Infographic: Reevaluating The Costs And Benefits Of (Debt Bubble-Funded) Higher Education

Tyler Durden's picture

While the college debt bubble has been extensively discussed on Zero Hedge (here, here and here) and elsewhere, the reality is that without college student loans, as cheap as they may be, the vast majority of students would not be able to afford going to college, untenable (and non-dischargeable) post-graduation leverage be damned. Please ignore for a second the reflexivity of this symbiotic relationship - that college is so expensive only because college debt is so easily obtainable (and as noted here, between car loans and student debt, is the primary source of consumer debt in the past year). There is a reason why NINJA loans led to the biggest housing bubble of all time; also we wonder - in 5 years when this bubble also pops, how many congressional hearings will there be on the topic of just who allowed all these student to drown in debt that most of them would never be able to repay?

That said there are two sides to every story: on one hand students are conditioned to believe that they need college to survive in the current world (with statistics such as these floating out there: drop outs since 2002 have "cost" the nation $3.8 billion in lost income and over $700 million in lost taxes), while on the other hand, the burden of a massive debt load, even if with manageable interest expenses, leave the student burdened with principal amortization which alone has a crippling effect on the individual psychology. Is it time to reevaluate higher education? Look at this infographic from OnlineCollege, which summarizes the side effects of soaring college costs, and decide for yourselves.

Surprising Side Effects of Rising College Costs
Courtesy of: Online College News

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ronin12's picture

So you were conditioned for the real world by learning how to take orders?

AndTheRest's picture

I learned: Self discipline.  What real, hard, physical work really is.  Just how bad life can get.  How amazingly awesome life really is for most Americans/Europeans compared to how bad things can be.


Working a 12 hour shift doesn't seem so bad when you've worked a 40 hour shift.  Working for middle class wages doesn't seem so bad when you've risked your life for $4 an hour.  Putting in 40 hours a week at some comfortable office job ain't so bad when you've lived, breathed, ate and slept your job for months at a time.


And most of all, I learned it is better to be in control of my own fate than to let someone else make decisions for me.


If you disagree with our foreign policy then you should leave the country.  Democracy is an illusion and you cannot bring an end to our global imperial empire via the ballot box.  And if you stay and enjoy the fruits of our global empire via your elevated standard of living then you are the ultimate hypocrit, one that suckles on the excesses of the American Empire while decrying the methods it uses to create that bounty.


And don't move to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or the U.K. either.  They are all joined at the hip with the U.S. when it comes to foreign policy.

dark pools of soros's picture

that's kinda a narrow view of history projecting unlimited king of the hill status...  you do know this Empire thing rotates right? 

Clashfan's picture

Spoken just like the kind of programmed goon who would willingly load us all into boxcars.

Terminus C's picture

On the contrary, spoken like someone who actually understands the way the world works.  It is an ugly truth, but it is the truth... open your eyes and you will see.

AndTheRest's picture

I'll be somewhere in Europe while you're over here in the U.S. wondering why voting for Obama didn't bring the American imperial empire grinding to a halt.  I'll be learning a new language and trying to integrate into a culture that hasn't fought a war in 50 years while you're protesting, thinking that protests actually matter to anyone.


Democracy is an illusion.  You cannot change American foreign policy via the ballot box.  The ruling class believes that the peasantry has no business even trying to comprehend American foreign or economic policy, let alone should have any hand in crafting it.


So go back to your Republican primaries, which are more about which candidate supports Israel the most, which one loves Jesus the most, and which one hates fags the most, than anything else.  Ron Paul tried to interject discussion of foreign and economic policy into the debate and the media ran roughshod over him, refocusing the debate on social and moral issues.  And the sheeple roared in approval.


So make your choice, Blue team or Red team.  One will let gays serve in our military, but neither will stop using our military to shape and enforce the global American empire.  And you folks in the homeland enjoy untold benefits from this global empire, whether you want to admit it or not.  So if you disagree with the foreign policy of the Anglo military empire then you need to leave the Anglo countries.


But you won't, because in fact you love suckling on the excesses of global empire.  You love your high standard of living.  You love your global military empire.

Ghordius's picture

AndTheRest, I can only applaud. Military service changes your life in a mostly positive way - at the very least you learn to hate unnecessary war and compulsion. My service was tipical for the european continent in a time when the draft was more common.

I agree it teaches all the above. And more.

In fact, I'd go so far to say that a republic is only balanced with an universal draft (I'd exclude women - personal view).

Or when only service veterans are allowed to make decisions about foreign involvements. Then you have your ballot box results.

Terminus C's picture

Starship Troopers, bitchez!

Ghordius's picture

nice little juvenile book - but the principles and ideas are much older, they go back some 3'000 years to the Greek Polis and were actually the roots of our civilization, our understanding of republics and democracies, even flowing into the US 2nd Amendment...

malek's picture

So in summary you prefer a more clueless US kid with nice talking skills over a European/Asian with deeper education but less selling instinct?

Well, you didn't state what kind of job you were hiring for, so I cannot give an opinion really.
But I think in most professions you will do better with the European-type, which not necessarily means it has to be non-US educated.

Antipodeus's picture

So what you're basically saying is that most American grads are ignorant, lazy, clueless fucktards with a Masters in Self-Confidence, Lies & Bullshit?


OldPhart's picture

I've been working on my Master of Creative Distubances for years...but I procrastinate.

phyuckyiu's picture

The poster mentions university of phoenix as a way to help us do better than China, and you mention the poster is deluded. HI. UNIVERSITY OF PHEONIX. HE KNOWS IT'S A FUCKING JOKE. ANYONE HOME? READING COMPREHENSION 101. Are you one of the clueless Americans you disparage in your comment?

merizobeach's picture

Channeling MDB today, are you??

phyuckyiu's picture

His dry humor went over The Alarmist's head, so I'd have to say yes. On a good day you can't tell MDB is joking.

potlatch's picture

we shall all become self-made

dark pools of soros's picture

most people can't even make their beds

Antipodeus's picture

" University of Phoenix " ?  Isn't that for people who couldn't get into Oral Roberts U. ?


Silver Bug's picture

The cost of education has basically made slaves out of students. It is disgusting.

batterycharged's picture

Let's review how the finance industry has made America debt slaves:

-new laws that make credit card debt impossible to chargeoff in bankruptcy

-new laws that allow services like insurance to charge more based on credit score, forcing people to pay off debt

-employers using credit scores for a basis of not hiring someone, forcing people to pay off outrageous debt

-student loan debt; 18-25 year old kids borrowing $100,000s that is unforgiveable even in bankrutpcy

-retail cards with deffered interest, plopping 18 months of interest at 29% on unassuming cardholders

-subprime auto loans at 25%+ interest rates

-housing debt, people that can't sell their house nor refinance, towing debt that has no backing asset, and despite the mantra of "just walk away", see above to what happens to your life with bad credit


Laws are making us debt slaves, unable to escape huge fees and interest rates and lending practices are taking advantage of it.

Welcome to debt servitude that you only escape by death....well not even then.

ChrisFromMorningside's picture

Here's the rub ... What you and I see as "debt slavery" is "the lifestyle I deserve" to most Americans. Without "debt slavery," most Americans would be at a complete loss because they wouldn't be able to buy all the new toys and do all the things that allow them to keep up with Joneses and make them feel better about themselves.

By the way, keep an eye on the subprime auto loans. I live in a relatively low-income neighborhood and it seems like I see a brand-new car with dealer plates every single day somewhere along my 15-minute walk to work. Saw a new Range Rover today, saw a Toyota Tacoma and Infiniti SUV last week. It's another bubble in the making and outside of ZH I haven't seen it given much coverage.

ronin12's picture

"Here's the rub ... What you and I see as "debt slavery" is "the lifestyle I deserve" to most Americans. Without "debt slavery," most Americans would be at a complete loss because they wouldn't be able to buy all the new toys and do all the things that allow them to keep up with Joneses and make them feel better about themselves."

This is an oversimplification at best - a total fallacy at worst.

Two points:

- Without having to pay all that interest to banksters, the current debt slaves would have MUCH MORE free cash flow to buy stuff to 'keep up with the Joneses.'

- Housing, student loans, cars, etc - all priced TOO high because of the availability of easy credit. Take the easy credit away and prices FALL - hence "all the new toys" as you put it become more affordable.






malek's picture

Cars are priced too high, and their prices could/should fall further, without quality impairment I assume? You really need a reality check.

And (more) free cash flow enables you to save for a few years before buying something - right, exactly what everybody really wants deep down in his heart!
And then accusing others of oversimplification

The Wolf's picture

Fallacy ?

So how many months does Archie Doo-Da (who has a free cash flow of $50 a month) have to save before he can buy that new $2500 projector TV ?

Debit or CREDIT...wick wack, thank you come again

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

If Archie starts saving when the TV comes out that'll be 2 years or less.

If Archie starts saving before the TV goes for sale then it's a balance: the rate of cash accumulation is linear but the rate of TV price decrease is exponential (1/2 price every 12 months or so, 18 maybe, depending on market factors for that style of TV).

The DLP's as it happens were shit-hot but are no longer manufactured.

Or I suppose Archie could become a debt-slave for life using the credit card because the minimum payment will exceed his monthly cash flow but not the interest on the principle. Ever ($55.26 likely).

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

"debt" isn't buying.  Hence those funny shows on TV about repo-fights & scams.

A person hasn't "bought" until their debt is really paid (if ever) & a series of things (house, car, etc) that aren't "paid for" can be taken. At any time the non-payment irks the lender, the real owner of said lifestyle objects.

Ghordius's picture

very good summary - perhaps you forgot one thing: the pervasiveness of the credit score

one thing several friends explained to me is that if you don't have any debt, you don't have a credit score

and too many other things are directly linked to the credit score in the US

so - as they tell me - you have to build debt up and down just to exist and fit in the system

WTF employers, insurers and banks (for a debit card) asking for my credit score? I'm still a bit fazed by that, it's totally out of my life experience here in europe...

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

I wonder what mine is... I haven't used credit in years

automato's picture

Most modern education is useless. Educators have lost sight of the forest and focus only on the trees resulting in students that have no clue how to truly think. As an experiment, I visited an elementary and pre-elementary school where I asked every teacher to perform the same task. How do you pronounce the letter 'W' and write it out the way you pronounce it. The answers varied from 'dubba you' to 'dubby you' to 'dub you'. Some geniuses said 'dubba you' but wrote down 'W'. None of them got the correct answer of 'double you'. When presented with the correct answer only one of them was able to think the answer through that the letter 'W' was named 'double you' because in cursive it is the double of the letter 'U'! The rest of the educators of our children thought I was crazy or lying or that it DOES NOT MATTER!

Antipodeus's picture

Unfortunately, you appear to have deluded yourself, and misled the others.


"How do you pronounce the letter 'W' and write it out the way you pronounce it[?]"


We do not pronounce 'W' as 'double U' -- that's what we call the letterWe pronounce it as 'wuh' as in 'wobble' or 'world' or 'webster' [note: no phonetic type available ], or it is silent, as in 'elbow' or 'throw' or 'cow' ['cau'].



MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Quit while you're behind.

The question was how to pronounce the LETTER.

Not the syllables or phonemes using the letter W.


HungrySeagull's picture

Cost? Your Future Gain in all things.

Benefit? Only if you like living as a Debt Slave [strike through] Fugitive..

bobola's picture

Ed Bernays wins again.........

Zero Govt's picture

we need Bubble Ben everywhere ....not just turning students into debt-slaves with no jobs to go to because the Fed has mis-directed all capital flows into worthless stock markets, worthless bankers, unproductive housing, unproductive debt-fueled consumerism and rotten Govt

maybe Ben can blow bubbles into babies nappies too, you know, buy one get one on credit

then the Wizard of Rot can control the economy cradle to grave

...just so long as it doesn't come up like everything else Bubble Ben's touched (eg. US housing, US Govt, US Banking) : dirty rotten broke

Heroic Couplet's picture

Bullcrap. until military budget and lobbying expenditures are side by side, you don't know jack about education "spending." You manage your money by managing your largest expense first. If the military "spending" were spent in education, Republicans would be yelling their heads off, and yes i want this archived in UTAH.

You don't have the term "welfare" in the headline and then "social security" and "medicare" in the content, as was shown yesterday. I contribute to my social security. Not the US government. Well known Republican crapola.

BliptoP3's picture

Hmmm - you may want to read the article before commenting.

NotApplicable's picture

Seriously? I don't think it would do any good.

ms1408's picture

I agree. Republicans are constantly going on about cutting social security and Medicare. It's ridiculous. These programs account for a TINY amount of the debt. Just do the math! Unborn children NEED to pay higher taxes to fund retirees!

Schmuck Raker's picture

Oh, so that's why they are all such gung-ho Pro-Lifers.

Chuck Walla's picture

Oh, so that's why they are all such gung-ho Pro-Lifers.

Don't dis pro-life.  Who do you think populates the bottom of the pyramid?

TMT's picture

Using "tiny amout of debt" and "social security" and "medicare" in the same sentence excludes you from any rational discussion.

Lednbrass's picture

There are three possibilities here.

1) You are a complete idiot.

2) You are completely unable to do basic math.

3) Youre nucking futs and whatever tenuous grasp on reality you have is maintained by a prescription bottle.

In what alternative mathematical universe do two programs that currently use approximately 2 of every 3 dollars received by the federal government constitute a TINY amount of the debt? That assertion isnt just dumb or misguided- its obscenely stupid.

Schmuck Raker's picture


4) ms1408 has a drier sense of humor than some.

TMT's picture

Bullcrap.  Pull out the constitution - you'll find defense in there but not medicare.

The more we spend on "education" the dumber our population gets, as evidenced by your post.

LaLiLuLeLo's picture

Let's face it. Kidies go to college to get laid.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Trips to Amsterdam for hash and hookers would probably be more cost effective.


MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

Libertarians: They hate the government, they hate Israel, they hate the poor and most of all they hate education. Is this what this site has become? A bunch of no good hateful libertarians?

BliptoP3's picture

nah, my life of education ain't hurt me none: I can read the writing on the wall.