College debt horror stories could have been rewritten

“A higher degree of debt” (Money & Careers, Aug. 25) is another article that promotes scary headlines over a meaningful conversation about the costs and benefits of a college education.

You write that, according to the Federal Reserve, “the average member of the class of 2013 graduated with $28,000 in student debt.” By any standard, that debt level is a good bet considering that the return on investment for a college degree is more than $1 million in lifetime earnings.


I am sorry that students such as Karen Burger are burdened with $96,000 in debt, but I have to ask what she was thinking. The reporter writes that Burger was a “religious studies major with a minor in East Asian studies [who] pictured theology school and working at a faith-based nonprofit.” I applaud Burger’s commitment and passion for spiritual things and her wish to serve others. However, running up that much debt at the undergraduate level when one plans to pursue low-paying jobs is bad planning.

There are many less expensive but equally good colleges she could have attended that could have provided her education at a fraction of the price. This is NOT a case of the education system run amok, but rather one of poor judgment.

Heather A. Triplett



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