After decades of growth, college enrollment among new students is dropping. For these forward thinking young people, rejecting the traditional college experience doesn’t mean rejecting education — it means rejecting crippling debt.
Gen Zers consider financial independence the first milestone of adulthood, leaving them with a hard choice to make — college or career? Over the past 70 years, undergraduate tuition has grown by more than four times and today two in three students who earn their bachelor’s degree go into debt over it. Not to mention the average cost of an advanced degree, like law or medicine, which has grown by more than eight times. What we are left with is a collective student loan debt of $1.5 trillion. Faced with this prospect, many college-age individuals are embracing alternative education routes and in fact many of today’s fastest growing careers don’t necessarily require a degree at all.
According to young adults, finances, education, and career are among the biggest obstacles they face when getting started in life. For many, spending time and money in college may be more of a hindrance than a competitive edge. This infographic details the current state of higher education and how alternatives are changing the game for education.