Kathy Kristof of Forbes seems to think so. In this intriguing article, Kristof argues that with student loans with terms worse than what you can get from Vito down at the docks, and with the overinflated importance of a college degree, higher education can actually mean a financial disaster:
Mindy Babbitt entered Davenport University in her mid-20s to study accounting. Unable to cover the costs with her previous earnings as a cosmetologist, she took out a $35,000 student loan at 9% interest, figuring her postgraduate income would cover the cost.
Instead, the entry-level job her bachelor's degree got her barely covered living expenses. Babbitt deferred loan repayments and was then laid off for a time. Now 41 and living in Plainwell, Mich., she is earning $41,000 a year, or about $10,000 more than the average high school graduate makes. But since she graduated, Babbitt's student loan balance has more than doubled, to $87,000, and she despairs she'll never pay it off.
"Unless I win the lottery or get a job paying a lot more, my student debts are going to follow me to the grave," she says.