Thoughts On “Default: The Student Loan Documentary”

When I was in B-school, there were two groups of students, those that were company-funded and those that were self-funded.  The company-funded students typically had a deal which tied them to their employers for three years or else they had to repay all or part of their education costs.  The self-funded group paid out-of-pocket and/or took out student loans which many will be repaying for the next twenty-five years.  I fell squarely in the latter camp…

I received an invite to view a sneak preview of “Default: The Student Loan Documentary” this afternoon and just finished watching it.  I have to admit this was a bit difficult to watch.  It brought back painful memories of the stock market crash of October 2008.  I was in Shanghai, China at the time, for the international business portion of my MBA program, when the market hit the skids.  My fellow students were glued to their Blackberries as their investments evaporated.  I saw something else evaporating.  Future opportunities.  I had accepted an out-sized student loan with the belief that the economy would continue to grow in the future.  As the market crashed, it constrained my options.  I’ve been fortunate enough to stave off the horrors some others have experienced.   That said, I’m guessing I have far less margin for error than similarly educated professionals from prior generations.  Our society has become a precarious house of cards which will certainly collapse if we continue down the current path.  If you’re not aware of the growing student debt issues in our country, please watch the trailer below and keep an eye out for the release of the full film.  Even if you haven’t been affected by these issues, I assure you many you know are.

DEFAULT – The Student Loan Documentary from Default: the Student Loan Docume on Vimeo.

I don’t see how we can possibly fix our economy while student loan debts mushrooms in this fashion.