Student Loan Debt Is A Girl Problem

Screen-shot-2013-05-28-at-11.05.46-AM-e1369753594516Author: Sarah Devlin

Every week we wade through a ton of stories full of bad news about college costs and student debt. With educational debt having outpaced consumer debt a few years ago, the news that 7 million students will likely see the interest rates on federal subsidized loans double in July, coupled with the revelation that one third of millenials regret going to college, I have to wonder if student debt is becoming a gendered issue.

A few years ago, everyone got very excited about the fact that women were attending and graduating from four year colleges in greater numbers than men. The Great Recession hit, and talk turned to the difficulty that college grads were having finding jobs that would pay a living wage (curiously at odds with thegrowing number of jobs that require college degrees).

The more I read about the student debt crisis, the more surprised I find myself that there isn’t a specific focus on who bears the majority of that student debt — the women who are outpacing their male contemporaries in enrolling and earning college degrees. If there are greater numbers of female students than male, doesn’t it follow that if the trend continues, the bulk of student debt will be sitting on women’s shoulders?

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    • Lastango

      In the continuation of this article we read:

      “It’s deeply disappointing that right around the same time that the gender balance tipped in women’s favor for college enrollment, costs are skyrocketing and the value of a bachelor’s degree is being diluted. Why aren’t we spending more time talking about that?”

      What’s disappointing is that, years ago, more time wasn’t spent talking about how the university establishment had become a scam drinking from a river of federal loan guarantees to non-credit-worthy recipients, how women were taking crap majors with no job prospects (sorry – even the diversity industry inside the University of California megasystem, or the federal government, isn’t big enough to hire them all), and how soaring enrollments were driven by people going to college who never should have.

      Celebrating “progress” was WAY too much fun, way more popular, than asking whether this was a contrived bubble and an unsustainable extravagance. The future was blindingly brilliant, and it was all going to be Up! Up! Up! — especially for women, for whom education was to be the royal road to wealth and power. Now the talk is about how this isn’t “fair” to women, and how the federal government should forgive college debt (i.e. have everyone else pay it off). Life’s just one big happy entitlement, lived through federal fiat and on someone else’s dime.