Why go $40,000 to $100,000 or more in debt for a college education when studying in Europe will cost far less, possibly even be free, and you will pick up a foreign language or two in the process?
Please consider a response from reader Ivo in response to Co-Signing a Loan is Risky Business For You, Your Family, Your Heirs, Even the Borrower: More Student Loan Debt Slave Nightmares.
Your points are generally correct, but at the same time, more and more students choose to study abroad. Why not get your degree from another country?
Also, I have co-signed a couple of student loans in Estonia, and feel pretty good about the loans as well as the people, especially in comparison to what's going on in the US.
My oldest son is studying film-making in one of Europe's newest and most modern film schools, located right here in Tallinn, for 3,400 EUR total per year. By the end of his BA, he'll be some 10,000 EUR in debt (I am paying some of his expenses), but has studied under internationally-known film-makers, has participated in several international film festivals with his own films, and has trained on cutting-edge equipment. Before he enrolled last fall, we did some research about his different options in different countries. In the USA, a similar program would have cost him $200,000 or more, tuition only.
So why should one study in the USA at all?
Apparently one of the reasons are regional licenses. You may not be able to get a job in California if your future profession requires a CA license, which you will automatically get from an expensive CA-based university (and which costs you and your family a life-long debt slavery). For example, California may not want to have anything to do with you if your degree is from Helsinki, Finland, even though you may have had many of the same teachers on a guest-tutor basis as you would have had in CA.
I think for many study areas, the regional licensing systems are one of the most important factors driving people into life-long debt servitude in the USA as people may be unable to get jobs if their degrees are from schools in different states or countries.
This definitely warrants some further research.
All the best,