Logic that seemed sound to many not that long ago went something like this:
taking a low-paying non-profit job or basically paying someone to show you the ropes (happens often in international settings) was fine to do after college and while starting a career because there would be a financial reward/stability later that would balance the risk.
Does that logic still hold?
New data from The Project on Student Debt a national bi-partisan survey of adults ages 18-34 reveals:
- Two-thirds of graduating seniors left college in 2010 with an average of $25,250 in debt.
- The class of 2010 also faced the highest unemployment rate for young college graduates in recent history at 9.1%.
- The U.S. Department of Education shows a sharp increase in the rate at which student loan borrowers are defaulting.
- Across all colleges, about 320,000 borrowers who entered repayment in 2009 defaulted by the end of 2010 – 81,000 more than the those who defaulted by the end of 2009.
- More than half of this increase came from students who attended for-profit schools:
So can you afford to fly to Kathmandu to learn how to be a community health worker on your own dime? Can you afford to work for a non-profit in DC?
Well that is up to you. But I would pour myself a hot toddy and ponder my options.
- The mean studio apartment rate in DC is $1748 per month. If you made $25k/yr you would have a little over $2K per month pre-tax……
Others seem to be answering the question by getting experience in other ways:
- Teach for America had a record number of applicants this fall;
- Peace Corps just had its 50th birthday—you can defer/forebear federal loans;
- There are a myriad of programs (aka fellowships) under things like Ashoka, Echoing Green and Skoll Foundation;
- Launching a social enterprise (building a business with a socially responsible bent is a model that is filling the internet and conferences.); and
- Going to grad school.
What are you doing to avoid financial collapse but still change the world? Share your insight using the comment bubble to the right of the post!