The debt 18-year-olds get into today to attend their dream school or just “go away to college” – will keep them from living for the glory of God.
Today, the average 18-year-old will go into major debt to attend college away from home just to get “the college experience.” This “experience” could cost them more in the long-run than they ever imagined.
Let me share with you a common story of today’s 18-year-olds. Today, an 18-year-old will get into a college that takes them away from home. This young person will take out college loans for living expenses, food, books, and probably classes as well. This will not include the credit card they carry that buys them Chick-fil-A and new shoes when they don’t have the cash they need to get it.
After year 1, they will be in debt to the tune of about $10,000. That’s one year in, and one year of college courses under their belt. Don’t forget that credit card they are carrying.
After year 2, (still no degree) they will be over $20,000 in debt with no job and no degree. Oh yeah, that credit card they carry is almost maxed out and they are just paying the minimum balance.
After year 3, they have declared a major have an associate’s degree and are excited about the future they are planning towards. At the end of year 3 they are $30,000 in debt. They are on track to get a degree in communication (because truthfully they don’t know what they want to do). They also now have 2 credit cards. The first one is now maxed out.
After year 4 they feel a call to the mission field. They are excited about this calling, and need only one more semester to get their degree. So after four-and-a-half years of college they have a degree in communications, over $45,000 in student loans, and 2 credit cards nearly maxed out. Oh yeah, and they want to be a missionary.
5 years after high school, with a college degree and a calling to the mission field they are now stuck working a 9-to-5 job just pay off that school loan. Now the plan is in 13 years to head to the mission field- because that is how long it will take to pay off the school loan. They will then be 35 years old…
The point is, the decisions an 18-year-old makes about college now, is going to impact their future and the future plans the Lord has for them more than they will ever know.
The average school loan debt is $30,000, for an undergraduate degree.
The average school loan debt is $57,000 for a master’s degree.
1-in-4 students with a master’s degree have debt of more than $100,000.
1-in-10 students with a master’s degree have debt of more than $150,000.
Years ago Pastor John Piper claimed that the very thing that keeps young people from going to the mission field is the guilt that comes from sexual sin. While this may still be true, there is now something else creeping in, preventing missionaries from heading to the mission field, student loan debt.
Parents, you will be held accountable along with your 18-year-old.
Josh Glymph is the Pastor to High School Students at Fruit Cove Baptist Church. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.