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Thread: US student loans grotesquely high

  1. Top | #131
    Veteran Member James Brown's Avatar
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    Wouldn't it be better to make college less expensive so that people don't have to go deep in debt in the first place?

  2. Top | #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Brown View Post
    Wouldn't it be better to make college less expensive so that people don't have to go deep in debt in the first place?
    Sure, but to me, there are far bigger fish to fry. Most college educated workers make far more in income, after paying their college monthly debt service. An average attorney charges $250 an hour. Shouldn't they pay something for the education? I'm far more interested in trying to help people who are willing to work hard but are having cash flow problems. I'd far more prioritize lowering the cost and barriers for trade schools, night school, community college programs and etc.

  3. Top | #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Bosch View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by James Brown View Post
    Wouldn't it be better to make college less expensive so that people don't have to go deep in debt in the first place?
    Sure, but to me, there are far bigger fish to fry. Most college educated workers make far more in income, after paying their college monthly debt service. An average attorney charges $250 an hour. Shouldn't they pay something for the education? I'm far more interested in trying to help people who are willing to work hard but are having cash flow problems. I'd far more prioritize lowering the cost and barriers for trade schools, night school, community college programs and etc.
    No. No more than you should have to pay your parents for a roof, or to pay them for food.

    We are born ignorant, and squealing, and vulnerable. These are natural evils, and it is, in many ways, unneighborly to demand recompense for doing that for each other which we would have done for ourselves were we in a position to be capable of doing so.

    I would not have people put me in bond for something I think ought be expected of me to attain. Nobody should be put in bond for education except when they seek education beyond the rate at which society is capable of offering it free of such bond.

  4. Top | #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Bosch View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by James Brown View Post
    Wouldn't it be better to make college less expensive so that people don't have to go deep in debt in the first place?
    Sure, but to me, there are far bigger fish to fry. Most college educated workers make far more in income, after paying their college monthly debt service. An average attorney charges $250 an hour. Shouldn't they pay something for the education? I'm far more interested in trying to help people who are willing to work hard but are having cash flow problems. I'd far more prioritize lowering the cost and barriers for trade schools, night school, community college programs and etc.
    Most but certainly not ALL. Most brand new attorneys do not start out making $250/hr and my long time attorney charges me far less than that and he's close to retirement age. Some brand new and some long experienced attorneys work as public defenders, meaning they start out at around $50K/year and take years and years to get much higher than that. Teachers, social workers and nurses and some doctors and many other professionals with college and even graduate degrees certainly do not rake in anything close to $250/hr.

    In my state, the state is mandated by the state constitution to pay for the majority of the funding of state universities and I believe, community colleges. The reality is that for the past 30+ years, each year, students have paid an increasingly larger share of the cost of attending university through ever increasing tuition. Now, most funding is from tuition, born by the student not the state. This is, imo, wrong.

    It seems to me that a much better way to capture a proportional share of the increased earnings gained by obtaining a college (and almost always, graduate or professional degree such as law school, med school, etc) would be to increase state taxes based on income, with the increase largely going towards offsetting the cost of obtaining a college degree. I am less inclined to fully subsidize medical school, law school, some other professional schools but I am not opposed to it, given that we should be able to recap a large portion of the cost by taxing future earnings of high earning graduates.

    As the parent of young adults, I can well attest to the drag on personal finances and on the economy that the high cost of post secondary education imposes on students. Although my husband and I were fortunate enough to be able to pay for the bulk of our kids' college educations, a couple still had some degree of student loans and one is still paying for law school loans. My kids are far, far better off than many of their friends who had to foot the entire bill for their education.

    In real terms, this has caused an entire generation to postpone or foreogo home ownership and/or children. MANY young adults I know are struggling to repay student loans of greater than $1K/month and are working multiple jobs in order to cover rent. This is hardly irresponsible on the part of the young adults. It does, however, speak very much to the irresponsibility and shortsightedness and selfishness of their parents and grandparents who failed to adequately support public education or their children/grandchildren.

    Yes, some/many/maybe most current students and recent graduates live a lifestyle in their college years that would have been impossible to even dream of when I was in college but again, I place the bulk of that blame on their parents who are unwilling for little Cloe or Hunter to put up with sharing a dorm room or eating ramen or not drinking themselves into a stupor 3 days a week, much less toddling off to campus without a car that is nicer than those their professors drive. So, that contributes a lot to student debt, as well. But it does NOT contribute to the cost of tuition or books and supplies. These days, in any science discipline, the cost of a single text book might well exceed the cost of 4 semesters worth of text books when I was in college---ANY of the times I was in college.

    To me, this is all unconscionable. 18 year olds are legally adult but they do not have adult brains and very, very few of them have any realistic ideas about personal finance, the type of job/pay it will take to provide them with a lifestyle beyond subsisting or even to pay off the loans they agree to.

  5. Top | #135
    Veteran Member KeepTalking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Brown View Post
    Wouldn't it be better to make college less expensive so that people don't have to go deep in debt in the first place?
    That is a good idea, but unfortunately it leaves behind those who have already paid ridiculously high tuition using student loans. How do we help those people?

    Sure those people who work for Harry Bosch can pay back their student loans with the money they are making from being employed. Unfortunately, not everyone can be employed by Harry Bosch. Unfortunately, some graduates have a very hard time finding any job immediately after college, much less a good, high paying job. A lot of people my age are in debt up to their eyeballs because of the ease of obtaining credit, so they are working longer before they retire. And those aging workers spent a lot less money on their college educations. Unemployment has also gone through the roof since the pandemic. Anyone who is graduating this year, or who graduated in the last year or two are going to be severely impacted by that. Implying that these graduates are not responsible because they are unable to find employment after graduating, is wrong headed, and does nothing to solve the problem.

  6. Top | #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeepTalking View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by James Brown View Post
    Wouldn't it be better to make college less expensive so that people don't have to go deep in debt in the first place?
    That is a good idea, but unfortunately it leaves behind those who have already paid ridiculously high tuition using student loans. How do we help those people?

    Sure those people who work for Harry Bosch can pay back their student loans with the money they are making from being employed. Unfortunately, not everyone can be employed by Harry Bosch. Unfortunately, some graduates have a very hard time finding any job immediately after college, much less a good, high paying job. A lot of people my age are in debt up to their eyeballs because of the ease of obtaining credit, so they are working longer before they retire. And those aging workers spent a lot less money on their college educations. Unemployment has also gone through the roof since the pandemic. Anyone who is graduating this year, or who graduated in the last year or two are going to be severely impacted by that. Implying that these graduates are not responsible because they are unable to find employment after graduating, is wrong headed, and does nothing to solve the problem.
    We forgive student loans. It's the right thing to do. I think that $50K is a good place to start. I would be willing to limit student debt repayments to student debt accrued at public universities, community colleges, and trade schools---and including graduate degrees and at least some medical school debt.

    We also step up and start funding higher education better, so that tuition is low and free for those who cannot pay even low tuition. We also start doing better with pre-K-12 education.

    And I'm writing this as someone who is recently retired, with a spouse who will retire soon, and for whom neither of us had any significant student debt, including from grad school. We also were willing and able to make sufficient sacrifices so that our kids were able to attend the colleges of their choice with little or no student debt. One of our kids is still paying off his law school debt but that was a choice he made, knowing that our help would be minimal simply because that's all we could afford to do at that point.

    Society benefits from an educated populace. I, for one, do not think it is anything like a 'waste' to have garbage collectors holding university degrees, if that's what they choose to do. But then, I value education and not simply job training. I earned my degree in a hard science and worked in that field but I also took classes in literature and Greek tragedies, Shakespeare, and foreign languages, never dreaming that any of those would ever do anything for me, career wise. Yet, each of those classes, far off topic for what my actual career goal was, DID in fact, help me get jobs related to each of those fields, jobs that I needed to support my family before I got my big fancy science related degree. Plus, I learned a lot, appreciate the world around me more, and am a better person for every single class I took.

  7. Top | #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toni View Post

    We forgive student loans. It's the right thing to do. I think that $50K is a good place to start. I would be willing to limit student debt repayments to student debt accrued at public universities, community colleges, and trade schools---and including graduate degrees and at least some medical school debt.

    [...]
    Society benefits from an educated populace. I, for one, do not think it is anything like a 'waste' to have garbage collectors holding university degrees, if that's what they choose to do. But then, I value education and not simply job training.

    I agree with the idea of forgiving tuition for public universities, community colleges and trades schools first. I would be willing to forgive the state public uni amount from those who went to privae schools, and then they made a choice for the remainder.

    I feel that we should really ramp up the community college offerings of trade degrees as well. We really need those trained tradespeople and many are not able to afford time at a community college to get it.

  8. Top | #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeepTalking View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by James Brown View Post
    Wouldn't it be better to make college less expensive so that people don't have to go deep in debt in the first place?
    That is a good idea, but unfortunately it leaves behind those who have already paid ridiculously high tuition using student loans. How do we help those people?

    Sure those people who work for Harry Bosch can pay back their student loans with the money they are making from being employed. Unfortunately, not everyone can be employed by Harry Bosch. Unfortunately, some graduates have a very hard time finding any job immediately after college, much less a good, high paying job. A lot of people my age are in debt up to their eyeballs because of the ease of obtaining credit, so they are working longer before they retire. And those aging workers spent a lot less money on their college educations. Unemployment has also gone through the roof since the pandemic. Anyone who is graduating this year, or who graduated in the last year or two are going to be severely impacted by that. Implying that these graduates are not responsible because they are unable to find employment after graduating, is wrong headed, and does nothing to solve the problem.
    Fine if you want to speak for me, but then you should read my posts more carefully. I favor helping people where there need is. I think that we should help people with a cash flow need. Pay is relative. $20 an hour to a person with no debt and no dependents living in Baker City Oregon is not living a bad life. $20 an hour to a single mom in NYC is deep poverty level. Higher Ed is too expensive. Over the years, conservative governments have consistently cut higher ED spending. We should reverse this.

    Secondly, I do believe that people should have an investment in their assets. And an education is an investment. People should have an equity into it. Habitat for Humanity doesn't just give it's homes away. They know that if people are vested to an asset, they will maintain it and grow it. People who receive homes from Habitat still have to pay for their home, but at a reduced cost. Greatly reduced. But they have skin in the game.

  9. Top | #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Toni View Post

    We forgive student loans. It's the right thing to do. I think that $50K is a good place to start. I would be willing to limit student debt repayments to student debt accrued at public universities, community colleges, and trade schools---and including graduate degrees and at least some medical school debt.

    [...]
    Society benefits from an educated populace. I, for one, do not think it is anything like a 'waste' to have garbage collectors holding university degrees, if that's what they choose to do. But then, I value education and not simply job training.

    I agree with the idea of forgiving tuition for public universities, community colleges and trades schools first. I would be willing to forgive the state public uni amount from those who went to privae schools, and then they made a choice for the remainder.

    I feel that we should really ramp up the community college offerings of trade degrees as well. We really need those trained tradespeople and many are not able to afford time at a community college to get it.
    I had not considered loan forgiveness at public school rates for private school students. Not a bad idea I think we need to look at how to structure that, though. Private schools already benefit from state and federal subsidized student loans, meaning less of that money is available for the public school students, keeping that out of reach of those with the least money.

  10. Top | #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeepTalking View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by prideandfall View Post
    but it IS uncoupled from reality... that's the part where it's a social and cultural problem.

    a bachelor's degree (which, btw, is about as useful and as relevant as a liberal arts degree) does not confer any knowledge required to do any of those jobs, it's just an arbitrary goal post that society has decided to put in front of certain jobs because it seems fancy to do so... it's delusion on top of delusion.
    this again comes back to the diamond analogy: diamonds are plentiful, and mostly useless. so the people with the diamonds used marketing to convince everyone that diamonds are rare and highly valuable, and everyone just accepted this.


    here's another anecdote: i dropped out of high school after 2 years, have never had any secondary education, and pull a 6 figure salary doing IT work.
    i'm not special, the system is just stupid.
    I can provide an anecdote right in the middle, as I also make a 6 figure salary in IT. I have an AS in Programming & Analysis, obtained at a community college in the '90s, so it wasn't very expensive. About a third, maybe up to half, of the courses I took were relevant to my field, some were useful to me later, others not so much. Something else that was key for me, however, was that I worked in the computer lab part time, so gained some valuable experience there. I too make a 6 figure salary, and with my first couple of entry level IT jobs after graduating, having that AS certainly helped. These days, it is the wealth of experience in the field that make me valuable to a company, most job reqs in the industry require either a Bachelors degree, or 5 years experience. The trend for hiring software developer these days is to have the applicant do a coding challenge or two, and how well you demonstrate the ability to tackle the challenge in a logical manner is one of the primary metrics used for hiring. I work with people currently who have no education beyond high school, and taught themselves how to code, demonstrating their ability was key to getting hired. So, a Bachelors degree can help you get a foot in the door at the entry level, at least in Software Development, but if you can show relevant experience, and especially an ability to code, you have a good chance of landing a good job.
    The CISO of a multi-billion dollar software company I worked for throughout the 90's did not finish college... He was a very unique individual, to say the least, though.

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