Halloween is fast approaching, and with it, the usual terrors: creepy clown sightings, movie previews with nauseating jump-cuts and high-pitched screaming, costumed children harassing innocent suburbanites in a ravenous search for free candy.
It's an amazing season, the one time of year that we truly embrace our fears--even dress like them--be they Zombies, Monsters, or Donald Trump. (Sidenote: If you plan on going to your Halloween party dressed as Harambe or Ken Bone, prepare yourself for the humiliating shame of costume overlap.)
It's fun that we have a day put aside for celebrating the twisted and macabre. But let's be honest. The ghoulish frights are for the kids. We ain't afraida no ghost. But that doesn't mean we can't celebrate the dark magic of this special season by diving into something all too real and quite terrifying indeed: the cost of college.
If you lie awake at night, fending off night terrors about student loans and text books, this...will not help. So brace yourself, clutch your blanky, and consider these 21 Scary Facts About College. If you start to panic, try to remember your happy place.
(And just so you don't think we're a bunch of sour jerks here, stay tuned. Next month, we'll give you 21 College Facts to be Thankful For.)
1. Everybody's borrowing. The average graduate today owes more than $37,000 in student debt.
2. That's a pretty steep bill for somebody fresh out of school, especially considering that the average annual salary for a graduate with a Bachelor's Degree in Education, for example, is just under $35K.
3. That's probably why, according to a recent survey by Citizen's Bank, 59% of millennial graduates say they have no idea when their student loans will be paid off.
4. Some graduates immediately struggle to make loan payments. In 2015, a massive 21% of all borrowers attending for-profit and community colleges defaulted on their loans within just two years.
5. In spite of these troubling figures, between 2000 and 2014, the number of students who took out loans for college more than doubled to 42 million.
7. Putting reality aside, about half of all first-year students in the U.S. seriously underestimate how much student debt they've already accrued.
8. In fact, a recent survey, only 52% students could correctly identity the amount they paid for their first year of college.
9. I can't say I blame them for choosing not to think about it. If they did think about it, they would know that between 1987 and 2012, the cost of college rose by a staggering, stomach-churning, categorically unfair rate of 400%.
10. And if you're seeking the affordable alternative, you should know that even tuition for community college increased by 200%, just between 2005 and 2012.That's a much more exclusive community than it used to be.
11.Perhaps the only thing in the world that has inflated worse than tuition is the cost of textbooks, which have risen by a rate of 812% in the past 30 years. Words sure have gotten expensive.
12. But are we getting our money's worth here? Hard to say, but we do know that 46.5 percent of the students surveyed by CBS News acknowledged falling asleep frequently or occasionally while in class.
13. At least there's one thing they're giving away for free on college campuses. According to Stanford University's Sexual Health Peer Resource Center, 1 in 4 college students have an STD. That's a statistic we strongly suggest you memorize.
14. You should also know that, as of 2012, only 34% of all college students graduate with a degree from a two or four-year college.
15. The odds are even worse for those who start out a little behind schedule. 6 of 10 students entering community colleges must take remedial courses to make up for knowledge and skills they did not learn in high school.”
16. As a result, as of 2012, only 13.1% of remedial students finish a certificate within a year and a half, 9.5% of them complete an associate degree, and 35.4% of them complete a bachelor's degree.
17. In general, fewer than 60 percent of students who enter four-year schools finish within six years.
18. In spite of these outcomes, more students than ever are competing for seats in college. This September, more than 20.5 million students occupied roster spots in some 7,000 institutions of higher learning.
19. Strangely, according to a UCLA study, while more than 75% of college freshmen reported were accepted to their first choice-college in 2014, less than 57% chose to attend that college. That was a 40-year low, one that seems likely attributable to cost.
20. That said, if you have dreams of getting into an Ivy League college, you'd better get your credentials in order. Cornell offered the highest acceptance rate for students in the Class of 2020, a mere 14% of applicants. Wanna go to Harvard? You'll need to be among the best 5.2% of candidates.
21. Fortunately, one thing that students have no shortage of is confidence. According to CBS News, 71% of students surveyed rated themselves as being in the top 10% of students in their academic ability. I'll leave you to think about that one.
Does the thought of paying for college, or passing your courses, or showing up to a test in just your underthings keep you awake at night? In the spirit of Halloween, share your horror story here!