Clearly student debt in America is at an all-time high. Many college graduates come out with hundreds of dollars in student loans, chained to payments they struggle to make, because higher education in America seems to have been put on the back burner. Advocates repeat endlessly why education needs to be funded and why it's important to make this a priority in order to have a well-functioning society. However hard they try, putting the emphasis back on education has come to a standstill.
It is important to note that college costs have gone up tenfold due to the rising issues and fluctuation of the US economy, in addition to this seeming carelessness about educating young minds. There's less faith in teachers, fewer investments made in low-income areas, and less delving into creative majors within the arts and humanities (causing a whole separate issue about arts classes in public schools and the value of an arts/humanities based degree).
And this is a huge problem that no one is doing anything about except addressing. I know addressing the problem is the first step, but we need to move beyond that - we as a nationwide community need to start viewing college degrees as valuable no matter what they are: associate's, bachelor's, master's, whatever - if a person decides they want to further their education, the finished degree shouldn't equal zero opportunities and countless dead-end jobs. Yes, a job is a job, but it's hard to want to get up and go to work every day if you know you could have been doing something else more fitting for your individual self if you only had a bit less student debt.
I'm an art history and European history major. I figure if I work hard at double-majoring, I might end up in a better spot due to my "worthless" arts degree. I already know I'm not going to be rolling in cash after graduation (or at any point in my life) - which I am personally okay with, since I think I'd spend my wealth on all kinds of stupid things - but in the back of my mind I'm always worried about how I'm going to support my future family and future self. Twentysomethings need to become adults at some point, but I don't think it's fair to have kids worrying about life plans beginning in their senior year of high school.
In conclusion, education is so important I don't think I could emphasize it via words any more than that. America as a whole, in order to continue to grow and produce great thinkers and boast about how we're the "land of good colleges," needs to make education a top priority. I'm tired of the patronizing looks when I tell people my major. I'm tired of hearing about how I'm going to need a Masters or a Doctorate (and end up in more debt) in order to be successful. And I am so, so tired of high school students being tested to the point of breaking, learning nothing.
School is about learning, not constant assesment and stress. Get kids to like school again, and we will all benefit.