By Jonathan Elkas

A commonality amongst most college kids these days is the nuisance of student debt. America currently has a total of 1.5 trillion dollars (and climbing) outstanding in student debt split across 44 million Americans (American Progress Organization). This turned an individual nuisance into what is most commonly referred to in the news and media, a national “crisis.” The negative connotations associated with debt, specifically student debt and loans have made them that much more intimidating to take on.  

So, where do we draw the line? The line between the importance of education and the insurmountable debt forced on young adults. The price of college is continuously climbing year after year forcing loans and debt to go up just as much each year. Money is the main determinant of our culture and society, while, in turn, education is the first step to being successful. Almost every decision we make is completely based around the cost, or the benefit we receive in return. So, is student debt worth it?  

Most students at Bryant made the hard choice to value their education over a current profit. They put faith in a system that when they graduate, they will have the skills and knowledge to make every penny back. Students also have the faith that they will have the good chances to land a job after graduation. Bryant University on average will end up totaling a whopping $175,000. Over half of the students enrolled will walk away with a degree and about $28,000 (plus interest) in debt.  

Luckily, we have the numbers on our side as Bryant University tops Rhode Island colleges (including Brown) in long term R.O.I as reported by Georgetown university center on education, making Bryant the top 100 in the country for long term returns. It is reported that “a Bryant graduate can expect an economic gain of $1 million after 30 years and $1.4 million after 40 years” (Boston Globe). With 91% of the student body participating in internships throughout their four years, suddenly an education is turned into an experience. This, in turn, produces a graduating class whom 99% of have jobs with a median starting salary of $60,000. So, what does this mean, essentially it means we can rest assured that it is all worth it.  

As a student who had to take on student loans to receive this education, I grappled with this question constantly. And just a few months away from receiving a degree, I am confident as most of my peers are, that we are not only prepared for life after college but confident in the knowledge we have obtained. Bryant’s unique integration of Business with Arts and Sciences has given us a well-rounded curriculum, making a Bryant graduate competitive in most all positions.  Although it is clear that something must be done to stop the price of education from rising and debt from growing, my personal investment into Bryant University was one I would make 10 times over and I believe most of the student body would as well.  

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