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  1. #1
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    Degrees of debt: Soaring college costs hobble a generation

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47400500...s-us_business/

    Kelsey Griffith graduates on Sunday from Ohio Northern University. To start paying off her $120,000 in student debt, she is already working two restaurant jobs and will soon give up her apartment here to live with her parents. Her mother, who co-signed on the loans, is taking out a life insurance policy on her daughter.

    “If anything ever happened, God forbid, that is my debt also,” said Ms. Griffith’s mother, Marlene Griffith. .............

    Mr. Date likened excessive student borrowing to risky mortgages. And as with the housing bubble before the economic collapse, the extraordinary growth in student loans has caught many by surprise. But its roots are in fact deep, and the cast of contributing characters — including college marketing officers, state lawmakers wielding a budget ax and wide-eyed students and families — has been enabled by a basic economic dynamic: an insatiable demand for a college education, at almost any price, and plenty of easy-to-secure loans, primarily from the federal government.

    The roots of the borrowing binge date to the 1980s, when tuition for four-year colleges began to rise faster than family incomes. In the 1990s, for-profit colleges boomed by spending heavily on marketing and recruiting. Despite some ethical lapses and fraud, enrollment more than doubled in the last decade and Wall Street swooned over the stocks. Roughly 11 percent of college students now attend for-profit colleges, and they receive about a quarter of federal student loans and grants.

    More at link.....

  2. #2
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    For some reason, I can't "thank you" at the moment, Reader, but I appreciate the article.

  3. #3
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    Why would you choose to attend a university that costs 40+k per year when you can't afford it? There are reasonably priced state universities in Ohio.

  4. #4
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    ...and I thought it was bad in the 1970's!

    I can't imagine the angst among the students who've earned a higher degree (or two) suffering these incredible debts and have no job opportunities to speak of! WTH?

    I have one who's saddled with a wallop of student debt (followed his dream of a prestigious east coast institution), and a younger one who's working full time and maintaining a circling pattern at a community college waiting for things to get real before he transfers as a Junior. Tuition needs to stop escalating, course offerings need to broaden again, and careers that warrant a college degree need to start courting their prospects and pay accordingly!


    Wall St. speculators need to stay away from our learning institutions! Good grief!

  5. #5
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    How on earth could it cost $120,000 for four years of college? My son got his 4 year degree and came out owing nothing. I just don't understand why kids don't do two years at community college (very affordable and excellent professors IMO) then transfer to a 4 year school where they can live at home and save a boatload of money.
    "Life is life's greatest gift. Guard the life of another creature as you would your own because it is your own. On life's scale of values, the smallest is no less precious to the creature who owns it than the largest..." Lloyd Biggle, Jr.

    Let's bring Michelle Parker home: http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...ichelle+parker

    All statements made by me are based on my opinion.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by EGirl View Post
    Why would you choose to attend a university that costs 40+k per year when you can't afford it? There are reasonably priced state universities in Ohio.
    Two things can have a big impact - specialized degrees & location. My wife is about to transfer to a private university that has a sticker price of 27k per semester - in other words, her two years there will price out at over 100k - and that's not including the price to get her PHD afterwards. We obviously don't want to deal with that kind of debt (and luckily, her performance in college thus far has been stellar enough that she's secured a good number of scholarships & grants), but we just don't have a choice, as our only State University that offers the programs & technology she needs for a useful degree in the boitech field & the cancer research she's been working on since her freshman year (she's just graduating from one of the best equipped, most advanced community college biotech programs in the country) is in a very nasty, crime ridden city (by our paranoid standards) that we wouldn't visit, let alone move to with our daughter. Sure, there are other State Unis that offer similar degrees, but those programs are underfunded, under-equipped & just plain worthless.

    Many other students are having similar problems, as the State Universities just aren't keeping up with the 'hot' skill sets, and the ones that are doing well are located in large metropolitan areas that just aren't affordable to live in.

    There's no argument that the private Unis are waaaayyyy overcosted, but what's the point in having less debt for your degree if the degree doesn't get you worthwhile employment?

    I think the real question should be - why are students going to private Universities for general & traditional 4 year degrees that State Universities are well equipped to handle, when such degrees rarely offer much of a boost in the student's short to mid term earnings potential? My one exception to the above broad category of degrees is accounting - there a State Uni degree will get you a really decent job, but a degree backed by a prestigious Uni name can get enough attention to give you a chance to get a really great job (still a bit of a gamble to me, when it doesn't take long for the talented to work their way up in that industry). IMO, Private Unis should be reserved for specialized degrees that are expensive to keep up to date, and things like pre-med & pre-law.

    Okay, I think I've blathered on enough to put all of you asleep.

    All JMO
    Last edited by SkewedView; 05-14-2012 at 10:35 AM.
    The truth usually lurks beneath the surface - look deeper!





    On and on the rain will fall
    Like tears from a star like tears from a star
    On and on the rain will say
    How fragile we are how fragile we are

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reality Orlando View Post
    How on earth could it cost $120,000 for four years of college? My son got his 4 year degree and came out owing nothing. I just don't understand why kids don't do two years at community college (very affordable and excellent professors IMO) then transfer to a 4 year school where they can live at home and save a boatload of money.
    I have several younger co-workers that are doing just that. They are taking all of the basics that will transfer at our local community college. It is also important to get a degree that is practical and that can be used in the "real world".

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexanMom View Post
    I have several younger co-workers that are doing just that. They are taking all of the basics that will transfer at our local community college. It is also important to get a degree that is practical and that can be used in the "real world".
    There's the rub! It's the old Training vs. Education argument... these days, training will pay off more than a well rounded education. Training can be gotten at a community college in two years, for little money. Training will employ you readily.

    Education... well, there's just not much call for anthropologists, philosophers, and art historians. However, I consider them to be very popular at dinner parties and other elbow rubbing events. That's who I want to hang out with, anyway, so pleasssse, don't feel you must have a piece of paper from a University to be an educated person!

    Personally, I ascribe to Emerson's assertions in his essay, The American Scholar, that we should endeavor to nurture and grow our own higher thinking outside of our "occupation." These days, with the internet? Shoooooot, we have the entire history of the world at our finger tips every day, as well as the newest scholarly journals from around the globe, current events, and methods to enter into discussions about nearly all of it! Hmmm, makes me wonder if the higher education institutions know they're becoming passe except in the much narrower fields of training?

    The American Scholar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    ...and here's a link to the speech, itself.

    http://www.emersoncentral.com/amscholar.htm
    Last edited by KateB; 06-13-2015 at 11:48 AM. Reason: repair url tag.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkewedView View Post
    Two things can have a big impact - specialized degrees & location. My wife is about to transfer to a private university that has a sticker price of 27k per semester - in other words, her two years there will price out at over 100k - and that's not including the price to get her PHD afterwards. We obviously don't want to deal with that kind of debt (and luckily, her performance in college thus far has been stellar enough that she's secured a good number of scholarships & grants), but we just don't have a choice, as our only State University that offers the programs & technology she needs for a useful degree in the boitech field & the cancer research she's been working on since her freshman year (she's just graduating from one of the best equipped, most advanced community college biotech programs in the country) is in a very nasty, crime ridden city (by our paranoid standards) that we wouldn't visit, let alone move to with our daughter. Sure, there are other State Unis that offer similar degrees, but those programs are underfunded, under-equipped & just plain worthless.

    Many other students are having similar problems, as the State Universities just aren't keeping up with the 'hot' skill sets, and the ones that are doing well are located in large metropolitan areas that just aren't affordable to live in.

    There's no argument that the private Unis are waaaayyyy overcosted, but what's the point in having less debt for your degree if the degree doesn't get you worthwhile employment?

    I think the real question should be - why are students going to private Universities for general & traditional 4 year degrees that State Universities are well equipped to handle, when such degrees rarely offer much of a boost in the student's short to mid term earnings potential? My one exception to the above broad category of degrees is accounting - there a State Uni degree will get you a really decent job, but a degree backed by a prestigious Uni name can get enough attention to give you a chance to get a really great job (still a bit of a gamble to me, when it doesn't take long for the talented to work their way up in that industry). IMO, Private Unis should be reserved for specialized degrees that are expensive to keep up to date, and things like pre-med & pre-law.

    Okay, I think I've blathered on enough to put all of you asleep.

    All JMO
    IMO (and you'll pardon me for not being fully conversant with the American higher education process) in the case of biotech and medical research there is absolutely an argument for the specialised and intensive tuition involved costing more and for student to have to go further afield in search of the best classes. Good luck to your wife.

    On the other hand though the girl whose case was highlighted in this article was a marketing major. No no disrespect to anyone in marketing but it's hardly what I'd call in the 'hot skill set' league,there are a plethora of places covering it that students could attend locally. Seems to me reading between the lines there, this girl and her parents were 'seduced' by the packaging and didn't enquire far enough into the future implications of such a huge loan.

  10. #10
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    The marketing and recruitment departments of Universities are, like everything, a tad deceptive, if not downright flimflam. Like the housing bubble, one really has to keep their wits about them and consider the ramifications of those loans, not just the "promise" of the educational experience and degree.

    This country's in a world of hurt, imo, unless there's going to be a wholesale forgiveness on much of that educational debt. JMO


  11. #11
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    This whole thing just infuriates me.

    Back when I purchased my last house, I qualified to get a loan for 500k. Did I need a half-million dollar house? No, I did not, so I bought a 100k home, which is almost paid off 7 years before the term of the loan. I considered myself responsible, and now it seems I'm suffering, along with most of the country, for all the people who weren't.

    And now here we have the student loan crisis. Great. I toured a private Catholic college with my daughter, and it was impressive. They had a great campus, a wonderful offering of courses, they had a campus in Italy the students could attend for a month or two, and even the cafeteria food was excellent. But it was 27k a semester. As tempting as it was, and as much as I hated to tell my little girl "no", I figured for the cost of one semester there, my girl could go two years at our comm. college, two years at the state university, get the same degree, and I would probably still have enough left to purchase an expensive Italian language learning program, and she and I could go to Italy ourselves for at least a week or two. This is what we decided to do with all our kids, and looks like I'll get to help foot the bill for all the blankety blanks out there who don't have a lick of sense to know better than to run up a 100k+ college bill for a degree that maybe pays 30k to 40k a year. Unbelievable.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by NancyA View Post
    IMO (and you'll pardon me for not being fully conversant with the American higher education process) in the case of biotech and medical research there is absolutely an argument for the specialised and intensive tuition involved costing more and for student to have to go further afield in search of the best classes. Good luck to your wife.

    On the other hand though the girl whose case was highlighted in this article was a marketing major. No no disrespect to anyone in marketing but it's hardly what I'd call in the 'hot skill set' league,there are a plethora of places covering it that students could attend locally. Seems to me reading between the lines there, this girl and her parents were 'seduced' by the packaging and didn't enquire far enough into the future implications of such a huge loan.
    Yep, and that was my point - students and their parents (if they are involved in the process) need to look at whether their desired degree is a better fit at a community college/state university, and even if private institutions are a better match, if your potential income afterwards justifies the expense. In the end it's all about putting a dollar value on your ambitions, and making the hard choices from there...

    I brought up my wife's degree because she's in a 'hot' field that has high income/high job placement, the exact type of degree that can justify going to a private university. There aren't too many fields like that anymore (most are in the hard sciences/engineering or very specialized computer degrees like bio-infomatics), but the students who are going into them shouldn't be lumped in with the crowd going for their 'soft' generic degrees.

    Realism is key here, and IMO that's where High Schools have been failing their graduates for decades. They try to sell you on pursuing your dreams at any cost, which is fine if you have a martyr complex, I guess. They don't give their students a realistic portrayal of how likely they are to get a job in a chosen field, or how long it will take to make any real money from it. College reps & recruiters just take advantage of the naivete created by High Schools, IMO.

    All JMO
    The truth usually lurks beneath the surface - look deeper!





    On and on the rain will fall
    Like tears from a star like tears from a star
    On and on the rain will say
    How fragile we are how fragile we are

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanie View Post
    This whole thing just infuriates me.

    Back when I purchased my last house, I qualified to get a loan for 500k. Did I need a half-million dollar house? No, I did not, so I bought a 100k home, which is almost paid off 7 years before the term of the loan. I considered myself responsible, and now it seems I'm suffering, along with most of the country, for all the people who weren't.

    And now here we have the student loan crisis. Great. I toured a private Catholic college with my daughter, and it was impressive. They had a great campus, a wonderful offering of courses, they had a campus in Italy the students could attend for a month or two, and even the cafeteria food was excellent. But it was 27k a semester. As tempting as it was, and as much as I hated to tell my little girl "no", I figured for the cost of one semester there, my girl could go two years at our comm. college, two years at the state university, get the same degree, and I would probably still have enough left to purchase an expensive Italian language learning program, and she and I could go to Italy ourselves for at least a week or two. This is what we decided to do with all our kids, and looks like I'll get to help foot the bill for all the blankety blanks out there who don't have a lick of sense to know better than to run up a 100k+ college bill for a degree that maybe pays 30k to 40k a year. Unbelievable.
    I know just what you mean - my wife's transfer college is an institution just like you describe (all the way down to the Catholic part), and when we were doing the big tours & luncheon thing (this is well after she had already done private ones with actual content instead of dorm, gym & cafeteria nonsense - really, who picks a college based on creature comforts? - we were just there for the free Kindle), the vast majority of prospective students were going for degrees that made me want to smack them & say 'get thee to a community college!' Then again, if it weren't for idiots like that, who knows how much my wife would be paying in tuition...

    At any rate, you're a good, smart parent - kudos to you!

    All JMO
    The truth usually lurks beneath the surface - look deeper!





    On and on the rain will fall
    Like tears from a star like tears from a star
    On and on the rain will say
    How fragile we are how fragile we are

  14. #14
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    When I graduate at the end of this year with my bachelor's I will $48,352. 87. (I have the letter in front of me or I wouldn't know down to the penny.) For a four year degree. Not a great price tag, but better than $100,000 debt.

    I hold an associate's in criminal justice admin and my bachelors will be in criminal justice admin, however, I took enough human services classes, that I can function in either field. I didn't go to community college, it wasn't an option. I ended up going the online route, which is usually more expensive, but it was either that or I didn't go at all. Child care costs for the time while I was sitting in a traditional class, plus my health at the time, made it impossible for me to actually go to class. And there wouldn't have been any such thing as living at home with my parents, one was in prison and the other is transient.

    The formula we used to work with when I decided that I was going back to school was "How much can I reasonably expect to make in three years working in the field, and I refuse to borrow more than that". It means I won't get my master's degree, because the salary increase wouldn't be enough to make it worth spending more money, and I got lucky, getting grants and scholarships that cut the cost down from nearly $60,000...but it meant sacrifice, not just to get to college, but for what I wanted to do once I got there. It's time for people to realize that if they get in over their head with student loan debt, they aren't going to get bailed out. Those bills are real and if they aren't willing to sacrifice before college, during college and for several years after, they don't have any business taking the loans in the first place.
    JMO. Unless there's a link, I can't prove it.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quiche View Post
    There's the rub! It's the old Training vs. Education argument... these days, training will pay off more than a well rounded education. Training can be gotten at a community college in two years, for little money. Training will employ you readily....
    BBM: But the irony is that very training will be obsolete in a couple of years.

    The intellectual/learning skills offered by a liberal arts education will help you adapt to all the changes in technology and economics that lie ahead.

    The trend in U.S. higher education of focusing only on immediately marketable skills is very short-sighted. IMO, obviously.



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