June 2018

2 3 I From the Editor It’s graduation season again.This year, according to theNational Center for Edu- cational Statistics,about 4.5million college degrees will be conferred in the United States–1.3million associate’s degrees,2.0 million bachelor’s degrees,982,000master’s degrees,and 210,000 doctorates. And all over the country,parents are both proud and concerned–proud that junior has finallyachieved an auspicious,and po- tentially life-changingmilestone,andwor- ried that,for far toomany,crippling student debt will hamper their offspring’s ability to begin their lives as financially independent adults on their way to embracing theAmer- ican dream–which for generations has included owning a home of one’s own. The fact is,for most people,going to col- lege is still a relativelygood bet.On average, thosewith a college degree can expect to earn about $17,500more per year than their peers who have onlya high school diploma and $1millionmore over aworking lifetime. But when it comes to home ownership, the trend is not good.In 2003,total student debt in the countrywas $241 billion and 42 percent of Americans under age 35 owned homes.This year,student debt has climbed to $1.48 trillion-$620 billionmore than the total U.S.credit card debt-and the percent- age of home ownership in that cohort has dropped to 35 percent. Today,44.2millionAmericanscarryan averagestudent loandebtof almost$40,000, andmakingmonthlypaymentsonthatdebt puts the risingcostof asingle familyhome outof reachformany.Manyyoungpeopleare movingtocitieswhere theycanonlyaffordto rent—aproblemthathasbeencompounded ashomepriceshavesoaredwhilewageshave barelyoutpaced inflation.Andfor those4.3 millionborrowers,whose loansarealready indefault,theprospectsaremoredaunting –nobodyisgoingtogrant amortgage to someonewith awrecked credit score. Howbad are things for theMillennials– thosewhowere born between 1981 and 1996?More than 80 percent of Millennials surveyed by theNational Association of Realtors and the nonprofit groupAmerican StudentAssistance said that student debt had forced them to shelve their plans to buy a home.And an analysis published by the Federal Reserve Bankof NewYork suggests that if student debt levels had stayedwhere theywere in 2001,more than 360,000 peo- ple in their 20s and 30s would have owned their own home by2015. There aremany reasonable and eminently doableways inwhich student loan debt in America can be ameliorated.Congressional fixes include: boosting the student loan interest deduction in the taxcode,setting student loan interest rates closer to the prime rate,expanding the parameters for Public Service Loan Forgiveness,stream- lining Income-Driven Repayment,allowing federal loans to be refinanced at lower interest rates,and offering taxbenefits to employers that contribute to the student loan repayment plans of their employees. Amore radical plan calls for the complete elimination of all federal student debt and the assumption of all private student debt by the federal government.Andwhynot? The recent taxbill passed byCongress and signed into lawby the President,last fall, reduced taxes on thewealthiestAmericans byan equal amount-$1.5 trillion.Whynot treat the next generation of leaders as well as the present one? Student loan debt is keepingmillions of Americans frommoving forward–buying homes and starting families.And the nega- tive impact to the country’s economicvitality from these delayedmilestones could be huge down the road.Providing student loan relief could go a longway toward helping re-establish themiddle class and building a stronger national economy. Wouldn’t it be nice to take theworryout of graduation-and just leave the pride and joy? Al Krulick Editor-in-Chief Editor-in-Chief Al Krulick Associate Editor Lorie Steiner Director of Advertising Lauren Blackwell Research Directors Paul Payne Brendan McElroy Josh Conklin Lisa Curry Joanna Whitney Matthew Mitchell Christian Combes Digital Strategist Jon Bartlow Alyson Casey Director of Administration Creative Director Dana Long Vice President of Business Development Erin O’Donoghue Vice President of Publishing Andre Barefield CGO Alexander Wynne-Jones COO Brian Andersen Executive Publisher / CEO Marcus VandenBrink USA Canada Caribbean Oceania Email for all inquiries: info@businessviewmagazine.com WWW.BUSINESSVIEWMAGAZINE.COM 12559 New Brittany Blvd Fort Myers, 33907 239.220.5554 CONTACT US