June 23, 2014

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Abby Schachter: Your Bedroom Instead Of A Dorm Room.

President Obama gets points for properly assessing the problem with student loan debt. He acknowledges that too many students earning a bachelor’s degree (71 percent) graduate with debt that is so burdensome (averaging $29,400) that many delay important milestones such as starting a family, buying a home, beginning a business or saving for retirement.

But when Mr. Obama said that as “the glow” of college graduation fades students confront the reality of their student loan burden, he missed the opportunity to suggest a creative solution. Instead of arguing for easing graduates’ debt burden, it would be better if there were less or even no loans to repay.

One way to do that would be for students to stay home. Not staying out of college, mind you. Just opting for your bedroom at home rather than getting a dorm room on campus. Living at home will lower your debt burden. . . . Better to stay home until you graduate than go off to college and have to slink back home four years later when you have huge debt and are looking for your first job.

Colleges really gouge people for room and board. But they’re already addressing this phenomenon by making even commuter students purchase meal plans.