CNBC’s Debt Documentary

by Jason Fertig

Last week, CNBC ran a documentary titled “Price of Admission: America’s College Debt Crisis.” The hour-long program featured points that satisfy all sides of this issue – the crying young adult lamenting his $70,000 student-loan debt that he cannot repay, the “behind the scenes” look at how for-profit colleges “sell their degrees,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan advocating “the right higher education” for most people, the young couple with $250,000 of debt questioning whether college was really worth it, etc.

While this documentary is not as hard-hitting as some would like in its conclusions, the fact that this program made the air is still notable. Whether or not one advocates college for all, the question “How will these loans get paid back?” still needs to move out of the back of the minds of more college students (and their parents).

I interact with many students who say that they will “worry about their paying loans later,” and this frightens me. For learning purposes, I wish college students did not see themselves as customers who are buying a piece of paper, but when it comes to future student-loan payments, I do wish more borrowers would run the numbers beforehand.

The documentary will run again this week and CNBC also has a link for the material covered.

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