Could the high cost of a college education be shifting the dynamics of America’s economy as we know it? According to the findings of a new survey by Arizona Pathways to Life Success for University Students (APLUS), that is exactly what is happening.
APLUS polled 1,000 young adults making the transition from college to post-college, and found that many are struggling to achieve the milestones that have been traditionally expected as part of the “after college” experience. The rising costs of a college education have equated to graduating millennials being hit by a double financial whammy — not only do they have more loans, but they also have to deal with a more difficult job market. And all this comes after dealing with the sometimes difficult transition between high school and the more independent-driven rigors of a university setting.
As a result, fewer young adults are moving out of their parents’ home, getting married, and having children at the same rate they formerly did, and many are choosing to put off larger financial investments like cars and homes — which have traditionally been an important part of the national economy. “About 19% felt home ownership unimportant, and 16% rated living on their own as unimportant,” the survey said.
The survey also indicated that many young adults continue to be reliant on their parents for financial support, even though the majority of them have full-time jobs. “I think the economy has been a factor and also the fact that high student debt is very well documented and is causing concern,” said Ted Beck, who is the SEO and president of the National Endowment for Financial Education.
A scarcity of job opportunities has meant that most employers haven’t felt incentivized to raise wages, and many graduates are prevented from beginning wealth accumulation thanks to the dearth of unpaid internships promising much sought-after industry experience. The Economy Policy Institute estimates that 40% of minimum wage workers, in fact, have a degree or at least some college education.