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Maybe you and your college-bound child should read this

It's hard not to acknowledge what seems to be an outsized triad of troublesome debt sources that contribute in an especially big way to insolvency for many millions of Americans.

Here is that pernicious evil of three debt categories that are ensnaring legions of people -- both in Arkansas and across the United States -- and adversely affecting their lives both immediately and over the long term:

  • Credit card principal and its corresponding lofty interest rates
  • Medical debt, often summarily and unexpectedly arising
  • Student loans

A recent media piece takes a close look at the last entry above, noting its sizable dimensions and suggesting a fix to curb the shockingly high outlays that plague former students for years -- sometimes decades.

Its author flatly states that, while upper education is certainly worthwhile, it often fails because school officials don't adequately connect with students (and their parents) early on to communicate things an enrollee might be doing to timely prepare for the job market.

The tools are there, says labor-market guru Matthew Sigelman. He notes that the sole difference between two similarly placed graduates having markedly different job experiences is often simply that one of them completed a quick complementary course or two while in college on subject matter that expanded area knowledge.

Maybe immersion in even a short online tutorial or two, Sigelman says, or a minor/second concentration in a major, can make a huge difference in a job candidate's attractiveness and employment prospects.

Students need to know that early on. When they do, they often don't become part of America's huge demographic that cannot pay back educational loans because, in turn, they can't score adequate employment.

Being smart about education is, well, smart. Sigelman is all in favor of every person chasing the dream that beckons and pursuing a favored major, but he counsels that the game plan can be rather easily strengthened over the college years by a foray or two into subject matter that enhances the core.

Doing that can in many instances help a student avoid burdensome debt problems down the road.

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