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The baby girl got accepted into the college of her choice, she is so excited. The college is in Massachusetts about an hour and a half away so she will be moving to a dormitory. Her acceptance letter was full of good news, she was accepted into the Equine Studies Concentration program which offers biology course, anatomy courses, barn management, veterinary care and more. The school has also offered her a 7000.00 grant to take some of the 39000.00 sting out of the financial cost. Her face was a beacon of hope and happiness, she worked so hard since the beginning of senior year and her admittance essay was such a moving account of her trials and tribulation during sophomore and junior year and how her bad luck with health issues had impeded her progress in school and how determined she was to turn it completely around for senior year and her report card is proof of her commitment and ambition. I am so proud of her, she kept her nose to the grindstone and it paid off in spades all for her.

Now my husband and I will have the added stress of having two children in college and the increase in tuition cost has exploded in this country to the tune of 400% compared to other expenditures, health costs have exploded as well but only by about 200%, if that comparison puts anything in perspective. My son had started out at UMASS at Amherst but he decided to transfer to a community college because he wanted to take sound engineering courses and music technology courses, this was after a year and a half, I am happy that he got the chance to take a good number of English courses and other liberal arts courses to give him a broader education. The loans we took out for my son are being charged an interest rate of 7.9% for 20,000.00 and it works out to be $251.00 a month. My daughter is going to be looking for additional scholarships and I know that we are probably going to have to take out another loan for her, the stressful part is that it is going to add up to be about $600.00 a month for the both of them.

This is what it is, but I find it to be a wrongheaded way to have an educational system that pushes prospective students into debt so that they can enter the workplace from a position of strength with a degree. As it stands now only the wealthy can attend higher educational institutions without going into debt for years.The saddest part is that I am not only speaking about private universities, my son’s school was a public university of Massachusetts and it cost about $24,000.00 a year. I find it hard to justify the high price of tuition to young adults who are just starting out in life. What is also interesting is that the only republican candidate who even mentioned college was Rick Santorum and he was railing about President Obama being socialist to a group of supporters because President Obama had said that the opportunity to be able to go to college, if a young person chose to, should be more open, Santorum thought that our President was being socialist by pushing college onto everyone. I found that to be a stretch of the truth but at the same time none of the other candidates said anything about any future ideas to help make higher education more affordable.

The student loan debt bubble is about one trillion dollars and with the job market being what it is the rate of default will be high and young people’s lives and credit will be ruined. This is a mess, we need a two-pronged approach. One is to continue fixing the economy and two, we need to address our educational system as a whole not just the higher education institutions.