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Education The Almighty Buck News

Student Loan Interest Rankles College Grads 1259

theodp writes "Like many recent college grads, Steven Lee finds himself unemployed in one of the roughest job markets in decades and saddled with a big pile of debt — he owes about $84,000 in student loans for undergrad and grad school. But what's really got Lee angry are the high interest rates on his government-backed student loans. 'The rate for a 30-year mortgage is around 5%,' Lee said. 'Why should anyone have to pay 8.5%? The government has bailed out homeowners. It's bailed out big businesses. Why can't it also help students?' Not only that, federal student loans are the only loans in the nation that are largely non-dischargeable in bankruptcy, have no statutes of limitations, and can't be refinanced after consolidation, so Lee can forget about pulling a move out of the GM playbook. And unlike mortgages on million-dollar vacation homes, student loans have very limited tax deductability. A spokeswoman for the Department of Education blamed Congress for the rates which she conceded 'may seem high today,' but suggested that students are a credit-unworthy lot who should thank their lucky stars that rates aren't 12% or higher. Makes one long for the good-old-days of 3% student loans, doesn't it?"
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Student Loan Interest Rankles College Grads

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  • All mine were cheap! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dieman ( 4814 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @10:56PM (#29789143) Homepage

    Direct loans were cheap, and the consolidation brought them down to ~5% afair. I know the new loans are not as cheap, but thats because some idiot decided having non-direct loans and promising a profit to everyone who serviced them. Doh!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MBGMorden ( 803437 )

      Not sure where the mentions loans were from, but my loans have all been cheap too. My lowest interest rate was 4.5% and the highest was around 6%.

    • by anagama ( 611277 ) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:24PM (#29789409) Homepage
      Mostly it depends on when you went to school -- I consolidated my graduate loans in 2000. So my rate is 7.75%. Which does suck. I don't understand why I can't "re-finance" my loans every time rates go low.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      [ Disclaimer: I work for a non-profit company in the Student Loan business who has been around for 25+ years ]

      The reason loans rates were low had nothing to do with DIRECT loans. The FFEL (ie; non-DIRECT) program has exactly the same rates, and existed long before DIRECT was even a thought. These rates are determined by Congress, and are a supposedly based on the governments cost of getting loans from the private sector (T-Bills, etc...) DIRECT loans was an attempt to remove private enterprise from the s

  • by jkrise ( 535370 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @10:58PM (#29789151) Journal

    In India, student loans are 12% compound interest; while the borrowing rate in good banks is as high as 7.5% compunded quarterly.Money makes the world go round...

    • by metlin ( 258108 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:01PM (#29789169) Journal

      But in India, education is also highly subsidized and in a lot of universities, the fee structure is merit-based (i.e. your ranking in your entrance examinations determine which stratum you fall under).

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Your inflation in the long run (10+ years) is 8%. I think the US is 3%.

  • by IgD ( 232964 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @10:58PM (#29789155)

    I worked at a mid size private university in the midwest and tuition rates were astronomical ($30k for undergrad). I think the loans are one thing but tuition rates are a larger issue. I wondered how they stayed in business especially these days.

    • by iamhassi ( 659463 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:19PM (#29789355) Journal
      "I think the loans are one thing but tuition rates are a larger issue. "

      tuition prices are so high because kids keep getting approved for loans. I imagine schools might someday see the same thing the housing market has recently if the prices keep going up faster than inflation [miamiherald.com]. Can't sustain that forever.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by SuperBanana ( 662181 )

        tuition prices are so high because kids keep getting approved for loans.

        No, they're high because so many kids are trying to get into schools. Supply and demand.

        Student loans are enabling/helping it, but it isn't the root cause.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by hazem ( 472289 )

          It is most certainly a root-cause. You're confusing desire with economic demand. The demand can only be realized because of the abundance of student loans. Decrease the availability of student loans and the demand that the be realized by the schools will go down, even while the desire for students to attend may stay the same.

          Demand is only a useful term in that it is a desire for a product that can actually be acted upon.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by FooAtWFU ( 699187 )

            Universities moreover are excellent at price discrimination: charging you exactly as much as you're willing to pay, and maximizing their profit. Most students will even fill out forms to help the university price-discriminate against them better. It's called "financial aid". And yes, if there is more money available to the typical student for attending college, the typical college is able to charge more, plain and simple.

            I lucked out with a big fat faculty-dependent tuition concession and graduated with

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by pcolaman ( 1208838 )

              This hilarious thing about the point you make is that when your financial ability to pay is determined, they factor in how much your parents make, even if they cannot afford to help you pay for school. I had this problem and they determined that I made too much to get grants even though my parents could only do so much to help me.

        • by dpille ( 547949 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @12:32AM (#29790015)
          No, they're high because it's a service where productivity can't increase very much. We pay a higher and higher comparative amount for education because you still need a scholar standing at the front of the room, and lab space on a per-student basis and the like. Other prices moderate (by comparison) in the economy because you can capture productivity gains. On the manufacturing end, labor costs, raw material costs, input costs go down as we become more efficient. But you can't make a college professor teach 3% more students next year as well as before, which would be necessary to match the overall economy's productivity gain and keep prices from comparatively inflating. More to the point, supply and demand wouldn't really seem to be relevant to pricing when so much of the system is public university and community college. If your state's making money at its institutions, please have them contact mine so we can resolve our huge current deficit.
          • by dfenstrate ( 202098 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `etartsnefd'> on Monday October 19, 2009 @06:17AM (#29791677)

            No, they're high because it's a service where productivity can't increase very much.

            Rubbish. Folks like you cry we need to spend more money on education, so we give state universities more money, and they blow it on administrators or programs that are ancillary to actually putting useful knowledge into someone's head.

            Your argument is only an argument for tuition prices tracking with inflation- but they've been rising at double the inflation rate.

            If your state's making money at its institutions, please have them contact mine so we can resolve our huge current deficit.

            It's not a matter of profit, it's a matter of finding new and creative ways to blow taxpayer and tuition money on expenses arguably, vaguely related to education.

            State universities don't spend money efficiently because they don't have to. There are too many idealists out there who think that pouring money into the universities guarantees getting better results out. This isn't the case.

            State Universities are run by mortal men and women, who make the same mistakes and misteps as the rest of us. The letters after their names simply indicate the possession of specialized knowledge, which is entirely unrelated to the efficient operation of a university.

        • by Dahamma ( 304068 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @12:50AM (#29790149)

          No again, they are high because the universities keep spending (on research programs, out of control construction projects, etc) more than they bring in, and they are bringing in (though endowment investment losses, decreasing alumni gifts, and less government support) less these days to boot. Almost all universites are non-profit, so "supply and demand" is irrelevant.

          For example, Harvard has forecast over a $100M shortfall this year, and it has the largest endowment, one of the highest alumni donation rates, and,of course, one of the highest tuitions. They are not just raising tuition because "the students will pay", they are raising it because their costs are going up way too fast (which in the end is the thing that needs to be controlled to fix this problem...)

    • by GodBlessTexas ( 737029 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @12:15AM (#29789845) Journal
      I sit on an advisory board at the local community college, and as such I get the chance to rub elbows with others in academia, including faculty and administration at prestigious schools in the Ivy League. It's interesting that when you talk to these people, they make no bones about justifying why they charge so much for an education. As someone from Brown put it bluntly, "If we didn't charge so much, people would not think it was worth anything." Some might argue that the easy access of federal funds has done a lot to exacerbate the problem of rising tuition costs. Just as government contractors and consultants view federal government funds as a never-ending supply of money, colleges view it in a very similar way.
  • by bipbop ( 1144919 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:00PM (#29789161)
    I think you mean "deductibility", not "detectability", though I'll admit to not reading very closely.
  • by cjfs ( 1253208 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:00PM (#29789167) Homepage Journal

    The rate for a 30-year mortgage is around 5%,' Lee said. 'Why should anyone have to pay 8.5%?

    Because if you default on the mortgage, they can take your house. Education repossession technology is still in beta. Even when it works it and rarely returns anything of value.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Compholio ( 770966 )

      The rate for a 30-year mortgage is around 5%,' Lee said. 'Why should anyone have to pay 8.5%?

      Because if you default on the mortgage, they can take your house. Education repossession technology is still in beta. Even when it works it and rarely returns anything of value.

      Yes, because clearly paying taxes isn't a return on the government's investment.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Penguinshit ( 591885 )
      And when you default on the student loans your wages and other income gets garnished. That renders your point moot.
      • by bkpark ( 1253468 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:28PM (#29789431) Homepage

        And when you default on the student loans your wages and other income gets garnished. That renders your point moot.

        Provided that you have an income. If someone is defaulting on hist student loan (and given the generous forbearance and other options before the dishonorable default), what makes you think he actually still has his job?

        If someone has a mortgage, then unless he's done something illegal he does have a house that can be repossessed—it may be worth less than the mortgage, but it's still something, unlike with education.

  • by binaryspiral ( 784263 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:02PM (#29789185)

    Pay your loan for 10 years... and the government will excuse the rest.

    Some restrictions apply...

    http://www.nextstudent.com/articles/student-loans-forgiven.asp [nextstudent.com]

  • Tough Shit. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nikkos ( 544004 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:02PM (#29789195)
    You saw the rates when you signed the papers. Not anyone's fault but yours. And no, I didn't want a bailout for GM or the banks either.
    • Re:Tough Shit. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:39PM (#29789551)

      Yes, but did they understand what the papers they signed meant, before they took the accounting classes?

      Students are a gullible group.. if the banks convince them they need an 8% student loan, because for some reason they "are a poor credit risk", then the students who don't have the education yet are likely to sign, not even realizing there may be a possibility of finding another deal (or maybe there's not another option).

      The claim students are a poor credit risk is one of the strangest... with a debt that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, has no statute of limitations, has a government guarantee behind it, including an ability to garnish wages, and these people taking out student loans are generally young people....

      It seems like student loan debt is less of a credit risk than most other types of even secured debt.

      I declare that: "students are a credit-unworthy lot who should thank their lucky stars that rates aren't 12% or higher."

      Is basically nonsense.

      It makes no more sense than saying "30 year olds are an uncreditworthy lot."

      It's credit history that relates to creditworthiness, not being a student or not.

  • That's a rip off (Score:4, Interesting)

    by solid_liq ( 720160 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:05PM (#29789215) Homepage Journal
    My Direct Loans are still around 3%. I wonder why he's paying 8.5%.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:19PM (#29789353)

      There are two general type of student loans: direct and non-direct with a dirt cheap and a cheap interest rate. 8.5% is cheap for an UNSECURED loan that doesn't START accumulating interest until AFTER you graduate (actually Govt pays interest till you graduate).

      Dude- you got $85K with ZERO collateral. The rate is NOT unreasonable. It is the best investment you can make for your future.

      You can always become a teacher in the inner city or work 2 years for Peace Corps or any of the other methods the government has setup for most or all of your loan to be FORGIVEN.

      Stop complaining about getting cheap money with no collateral and no limitation, except that you go to school.

  • by Estanislao Martínez ( 203477 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:07PM (#29789237) Homepage

    'The rate for a 30-year mortgage is around 5%,' Lee said. 'Why should anyone have to pay 8.5%? The government has bailed out homeowners. It's bailed out big businesses. Why can't it also help students?' Not only that, federal student loans are the only loans in the nation that are largely non-dischargeable in bankruptcy, have no statutes of limitations, and can't be refinanced after consolidation, so Lee can forget about pulling a move out of the GM playbook. And unlike mortgages on million-dollar vacation homes, student loans have very limited tax detectability.

    Mortgages and car loans are secured loans, where the property or car that is bought with them is pledged as collateral. This makes a big difference for the interest rates. Student loans just ain't so.

    Anyway, I've heard complaints like this about student loan rates before, and I've always had the same basic response: you're barking up the wrong tree. You don't really want lower interest rates on student loans; you want the government to spend more on making higher education affordable for those who qualify for it. There's a bunch of countries out there where if you get admitted into a university, the government picks up the tuition bill, period. Those countries ain't richer than the USA.

  • by edwebdev ( 1304531 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:10PM (#29789281)
    I'm in a situation similar to the person featured in the article - interest accrues on my student loans at a rate of several thousand dollars per year, even WHILE I'M IN GRAD SCHOOL and have no reasonable means to pay down the principal. My tuition, even at a public undergraduate institution, was $30k + per year. I personally know many, many other grad students in my position. It's outrageous that the people the government and banks should be supporting - those who spend nearly a decade earning an advanced education - are being fleeced left and right.
    • by rnaiguy ( 1304181 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:48PM (#29789633)
      Really? Grad school's been a pretty good deal for me as far as loans go. I just called up my lenders, and got all my student loans deferred (with no interest) until i complete my PhD. And considering that I get paid to do grad school, I plan to pay off those loans as soon as I graduate. I think the answer is to stop whining, save money, and if you couldn't afford the school in the first place, perhaps choose a cheaper option?
      • by edwebdev ( 1304531 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @12:01AM (#29789747)
        I think you must have loans that are somehow different from mine. While I don't have to make payments on most of my loans while I'm in grad school, the interest continues to accrue. I would also like to propose a distinction between "whining" and anecdotally highlighting a situation that is both unfair to individuals who decide to pursue an advanced education and harmful to the intellectual and scientific health of the country.
  • by Libertarian001 ( 453712 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:10PM (#29789285)

    If students are a "credit-unworthy lot" then limit the amounts they can borrow or make it a fixed amount that they must repay. Charging a higher interest rate for "credit-unworthy" people makes it more likely that they'll default, making it a self-fulfilling prophecy. This holds true for all borrowers.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nine-times ( 778537 )

      Yeah, on the one hand, it makes sense: loaning money to someone unlikely to pay it back is a risky investment, and risky investments demand higher returns. If presented with a risky investment or a risk-free investment, both offering the same return, you'd never make a risky investment.

      On the other hand, you're taking the very people who are least likely to be able to pay their loans off, and you're making it even harder. That makes no sense. It's just another example of it being more expensive to be po [washingtonpost.com]

  • by AbsoluteXyro ( 1048620 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:11PM (#29789287)
    It's plain and simple. The reason interest rates on a certain category of loans is high is because the borrowers in that category present a high risk of default to the lenders. This means that as more and more college grads struggle to land jobs, more and more of them will default on their loans, and interest rates on the whole will rise for everybody as lenders compensate for the increased risk.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by KC1P ( 907742 )

      OK I see why that makes sense from the lender's point of view (they're just trying to balance things) but it's absolutely insane from the borrower's point of view. The high interest rates are what are paid by the people who DIDN'T default. They punish the wrong people -- the actual expense of the moochers is borne by the people who turned out not to be moochers after all.

  • not the real problem (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wizardforce ( 1005805 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:13PM (#29789297) Journal

    The problem isn't finding a new fangled way for college student to be able to pay the enormous costs of college, it is to find ways to educate them more cheaply tha nwe do now. Online learning, competition, utilisation of open source textbooks... Be creative.

  • by Space cowboy ( 13680 ) * on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:14PM (#29789305) Journal
    The problem is one of treating education as a business like any other. The country obtains a benefit from having an educated citizenry, and allowing education of this type to be treated as just another profit-center is at best short-sighted, at worst actively hostile to the country's best interests. From this basic problem, everything else flows.

    I'm from the UK, and just recently I've been reflecting on the things that I took for granted in the UK that are pay-for over here in the USA. Don't get me wrong, I love living here, I've just married an USAsian who's simply wonderful, but there are things I miss...

    Primarily of course, is universal healthcare. The NHS is so far and away better than the situation we have here in the US that it's just not funny. Leaving that argument aside, the other major thing is education. My new wife and I were thinking about where any future offspring might be educated...

    If the USA stays the same course as it's currently on, I think my children (as UK citizens by birthright) may be going to the UK for their education. It's a lot cheaper, it'll broaden their minds by travelling, and the quality is generally very high.

    Oh how things have changed. I no longer think of the USA as being the gold-standard of higher education. Now I think of it as being just a way of transferring money from rich people to educated people.

    As it happens, my wife paid off her student loans (for a JD/MBA) this evening (well, they'll settle on Tuesday). For the cost she just paid, we could buy a small house in the UK. The only debt higher is our mortgage, and living in a nice house in a nice part of the Bay area, that's expected.

    I didn't pay for my education (although these days if you don't go to Scotland you pay something in the UK - it's a *lot* less than over here in the US though). I gave the UK about 10 years of higher taxes as a result - probably less than they were expecting - but moved to the USA for the nicer weather :)

  • Agreed (Score:3, Informative)

    by Beowulf_Boy ( 239340 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:20PM (#29789357)

    I'll be graduating next summer with a Masters in IT Management. (Undergrad in Simulation Design Engineering)
    75k or so in loans, and the year I went to college they jacked up the interest rate to 6.8%.

    And to everyone saying its unsecured debt needs to actually look into their facts. Student Loans can not be bankrupt on, if I don't pay, the gubmint will dock my pay. Which actually is a better deal that paying the loans, the max they can dock is 15% per check, and my loans will be way more than that to actually pay.

    The loans are government backed, they should be no interest.

  • by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:28PM (#29789425) Homepage

    The government has bailed out homeowners. It's bailed out big businesses. Why can't it also help students?'

    To me this is a tragedy. Young people starting off almost $100K in the hole. I had student loans, so did my wife. Together they didn't add up to $40K and she went to grad school.

    On a higher level this kills entrepreneurial opportunities at the time in life you have the most desire, creativity and energy to launch a new business. Many of you are stuck in low-paying, dead end jobs because of student loans...one of the reasons some companies like to hire right out of college. Student loans and health insurance. Wouldn't it be better to turn all that creativity loose developing new businesses and jobs? But how can you saddled with all that debt and no health care coverage?

    We have to do something, not just for people in college now but those recently graduating into 9.5% unemployment. Whatever that is, it has to include cost controls on education. The cost of education is running way ahead of inflation and textbook companies are worse than the mafia (at least the mob runs prostitutes). This is crazy.

    But what to do about it? If the government tried some kind of forgiveness program, Republicans would scream about budget deficits. Student loans are also a giant bank pork program and you can see what kind clout they have in Washington. So, it's got to be paid for somehow, deficit neutral, combined with cost controls on education and everyone on both sides of the political pork barrel have to STFU long enough to get it done.

  • by Culture20 ( 968837 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:32PM (#29789469)

    'The rate for a 30-year mortgage is around 5%,' Lee said. 'Why should anyone have to pay 8.5%? The government has bailed out homeowners. It's bailed out big businesses. Why can't it also help students?'

    Angry? You just got a "free" education, dummy. Sure, you have to pay the money back, but you didn't have to work and go to school intermittently for 10+ years hoping that you can finish your first degree before your credits are too old to apply. Your 401k/403b/457b/whatever will also have a 5-6 year head start, which will be amazing. College students from every previous generation have had a reputation for being poor. The subject of this post is a joke from a while back. Same as "Can you spare a dime? Working my way through med school."

  • by Xcott Craver ( 615642 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:38PM (#29789535)

    Maybe it's because you're borrowing over 80,000 dollars for a college education.

    5 minutes with a spreadsheet would tell you how much and for how long you have just screwed yourself, and by borrowing that kind of money you prove that you can't or won't spend even that much effort to think before borrowing.

    I think part of the problem is cultural: I was broke back when I went to college, and I needed loans; but I also knew that you should never borrow anywhere near enough to pay your whole tuition bill. That's far too much money to borrow even if you aren't dead broke. Poverty forces you into indebtedness, but it also makes you paranoid about accumulated debt, and you understand that something that costs tens of thousands of dollars will require you to eat Ramen, work multiple jobs, and make affordable choices even if someone will extend you credit.

    But now I hear horror stories about students who borrow enough money to buy a house in much of the USA, and use that to pay for an entire four-year degree plus graduate school. It's like the kids don't understand that they're poor; they get a credit line and stop acting like people who have to work for a living.

  • by rickb928 ( 945187 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:42PM (#29789571) Homepage Journal

    "The government has bailed out homeowners. It's bailed out big businesses. Why can't it also help students?"

    Why not, indeed?

    Besides the fact that we have no money left, didn't before we started, and have been borrowing all of this, why not help the students?

    Well, will someone else please tell them? I'm tired of it. Thanks.

    ps - My wife and I paid off her student loans. She had a higher interest rate.

    pps - No one is bailing me out of my mortgage on my home which is worth about half what I paid for it in 2005. I owe about %60,000 more than it is worth right now. My property taxes have not gone down a penny, cause everyone else around here is in the same boat. I can't afford to go back to college right now... Loans or not.

    ppps - We are not doing a great job of bailing out big business. I work for one, and took a 15% pay cut in April. And I'm thankful to have my job still. Graduates should be thankful if they get a job at all before 2011.

    We're teaching them well. Just the wrong lessons.

  • by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:45PM (#29789605)

    I worked my way through college.

    It sucked. I didn't get to go ivy league (not a big problem since only a 1270 sat, 3.2gpa, and activities were computer club and D&D club).

    Mainly, I didn't get to take a 4 to 5 year vacation. I studied 20 hours on top of 12 hours of classes on top of 40 to 55 hours a week of work.

    But I graduated with no debt. It was my choice.

    Students have the choice of going to public schools, or cheaper schools over seas, or on-line schools.

    One of the reasons colleges have gotten so expensive is that children are willing to take on $200,000 debt to get a degree.

    Look- if the professors were not making mid 100k incomes (yea, I know adjunct professors are poorly paid), if the universities were not funding research on the student's backs, if the university presidents were not making $350k!!! and if the universities JUST TAUGHT THE MATERIAL like they used to back in the 50's, then school wouldn't be so expensive.

    Health care is super expensive for the same reason. People have shown that they *will* pay anything for it, so the providers have jacked up the bill.

    You can get a good solid degree from a public university and graduate with little or no debt.

    You can't get an idiot degree of course.

    Given the work climate (that any INDIAN or CHINESE national can get a similar quality degree and take your job for $16,000 to $25,000 working in their companies for our corporations), you are an idiot to get a degree for something with that kind of exposure. At least get something that requires you be physically present, or that has national security implications.

  • by duffbeer703 ( 177751 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:57PM (#29789713)

    I was the oldest child of a middle class family of 3. I applied to 2 public and 3 private universities and was accepted to all of them, but with minimal financial aid. I chose to attend a nearby public university that offered a quality education that cost approximately $10,000/year in the late 90's.

    Why did I make this choice?

    - I could afford to finance about 75% of tuition via savings that my parents had set aside for me.
    - I worked various jobs while in school, eventually hitting $15-17/hr, which more than covered the remaining tuition & expenses.
    - I didn't want to screw my siblings out of an education or force my parents into debt. In the end, I was able to leave about $4,000 of my parent's savings for my brother or sister.

    I have friends who are teachers who decided that they needed to attend small, private New England colleges with tuition and expenses over 350% more than my education. One of those friends and his wife makes $120k combined teaching, but after years of deferments owes over $300,000 a decade after graduation (not including graduate work form a private school which would have been FREE had they gone to the state university) -- my friend and his wife can barely afford rent, and will likely become homeowners when they inherit a house when one of their parents pass.

    People don't need bailouts, they need to live within their means and not assume that they are entitled to a specific lifestyle or type of job due to the circumstances of their birth. If you can't afford four years of college, borrow money to go to trade school and work as a plumber, HVAC, electrician, etc. If you really want to go to college, you'll be able to earn the money to do so.

  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @01:49AM (#29790523) Homepage Journal
    Is their earning potential at the moment is not so much, but they're chock full of organs! And they're hardly even using a lot of them! Perhaps they could turn this organ surplus to their advantage somehow...
  • by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @09:08AM (#29792851)

    Because you can't foreclose on someone's education. Next question.

  • by crmarvin42 ( 652893 ) on Monday October 19, 2009 @09:10AM (#29792859)
    As a student with 10+ years of education, 3 years of actively accepting student loads (which have been accruing interest for the last 8 years), and a wife with 5+ years of loans already in repayment I feel justified in saying "BOO FRIKIN' HOOO"

    A college education was never meant to be a guarantee of future financial stability, especially in the short term. We need to get away from this pervasive mentality of "Things didn't go exactly according to the PLAN. The Government needs to save me!!!! WAAAAAAAA".

    Of course it sucks trying to find a job in the current market, and I sympathise as I'm currently looking for my next job as I'm going to graduate soon. However, that doesn't mean that the federal government, who already bent over backward in order to help me get the loans I needed in order to persue my education, should be expected to further subsidize me into my 30's. Grow a friggin' pair, and if necessary get a job working at McD's and rent the shittiest appartment you can find to make ends meet. This sense of entitlement to an easy life, simpy because you are college educated is assinine and juvenile. The education is supposed to give you more skills, based on the idea that more skills make you more valuable. However, if you pursue a degree in which those skills are next to useless (I'm looking at you art history majors), or one in which the market is oversatturated, well then you were an idiot and deserve to suffer a little for your stupidity. That doesn't mean that you should be able to get your education for free, just because it took you a little while to find a job.

    We need to stop supporting those that have made stupid decisions or else they'll never learn that there are consequences for their actions. I learned that in middle school, my older brother took until after high school, and apparently some have failed to learn the lesson despite being 22 (Bachelors), 24-28 (Graduate Degree), or even older 50-60 (Corporate CEO's that ran their companies into the ground). Maybe I'm just an insensitive clod, but not everyone can be happy all of the time. A little hardship can build character, just as our grandparents.

    There are nowhere near as many people suffering as there were in the great depression, all the "Worst recession since the depression" hyperbole aside. If the current hardships mean that it takes you an extra 10 years to buy a house, or that you have to settle for something less than a McMansion I'm not going to be losing any sleep over it. I will probably lose more than a little over my own financial problems, but they are MY PROBLEMS and not the governments. A little more personal accountability on behalf of most Americans would go a long way to improving our collective condition.

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker