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JP Sears Shreds Conventional Wisdom on College and Student Loans (Video)

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Want to get rich?

Start out by going $100,000 in debt.

That’s the advice offered by JP Sears in a hilarious video that rips up the conventional wisdom on higher education and vividly illustrates the growing student loan debt problem in the United States.

I know the most intelligent way to start making a lot of money is to find a way to get at least $100,000 in debt before you even begin making money. So, I decided to go to college.”

The number of Americans with federal student loans grew by 14 million to 42 million in the decade through last year. This included loans through programs for undergraduates, parents, and graduate students. Overall student debt more than doubled to $1.3 trillion over that period. According to the student loan debt clock, the total level of student loan indebtedness stands at over $1.4 trillion today. As we reported recently, student loan debt is even impacting baby boomers and threatening their retirements.

Government policy has driven the student loan debt crisis, driven by the idea that everybody needs to go to college. Sears manages to point out the absurdity of this thinking by simply carrying the rhetoric to its extreme.

College isn’t for most people. It’s for all people. If you don’t get a degree, then you’re declaring you want to be homeless, unhappy, and a failure for the rest of your life. Having a college degree has now been the standard for so long that everyone in the workforce has one. So, you having one makes you just like everyone else, and at the same time, somehow, your degree sets you apart from everyone else. And if you don’t see the brilliance in how this helps you then you’re not very intelligent.”

Sears also makes a pretty perceptive point about the hidden cost of that student loan.

What excites me even more than the $100,000 of tuition cost for a degree is all the interest I have the opportunity to pay on that loan. This adds even more value to my college education, because it means I pay more for my education than what my education costs. Because I can’t afford my education.”

Of course, this isn’t to say that going to college is always a bad decision. But the video does offers an opportunity to pause and question the conventional wisdom. Just because it’s conventional doesn’t make it wise.

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