I can remember my college days at the University of Georgia way back in…well, let’s just say it was a few years ago. It was easy to keep my education and the fun that went along with being in college separate. I wasn’t a partier, so I didn’t really do the whole crazy Spring Break thing, but never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined using the money set aside for my education to get wild at Panama City Beach.
Seems like that’s not the case these days. Just when we thought that portions of the millennial generation couldn’t get any more frustrating, along comes evidence that a staggering percentage of college students are using federal student loan money to party.
A study conducted by LendEDU discovered that 30.6% of college students use their loans to pay for their spring break trips. According to The New York Post, this rate is higher than a figure quoted in another study done last year; that study suggested roughly 20% of students spent their loans not only on spring break, but also on dining out and other forms of entertainment.
While using loans to pay for debauchery is not illegal, Greg McBride, a chief financial analyst of Bankrate.com, told The New York Post that “students should minimize their borrowing during their college years and live a sparse lifestyle.” He pointed out that some individuals feel compelled to spend their loan cash unwisely after seeing what other students do for their spring breaks.
Let that sink in for a second. Students are using the money that the government loans them to pay for their education for beach trips, restaurant meals, drinks, and concerts. Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we refi.
This behavior goes to show how ridiculous the federal student loan program is in its current iteration – and why it has contributed to the insane rise in college tuition costs. As Charlie King of Turning Point USA noted in a PragerU video:
According to Bloomberg News, since 1978 the cost of a college education has gone up by over 1000 percent. Way past the rate of inflation. Tuition alone at many colleges is 20, 40, even 50 thousand dollars a year! So, how do you pay for it? Answer: student loans, loans that the government is happy to give you since they collect the interest. You don’t have to be a finance major to figure out that all these student loans give colleges no incentive to cut costs. Instead, it gives them every incentive to raise costs. Higher tuition obviously means more money for the college.
No wonder so many college students run around demanding more free stuff. Next thing you know, they’ll be asking for free beer and sunburn relief on the beach.