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When the stock market had its epic 2008 collapse, millions of Americans angrily questioned how something so outrageous could occur without the media giving it much notice. Yes, there had been some wise prognosticators prior to 2008 pointing out the existence of the housing market bubble, and free-market advocates have been arguing for decades the government’s heavy involvement in the mortgage market poses a significant risk to the market as a whole, but few in the media paid much attention. Then the crash happened.
In many ways, the current student loan debt crisis is very similar. American college graduates and students currently have over $1.2 trillion in outstanding debt, and every second, according to MarketWatch, “the outstanding balance of the nation’s student loans is growing by an estimated $2,726.27.” There are many factors that have contributed to the rising amount of student debt, not the least of which is the government’s increased involvement in the student loan market. Under President Obama’s administration, student loan debt and tuition rates have skyrocketed.
None of this, however, changes the importance of getting a college degree in today’s market. While it’s certainly possible to be successful without a college degree, the reality is many employers won’t hire an applicant for a quality job unless he or she has a college degree. What can prospective students do then? Well, one alternative to the traditional education model is to pursue an online degree. Online degrees are now being offered by an increasing number of quality educational institutions, and you simply cannot beat the value in terms of dollars and cents. They aren’t for everyone, to be sure, but they are an excellent option for lots of students who have no trouble learning online, who have families at home, or who are working through their college years.
To help students and prospective students find accurate information about online college degrees, SR Education Group created OnlineU.org, which recently released its updated list of the “2016 Most Affordable Online Colleges & Degrees,” available here: http://www.onlineu.org/most-affordable-colleges
If you or someone you know is interested in getting or finishing a degree online, I’d consider taking a look at that well-researched site. Also, check out OnlineU.org’s “Top Online Colleges” list to see online programs offered by Stanford University, Columbia (an Ivy League college), and other great schools.
Online education is an excellent way to obtain a college degree without the incredibly high amounts of debt that comes with the traditional model. As more top universities recognize the potential of offering an online degree, this market will expand, providing greater access to an affordable education for millions of Americans across the country.
NOTE: This author has not received any compensation from OnlineU.org or any online college or university. The author has no financial connection to any of the parties mentioned in the article.