Life with debt is better than life with no degree

Welcome to another semester at SF State.

Only this time, the typical dread of ending the month-long winter holiday and going back to school should be the least of your worries.

If you protested rising student fees and the lack of class options in past years, then you’re in for quite a treat.

On top of Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to slash $500 million from the California State University budget to curtail the state’s massive $25 billion deficit, faculty layoffs, class and department cuts and increased student fees are all but certain to occur throughout the CSU system in the coming years.

With that in mind, SF State certainly won’t be bashful about asking and later taking your hard-earned dollars.

It’s not like our school is blessed with a multi-billion dollar endowment (thank you, Stanford). Nearly half of the little money SF State–and CSU–receives comes from California’s general fund.

Additionally, a report from the University Planning Advisory Council (UPAC) revealed that the University’s budget allocation from the CSU was reduced by $47.5 million throughout the 2008-2010 fiscal years.

So how will paying skyrocketing costs bode for future graduates who are having trouble paying the bills? Collegedata.com reported that the average debt load for a 2009 SF State graduate was roughly $16,000.

If you’re a current freshman or sophomore on loans, the best of luck to you.

However, there is a silver lining to your situation: Consider yourselves lucky that you’ve made it this far.

With $1 billion collectively proposed to be cut from the budgets of UC and CSU, schools in both systems will have no choice but to turn away hundreds of thousands of academically qualified community college and high school students — even if they can afford those nasty tuition hikes.

And if you ever questioned the value of a bachelor’s degree, consider that a 2007 report by the College Board in New York revealed that college graduates earned 60 percent more than high school graduates and were more likely to be physically healthier as well.

So what should students impacted by the CSU cuts consider? Debt-ridden or not at graduation, the temporary inconvenience of rising fees and department cuts should be a walk in the park compared to the hordes of students who will not get the opportunity to better their lives, economically or academically.

Be thankful for where you stand now.

Weather the storm of escalating fees, ensure your graduation, and think of how life would be if you had not attended college.

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