Higher education is now essential for many jobs and career paths.
Despite the clear need for college, tuition comes at a steep price, potentially saddling a family with overwhelming debt. A glance at the headlines reveals some scary insights about the increasing burden of student debt:
• Two-thirds of college seniors in 2010 graduated with student debt, averaging $25,000 each (The Institute for College Access & Success);
• Student debt has reached the $1 trillion mark, surpassing credit card debt and auto loan debt, and grew by $300 billion between the third quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2012 (The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau);
• At the same time, state and local support for higher education, measured in inflation-adjusted dollars per student, reached its lowest point in 25 years in 2011 (The State Higher Education Executive Officers Association).
Well-meaning (and well-educated) Americans carry an enormous debt-load stemming from higher education. Many are weighed down for decades by this financial burden, delaying the purchase of a home, starting a family, even marriage. Those particularly hard-hit by the recession and other life circumstances have sought relief through bankruptcy. But since 1976, that avenue is closed for student debt; it can no longer be discharged through bankruptcy unless very strict requirements for “certainty of hopelessness” are met.
The threat to individuals – and to the nation’s economy – is very real. Your company can be part of the solution! The benefits of a Corporate 529 Plan extend beyond your valued employees and their families, to your organization. By adding this essential programto your benefits package, you will demonstrate that your company values education and is invested in the next generation.