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The Progressive Path: A New Approach For The Modern Student

3806 words - 16 pages

The Progressive Path: A New Approach for the Modern Student
Mitchell M Rodgers
Western Governors University

The Progressive Path: A New Approach for the Modern Student
Recent college graduate…in debt. Early to mid-twenties…in debt. No retirement or emergency savings…in debt. Minimal work experience…in debt. Too many Americans are subject to this common denominator…in debt. For far too long we have become accustomed to the monotony and strenuous financial burden of at least four years of college immediately following four years of high school. At times, this may be a wise path for a student to follow but we as a society need to take a step back to analyze whether or not this truly is ...view middle of the document...

The progressive path may take longer according to the Gregorian calendar, but the benefits are innumerable and will actually shorten the debt repayment period; Rome wasn’t built in a day. In a tech savvy society, highlighted by the constant need for instant gratification, adopting this new path will be far from popular, but will resonate with those who see the bigger picture as there is more than one way to skin a cat.
Original Graphic – Rodgers, M. M. 2015.

Original Graphic – Rodgers, M. M. 2015.

In order to compare both paths and for the sake of the analysis, assume the following information obtained from the University of Rhode Island website: Finance Major at the University of Rhode Island, cost (in-state tuition) $14,379.00 for full time (12-19 credits) for the year, $453 per credit for part-time (less than 12 credits), student will carry burden of the tuition and max out his student loans, and student will defer payments until after graduation (Enrollment Services, 2014).
A student in the proposed scenario following the traditional path would accumulate $57,516 in student debt over four years, and even though they would have their bachelor’s degree in a prestigious discipline, their student loan payments would be due soon after graduation. Consider that: you are 23, you have never worked a day in your life, but you have to pay back nearly $60,000 before you even receive your first paycheck. The major setbacks presented have been well documented over the years and these numbers just continue to grow. Between 2000 and 2010 borrowing for full-time undergraduates increased over 50% (Wei & Horn, 2013, p. 1). In 2009, student loans became the largest type of debt owed by households, eclipsing credit card debit. Just a little over 2 years ago in 2012, over 70% of students graduating from a four-year college had student loans (The Institute for College Access & Success, 2014). One can come to their own conclusion as to what these numbers mean, but the negative impact these numbers have on graduates is evident in both the short and long term. In addition to the burden these loans place on recent graduates, are the emptiness of emergency savings accounts, lack of financial literacy, and minimal retirement savings, if any at all. Consider the “Household net worth by age” graphic arranged by Brian Stoffel of USA Today formulated from data gathered by the US Census Bureau published in 2011.What is most troubling about this graphic is that between the ages of 18-35, less than 70% of this group has been able to accumulate about $2,000 a year in wealth. It is even more staggering that 50% have less than $6,682 in net worth, and when cross-(Stoffel, 2015)
(Stoffel, 2015)
referenced with the data from the US Census that was used to create this graphic from USA Today, it was found that 32% of households under 35 have a negative net worth (U.S. Census Bureau, 2011; Stoffel, 2015). According to a survey conducted in late 2013 by the...

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