A recent article in The Wall Street Journal said law school is losing its luster as student loan debts mount and salaries stagnate. “Law school was once considered a surefire ticket to a comfortable life,” the Journal said. “Years of tuition increases have made it a fast way to get buried in debt.” Graduates from a host of well-regarded law schools “routinely leave with six-figure student loans, then fail to find high-paying jobs as lawyers.”
In another recent article, the Journal said U.S. universities have awarded thousands of master’s degrees that “don’t provide graduates enough early career earnings to begin paying down their federal student loans.” The publication said that unlike undergraduate loans, the federal Grad Plus loan program “has no fixed limit on how much grad students can borrow.”
Education debt is not unique to the United States. China Daily reports that China has revised its state-subsidized student loan policy to “further reduce the debt burden of college student borrowers.” The country’s grace period for principal repayments has been extended from three years to five years after graduation. And borrowers now have 15 years after graduation to pay off all principal and interest, compared to 13 years previously.
The February 2011 issue of The Socionomist said higher education in the U.S. was riding a popularity wave. It identified a correlation between rising U.S. stock prices and rising tuition, as well as rising college enrollment. That same year, student loan debt topped the $1 trillion mark. By the end of last year, it had climbed to $1.7 trillion.
The pace of student loan debt is likely to slow in the event of a negative mood trend, which could fuel a “real crisis in enrollments, and by extension tuition receipts,” according to the March 2012 Socionomist.
To learn more about the correlation between social mood and higher education, read “Higher Tuition: Is it Finally ‘Enough’?.”
If you look closely, you can see patterns in social mood that help you predict social trends. Learn more with the Socionomics Premier Membership.