Remember that graduation speech meme that goes, “Shoot for the moon! Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” It’s pretty gag-worthy, both for its appalling misstatement of astronomy and for the triteness of the metaphor. Turns out it’s also advice that most college students can’t afford to take. Instead of shooting for the moon (or the stars), they’re more likely to shoot for the biggest salary they can find, so they can pay the student loan debt.
If you graduate from college owing student loans, you’re less likely to choose public interest jobs, according to a study reported in the New York Times.
“In many cases, the choices that student borrowers make are just common sense, based on the financial realities they face. Taken together, they seem to be having a substantive — many would say negative — effect on the economy.”
Makes sense — if you owe big money, you can’t afford to teach or to work for a non-profit. Or to start your own business, or buy a home, or have kids.
Instead of aiming for their dreams, too many grads (and non-grads) have to settle for whatever will help them meet the student loan repayment schedule.