Occupy colleges? How to shut down student debt

October 14, 2011

Members of the Occupy Wall St movement hold signs aloft while demonstrating. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson One of the more compelling issues to emerge from the Occupy Wall Street movement is subject of crushing student debt.

College financing has gotten to be too onerous and complicated, so it’s difficult for families to negotiate the process and, as a result, it’s hobbling graduates’ attempts to live normal lives. Congress has largely ignored these Americans, though, as it focuses on the national debt and the Tea Party agenda.

There’s been a sharp uptick in student loan defaults — the highest rate in a decade — as more students come out of college an average $24,000 in debt, yet can’t find jobs.

Part of the psychology embedded in a college education is that the diploma should enable you to get a living-wage job, pay off debts and live a prosperous life. That was the big selling point of a high-cost diploma. That isn’t happening now for most graduates.

When the debt bubble burst three years ago, did students and their parents really expect to be saddled with onerous debts and face a lousy job market when they signed up for expensive degrees?

If we can bail out the banks, we can certainly find long-term solutions to student debt. My colleague, Linda Stern, recently outlined some of the basic money-management approaches to reducing student debt in her weekly column. It’s all good advice on a personal level — from creative payment strategies to loan consolidation to what to do if you simply can’t pay at all.

But there are things to do more public level that could help a lot of people at once.¬†One approach would be to compel universities with large endowments to offer more grants, which don’t have to be paid back. Congress needs to back programs that allow students to deleverage at the lowest-possible rates and forgive the debt under certain distressed circumstances.

It would also make sense to consolidate the myriad tax breaks for college financing into one unified credit based on income.

No discussion of tax reform should exclude college financing. Higher education financial aid should get as big a tax break as energy producers, agriculture or hedge-fund managers now reap.

Larding up students with more debt is not the answer. Not if you want to get them off the streets, literally, from their protests.


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Thanks for this piece. I am the founder & exec. director of All Education Matters (AEM). AEM is a non-profit that advocates for student loan debtors. I have been researching and writing about this topic for over 2 years, and I want debtors to know that they are being represented in D.C.

Indentured educated citizens unite!

-Cryn Johannsen
ccrynjohannsen (at) gmail (dot) com

P.S. There are several support groups on FB – Support Group for the Indentured Educated Class and All Education Matters. You are NOT alone. There are millions of us – join us, get involved, and help us change this systemic disaster

Posted by Cryn | Report as abusive

We need several things.
We need to reverse Congressman Boehner’s move to release online for-profit colleges from having a physical campus for at least 50% of their total enrollment. This allowed online colleges to entice students to enroll, borrow huge amounts of money, and end up with a degree of dubious value and a mountain of debt.

We need to cap the amount a student can borrow and claw back some of the loan from the college if the student defaults. Now, the colleges get all the money up front, there is no penalty whatsoever for forcing students to borrow ever more money by ratcheting up the tuition. Its a bottomless money well for colleges.

Huffington Post did an excellent article on the for-profit college system. Until we get some penalty that leads back to the college for overloading students with debt absolutely nothing will change.

Posted by stanrich | Report as abusive

Education is the best investment for the country and there should be free state universities paid for by tax dollars. These same educated people will be returning the money in taxes. The present educational system is definitely messed up in the United States as students end up with hundreds of thousand dollars of loans. Imagine a student does 4 years at Dominican University, CA and pays $160,000 for a 4 year degree just in tuition and another $60,000 in living expenses for 4 years. Can the student really pay about $20000 a year in interest alone, with just a BS degree, even if the student gets a job paying $400000 a year. For profit schools are getting a bad name but the non profit Dominican University and other non profits in CA are charging even more tuition and a Bachelors degree in science or humanities will most likely not get the student a job that paid enough to pay back the $160,000 tuition paid for the degree. Irony is that the tuition is way too high, discouraging students to go to college.

Posted by mantra | Report as abusive

I do not think that students should graduate with a mountain of debt, but no jobs. It should be the responsibility of the colleges/universities to make sure that 1) every student graduating from their institution has a well paying job and that 2) the student can pay their loan back within 5-10yrs of graduation.

If the student does not find a well paying job before graduation, the institution needs to forgive the loan and take the hit for not educating the student well enough.

If the student is unable to pay the loan in 5-10yrs, the loan should be forgiven.

If the student was able to pay, but chose not to, then the institution should have the right to take them to the court.

This would reform the system like nothing else.

Posted by Indepndnt_Thnkr | Report as abusive

What seems to escape the grasp of many: going to college is a choice. If you cannot afford it, don’t go.

That is not to say that colleges are not overpriced. They are. And that is part of the problem. Each year the schools are ratcheting up the tuition, the book fees, the dorm and cafeteria fees. Why? Many reasons, but mostly the cost of labor and/or the administration. Check out the salaries in the University of California and the Cal State systems. Astronomical.

We also have many students that go to college without a clue of what they want to do. So they keep going, racking up the bills while they “find themselves”. Studies show an increasing amount of time it takes to earn the 4-year degree.

There are many mitigating factors. I believe the biggest of these factors is an increasing number of less-mature and less-motivated high school graduates choosing to enter into a commitment for which they have not been adequately prepared.

It is not engraved in stone that a young person must start college immediately after high school. A litte seasoning will help them make the right choice and perhaps provide the proper motivation. The real blowback on the freedom to choose is the responsibility that comes with making that choice.

Posted by cabrerski | Report as abusive

the preliminary solution to this problem is quite simple: forgive all student debt, and move to at least a K-20 public education system … private colleges – both for-profit and non-profit – can be left to fend for themselves without government support or to join the public system (though all colleges could still run their own affairs on the Canadian model) … this can easily be paid for by restoring progressive taxation and slashing the defense budget … either this tested and successful approach or we can expose the economy to the bursting of the student debt bubble … most people will probably prefer plan A, one expects …

Posted by openmediaboston | Report as abusive

Part of the problem is colleges have little accountability when it comes to the success of their graduates. If they were forced to give back tuition on students who could not land a decent job with their degree then I would guarantee universities would get back to focusing on learning. Currently universities focus on nice new buildings, nice gyms, etc. to entice students to come. Once you are there they have your money. They even have reasons to teach you less; a light workload means less people failing out of school which means more tuitions.

Posted by anarcurt | Report as abusive

Soaking naive students has become the latest funding raising rage for some colleges.
Get a big loan, spend all the money on school, and then default after graduation.
Sounds similar to some financial institutions’ former business plans…..

Posted by NoOneHome | Report as abusive

Ah yes. Let’s “bail out” students who borrowed money they can’t pay back. And let’s compel colleges to grant students free gifts. Let’s make education “free” by directing hundreds of billions of dollars in public spending to colleges and universities. Finally, let’s create millions of new jobs by forcing employers to hire college graduates at great salaries. Life’s problems are simple. All you have to do is force everyone to do what you want.

Posted by mstamper | Report as abusive

But I thought If you had a degree people just threw money at you……………….

Posted by Crash866 | Report as abusive

Lets just forgive everyone’s debts…….wouldn’t that work or did they teach you in college it doesn’t work….I bought my house now it’s costing me more than I thought and the economy is crappy and I make less…can someone forgive my debts as I never planned for this…..

Posted by Crash866 | Report as abusive

“When the debt bubble burst three years ago, did students and their parents really expect to be saddled with onerous debts and face a lousy job market when they signed up for expensive degrees?”

Couldn’t you replace the word “student”, with home owner, business owner, borrower or just about anyone…….oh but the poor students………..

“Larding up students with more debt is not the answer. Not if you want to get them off the streets, literally, from their protests.”

No one is “larding” anoyone…..they accepted it just like everyone else in debt. Now they want to take to the streets to make everyone feel their pain!!!! So conveinent and constructive. Lazy Spoiled and Angry is no way to go through life…I mean it must be someone else’s fault cant be their’s or mine right???….Go Look in the Mirror…….Life is about Choices and owning the ones we make…..Good and BAD

Posted by Crash866 | Report as abusive

Another bailout?? Hey lets all quit our jobs get money from the government. Bankers messes up and made stupid loans; they got bailed out. People go to schools that they can’t afford; we talk about bailing them out. I want a bailout too. I want the Feds to payoff my mortgage, give me free health care – just like murders get in prison – and I want FREEDOM from all taxes of any kind. Hey, if I promise you all that I’m sure you’ll vote for me for president.

Posted by alconnelly | Report as abusive

I would say students need information that is localized to make better decisions. Universities should be forced to track how well students do after they graduate and whether loans are getting paid back. And, they should be forced to provide that information to students before they sign any loan agreements. Along with that simple solution, freeze increases in Federal maximum loan amounts and cap non-teacher pay at schools accepting Federal loans.

Posted by M.C.McBride | Report as abusive

Our son graduated with a Masters degree two years ago. He has student loans and still cannot find a job. He is not whining about someone else paying his loans. He is still looking for a job so he can support himself AND pay for his loans. These whinners need to grow up and take responsibility.

Posted by Onceagain | Report as abusive

I am not a “blame gov’t for all our woes” guy but I believe that one of the root causes of the student debt bubble is the government backing of student loans and the non-dischargability of student loan debt in Bankruptcy.

The explosive rise in college tuition is directly tied to the ability of persons to secure cheap and easy credit to pursue whatever paper degree they so desire so long as they sign the dotted line.

What if the gov largely exited the business of insuring student debt? Private lenders would think twice about lending John College 100k to study early central american poetry based on his future ability to repay.

This would decimate some of the liberal arts and that would be BAD. BUUUT…it is also saving John College from himself. At the very least, a college might consider charging John College less to study the subject that has less value and for which a lender is less willing to lend.

Posted by GeneralNesta111 | Report as abusive

Thanks for writing this! If anybody considers education to be as insignificant as, let’s say buying a mcmansion, financing a mercedes slk, or racking-up debt on a credit card from partying every evening, then this is more than a financial crisis–it’s a societal crisis. Students cannot gauge what the economic conditions will be like upon graduation. At all costs, students should have access to a higher education or we will be plagued with ignorance.

Posted by dbayb13 | Report as abusive

No one forced me to take the loans I needed to make ends meet for school- it was pretty clear- pay the bill or go do something else. I chose to graduate.

But no, I just don’t get it, right? It’s someone else’s fault that I have debt. Plus, I don’t hold that I should get handed anything I want because I’m special. Apparently, I have a bad attitude because I keep my word, pay my debts and don’t care if everyone else is trying to be part of the mob.

Responsibility, integrity, fulfillment of contracts. But you know, they don’t teach that in college these days. All that matters is getting the check in the box and questioning everything, and remembering that you’re special.

Posted by dzoo35 | Report as abusive

Pursuit of a college degree is a choice, not a right. Taking on debt is a risk, but the long-term benefits are many. Unfortunately, the present economic situation is stifling those pursuing degrees as well as recent graduates.

College costs keep skyrocketing, largely due to the process of “tenure” which, like the U.S. Congress, rewards longevity, vs. competence.

Another issue is the costs of athletic programs, which are cash-eaters, not cash cows. Nowadays, we have college football coaches making millions of dollars, all subsidized by the taxpayers and students through increasing education costs. The answer is to have pro sports subsidize the college athletic programs, which provide a “farm team” for their for-profit enterprises.

College is not a right, but now, things are just not “RIGHT” at all.

Posted by TMahan | Report as abusive

Doesnt anybody get the part about people doing work and the tuition pays for it? Professors teach, janitors clean, rent a cops patrol, administrative staff support all this, cafeteria workers take care of food, the list goes on. The total sum of all that plus the cost of the land the school is on and the property taxes etc is divided annually amongst the student body. In some cases, that number is very high. And if you want to go there, you need to pay it. I liked the post about colleges being responsible to find students jobs or forgive the debt. How about farmers not having to pay for the seeds if they have a bad harvest. How about I get my money back on tickets to a sporting event if my team doesnt win? Not everyone is going to get a great job. Not everyone needs a degree. In fact, the abundance of degree’d people are part of the reason they can’t get jobs. Some things cost a lot. Its not evil. Its not unfair. It just isnt the way you want it.

Posted by Honest131 | Report as abusive

As a recent college graduate, the long term solution to reducing student debt is on the burden of the student making a choice to attend college. I would never burden tax payers with MY student debt, I am the one who decided to go to college and I will be the one to pay off the debt for said education. Yes, college is expensive and loans can be a burden, but if college was not expensive it would, overll, cheapen all degrees. The point of college is to provide further education for those who desire to pursue it, if colleges are publically funded, a basic bachelors degree will become the equivilant of a high school diploma, not hold as much weight. The burden must be on the students and those making the decision. One option that a lot of people do not look into are community college for the first 2 years to compelte basic GERs. Students need to be more responsible when it comes to picking a college and the path they are taking to pay for college. While attending community college, I worked two jobs and managed to keep my grades high and do well enough to get into a respectible 4 year institution where I earned three bachlors degrees in two years. It’s called hard work and doing things for yourself. These feelings of student entitlement need to end, students need to be responsible with their choices. I certainly do not want to pay off another students 60,000 dollar business degree from a mediocre college where they did nothing but act irresponsibly for 2 years before they decided to get their act together for the last 2. Make more responsible choices. That’s all their is to it. Own up to your own mistakes and decisions, the United States and taxpayers can not afford to fix everything.

Posted by akl2009 | Report as abusive

Notes from Dinosaur Land:

1. 1956-57 tuition-fees @ UC Davis $84-$100 per year ($42/$50 a semester.) Books another $50 a semester. Part time work paid $1-$1.25hr..more if you were good at picking fruit around Fairfield or in the SJ Valley/Napa. 1 or 2 weeks earnings covered tuition/books for a year..a month for a Master’s degree even a PhD.

2. The overwhelming number/percent of US jobs (80+%) require little more than a 6th grade education (ie) be able to read a thick book without using your finger, the ability count change in your head/not on your fingers or a computer, put a subject and predicate in a sentence with a cap and period.

3. Virtually ALL jobs/professions are learned/perfected on the job (ie) by doing, making, fixing, performing NOT the university. (Heisod, Hermann Hesse, Eric Hoffer, Studs Terkle, David Noble, Atul Gawande…and any number of corporate executives make this point clear.)

4. K-16 formal education can teach the language, terms, and maybe the unique thinking thinking/problem solving patterns of a specific occupation or discipline. (Michael Oakeshott is especially good on this.)

Some modest (and institution costly) exceptions are the school-instructor supervised internships/staz/residencies (medicine/law)…and “in-house” music, drama, sports studies majors. Graduate/post-graduate corporate/government financed research provide limited student learning by doing venues.

5. As for attitude, being civil, personal hygiene/washing your face, table manners, and showing up for class/work on time these come from home, culture, friends not the university.

6. Degrees/schools attended are used as employment/promotion filters..have little or nothing to say about a persons actual job performance skills/abilities OR the actual performance skill requirements of a specific occupation/or task.

7. Given that virtually all private and public employers utilize higher education studies as a “first requirement” employment filter employers should, as a group, pay the costs of their higher education employment filter.

A “fair” half cent tax or service fee on the full value of all stock market transactions would both eliminate most/all of 20 something’s higher education debt AND eliminate the unrelated employer medical insurance/medicare employee expense.

Posted by TBasic | Report as abusive

Nationwide Americans have swallowed the notion that a college education is necessary for success in life, a notion fed to it by the education establishment and promoted by the government, which numbers as one of its largest supporters the education establishment!

How do the supposedly educated people protesting on Wall Street not see or question this conflict? Did none of them wonder what they were going to do after graduation with a degree in Sociology or English and $150k in debt? Was there any thought involved when they decided what and where to study?

Why would any bank lend money to them for such ill-conceived investments? Here’s a clue: for the same reason that so many unqualified persons were able to purchase homes they could not afford–the government guaranteed the loans. So, just like with the housing crisis, banks threw judgment out the window when they lent them money, since the banks had no risk. When banks lend money to a business they consider whether it is strong enough to pay them back. Did the banks that lent the protesters money even ask what they were majoring in?

The key to capitalism is that capital acts rationally in its determination of where it is allocated. When the government gets involved you end up with dislocations–in the form of soaring tuitions and housing prices. The system being protested is certainly not capitalism, and calling it that only shows shows how completely the protesters been taken by the double-speak of the Left.

So to all these kids protesting that they can’t afford the loans they took out for their liberal arts degrees (my guess is that there aren’t too many engineering students in that crowd), I say you have been fooled into thinking that no price is too high for an education, though its clear that many of you now understand that not to be the case. http://reasonablemannyc.blogspot.com/

Posted by ReasonableNYC | Report as abusive

As for bail outs on personal debt… as a homeowner nearing pay off on my 30 year home (as well as other debts as I near retirements) I insist on reimbursement of all those loans and interest payments. On a first-come-first serve basis, I suspect our country would fall as did the Roman Empire did, long before we got around to help little Johnny who just graduated.

If you can’t afford college, don’t go.

Bread and Circuses anyone?

Posted by bufford | Report as abusive

A lot of people on here are very angry, obviously. Quite honestly though, if the jobs were there in today’s economy, the issue of student loan debt wouldn’t even be an issue. People could pay back their loans, just like they always have. If there’s no money coming, there’s no money going out. It just is.

Now, to those that say, “No one made you go to college; it’s a choice,”, I don’t think it’s that simple. It’s not like buying a car. I ask you, based upon the Employers’ Market that there is today, what are the chances of getting a job without a degree of some kind? Entry level administrative assistants at this point are starting to be required to have a college degree. Now, I already hear you saying, “Tough. Go work at Target.” I think that’s short sighted.

U.S. business is already struggling to compete in the world market. How well would we fair living in a country filled with people working $10/hour retail jobs with no education because they couldn’t afford college? Where would our specialized and educated workers come from? Engineers aren’t self-taught, nor are chemists or the people that have put your smart phone in your hand. How would all of this effect our trainwreck of an economy? I really don’t see it helping.

Let’s take this further though. What if the result of your tough love approach to education were to expand to the medical field. Where would our doctors, nurses and other life saving/sustaining professionals be coming from? Would you really want the kid who got into med school just because he had money and there wasn’t any competition to get in performing open heart surgery on you?

This is the America you’re advocating, where the distinctions between the Have’s and Have Not’s will get to a point that there’s no turning back. Only the rich will have degrees. You may say I’m being over dramatic when I put it like this, but it eventually come to the top 1% of the wealthy running and/or owning the country, and by ‘country’ I mean the people in it.

Please consider these things. Please also note I have a college degree, a job and I’m paying back my loans from attending a state university, just like some of the others on here. I don’t believe in handouts. I believe in creating a country where people can be responsible for their educational debt. They can only be responsible for that though through jobs and trying to control the cost of the education itself.

Posted by Scarlet1766 | Report as abusive

Entry level Admin Assistant jobs? Really? If the folks that couldn’t afford jobs shrugged off their primary school, “everyone’s a winner”, indoctrination. We’d eventually rebuild our lost manufacturing industry using the pool of available labor that seems to think some types of work demean them.

Posted by bufford | Report as abusive

What about the fact that nearly 50% of all students who attend college do not obtain a degree after 6 years!? When are we going to start realizing that the root of Americas problems is its lazy and entitled culture?

I know what you should occupy…A JOB!

Posted by jaham | Report as abusive

The exorbitant cost of higher education is a primary driver for why we created http://www.rakethru.com – the free search engine helps students lower their semesterly bill by locating the best textbook prices. We plan to add additional student-centric money saving services over time.

We must all do what we can to take control of these costs and lay a better foundation for our nation’s next generation of leaders. However, this is not only about cutting costs, it is about being pro-active. If a path is closed, take a risk and start something new. It benefits yourself and it benefits others.

Rakethru.com is our response to graduating into this terrible job market and our way of creating. I strongly encourage everyone else to join us and be as proactive as possible. Create a new path where it appears none may exist. We must act with the resolve that our nation will get through this tough time. We must be innovators and creators.

Posted by rakethru | Report as abusive

I think you meant to say while congress “focuses not on the national debt but on the Obama agenda.”

Posted by brc | Report as abusive

Education debt is usually backed by the taxpayer, yet rates have become more bank friendly. Before the Bush Administration, loan rates were lower at 3.5%. Today, rates are between 7 and 8%. Returning to a favoured rate, and extending the repayment period would restore balance.

Posted by SanPa | Report as abusive

Excellent article, John. So many of the comments have it all wrong. Obviously, it’s a choice. Obviously, nobody has a gun to your head to go to college IE take out loans. But, nearly all of you have this ex-post viewpoint. Most of you are forgetting that a lot of these kids were told that they needed to go to college, and that once out, they’d be able to find a job. When you consider that these kids were told this by parents, teachers, guidance counselors, that successful uncle/aunt we all have, etc, it’s hard to say “well you should have thought more about it!” When you’re 18, and you need to make a huge choice, you tend to take advice from people you view as wiser than you.

So, if you’re going to blame someone, direct blame at the people who told these kids they were making the right choice. The idea that a few hours/days of ‘research’ on the part of an 18 year old child is going to undo years and years of beating into the kids’ head “smart and successful people go to college” is just ludicrous.

Please, direct ire where it belongs. These children are trying to better themselves, based on advice from people they view as wise and trustworthy. So many of your comments are so, so ignorant.

Posted by Adam_S | Report as abusive

How about stopping the interest while this people get the means to pay up their loans? You cannot go bankrupt on them, so by allowing interest to accrue you made a whole generation wage slaves. Heck with todays technology, I do not see why universities cannot be on line and at least 1/5th of the cost.

The government bail out banks. Who in turn hoarded properties. Which in turn rack up the cost of living. No problem with capitalism, but what we live on is not capitalism. Is members of a club taking care of each other, while exploiting the rest. Too big to fail equals too big to exist. Is easy to say that the rest are lazy when you have rig the game and live based on exploiting the 99%.

Posted by rxantos | Report as abusive

While it would be excellent for everyone’s student loan debt to be magically erased, I sincerely doubt the government is going to wipe it out. There’s so much at steak for not only the US government, but also the private lenders that totally getting rid of it all would create another “too big to fail” scenario for the banks. However it is possibile to do some form of debt consolidation if you’re in over your head. The big thing about consolidation is not to mix your private and federal loans together. A lot of students have unfortunately made this mistake and it ends up costing even more to pay back the debt: http://blog.studentadvisor.com/StudentAd visor-Blog/bid/58862/Student-Loan-Repaym ent-The-Dangers-of-Student-Loan-Debt-Con solidation

Posted by SamCoren | Report as abusive

Adam_S…if you got an education in an applicable field you are fine. The unemployment rate for this with college degrees is currently under 4.5%.

If you paid $120,000 for degree in Germanic Studies, then yes, that is your fault IMO.

Posted by jaham | Report as abusive

Except for the hard sciences, most college degrees are pretty worthless. Maybe these “children” should be working instead of going to keggers.

Posted by majorkrell | Report as abusive

There really is little choice but to go to college. There are only so many janitors and fry cooks needed. Without a degree you are likely working minimum wage (if you even get a job) and $16,000/yr is close to or below poverty in many areas of the country. Given the choice between that and rolling the debt dice and hoping for a well paying job in 4 years it’s easy to see why so many choose the latter. The problem isn’t the students; it’s the education system and the economy.

Posted by anarcurt | Report as abusive

Educational debt is not even dischargeable in bankruptcy, which is why creditors love this form of debt and why hucksters prey on youth in this form.

Posted by DisgustedReader | Report as abusive

There is nothing wrong with a degree in Romance Languages or Literature or Philosophy or History… what is being missed is that one can’t just show to classes and get the piece of paper with Cs, or even Bs, and expect something will be handed over.

ONE MUST EXCEL in their discipline to have a shot at a job or a career, and it has always been this way.

Notice these protestors are mostly about 25 years old. Now ask yourself what their education consisted of… teaching to the test in the Bush fiasco of NCLB. When one simply absorbs information with no underpinnings, then one will also believe what one is told: “get a degree and you will get a job.”

It has never been that way, it will never be that way, nor should it ever be that way.

Posted by ArtNow | Report as abusive

There is choice to make about going to college, and another about which one you will attend. If you can’t afford college in genenral and you decide to go to NYU or Harvard or Stanford, big surprise when you graduate with $200k in loans. Try going to a community college for the first two years and then transfer to a state school. That’s what I did, worked the entire time I was in college to offset the costs and got a degree in Economics. I have hired many college graduates who went to college, never bothered to work, just borrowed more money so they could have the college experience. Well, that experience costs you, so good luck paying back loans for the good times hanging out.

Posted by MiddleDan | Report as abusive

I just paid full tuition for both of my kids. Can I borrow some back from the Obama, and then stiff the govt?

Posted by ixix | Report as abusive

Great idea, but sadly student loans are averaging around 7 to 8 percent. Congress does little to help this out; the reality is students don’t have fat check books to lobby for lower interest rates on student loans. Again sadly, the only people today that go to college should be high paying fields majors. The rest are really getting into debt they may not be able to get out of for a very long time. If the parents cannot afford to send junior to a pricey college, then he does not belong going if he will be saddled with high debt when he gets out.

Posted by cheeze | Report as abusive

When will people realize that a college education is just like a car or a house. If you can’t pay, getting a bunch of loans isn’t going help. It’s just like back in the 20’s and 30’s where people where buying stocks on credit assuming that they would ALWAYS make more money of their investments. When will people learn that a college education is investment and not an entitlement? Probably now.

Posted by thblackketter | Report as abusive

Students decide to go to a University that costs $150,000 over four years. There are local state colleges that cost less than $15,000 over four years. I am not paying for your choice to go into debt, forget it.

Posted by UnPartisan | Report as abusive

I agree with the folks who say these “protesters” are silly (or dangerous) for demanding loan forgiveness, etc. Stupid. However, let me enumerate the alternatives to getting into large debt at a University:
1) be born rich.
2) failing that, get scholarships.

I fall into the #2 category. This means a fraction of my [in-state] tuition is covered. Most of it I must come up with on my own… then there are living expenses.

To pay for all this, I work full-time; it’s the only option if you want to massive debt. So, you’ve got a student working ~48-50 hours (2 jobs – one of which may not be strictly necessary), and taking 12 or so credit hours (~4 classes). I could take less, but you have to think about all those annual fees that are tacked on to tuition; in other words, the less courses you take, the longer you stay in college, and the more expensive it becomes overall due to being charged silly fees over and over. By the way, I’m in engineering school, so it’s difficult to say that I’m in college for frivolous reasons.

That’s the reality. So to all you boomers, etc. who do nothing but complain about lazy good-for-nothing students … I’d like to see you go through the rigors of the modern system without moaning and begging the gov’t for handouts (what your generation is used to doing).

Posted by Black_Mass | Report as abusive