and have fun.