Dead Hippie


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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Middle class chimera

Getting a bachelor’s degree is the required ticket for entry into the middle class today, but the security once implied in that status is gone. In addition to the exigencies now felt by middle-class Americans of all ages—rising health care costs, soaring home prices and flat or falling incomes—today’s new generation of college grads bear an added vulnerability of massive debt. “Middle class” for a college-educated 20- or 30-something today means carrying five-figure student loan debt. Two-thirds of college graduates borrow money to help pay for school, putting them $20,000 in the red on average. At current interest rates for federal student loans of 6.8 percent, that amounts to a $230 monthly payment for the next 10 years. And for those trying to buy more security with an advanced degree—just try getting ahead without one—leaves today’s aspiring professionals with a combined student loan debt of $46,900 on average.

"College Blues"

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