Maggie Gallagher

The average cost of room, board and tuition at a public university is seven times what it was when I went to Yale, according to Utne Reader.

Yes, a college degree is "worth it" in general terms.

It's just not worth going $50,000 into debt at the age of 22 to achieve.

There's got to be a better way.

The culture of debt being created for college grads will affect them for years to come.

Colleges have become complicit in teaching teenagers bad financial lessons that hurt their ability to make it. According to Utne Reader, at least 700 colleges have contracts with banks to market credit cards to students. About nine in 10 students use credit cards to help pay their education expenses. The average college student now has 4.6 credit cards.

I'm 51 years old and I have two.

We are going to see a lot more generational cris de couer, like the hilarious viral YouTube music video "The Ivy League Hustle (I Went to Princeton, B----!)," Overlaying its sexual complaint by elite women about the men they have to date, there is an amazing riff on the anomalous position of the overeducated artist, trying to persuade himself or herself that being economically marginal is a sign of moral superiority.

Borrowing more to pay for colleges that raise their tuition so they can enroll more film studies majors?

That is madness, and it has to stop.

Maggie Gallagher

Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.