By admin | April 8th, 2014
Spring is an amazing time of year for reasons that go beyond the return of warmer weather and green grass. Late May and early June is graduation season, which is an exciting, hopeful time. Parents of high school students experience a range of emotion – happiness, pride, even a little sadness about their teen growing up. Unfortunately, a major story topic the media has pursued in recent days is the rising cost of higher education and the ballooning rate of college loan debt.
While college tuition, room and board, etc. can be daunting, reporters and editors have more than done their job in underscoring the issue. In the last month there have been over 5,000 media mentions related to the rising price of higher education.
Many stories have linked overall student debt to earlier economic challenges, including the stock market crash of 2008. Here’s a headline and blog story link from the Huffington Post that sums it all up in a completely fearful way – “9 Striking Similarities Between the Housing Bubble and The Higher Education Bubble.”
While college loans and student debt are certainly concerning, it will be interesting to see how the number of these stories ramp up and then recede as we leave spring and head into summer. This particular economic story is timely and pegged for the moment . . . and maybe only the moment.
So far there has been little if any organized response or legislation to confront what many in the financial media are calling a crisis. Students aren’t marching in the streets, parents are not calling legislators, and colleges and universities are seemingly operating in a business as usual way.
There are always new stories that happen based on the calendar. We just went through March Madness and bracket busting; April 15 means reporters standing in front of mailboxes as people send in tax forms; July Fourth is always about fireworks and news about trips to the ER. Graduation season means pomp and circumstance and (at least this year) handwringing about student debt.