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Student Loan Debt Hell: 21 Statistics That Will Make You Think Twice About Going To College

ilene's picture





 

Courtesy of Michael Snyder at Economic Collapse

Is going to college a worthwhile investment?  Is the education that our young people are receiving at our colleges and universities really worth all of the time, money and effort that is required?  Decades ago, a college education was quite inexpensive and it was almost an automatic ticket to the middle class.  But today all of that has changed. 

At this point, college education is a big business.  There are currently more than 18 million students enrolled at the nearly 5,000 colleges and universities currently in operation throughout the United States.  There are quite a few "institutions of higher learning" that now charge $40,000 or even $50,000 a year for tuition.  That does not even count room and board and other living expenses.  Meanwhile, as you will see from the statistics posted below, the quality of education at our colleges and universities has deteriorated badly.  When graduation finally arrives, many of our college students have actually learned very little, they find themselves unable to get good jobs and yet they end up trapped in student loan debt hell for essentially the rest of their lives.

Across America today, "guidance counselors" are pushing millions of high school students to go to the very best colleges that they can get into, but they rarely warn them about how much it is going to cost or about the sad reality that they could end up being burdened by massive debt loads for decades to come.

Yes, college is a ton of fun and it is a really unique experience.  If you can get someone else to pay for it then you should definitely consider going.

There are also many careers which absolutely require a college degree.  Depending on your career goals, you may not have much of a choice of whether to go to college or not.

But that doesn't mean that you have to go to student loan debt hell.

You don't have to go to the most expensive school that you can get into.

You don't have to take out huge student loans.

There is no shame in picking a school based on affordability.

The truth is that pretty much wherever you go to school the quality of the education is going to be rather pathetic.  A highly trained cat could pass most college courses in the United States today.

Personally, I have had the chance to spend quite a number of years on college campuses.  I enjoyed my time and I have some pretty pieces of parchment to put up on the wall.  I have seen with my own eyes what goes on at our institutions of higher learning.  In a previous article, I described what life is like for most "average students" enrolled in our colleges and universities today....

The vast majority of college students in America spend two to four hours a day in the classroom and maybe an hour or two outside the classroom studying. The remainder of the time these "students" are out drinking beer, partying, chasing after sex partners, going to sporting events, playing video games, hanging out with friends, chatting on Facebook or getting into trouble. When they say that college is the most fun that most people will ever have in their lives they mean it. It is basically one huge party.

If you are a parent and you are shelling out tens of thousands of dollars every year to pay for college you need to know the truth.

You are being ripped off.

Sadly, a college education just is not that good of an investment anymore.  Tuition costs have absolutely skyrocketed even as the quality of education has plummeted.

A college education is not worth getting locked into crippling student loan payments for the next 30 years.

Even many university professors are now acknowledging that student loan debt has become a horrific societal problem. Just check out what one professor was quoted as saying in a recent article in The Huffington Post....

“Thirty years ago, college was a wise, modest investment,” says Fabio Rojas, a professor of sociology at Indiana University. He studies the politics of higher education. “Now, it’s a lifetime lock-in, an albatross you can’t escape.”

Anyone that is thinking of going to college needs to do a cost/benefit analysis.

Is it really going to be worth it?

For some people the answer will be "yes" and for some people the answer will be "no".

But sadly, hardly anyone that goes to college these days gets a "good" education.

To get an idea of just how "dumbed down" we have become as a nation, just check out this Harvard entrance exam from 1869.

I wouldn't have a prayer of passing that exam.

What about you?

We really do need to rethink our approach to higher education in this country.

Posted below are 21 statistics about college tuition, student loan debt and the quality of college education in the United States....

#1 Since 1978, the cost of college tuition in the United States has gone up by over 900 percent.

#2 In 2010, the average college graduate had accumulated approximately $25,000 in student loan debt by graduation day.

#3 Approximately two-thirds of all college students graduate with student loans.

#4 Americans have accumulated well over $900 billion in student loan debt. That figure is higher than the total amount of credit card debt in the United States.

#5 The typical U.S. college student spends less than 30 hours a week on academics.

#6 According to very extensive research detailed in a new book entitled "Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses", 45 percent of U.S. college students exhibit "no significant gains in learning" after two years in college.

#7 Today, college students spend approximately 50% less time studying than U.S. college students did just a few decades ago.

#8 35% of U.S. college students spend 5 hours or less studying per week.

#9 50% of U.S. college students have never taken a class where they had to write more than 20 pages.

#10 32% of U.S. college students have never taken a class where they had to read more than 40 pages in a week.

#11 U.S. college students spend 24% of their time sleeping, 51% of their time socializing and 7% of their time studying.

#12 Federal statistics reveal that only 36 percent of the full-time students who began college in 2001 received a bachelor's degree within four years.

#13 Nearly half of all the graduate science students enrolled at colleges and universities in the United States are foreigners.

#14 According to the Economic Policy Institute, the unemployment rate for college graduates younger than 25 years old was 9.3 percent in 2010.

#15 One-third of all college graduates end up taking jobs that don't even require college degrees.

#16 In the United States today, over 18,000 parking lot attendants have college degrees.

#17 In the United States today, 317,000 waiters and waitresses have college degrees.

#18 In the United States today, approximately 365,000 cashiers have college degrees.

#19 In the United States today, 24.5 percent of all retail salespersons have a college degree.

#20 Once they get out into the "real world", 70% of college graduates wish that they had spent more time preparing for the "real world" while they were still in school.

#21 Approximately 14 percent of all students that graduate with student loan debt end up defaulting within 3 years of making their first student loan payment.

There are millions of young college graduates running around out there that are wondering where all of the "good jobs" are.  All of their lives they were promised that if they worked really hard and got good grades that the system would reward them.

Sometimes when you do everything right you still can't get a job. A while back The Huffington Post featured the story of Kyle Daley - a highly qualified UCLA graduate who had been unemployed for 19 months at the time....

I spent my time at UCLA preparing for the outside world. I had internships in congressional offices, political action committees, non-profits and even as a personal intern to a successful venture capitalist. These weren't the run-of-the-mill office internships; I worked in marketing, press relations, research and analysis. Additionally, the mayor and city council of my hometown appointed me to serve on two citywide governing bodies, the planning commission and the open government commission. I used to think that given my experience, finding work after graduation would be easy.

At this point, however, looking for a job is my job. I recently counted the number of job applications I have sent out over the past year -- it amounts to several hundred. I have tried to find part-time work at local stores or restaurants, only to be turned away. Apparently, having a college degree implies that I might bail out quickly when a better opportunity comes along.

The sad truth is that a college degree is not an automatic ticket to the middle class any longer.

But for millions of young Americans a college degree is an automatic ticket to student loan debt hell.

Student loan debt is one of the most insidious forms of debt.  You can't get away from student loan debt no matter what you do.  Federal bankruptcy law makes it nearly impossible to discharge student loan debts, and many recent grads end up with loan payments that absolutely devastate them financially at a time when they are struggling to get on their feet and make something of themselves.

So are you still sure that you want to go to college?

Another open secret is that most of our colleges and universities are little more than indoctrination centers.  Most people would be absolutely shocked at how much unfiltered propaganda is being pounded into the heads of our young people.

At most colleges and universities, when it comes to the "big questions" there is a "right answer" and there is virtually no discussion of any other alternatives.

In most fields there is an "orthodoxy" that you had better adhere to if you want to get good grades.

Let's just say that "independent thought" and "critical thinking" are not really encouraged at most of our institutions of higher learning.

Am I bitter because I didn't do well?  No, I actually did extremely well in school.  I have seen the system from the inside.  I know how it works.

It is a giant fraud.

If you want to go to college because you want to have a good time or because it will help you get your career started then by all means go for it.

Just realize what you are signing up for.

 


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Sat, 04/30/2011 - 12:47 | Link to Comment cocojambo2
cocojambo2's picture

Did you know that the Pell Grant was created in 1972 and originally named the Basic Educational Opportunity Grant (BEOG). In 1980, the grant was renamed to the Pell Grant thanks to Senator Claiborne Pell (D-RI) who was the pioneer of the entire concept. Pell Grants are awarded to low income undergraduate college or university students who are citizens or eligible non-citizens of America. Students can use their Pell grant funding at approximately 6,000 post-secondary institutions across America. Pell grants do not have to be repaid & funding is dependent on the student's expected family contributions, cost of attending a post-secondary institution, whether the student attends full or part time, and whether the student attends for a full academic year or less. More information can be read on http://www.pell-grant-eligibility.com/ The maximum Pell grant award for the 2011 - 2012 school year is $5,550.

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 08:33 | Link to Comment TumblingDice
TumblingDice's picture

I went and had a great time. I spent two years in Umass and two years in GWU and graduated on time despite transferring and having two majors. My debt is not bad but I'll pay it off, not becuase I like the system, not because I think it was worth it but because I entered an agreement when I took on that loan. Sure I was young and naive when I took that loan, and I might have been deceived but I am not going to make my life nor the world around me better by avoiding this loan.

I have no regrets because I know there is plenty of money to go around, but the time spent in university is something that is unquantifiable and in very short supply in the life of a person. It is friendship, community and a bit of knowledge thrown in. I read and discussed great books, I satisfied my thirst for math (temporarily at least) by taking a multivariable calc elective, I did many drugs, I made mistakes, I wrote two twenty page essays on topics that I found fascinating and that I will write more about thanks to my initial inquiries, I got to know myself better, I read the letters exchanged by James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington as a job, worked in the library and basically had the time of my life. I think I would do it again even with a 50k loan. The degree is not the only thing involved.

As a side note I don't see any of this university bashing being productive. You can't avoid any of this exploitation without completely divorcing yourself from the system. For your life and the life of your children it is always better to change the system from within, but thats just my opinion, man.

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 07:05 | Link to Comment sbenard
sbenard's picture

I'm now more grateful than ever that I was able to complete both my undergrad and graduate degrees and graduate without ANY debt! I don't know how people can do it these days!

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 05:58 | Link to Comment LMAO
LMAO's picture

Education?

Think about it.

If you find out you can't afford it, you have basically proven you've learned enough to realise you don't need to be educated.

 

LMAO

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 04:33 | Link to Comment aquagreen73s
aquagreen73s's picture

Certain college degrees from state schools will always be worth their cost - computer engineering, software engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, physics, etc. I checked monster.com for aerospace engineering in the LA area and 77 jobs popped up. Double to triple that number for EE.

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 05:42 | Link to Comment StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

But, "math is hard!"  According to Barbie™, so:  "Let's plan our dream wedding!"

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 02:28 | Link to Comment Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

Education in America is a scam. Fuck it--everything in America has become a scam. Just bureaucracies defending their budgets. Nothing left but collapse.

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 02:04 | Link to Comment goodrich4bk
goodrich4bk's picture

Nobody here has mentioned the most recent change in student loans.  The government is now a direct lender, which means that it can offset your unpaid loan against any tax refunds and even Social Security.

Yup.  If you don't pay by the time you are 70 (which will be the retirement age for today's college graduates), you will get no Social Security until the loan is fully repaid with interest.  This is the ONLY kind of debt which may be collected by levying SS benefits.

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 02:17 | Link to Comment New World Chaos
New World Chaos's picture

Nobody young enough to be paying student loans today is going to get their social security, so who cares?  Have always considered SS as a parallel tax.  Money down the toilet.

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 04:37 | Link to Comment downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

Says you.  The only thing preventing people from collecting retirement benefits is the ability of the banker-gangsters to steal it. 

Thus far, they've not been able to, but they'll keep trying.

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 01:58 | Link to Comment Jab Cross Hook
Jab Cross Hook's picture

The echo became self-aware.  There was a fellow in my department whose guise was a general advisor/computer lab assistant, whatnot.  Real apple of the director.  Spent most of his time closing in on young guys, rubbing their shoulders, ect. You get the idea. Once I asked him exactly what the hell his billet was. No response, real shifty.  Some workplace diversity indoc, I guess.

Still wouldn't have tripped over my job if it wasn't for the college experience.  Met a quality wife there, too.  So, kids, it's what you make of it.  As usual.

OTOH, Universal Healthcare is now defined as having a doc/nurse in the family. Thanks, Sis!

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 02:00 | Link to Comment tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

yes i have to jump on my soap box once again....academics is a pan handling terrorist operation in which the strong prey on the weak in naked aggression....for many people and most business jobs college is a total waste and fraud....for some (physical and health sciences) it is a sin qua non....

compulsory socialized higher education has created astronomic demand followed by astronomic costs....but the benefits are negative....consider the financial state of america which has been governed by trogladyte military-industrial-bankster complex goons almost all of whom have 1 or more degrees....

however, most employers require a college degree....and they don't care in what subject....i have looked at and applied for many technical management positions some of which require a technical degree and other which simply require a degree....don't ask which degree - they don't care....so for technical project managers if you have a degree is horticulture, psychology, dance, black studies, classical literature - it all good baby....this proves that the degree is not required for the job content....it is window dressing, in as, do you have blue eyes?

my degree program has taught nothing which i didn't already know or which is relevant for any job i i would do - college is entry level hokum....if you aren't a fucktard, you can learn all of the material relevant to work on your own or on the job....but most folks are fucktards....

and what do we do with all of these graduates who have stale and obsolete educations? did they learn something new on their own (gasp) in the meantime?

and before the fucktard responds that college is not a votech, let me remind him that the number 1 reason - even given in this article - for going to college is, "so you can get a good job." but we have already seen that the requirement in a huge number of cases is artificial....

as a votech enterprise, college should be reduced to 4 semesters.....so much of it is repetitive of high school....and if it's not you are a fucktard....

hiring decisions in business fields could be made on the basis of iq in order to save a lot expense...but i have seen jobs for call dispatchers paying 15 usd/hr demanding a college degree!!! no offense to call dispatchers but we are talking about a low rent field where a grade school education + decent iq are more than sufficient....

and that harvard test....it is not so hard....i could muddle around with the greek (but that was only because of college courses) and forget the latin but that was strongly discouraged in high school because i needed to take something "practical"....like french....now it is spanish for our bilingual nation....

the math, geography were not difficult....but yes the tenor of education has moved away from rigor to votech.....but notice how the liberal arts education didn't impede the success of these graduates who prospered in numerous fields....today they would qualify for call dispatchers...

i don't advocate ignorance but education should be expected only of those who can truly benefit from and apply it....i will never apply calculus, differential equations, statistics, linear algebra, or discrete mathematics to any job i hold or held....yes these subjects are nice masturbatory excursions but what tangible value do they provide when used as the basis for hiring in jobs which don't use them? they are completely irresponsible miscallocations of capital....

education in america is deeply flawed and broken....it should be allocated on a cost-benefit just-in-time basis rather than on a "do you have blue eyes" basis or "so you can get a good job" where you will never once touch your differential equations to say nothing of 1st semester calculus....

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 02:04 | Link to Comment New World Chaos
New World Chaos's picture

This is all part of the NWO's vast conspiracy to destroy America.  Rockefeller said he wanted workers, not thinkers.  So the government comes along, guarantees the banksters' loans to make college "affordable", costs go through the roof (much of it going into cancerous bureaucracy), and the students get indoctrinated by wooly-headed useful idiot humanities professors.  By the time they've graduated they can't think their way out of a paper bag and they're debt slaves so they have no choice but to get some bullshit cubicle job working for the Man.  They pay for life for the priviledge of getting fucked in the head by the NWO.  They're so brainwashed they don't even have the smarts to realize they should get a real job working under the table and give Uncle Scam the finger.  And five hours a week studying?  What a joke.  Five hours a day on the weekends was a vacation for me and I graduated in four years, because I couldn't afford not to.  Fuck it all.  You would learn more by smoking dope and reading conspiracies on the internet.  Turn on, tune in, drop out.

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 01:29 | Link to Comment Libertarian777
Libertarian777's picture

this is the biggest misconception out there.

Just because the entrepreneur didn't graduate or have a college degree did in NO WAY ensure the success of his company.

Are the CFOs of Microsoft, Dell, Oracle or Berkshire Hathaway college dropouts?

Are the researchers, software engineers, corporate lawyers and accountants college dropouts?

Try and get a job at any of those companies by listing your accomplishments as 'college dropout', and see how far it gets you.

I agree, having a PhD in liberal arts with $100k in student debt is stupid.

Common theme with healthcare, housing and student fees. When government gets involved, everyone is f*ked.

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 01:04 | Link to Comment mark mchugh
mark mchugh's picture

Loved this article, Ilene.

Loved it. loved it. loved it.

Pissing money away for a sheepskin isn't the same as getting an education.

Actual education is one thing we could definitely bend the cost curve on if we were serious about it.  Electonic textbooks, youtube-like video lectures etc. etc.  We could make people smarter for cheap.

But no, as you point out, it's become the gateway drug to a life of debt slavery.  When did the American dream morph into contracting debts you can not pay?

That shameless weasel Bernanke made a pitch for college education on sixty minutes.  That's it kids, start off your adult life 50 grand in the hole.  It'll be worth it, trust me.  Did he say college grads were smarter? No.  Did he say they work harder? No.  It's just something you should do.

You can't polish a turd, I always say.  Dopes don't become genuises studying 7% of the time.

I wouldn't mind any of this if it was just YOUR money that was getting wasted, but it's everyone's.  The cheapest applause politicians can get is saying they're "pro-education"  Translation: I'm pro giving your money away.

Goldman Sachs was Obama's second biggest campaign contributor.  The biggest: The University of California.  This "go get an education, get a job with the government, and we'll forgive your student debt...."  crap makes me crazy!!!!!

If we're so pro education, why can't we teach the basics.....like money doesn't grow on fuckin' trees or there's no such thing as a free lunch?

Arrrrggggghhhhh!!!!

(thanks for stomping on the nerve, I)

 

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 00:43 | Link to Comment nufio
nufio's picture

let me repost this link again as this is the most relevant thread for this

statistics on us college graduation : http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d09/tables/dt09_271.asp?referrer=list

you can download the excel and sort in decreasing order and be shocked at the place of engineering and computer science fields.

 

 

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 00:37 | Link to Comment MrBoompi
MrBoompi's picture

I went to the University of Illinois back in the early 70s. Tuition was something like $450/semester. It was still an expense for me and my parents, but with part time jobs I got through with no debt. This was the way it was supposed to work.

The classes were challenging as I was in the sciences. Back then they actually weeded out poor students.

I learned a lot that helped me in my laboratory positions. My degree was necessary to advance and move into management. It allowed me to eventually be a part owner of a small company and be president/coo. I wouldn't be where I am today without my education, but I've also worked with and have known many extremely intelligent individuals who never went to school or graduated from college. I believe intelligence and hard work will still allow anyone a good chance to become wealthy. Creativity and personal skills are things school really can't teach. Oh, and it never hurts to be lucky.

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 04:35 | Link to Comment downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

Stupid public schools.

We need to get rid of them.

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 00:23 | Link to Comment Seymour Butt
Seymour Butt's picture

My husband is a VP for a transportation company. They put out an ad for a driver making $10/hr, and received over 200 applications. Some 40% of applicants had MBAs.

They didn't get the job. Reason: overqualified.

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 00:23 | Link to Comment MisesFTW
MisesFTW's picture

Take out student loans, there will be a bailout via inflation or direct government mandate! FACT

 

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 00:11 | Link to Comment theopco
theopco's picture

Crap I think I closed yet another thread. Damn you timezones!

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 23:42 | Link to Comment magnumpk
magnumpk's picture

Tuition rises at a rate well above the rate of inflation and politicians scratch their heads.  They don'e realize that subsidizing education with guaranteed loans creates almost infinite demand.  Colleges can charge whatever they want and students will come up with the money through loans.  The education system is broken.  The problem is, it will take molotov cocktails from the disaffected students to wake our leaders from their ignorant slumber.

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 23:27 | Link to Comment keating
keating's picture

1. Unemployment for college grads is a fraction of HS grads and some college. That's a fact, jack

 

2. Save money, take community college for 2 years than transfer to a state school

 

More than four in every 10 college students are enrolled in community colleges, where average published
tuition and fees for full-time students are $2,272. These institutions enroll disproportionate numbers of
low-income students and older students, as well as black, Hispanic, and Native American students.
In 2006-07, two-year public college tuition and fees increased $90, or 4.1 percent, over 2005-06, only
slightly above the rate of inflation. On average, full-time community college students receive about
$2,200 in grant aid and tax benefits, leaving net tuition and fees of less than $100. However, the average
net price of tuition, fees, housing, and food is $6,400 per full-time student. Before taking financial aid into
consideration, commuter students in this sector who do not live with their parents have total educationrelated
budgets of about $12,300 (which includes transportation and other expenses in addition to room
and board).

 

Best deal of all. University of South Africa Distance Ed 4 year accredited B.S. roughly $4,500 for all 4 years. If that is too expensive, stay by the fryolater. BTW, McDonalds just offered jobs to only 6% of applicants. Still want to avoid college.

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 23:54 | Link to Comment sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

Correllation does not imply causation.

Maybe people who go to college have more ambition. Of all the people I knew in college, only one is working in the field he majored in.

I agree with you suggestion to take as many courses as possible at a community college of you can't get a scholarship. It's not cool, but it can save you about $20,000 in loans. 

I don't recommend the online only degrees. They've been tarnished and most people laugh at them.

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 23:20 | Link to Comment QEsucks
QEsucks's picture

I'm not questioning the concept that FED GOV should NOT be involved in higher ed. Fed loans, non-dischargeable are the cause of 900% rise in tuition. Just saying that for some disciplines, you really can't Google-it.

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 23:19 | Link to Comment Bear
Bear's picture

Have no fear about the economics ... If Obama gets another four years all student debt will be forgiven and all college education will be free

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 06:58 | Link to Comment Soul Train
Soul Train's picture

Fuck the whole mindset of Obama and the self serving mindset of the Federal Government machine.

It doesn't work - the country has gotten too diversified, too populated, plutocratic, it's no longer a strong republic.

We'd be better off with more localized governments in union with one another for military defense.

We'd be better off with gold and silver coins for currency.

We'd be better off with a simple tax system to pay the expenses of local government.

We'd be better off without a federal government.

Period out.

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 04:33 | Link to Comment downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

Would that education were universal.  That would make us and our society civilized.

But I wouldn't be counting on a lackey of the banker-gangsters to make that reality.

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 23:15 | Link to Comment QEsucks
QEsucks's picture

 

Buffett entered college as a freshmen in 1947 at the Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania and studied there for two years from 1947 to 1949. In the year 1950, when he entered his junior year, he transferred to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln where at the age of nineteen, he graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. After the completion of his undergraduate studies, Buffett enrolled at Columbia Business School after learning that Benjamin Graham(author of "The Intelligent Investor" – one of his favorite books on investing) and David Dodd, two well-known securities analysts, taught there. He received a M.S. inEconomics from Columbia Business School in 1951. Buffett also attended the New York Institute of Finance. In Buffett’s own words: I know, doesn't fit the populist thesis but there you go. Some of us actually didn't "sleep it off" in class.

 

 

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 23:22 | Link to Comment Bear
Bear's picture

The other Buffett did pretty well also going to college:

Jimmy Buffett spent part of his childhood in Mobile, Alabama.[1] As a boy in grade school, he attended St. Ignatius School. He later lived in Fairhope, Alabama, mentioned by Buffett as his "Home Town" during a 2001 concert. He graduated from high school from McGill Institute for Boys (now McGill-Toolen Catholic High School) in 1964. He began playing guitar during his college years at Pearl River Community CollegeAuburn University and The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where he received a bachelor's degree in history in 1969.

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 23:14 | Link to Comment FischerBlack
FischerBlack's picture

I took around 30K in loans to get a law degree. Don't practice law, but I sure get a lot of people asking me legal questions! Paid it off long ago. Was it worth the expense, probably not, but it's nice to have that as a fallback. And who knows, I may need it!

My woman, OTOH, came out of med school with $150K debt. She's been working for almost a year now, and it's half gone.

Moral of the story: borrow as much as you need if you're going to be a physician. Everyone else, find another way.

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 22:59 | Link to Comment illyia
illyia's picture

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 22:15 | Link to Comment chunkylover42
chunkylover42's picture

re: point #1 above - why is it that the areas with the most government intervention (education, health care, etc.) have the fastest price increases and rapid declines in overall quality?

I'm sure it's just a coincidence, right?

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 22:45 | Link to Comment Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

No.

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 22:17 | Link to Comment GottaBKiddn
GottaBKiddn's picture

 

College costs are similar to the subprime explosion. All of society is trained to believe that getting a "good" education ensures success, and if the price is skyrocketing, that just proves how valuable it is. Right? Legislators and bankers write the deals, so what could be better?

As far as I'm concerned, it never makes sense to not walk away from a bad deal, whether it's a job, a chick, a car, a loan, you name it. How else is the "system" going to learn just how much they can take advantage of people.

 

 

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 22:12 | Link to Comment downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

Eliminate Business Schools.  Their only role is to spew propaganda about failed, stupid ideas and math porn.

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 22:09 | Link to Comment chirobliss
chirobliss's picture

How much did it cost to learn ya to say...

"Sadly, a college education just is not that good of an investment anymore."

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 22:10 | Link to Comment max2205
max2205's picture

Face it. College is a gate. No good job without one. Those in the rat race hope inflation will pump their comp. That was the past. These people will never pay off these loans. As a group the loans are too big to fail. One day they will be bailed out too or their investors. BOOKMARK IT!!

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 22:02 | Link to Comment sleepingbeauty
sleepingbeauty's picture

Well, doesn't it depend what you take at said college (Canada's universities are equivalent to college's right?). Like you may end up with debt if you go to med school, engineering or vetrinarian or a bunch of other possibilities, but you will also end up with better prospects. And I am thinking that those courses require hard work and dedication (with some partying Friday night).

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 22:30 | Link to Comment ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

You forgot investment banker, hedge fund management, economics (Keynesian enabling), the professional sports athelete pipe dream (10,000 to 1 odds shot) and professional sophistry and equivocation (lawyering and/or politician).

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 22:24 | Link to Comment chunkylover42
chunkylover42's picture

Excellent point.  Going to 4-5 years of college to major in "general studies" or "Women's studies" isn't going to get you a job that is going to cover the debt you incurred.  It's not a commentary on the value of those programs, but any skills learned there just aren't in demand. 

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 21:49 | Link to Comment Bob
Bob's picture

The costs v benefits might make us think, but I've read work written by over ten thousand high school students this year and I'm afraid I have to report that students almost universally embrace the college education as a fundamental necessity for success in America. 

Could an industry ask for anything more?

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 06:49 | Link to Comment Soul Train
Soul Train's picture

Yep, and the costs for college continue to rise.

And the professors get tenured and get all those pension and benefits. And secure well paying jobs to spew their bias.

It's a propaganda mill, and self serving.

And they have the whole business mechanism well greased to justify 18-24's to waste their time in adult classes - while community colleges for the most part crank out federal subsidized zombies who would be better off learning a skill set.

 

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 21:50 | Link to Comment lynnybee
lynnybee's picture

another reason why our young people can't buy houses !    how can a young person buy a first home if they are already deep in debt ?    they can't.     banks deliberately targeted this group of young pristine balance sheets, getting more people into debt with never-ending streams of interest payments to banks.     i'm going to say the same shit that i always say :    when i was young, no bank in their right mind would have loaned out unlimited credit to me !    

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 07:27 | Link to Comment Dr. Impossible
Dr. Impossible's picture

funny how an 18yr old can't rent a $12,000 car for a night, but can borrow $100,000 for something they can't quantify prior to purchase.

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 22:27 | Link to Comment ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Exactly.

And now those banks can loan to anyone - and the losses shifted to the FED, the Treasury - and ultimately onto the backs of the masses to feed the ponzi.

Astounding, isn't it?

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 21:45 | Link to Comment --- - .. ... .....
--- - .. ... .... . .-. - --..'s picture

Colleges are academic museums. Anyone can learn anything anytime just by asking the internet oracle.  Information is free but you have to think to gain knowledge. If you know how to learn and know what you want, odds are you don't need an adult day care diploma.

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 06:44 | Link to Comment Soul Train
Soul Train's picture

Yep, and to enter the education system to become a medical professional remains archaic. With today's technology, we can train many motivated students to get in the industry.

But the American Medical Association and Medical schools want their elitist $$$ system and graduate a scarce resource.

The fact is that the best performers in the medical system are trained, and not educated. Who cares if you break your leg, that the doctor passed an intense organic chemistry class?

It's training, on the job stuff, that makes doctor's proficient. OK, yes, background education is important, but in today's computer savvy world, more and more education can be obtained online - it's the training that needs to be the focus in the future and there are many bright motivated people who should not have to waste their time and money and run the risk of getting culled in bull shit classes to enter the medical profession.

Period out.

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 21:47 | Link to Comment --- - .. ... .....
--- - .. ... .... . .-. - --..'s picture

I have learned more in the past three years following mental digressions on the internet than in all my school combined. I like to think I took advantage of free instantaneous information. I remember when words were written on wood.

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 21:45 | Link to Comment ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

 

Having been on the inside, I can tell you this is all true.

Save your money; start working and learning on the job.

The majority of colleges and universities, public and private, simply serve to delay adulthood by 4-8 and up to 12 years or more because our society is increasingly juvenile and narcissistic.

Higher Affirmation (*cough*...er...Education) is an industry, a conduit of the larger ponzi that is U.S. society; a dying leprosy ridden corpse built upon consumerism, jingoism, and managed perceptions.

 

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