Economic Development News & Insight


Putting dreams on hold for student loans

Laura Fuller / March 13, 2017

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Putting dreams on hold for student loans

It is common knowledge that accumulating debt from student loans is at an all-time high in North America. Education has not always been this expensive. In previous generations, entrepreneurs could graduate from college or university with minimal debt. This small amount of owed money allowed for past businesspeople to start up organizations that have grown into strong, well-established businesses.

Ever since the cost of education began rising to tedious levels, the number of entrepreneurs have decreased. It’s not because newer generations are less ambitious – that is just untrue. The reason that aspiring young entrepreneurs do not fund their own ideas is due to the fact that many millennials are so financially unstable because of student loans that they cannot afford to take the risk.

The correlation between entrepreneurship and student debt has been addressed in previous issues of TINAN, as well as various articles produced by Fortune, The Atlantic, and Entrepreneur.

What does this mean for the rest of us?

The fact that millennials are not venturing out and establishing new businesses means that the entire economy suffers. Why? This is because small businesses fuel our economy. Over the past twenty years, small businesses have created sixty percent of jobs in the United States.

Student loans pose as major barriers for young entrepreneurs. Without entrepreneurs, new small businesses are not created, and by extension, neither are new jobs.

How do we reverse this process?

An economist article shares a business perspective on the topic. It says that lowering the cost of administration will assist in lowering education costs. Online education and inclusive access are also both notable methods that can be utilized for institutions to lower costs. Federal governments can also assist students with programs such as OSAP, or Ontario’s free tuition plan for low-income students.

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