Back to the Future: Longing for the Recession of the 1990s for Today’s College Graduates
Ahhh…to think that I dream of the early 1990s when student loans averaged only $10,000 and the unemployment rate for recent college grads was a mere 3.3 percent
Last week, I took a week out off of blogging to spend time giving final lecturers for my spring Health Law course at the University of California, Berkeley. As I walked the campus and saw the anxious faces of the graduating seniors, I was worried. I remembered back to my own graduation from college, nearly two decades ago (gulp!), amid a recession, with a mountain of debt and no job waiting for me. My parents had taken out a second mortgage on their home to pay for my college so there was no borrowing from Mom and Dad. I racked up credit card debt to get by and got lucky with a whole bunch of breaks mixed in with some hard work.
My peers and I struggled. Just over one-third of us had borrowed money to pay for college, and we had an average of $10,088 in student loan debt when we walked across the stage to receive our diplomas.
In reflecting on this time, I wondered whether those of us who graduated in the early 1990s ever fully recovered from starting our careers during a recession.
Great infographic from the Wall Street Journal: