I had an interesting conversation with a friend the other day. He knows a couple who is about to get married and who has a debt burden from college that exceeds $100,000 between the two of them.
That’s a bad place to start a marriage.
Are these Ivy League graduates or med school students? No. They’re graduating from Cedarville with degrees in education and English. To put it in perspective, my first home in Louisville cost my wife and I less than $100,000 and we mortgaged that amount for 30 years. Our monthly payment was around $850 per month. This makes perfect sense when you’re purchasing an asset that appreciates in value over time, like a home. But that is a crazy amount to pay for degrees in education and English from a small Bible college.
With this kind of sticker price, is this worth it? Most people go to college because it’s what you do in order to secure a decent job and better lifestyle in the future. College is supposed to do two things. First, it is supposed to educate and train you to contribute to society in a particular field (prepare you for a vocation) and second to indirectly recommend you to potential employers by awarding you a degree.
If employment does not await the graduate with sufficient income to offset the debt burden, then the college education becomes an obscenely expensive venture that will not propel a person’s career.
The Bible says that “the rich rules over the poor and the borrower is servant to the lender” (Prov 22:7). College is supposed to lead to a good career. A good career is supposed to produce freedom and financial independence. This freedom can then, in turn, be used to serve God and the financial affluence given to advance Kingdom causes.
But when colleges are charging $100,000 for degrees that lead to careers that pay in the $30,000 price range, the student has enslaved himself to a life of financial slavery.