There's only one answer to the skyrocketing college debt problem in New Jersey. It's actually the answer to the skyrocketing debt problem all over the country. We have to start looking at college as just an option. At least in the case of the traditional four year degree.

Only people who can afford it should be purchasing this luxury item. We've learned nothing if we haven't learned over the last 10 years what the consequence of being extended too much credit is.  When the government extends you credit for a college loan, it is licking its chops and rubbing its hands together as it is the absolute best deal they have ever made.

With high interest that you'll be paying to them and for a very very long time. And you've made a deal with the devil. When the mortgage bubble burst, we quickly learned that some things are luxuries and luxuries are, by definition, something that not everyone can afford. College is the same. Student loans are almost a lose lose situation for whoever takes them out. So here's the solution to the college debt problem: Community college.

Yes it may not sound great when you bump into your neighbor Kathy in the produce aisle and she says that her son Kyle is on his way to Duke in the fall and then you are forced to meekly state, "yeah Tyler's going to Ocean County Community College," but you've got to be a big boy or a girl about it. Just because Kathy drives a Mercedes doesn't mean you go out and buy one. You buy what you can afford!

And it's got to be the same with colleges! Unless you can afford $30,000 a year for tuition, it's community college for you. And Tyler. If you can't even afford that, there are some one & two year trade schools that are much more affordable.

Might it make it more difficult for Tyler to find a job in this "you've got to have that piece of paper environment?" Maybe. But as New Jerseyans, we are nothing if not creative. and stubborn. Perhaps Tyler will start his own business. He will find his way. Just like anything else in this life (and like your grandfather probably told you) never, ever, EVER buy something you can't afford (especially something that's not even a good deal, is only marginally useful, and that will that will have you paying for it for years and years and years!)

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