Sure you can go back to school for fun, or to meet people, or for some other social purpose. Hat tip for illustration on left to http://debtfreedegree.wordpress.com/ – a great new blog on how to go to school without going into debt – an increasingly popular topic for discussion these days.
But don’t go back to school and into debt to get a better job if you’ve been laid off and you are older than 38 or so. It doesn’t compute. This is not news.
In a Reuters article appearing on Dec. 27, 2011, author Mitch Lipka said,
Educational borrowing is up for every age group over the past three years, but it has grown far more quickly among those between 35 and 49, according to the analysis of more than 3 million credit reports provided to Reuters by the credit score tracking site CreditKarma (CreditKarma.com). That group saw its school debt burden increase by a staggering 47 percent, according to the analysis.
Now, Dave Ramsey has been saying for quite some time that people should never go into debt for anything. Now, look at his tirades on the topic of student loan debt. This, no doubt, infuriates student loan officers at colleges all over the U.S., but consider this, again from the Reuters article,
[Advisors note that] government-backed debt, unlike most other debt, cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy, so it is an albatross for those who can’t make enough money after going back to school.
“Some of my clients have come out of their programs with over $100,000 worth of debt and are unable to find a job making six figures,” [said one.] “Because of the economy, many employers have an abundance of candidates to choose from for their open positions who will work for less money …”
Note that the schools get the money and the students get the debt, plus the interest on the debt.