This infographic from Sarah Wenger (collegathome.com) makes an important point – the status of moving away is not worth the debt. Leaving home for university/college has become a status symbol of the middle class whether or not students can afford it. True, many students are forced to re-locate for certain programs or due to their distance from an institution, but many leave just because it is a “coming of age” tradition. Why not just buy a nice car and spend some money at coffee shops so you get the break you need from parents’ home and can still afford life after school. More importantly, the shift away from home can isolate and dislocate young adults from their social communities. Lots of students move back home after failing to succeed in their first year – a failure that may not have been necessary if students had remained imbedded in their home networks. I’ve just had a baby girl and I’m preparing to ramp up this rant so I am very convincing in 18 years!