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Visualizing The Public Vs. Private College Debate

Tyler Durden's picture


While attending a private college and being trained in the mystical art of CTRL->C / CTRL->P might leave you strangled by a debt-load larger than Spain's, it is empirically true that salary-upside remains (almost $10,000 per year more); the following infographic lays out why the public vs private college debate continues.


Public vs. Private: How College Quality Can Impact Your Future
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Fri, 08/31/2012 - 21:08 | 2754338 dolph9
dolph9's picture

No matter if you went to a public or private university, if you have debt and are working at just another crappy job to support this enterprise called America, what makes you think you are anything other than a debt slave?

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 21:39 | 2754390 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

just another crappy job?


how about no job? college = overqualified for crappy job and the community college grad manager douche has chance to play power game to reject you for smug factor.


private or public or foreign or job = living with parents.

in that case your quality of life depends more on whether your parents have private housing or public housing.



Fri, 08/31/2012 - 22:10 | 2754428 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture
I'd like to share a valuable insight once shared to me...



The Humbling of the Harvard Man By LOUIS UCHITELLE
Published: March 06, 1994

Another Round of Humbling for the Men of Harvard; Women Have Been There Published: April 03, 1994

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 00:44 | 2754586 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

"private or public or foreign or job = living with parents.

in that case your quality of life depends more on whether your parents have private housing or public housing."

College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life.”

Paul Ryan

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 02:04 | 2754622 sm0k4
sm0k4's picture

How about don't get a useless degree? I have a degree in electrical engineering and while paying my debt sucks, I am paying it and it will take about 20 years, I realized this BEFORE I went to college. I came from nothing and had no help. I needed college to get this degree to work in the field of electronics design. No degree = no engineering job.

I think people have to assume some responsibility here. Why spend a crapload of money at an overpriced college when a degree from any cheap state university will suffice for the job?

If you want the game to change, don't play it unless you have to. For me I needed college, for others, its a waste of time to get a 4 year degree when a 2 year or on the job training will suffice.

For lots of us, its damned if you do, damned if you don't. At least I only have 20k left to pay off. $1200 a year in interest is the only shitty part while making minimum payments.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 03:08 | 2754645 ForTheWorld
ForTheWorld's picture

To me, the fact that it's going to take you 20 years just to pay off your student loans is a little more than slightly troubling, and if anything else comes up that requires extra funding, it's going to take even longer.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 07:11 | 2754741 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

Paying a student loan for 20 years as an Electrical Engineer sucks way worse than not paying any student loan while flipping burgers at Mickey D's.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 08:55 | 2754808 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

Exactly.  I was thinking about this a while ago when some talking head was saying how college is a lifetime investment like a house.  So the scenario is that you take out a student loan for 20 years.  After graduation, get married, have a kid or 2.  The kid is going to graduate high school before your college student loan is paid off.  That is crazy.  I had a 10 year student loan and that was a crazy long time.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 08:58 | 2754809 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

$20K in 20 years?  You should have that paid off in two years, come on!   A friend of mine who is a surgeon paid off his $200+ debt in five years after residency.  Lived in an $800/mo rental house, drove a used Camry, lived very modestly.  Paid off the debt, and at the same time saved money to pay cash after six years for a very nice home close to the hospital.  Still drives a Camry, but it is a newer one that he paid cash for.

I had $8K in student loans when I graduated back in 82, paid it off in four years $200./mo.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 18:11 | 2755497 pavman
pavman's picture

$20K in 20 years?  You should have that paid off in two years, come on! 

It doesn't make sense unless you look at rates for colleges now.  While I had a scholarship for tuition, I still had to pay room and board and books, etc.  I think the tuition itself was about $2600 a year, give or take... so for me, a four year degree would have cost essentially $30,400 from a good public university.  Which is dam cheap in retrospect.  I should have gotten two!

The current reality is that now-a-days even local junior colleges are charging $500 for a four hour class (or $80 / credit hour, which is ludicrous).  Hell, its highway robbery and exacerbated by the artificial price increases of every moron going to college thanks to the federal and private student loan assistance programs.  Not that I'm saying poor people shouldn't be helped to go to school, but because its all readily available to everyone, and almost a friggin' right these days (stafford loans or w/e they're called), the prices are artifically inflated as the number of students increase across the board.  For some perspective, 10 - 12 years ago or so I went to Northwestern for pre-graduate classes and they were charging about $1000 / class.

Its the same problem with easy credit, which raises ALL prices because more people can afford to buy more of everything than they normally would not be able to w/o having to *save* for it.  In the end, it hurts savers the most because they have to pay more for everything than they should have to pay for being responsible.  And this is why one day soon the music will stop and the people left standing will be the creditors.

One nice least KMart has brought back layaway.  WOOT!  Now I can get me one of them Mapple Mypads!

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 04:21 | 2754663 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

makes you wonder how our economies actually grew in the 60's, 70's.... almost nobody had a grad. and they all learned on the job.
if you where a hard worker you stepped up the ladder.
I'm blessed with 2 university degrees and it didn't cost me anything after school because it wasn't that expensive.
but if I would have had a 200k loan on my ass when I left school, I think my life would look totally different. just imagien your wife also is sitting on a loan like that and poof you both own 500k even before you get started....
that's just crazy. yeah... 10000 a year more.... 25 years of downpayments.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 17:47 | 2755470 Missiondweller
Missiondweller's picture

Excellent point.

Almost no companies teach "on the job" anymore.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 07:51 | 2754761 Withdrawn Sanction
Withdrawn Sanction's picture

 I realized this BEFORE I went to college. I came from nothing and had no help. I needed college to get this degree to work in the field of electronics design.

You might not realize how unusual you are.  Many students I encounter can not articulate a specific reason why they are in college, other than a vague reference to a better-paying job.   They're not there to pursue a career that they love.  They're just chasing the almighty dollar.

Well, if that's your goal, dont go to college. Your doing yourself and your future a disservice. Go to a vocational/technical school instead, or simply become an apprentice.  A few years ago an electrical apprentice billed us for work at $75/hour, while the master electrician billed at twice that rate.  The plumber's rates were slightly higher.  A key reason for these high rates is the relative few entrants into these positions, with so many thinking college is the only route to riches.

But even better, spend some time figuring out what you truly want to do with your lives and THEN pursue your career, degree, or whatever it is.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 18:18 | 2755503 pavman
pavman's picture

And folks in trades can make a ton of money working for themselves.  My cousin, after about 30 years of mechanic experience, finally got around to opening his own shop.  I think he's pulling in around $80k a quarter from the local area.  2 employees and himself.  Net take is probably somwhere around $47k a quarter.  And that's after he pays himself.

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 21:58 | 2754414 Confused
Confused's picture

Even more interesting. Student loans, even though they cannot be forgiven in bankruptcy, in some cases need to be co-signed. Think about that. 


Graduates may have nothing to lose and want to walk away. But the person who co-signed their loan might feel a bit differently. The whole situation is fucked. 

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 22:33 | 2754458 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

parents should never co-sign anything.


co-sign = co-dependency of parental welfare




Sat, 09/01/2012 - 17:18 | 2755432 monad
monad's picture

You brought 'em into the world, they're yours. I'll take care of mine, you take care of yours.

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 23:26 | 2754515 uncle_vito
uncle_vito's picture

The interest rates on student loans was so ridiculous, I just paid for my kid's tuition out of my savings.  No way am I going to pay that ridiculous rate!

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 23:44 | 2754524 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

interest rate is ridiculous because chance of your kid getting a job to pay it back after graduation is ridiculous.


financial hardship is the best teacher for your kids to understand personal finance.


interest rate can be written off in taxes.



Sat, 09/01/2012 - 01:02 | 2754600 BoNeSxxx
BoNeSxxx's picture

I took my college savings account for my two sons and blew it on a farm which I gave to them.  

They are happily thriving debt-free, experimenting with organic farming, learning how to make an honest living, bartering, getting to know their neighbors, brewing their own beer, and seem as happy as they have ever been.  They are independent and bring me fresh produce and eggs daily.  And they continue to educate themselves in the subjects that genuinely interest them.

If everyone did this, the world would be a far better place.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 04:36 | 2754667 MisterMousePotato
MisterMousePotato's picture

I am genuinely impressed.

Think your children will adopt me? (And my wife?) (And daughter?) (Oh, I have several cats, too.) (And ...

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 17:38 | 2755439 monad
monad's picture

Barry, the American taxpayers are already on the hook for all that. You already got theirs, don't be so greedy.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 09:31 | 2754838 cherokeepilot
cherokeepilot's picture

Good choice!!  I got divorced at age 51.  Ordered to pay 12,000 per year for 10 years to the ex.  I was dead broke with thoughts of suicide.  Bought small farm in Kentucky for $100K, money loaned from good friend, paid loan off in 15 years even with puting  many buildings on the farm (just a dumb carpenter before becoming a farmer). It was a lot of work but 20 years later the land alone is worth over $200k, with the buildings that are on it, it is valued at over $750K.  I own it free and clear along with the county (real estate taxes). It provides a decent income, house is appraised at $450K.  Farm equiment cost an additional $100K (not included in farm value).  Not bragging, but if one wants to work instead of sitting on their ass, you don't (as they say around here) need no college degree to make it.  Have horses, llamas, alpacas, donkeys and lots of cats and dogs. Oh! by the way forgot to mention my $80,000.00 airplane.  So much like your sons, I found heaven on a farm.

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 22:45 | 2754478 killallthefiat
killallthefiat's picture

16% vs 18%...quite conclusive.  Worthless infographic.

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 23:15 | 2754507 HardAssets
HardAssets's picture

an 'info' graphic with 1986, 1992, and 2002  figures at that

Do they actually think tomorrow will be like yesterday ?  Are they that desperate ?


Sat, 09/01/2012 - 10:28 | 2754885 centerline
centerline's picture

+1.  Normalcy bias.  LOL.  Shit is changing fast now... pendulum starting to swing the other way now and picking up speed.  What does it mean?  Who knows for sure.  But, one thing is for certain, tomorrow won't look like yesterday.

Also easy to see that emphasis is all on academics... the acquisition of degrees, credentials, etc. at a furious pace.  Meanwhile, mental and social health be damned.




Fri, 08/31/2012 - 23:15 | 2754510 JackT
JackT's picture

It's not about the's all about who you know that makes the difference

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 11:16 | 2754958 LMAOLORI
LMAOLORI's picture



Simple solution then don't go to college but if you do you should pay back your loans because my grandchildren shouldn't be expected to pay them back for you with interest.

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 21:08 | 2754339 q99x2
q99x2's picture

It should be all public colleges. The young women are easier.

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 21:41 | 2754394 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

low barrier to entry for not just you but all....


easy = public toilet = everybody gets to use it = dirty

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 21:10 | 2754344 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

stupid me- I thought that going to a high-priced private school already implies that you are juiced in to the system- thus making you automatically eligible for a top-notch job no matter what your actual intelligence may be.

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 21:32 | 2754382 nmewn
nmewn's picture

I love the theoretical weight "a Harvard study" tends to enjoy.

The last "study" I looked into was done by was for health care. They sampled some people asking if they had health insurance or not. Years later they came back to see how many had died with & without health insurance at the time of death.

Now, if you had no insurance and died in a plane crash, got hit by a car or hung yourself masterbating or ate too many tacos and your guts exploded, it didn't died without health insurance...ergo...people without health insurance die at a higher rate than those who have it.

Made no difference (because they didn't check their personal histories) how they died (crashes, suicides, murders or health issues) OR if they had health insurance from the very start of the "study" until the week before they died.

It just was...they died without it.

Very scientific, our best and

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 21:44 | 2754395 Meesohaawnee
Meesohaawnee's picture

and i even like it better on a daily basis in a story on economics etc lets say in the WSJ. .. its always "professor so and so of buttfuck university said that supply and demand..etc" like professor knows a damn thing about the real world. Hes hole up in a bunker all his life gawkin at coeds  and if its in economics trying to keep his field relevant

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 21:48 | 2754402 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Thats about right...whats the last real un-tenured job Krugman ever had?

He wouldn't last a day in the real world where ones worth is measured in results...not theory.

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 22:02 | 2754419 Slightly Insane
Slightly Insane's picture

You rang the bell on that one.  Krugman couldn't even get a job cleaning toilets at Walmart.  I'm guessing that his real title would be "shill" for everything put out by the statists.

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 22:39 | 2754470 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

when high IQ nobel prize winning brain has to get a job cleaning toilets at Walmart while some douchey celebrity nomorals bare all gets job selling shit to stupid for millions, society is ill and capital is not being allocated correctly.


perhaps stupids have to much money.....little hunger would make stupids appreciate non-stupids.

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 22:27 | 2754450 brettd
brettd's picture

Enron, I think.

Not kidding. 

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 22:31 | 2754455 brettd
brettd's picture

Enron, I think.

Not kidding. 

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 22:39 | 2754471 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Yeppers, at the pinnacle of every bubble, you'll find Krugman & Co.

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 21:43 | 2754400 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

you mean cheating kids of harvard "intro to Congress"???



Fri, 08/31/2012 - 21:59 | 2754417 nmewn
nmewn's picture


The "ethic" (lack thereof) is happening way before they ever get to the college level...Atlanta...basically the whole damned district...pardon the Huffpo link, its just the latest.

Its a crime syndicate up there really...this thing with Atlanta goes back years. This is the future and we're paying for it and will pay a higher price down the road.

And yet...I say again...I will never live to see the day a teacher or politician will come before the nation and say...our education funding is fine, we don't need anymore...vested interests.

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 22:29 | 2754453 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

well, she wasn't lying when she said she had to help Students Cheat On State Exam because they were dumb as hell



She teaches at Dobbs Elementary...


99.5% African Americans

99.5% free lunch

"dumb as hell" kids


why do they need to learn math when they get free lunch?


it isn't all teacher's fault either. this is where government needs to cut off welfare and teach the kids the "real life" free lunch just because you are black.

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 22:50 | 2754488 nmewn
nmewn's picture

The point is not skin color...the point is, they are not being taught and we are paying for them to not be taught, in more ways than one.

The teachers (not all) are more interested in where their salaries will be next year than where their students will not a teacher...THAT is a greedy fucking criminal mind in charge of class rooms full of young impressionable minds who don't have any idea what is happening to them.

Its criminal...and its going to stop.

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 23:54 | 2754537 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

good luck trying to educate decendents of slaves who were picked form africa for physical talents not mental. rapping and basketball may be the only ticket for low IQ high physical talents folks. because cotton pickers lost jobs to machines long time ago.


sure teachers can be more effective, but come think bright young teacher wants to work in a fucking ghetto school with ghetto parents and ghetto kids with ghetto culture?


it is not teachers' fault for poor for having kids they don't want or afford because no parent who cares about their kids' education to a school with 99.5% free lunch. fuck, that's even worse than some california schools full of illegal mexicans!



Sat, 09/01/2012 - 08:12 | 2754772 nmewn
nmewn's picture

The Atlanta school district is majority black teachers and administrators as far as I can tell. Its not happening because of skin color.

Its simple greed...they're more concerned with their salaries, Lexus cars and pensions than with the kids they're screwing over for life. I hope you're not really sittin around thinking a black child can't learn the basics. Theres a lot of adopted kids (all skin colors) with white parents and mixed race families who can demonstrate otherwise.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 15:57 | 2755318 RichardP
RichardP's picture

Whether and how a child can learn is often determined before they are born (how mother ate; whether she drank and/or smoked and/or used drugs while pregnant; oxygen deprivation before birth; etc).  That pre-birth prejudicing can be mitigated somewhat if the newborn spends the first 3-5 years in an enriched environment - the type of environment that an adopted child often receives.  For those children whose mental capabilities are stunted before they are even born, continuing on in the same family that gave rise to their stunted pre-natal capabilities is likely to make their mental capabilities even more stunted.

For learning to take place, a student must have an innate ability to learn.  If that innate ability is missing or stunted by things that happened before they were born, no amount of teaching is going to overcome that.

The scenario just described does not apply to everyone who comes from a poor home life.  But it does apply to more than a few.  To pretend that these children are capable of the same level of achievement as children whose synapses are well-nourished by proper nutritient and being cherished is unrealistic and cruel.

Our nation has had a serious policy failure by those pretending that all children are capable of the same basic level of academic achievement.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 08:22 | 2754776 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

good luck trying to educate decendents of slaves who were picked form africa for physical talents not mental.

Your contempt for negroes is showing. Ummm, wrong person again. 'Americans' are exempted from this consideration.

By the way, slaves were not handpicked for their physical talents but for their craftsmanship. That was the type of people in demand.

But 'Americans' would not be 'Americans' if they were bothered with facts.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 08:23 | 2754779 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Considering US citizens and their eternal nature, I am enjoying this, I am enjoying this (same tone as 'American' middle class Thatcher on her last day in the house)

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 10:55 | 2754920 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

Their craftsmanship? like how well each of them was built? Or you mean their skills in craftsmanship, I.e. their physical talents?

I think you are implying that this group of people should be excellent at carpentry, sculpture, art, masonry, yes? You are agreeing with OP, and you don't realize it.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 00:12 | 2754555 LucasATX
LucasATX's picture

Exactly. And you did not even need to speak the truth with a bunch of pretty graphics and numbers.

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 21:12 | 2754348 LongSoupLine
LongSoupLine's picture

now we can say both CNTL P's...print and plagerize.

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 21:18 | 2754361 docj
docj's picture

I have to wonder how badly the kids spending 5-years getting a Bachelor's in "General Studies" or, really, just about any "Fill-in-the-Blank Studies" are skewing this data.

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 21:18 | 2754362 economicmorphine
economicmorphine's picture

Uh, Dude, why are you posting a graphic with 2002 numbers?  That's about as relevant as Lance Armstrong.

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 22:03 | 2754421 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

it also a study by elite harvard marketing to answer "does it pay to attend elite college?" question. never trust a marketer. actually don't buy anythign from them because of high marketing costs you are paying for for little value.


ask the students themselves 30 years out when they are old but not yet rich enough to retire.


The Humbling of the Harvard Man


The Harvard class of 1958 is not alone in this experience. Alumni groups at other Ivy League schools and at colleges and universities outside the Ivy League report that their members, in growing numbers, are suffering from the upheavals in Corporate America. That is particularly the case for men who received their bachelor's degrees in the 1950's and 1960's and are now over 45.

If there is a lesson in all this, it is that a degree from a college like Harvard is no longer the lifetime guarantee of success in careers that it once seemed to be.

Mr. Sprankle, who is 57, questions the value of a Harvard education. "I no longer look upon it with the pride I once did, and I have come to view my graduate degree" -- an M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania -- "the same way," he wrote. "In fact, they may even have been detrimental -- in that they caused me to set higher personal expectation levels than I was ever able to attain."


that there was more concern about jobs at the 35th reunion than the 25th."


Lynn D. Sprankle, angry and eloquent, has not found work. He lost his job as a corporate vice president, then hunted incessantly for another job, sending out 13,000 resumes, some to his classmates. "The response from these people was also zero -- no phone calls, no leads, no interviews and of course no offers," he wrote for the 35th reunion report. "So much for the 'camaraderie of the 10,000 men of Harvard.' "


Take top 50 or so universities and get rid of the rest. Most people need practical jobs to buy iphone and shit, and are not intellectual enough to be phD bound. well if people want jobs then give them job training...not theoretical knowledge only good for academic careers which are even worse state today.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 00:17 | 2754563 BigDuke6
BigDuke6's picture

Its always useful to see what the chosen people are up to. They make up 90% of harvard anyway.

One of my old friends is a Jewish Doctor.  That was the popular move back a generation ago.

i was asking what the popular move was over the last 10 years... internet gambling sites, apps and finance.

Next?... could be worth finding out.  


Fri, 08/31/2012 - 21:19 | 2754363 Jay_Son
Jay_Son's picture

Some of their conclusions are retarded, e.g., "Enrolling at an in-state public college could lower the probability of graduating on time by 40%".  Wrong.  All the data means is that those enrolled in in-state public colleges are 40% more likely to take more than 4 years to graduate, which is due to lower admissions standards (which implies a lower quality of student).  I.e., it is the quality of student that determines the time to graduate, not the institution.

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 21:29 | 2754376 Oleander
Oleander's picture

Working and taking classes part time would also lead to a longer than average time to graduate.  Attendees of public college are more apt to have to work while in college. 

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 22:13 | 2754430 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

it is better to be a graduate of police academy than college these days.


you get to get away beating up harvard alum laid off from goldman sachs on wall st and get a pension paid by his income taxes.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 16:07 | 2755327 RichardP
RichardP's picture

... it is the quality of student that determines the time to graduate, not the institution.

Not so in California.  Severe budget cutbacks in the State colleges have made it highly unlikely that students will be able to get all the classes they need to graduate within 2 or 4 years.  That is the institution's doing, not the student's.  Governor Brown is threatening to make this situation dramatically worse if Californians don't vote for a tax increase in November.

Going to college in a state where the schools are well-funded reduces the likelihood of not being able to take all classes needed for graduation in 2 or 4 years.

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 21:28 | 2754375 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

That private college graduates do marginally better simply confirms that the proud tradition of "who you know not what you know" continues to define the labor market, meritocracy my ass.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 11:35 | 2754917 Lucius Corneliu...
Lucius Cornelius Sulla's picture

Its not even "who you know".  If you go to a private university, just because you make friends with some rich kids, has very little bearing on whether you will benefit from it.  I think the numbers are skewed because wealthy parents are willing and able to send their kids to private schools who are more than willing to take their money.  Its a business.  The increased "earnings potential" has very little to do with the quality of education but rather where the students come from.  Many of these students are getting their 4 year degree then taking over the family business or slipping into the "internship" at daddy's corporation.  I know this from first hand experience.  One of my kids earned a big scholarship to a prestigious private school on the east coast.  She went there for one semester then came home.  Part of it was that she was homesick but the other part was the school.  She said there were just a bunch of pretentious rich kids of average intelligence and the professors were not that great.  She is now in the top State university where she says the kids are more intelligent and less pretentious while the professors are as good or better.  She is very happy there.  My take away from the experience is that, in the world of academia, the actual education you receive has very little to do with how much you pay.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 16:26 | 2755342 RichardP
RichardP's picture

... the actual education you receive has very little to do with how much you pay.

And for those who are motivated and have the ability to learn, today's technology is making it even more possible to learn what you want to - for little to no money.

For those who haven't seen it yet, here is another introduction to Kahn Academy.  A little searching can turn up others doing something similar.

Edit:  Appologies to Slightly Insane.  I posted this before reading his comment about Khan Academy below.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 23:54 | 2755810 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

Not generally true as elite private schools at the higher primary educational level simply have a level of resources not available to public schools (e.g., much smaller class sizes)

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 21:36 | 2754386 spanish inquisition
spanish inquisition's picture

OH! You are goooooood.

A Harvard study! Really....

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 21:39 | 2754389 FischerBlack
FischerBlack's picture

LMAO. A Harvard study concludes that going to Harvard is worth it? Kind of like Dexia passing a stress test run by Dexia.

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 21:42 | 2754398 babylon15
babylon15's picture

The most recent date on this graph is from 2002!

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 00:07 | 2754550 laomei
laomei's picture

Well obviously.  If they used recent data it would expose it all as the scam it has become.

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 21:50 | 2754403 Arnold Ziffel
Arnold Ziffel's picture

The 'private sector' is less and less each day. The markets (and incentives) are too distorted now.

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 22:08 | 2754422 devo
devo's picture

I completed my four year degree in 2 years and graduated Magna Cum Laude. I didn't want to waste time at college when I could be working. If you load up on courses and work hard, you can get through it quickly. I also paid off all my student loans in 2 years and have never carried credit card debt in my life. I don't care if people call me a debt slave or other pejoratives--I live and run my finances the way that is right. I am enraged that the govt steals from people like me to give to dead beats and bankers. Hence, why I read ZH.

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 23:57 | 2754541 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

money > degree


you can hire harvard brains at $50k/year


when you get rich, college give you honorary degrees to suck in more people into believing that you graduated from their college.



Fri, 08/31/2012 - 22:07 | 2754424 Meesohaawnee
Meesohaawnee's picture

You know all/bitchez. i know this is gonna sound so strange but. Im single. Live in the heart of a major metro area. Theres talent up the ass around the hood. Dated lots of different types. The thing that stuns me the most about females getting ahead/making ends meet. Ive seen some of the biggest un educated moronic financial illiterate dushbags you can image.. You know what i find brilliant about them? They invest in a 6k set of tits. You are stunned on a daily basis the places they get, the things they get etc.. some even iffy hot. I say fuck college, or at least supplement it with some silicone if you even so much as a 5 or more... My jaw drops so much what i see them get. Even if there are 9 guys that have no use for them they know there will always be one to get them places. Creative huh?

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 22:37 | 2754457 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

Check out the anchors on FOX, CNBC, etc.....   intelligence sure doesn't seem to be a factor for the females.....

However - having worked on Wall Street I have to say that mere appearance - while helpful - does not explain all advancement and 'success.'  I saw a number who were 'connected' - Dad played golf with the head of the NY Fed, family big on the Street etc.  Yes, there were a number who were (quite literally) screwing their way up the ladder but they were pretty well known and HATED by the women who were competent and intellignet and deserving.  

But the most memorable was also the funniest (and perhaps sadest commentary).  One woman had a meteoric rise - but was astoundingly iuncompetent.  One CVP was particularly enamored of her to the point that many thought he was sleeping with her.  But his seccretary (an insightfukl older woman who was pretty much 'untouchable')  nailed it.  She saw waht was really happening.  The secretary - a parent with now grown kids -  noted that this woman had been a Kindergarten teacher before coming to the street.  

She treated executives above her like 5 year olds - ENDLESS reinforcement and praise...'That's SUCH a good idea.... you're SO insightful,......."

These guys ate it up.  They LOVED her.   Sometimes to get ahead, all you have to stroke is their egos.

BTW - I worked for a woman VP who fully well knew that her looks gave her an advantage..... but she had brains as well - perhaps surprising senior execs who were more preopccupied with her body  "Might as well use all the tools you have..."   She was also VERY good at deflecting inappropriate passes without hurting egos or offending those involved.   

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 23:35 | 2754520 HardAssets
HardAssets's picture

Well, that explains my brother's second marriage.

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 22:11 | 2754429 Slightly Insane
Slightly Insane's picture

All one has to do is see what the Khan Academy is doing to see where "public school" education is headed.  Essentially its recorded lectures on a variety of coursework for an undergrad degree.  Very, Very cool.

Best part, it's free.  If this catches on (and I think it will), then the face of education will change forever, and quite rapidly.  Brick and mortar could really take a hit, as well as most of the universities in the USA.

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 22:15 | 2754434 Cthonic
Cthonic's picture

Stale ten, twenty, and nearly thirty year old statistics.  Let's see some figures on class of '12.

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 22:16 | 2754439 Lost Wages
Lost Wages's picture

I went to an esteemed private college in the midwest, but only people in the same state as the college have ever heard of it or care about it. Once I moved, having the college on my resume didn't carry any weight anymore and I've been mostly treated like crap. If you want everyone to know how smart you are, Harvard and Yale are the only places to flush your money down the toilet.

Sun, 09/02/2012 - 00:00 | 2755818 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

Absolutely wrong.  There are plenty of small liberal arts colleges (e.g., Williams, Smith, Swarthmore, etc) that carry lots of weight across the US and outside and simply open doors that otherwise aren't going to be open.  

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 22:36 | 2754461 logicalman
logicalman's picture

The "education system" is a term that is used dishonestly.

Go to school - you get schooled.

Education is a whole different animal.

Look at the people who have changed the world - few were conformists.

The "School System" has just become another sheep-shearing method.

Talent will get you further than a piece of paper.


Sat, 09/01/2012 - 11:13 | 2754953 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

Tell it to Carl Lewis.


Fri, 08/31/2012 - 22:37 | 2754463 brettd
brettd's picture

When was the last time you heard a politician or educator say they were going to actually lower the cost of education?

An old computer and an internet connection is the portal to endless education...for less than the cost of one college class.

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 22:42 | 2754467 gwar5
gwar5's picture

All I need to know is who is most likely to pay back their student loans and give back more to society over their lifetimes...  a graduate of Harvard in Womens Studies or a Chico State mechanical Engineer? 



Fri, 08/31/2012 - 22:56 | 2754491 nmewn
nmewn's picture

The engineer wins...the invoice will always say, a dollar for the chalk and a 100k to put an X on where the problem is, now fix it ;-)

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 01:32 | 2754610 Richard Chesler
Richard Chesler's picture

Sure, but who will fuck the most chinese girls?

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 01:55 | 2754619 rockface
rockface's picture

The band of course.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 12:06 | 2755022 Pseudolus
Pseudolus's picture

The Harvard grad in Womens studies will be positioned somewhere in the policy making cycle - most likely consulting on $1k/day with $500 per diem - ensuring the latter pays throughout their life, if not beyond...

Sun, 09/02/2012 - 00:02 | 2755820 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

When the Harvard graduate takes her LSATs and kills them getting into a top 10 law program or goes to work for a high end consulting firm where the Chico State mechanical engineer wouldn't get the time of day.  It's unfair but I am shocked that 10 people agreed with you. 

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 22:47 | 2754483 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

Me wonders what percentage of those students getting college degrees are headed back to their home countries.


Fri, 08/31/2012 - 23:19 | 2754511 FieldingMellish
FieldingMellish's picture

Harvard, breeding ground for politicos and banksters. I'd rather work at Walmart.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 00:56 | 2754596 Dburn
Dburn's picture

Parents want's kids to be next Zuckerberg aka Pschychopathic Liar:

 Massive Cheating Scandal uncovered at Harvard as 125 Students got caught on a single Exam. Most say pressure from parents to be next Zuckerberg pushed them into cheating to which I say, those parents were the only reason they got into Harvard to begin with: Legacy Parents, Legacy Cheating and Lying Students = Lying, Stealing, corrupt Motherfuckers all in the name of taking all of what can society can produce and borrow and keeping it for themselves. Burn the the whole Ivy League down.   


Sat, 09/01/2012 - 11:10 | 2754950 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

Thank you for your interest in Wal-Mart.We receive numerous applications every day from across the world and unfortunately will not be able to get back in touch with you if we feel an interview is not appropriate at this time. However, we will be in touch later should your application be suited to any future role within Wal-Mart.

Fri, 08/31/2012 - 23:54 | 2754538 toomanyfakecons...
toomanyfakeconservatives's picture

Three words... student loan suicides.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 00:58 | 2754598 Amused2Death
Amused2Death's picture

I never thought I'd be against college, but I just told my B average kid to learn trade and skip the worthless college education....

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 01:53 | 2754617 rockface
rockface's picture

Say you are a fairly recent college graduate and you have been unemployed much of the time since 2006 when Reid and Pelosi took over Congress and Bush signed anything to get along.  Then along comes Obama in 2008 further compounding the unemployment problem.  If Obama gets re-elected you may face at least another four years or more of depressed employment opportunities and low earnings.  Imagine if Hillary gets elected in 2016 you may end up missing a huge chunk of your working life without contributing much to your retirement savings.  Unemployment insurance and welfare is great but you are now going to be poor the rest of your life.  You will be a senior citizen without a pot to piss in.  Simple math condems you to poverty and since the housing crash wiped out your parents there is no chance of an inheritance to save you.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 06:15 | 2754714 Catullus
Catullus's picture

That's what the democrats want.  A group of desperate followers and voters who they can promise goodies election after election.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 11:07 | 2754946 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

That's what the Repugnican'ts want. A group of desperate followers and voters who they can frighten with gay marriage and to whom they can promise to overturn Roe v Wade election after election.

How much of those "goodies" end up in poor people's pockets? How much in corporate coffers? You must suck at pea under the shell, slick.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 23:09 | 2755777 rockface
rockface's picture

What are you talking about?  I don't care about gay marriage or if someone decides to kill "their" children (I might be horrified and disgusted by it but there is nothing I can do about other peoples stupidity).  I don't think that "goodies" should miraculously appear in in so called poor people's pockets and I'm not worried about "goodies" ending up in corporate coffers.  Hopefully the current Mussolini style facist regime Obama and his gang are imposing will be washed away and rule of law will be reinstituted. You are focused on things that have no meaning and no connection in a free market capitalist system where crooks are put in jail and not the White House.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 06:54 | 2754731 Catullus
Catullus's picture

I had this choice when I graduated high school.  It was either LSU or Tulane.  I wouldn't call Tulane "Top Tier", that just means the school has had 100-200 more years of compounding interest on their endowment fund or that their professors are crony-sited continuously in whatever journal that no one reads. 

LSU gives out this scholarship from Louisiana called "TOPS". Basically, if you got a 3.0 and 21 on your ACT, they'd cover your in-state tuition for 4 years.  I think they'd even give you partial TOPS if you got a 19 on the ACT with like 3.3.  In the end, they'd let someone just above functionally retarded in to LSU with a scholarship.  Half the kids lost it in their first year from drinking themselves retarded.  This was just before they started winning football games, which has no bearing on most of the world, but not to a state school kid in the South. 

Funny, they'd let you test out of credits at LSU.  But their first year requirements were things they called "College Trigonometry" and "College Algebra".  There is no "college" or "high school" math.  There's just math.  They were giving 100 level credit for high school competencies.  So you take these tests at Spring testing: I tested out of like 30 hours.  I was a sophomore before stepping on campus and I was senior in high school at the time.

LSU's business school students had to take this math class that they referred to as "Business Calculus".  I used to joke that it was really Business Calculator, but stopped after I realized that an HP-12c would be like brain surgery to these kids.

Tulane required calculus and they almost never let you test out of it. You take it over the course of a year or semester.  If you were like Humanities major, they'd let you take symbolic logic, which was no walk in the park. And I got biggest contract between the schools when I attended LSU for my Katrina semester.  I was in a graduate level "International Economics" course at LSU, which counted for an undergraduate level course at Tulane.  400 vs 600 level, eh.  Whatever.  The LSU economics majors were complaining that the tests given were not Scantrons.  I felt like the jerk in this class because I had to ask what a Scantron was.  4 years through college, I never took a Scantron test.  You can get a masters degree in economics at LSU via multiple guess.  If they pumped enough people through that department, mathematically someday an illiterate would come out the other side with a degree. 

And that's why you can't hire someone from a state school.  The degree means nothing.  You're not even guaranteed to get someone who can read.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 11:05 | 2754940 Lucius Corneliu...
Lucius Cornelius Sulla's picture

I don't know much about LSU but I've worked with a few people from University of Texas Austin.  Their careers are going very well.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 17:21 | 2755436 pavman
pavman's picture

And that's why you can't hire someone from a state school.

Ever heard of the world wide web?  What about a web browser? Both came from a state/public school research efforts.  Your myopia is painful.


The fact of the matter is that public schools, like all schools, have certain disciplines that rank higher than others.  You hire people from the best schools in the right disciplines for the job, regardless of whether its private or public.  Period.


Anyway, as an undereducated friend of mine likes to say...bachelor degrees are really just the modern equivalent of union cards.  You have to have one to participate.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 11:04 | 2754936 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

How many small business owners aren't in debt up to their ears when they start up?

What's the differential in UE between graduates and the GED crowd again?

Go to a cheap public school, make the best of your time there, then get a job and pay off the debt during your grace period. If you want to start a business then, go for it!

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 11:15 | 2754956 Inspector Bird
Inspector Bird's picture

My son just left for college. I'll be in debt to a fairly significant level within 6 years when my second son finishes.

Is it worth it?  Yes.

But the reason why has nothing to do with the college they choose.  It has everything to do with how they prepare themselves to attend and what they do while there.

Part of the reason rates of graduation and salaries for graduates are dropping has to do with the lack of specialty assigned to college grads today.  While only a small percentage attend, it's still far higher than it was 50 years ago.  Primarily because of the loan bubble and public schools of mediocre nature popping up all over.

So how do I prep my boys?  I remind them they are not going to college to get a job.  They are going to get an education.  If you go to get a job, you face the potential of being too thinly educated, and if you lose your job you're screwed.

If you go for an education, you can expand your horizons and take a job outside of your major (I had a dual major and I don't work in either, but I could walk back and enter either at any time based on my experiences and education) and be quite happy.

I encourage them to take broad(er) majors such as English, History rather than "Neo-Shakespearean Poetry in the Victorian Era" or "Studies of Political Personalities of the Soviet Era".  I know someone who has a degree in "Irish Female Poets".  Now, she didn't need a degree, she did it purely for fun and had the money to do it, but there were several other people getting the same major as her.  WTF will they do with this?  Nothing of value, but they will try to complain how their debt has accumulated.

Focus on the reason for college, and make sure the focus is on education.  As a middle-class denizen, I am ineligible for any government grants or loans.  Not that I WANT them, I don't.  But I'd take them if I could, even though I don't believe they should be offered.  I'd be insane not to.

But anyone who is short of income can get them, regardless of their ability.  I know C students from poor(er) families who got $20k a year in loans and they are going to a mediocre state school  Why?  "Because everyone should have the college experience."

No, they shouldn't.  College is about learning, not an 'experience'.  Sure, you can get an experience, but that's not why you pay to go.  You want an experience?  Send your kid to Europe for a summer.  Make him backpack and hitchhike, like I did.  That's an experience and it's better than any college experience I had.  It's cheaper, too, and likely to get cheaper as Europe implodes.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 11:51 | 2755002 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

Bravo. Well-put.

Specialization is for insects.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 16:38 | 2755372 RichardP
RichardP's picture

Specialization is for Graduate School.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 17:40 | 2755464 pavman
pavman's picture

Alot of this also depends on disposition of the individual, major, and to a great extent research and planning for a career.  Most kids don't really have the guidance to plan their lives ahead of time. Bachelor stamped engineers, as an example, from most decent schools have much higher starting salaries than english majors.

Industry will pay for quality.

For instance, petrolium engineers, with zero experience, are getting out with a bachelors right now with an average starting salary of $90,000 a year.  Mechanical Engineers: $60,000 a year.  Civil engineers: $70,000 - $80,000 a year.  Poetry majors: unemployed.

So... pick a major, or adapt to circumstances, that will return the investment.

I'm also working in a field that I do not have a degree in.  And I've been quite successful; however, I was very lucky to have graduated at the right time, from a school that churned out alot of highly skilled peers, with the right credentials, to allow me to shift into a completely different industry.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 23:18 | 2755782 rockface
rockface's picture

Studies such as English, History, and many if not most of the Humanities have ceased to be academic fields of study but rather are now political movements.  I would encourage them to study the disciplines such as Math, Physics, Chem, etc. to be truly educated.  Anyone who is at University is smart enough to succeed in these programs if they are mature if not they should not be at university.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 11:29 | 2754972 Remington IV
Remington IV's picture

OWS = art major , living in mom's basement , smoking pot , watching porn all day , blaming everyone else

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 11:35 | 2754986 Lucius Corneliu...
Lucius Cornelius Sulla's picture

That pretty much describes the liberal base.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 11:52 | 2755003 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

1/5 you suck *cough*

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 12:03 | 2755021 Oliver Face
Oliver Face's picture

I have two kids in college and one who will be attending in 5 years. I make too much for the kiddos to qualify for any aid or scholarships. Interesting enough, many, if not most, of the scholarships now are no longer MERIT based; they are now NEED based, which is bogus! It makes me want to re-read Atlas Shrugged! So, with soured investments but OPPOSED to my children going into debt for education, I took on two extra part-time jobs, of all things, teaching at community colleges. My wife and I have reduced our expenses and are committed to getting our kids through without debt. The kids also work part time jobs, by the way, so they are sharing in the sacrifice to some degree. But, I hate working 65 - 80 hours per week! I wonder if the post-secondary education is worth it and don't know if it will benefit them in the long run like the old research suggests. I guess we'll find out in a few years. If not, we'll hunker down, barter, exchange our amassed silver for goods and shoot zombies during the apocalypse!

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 12:29 | 2755062 Walt D.
Walt D.'s picture

"it is empirically true that salary-upside remains (almost $10,000 per year more)".

That assumes that you can get a job commensurate with your qualifications. However, unemployment or underemployment of recent graduates is about 50%. This is unlikely to change over the next 4 years, even if Romney is elected - you would need to see the economy growing at 5%. Currently, not enough new jobs are being created to keep up with the increase in population.

Even if things pick up, if you have been flipping burgers for 4 years, you will still be competing with the new graduates. Plus your skill set may be 4 years out of date, so you may need to go back to school.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 17:51 | 2755479 pavman
pavman's picture

There are jobs. In fact, there's shortages in some high paying industries.  But people are inflexible once they get that degree; alot tend to think they're better than certain stations in life or can't/won't adapt to their circumstances.

I once knew a girl who got a master's in photography and would complain all the time that she couldn't get a job.  While I only have a bachelors, I would work at Walmart or McDs if I had to until I could find something better.  Alot of people wouldn't.  I guess evolution wins again.

I knew another guy who had an art degree from a private institution.  He would always complain about money and eventually did care giver work as he couldn't get anything else.  He went back to school for a degree in film making, but I always wondered ... if this is your passion, just do it.  He dropped the program after the first year because it was a private institution that promised alot more than it delivered for the price.

As Kubrick said: Just pick up the camera and start filming.  Its art, if you're really good, you don't need a degree.  C'est la vie.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 13:10 | 2755120 solidus
solidus's picture

Last weekend I was at Gettsyburg College while my daughter checked it out.  I asked what the net average cost of attending ($54k per year less average scholarships) and was told by the admissions office representative "I don't know, I'll have to get back to you."  I'm still waiting.  Actual freshman seminar classes "The Global Politics of Hair" and "Why Jazz Matters" and "Natives in Film".  The student guide was a senior with a double major (ambitious!) in Art History and Anthrapology with a minor in Italian.  I looked at that poor girl and could only see tragedy.  What these colleges are doing to our kids is nothing short of criminal.  Encouraging them to enslave themselves for such worthless majors which qualifies them (maybe) only for careers in which they are teaching other kids the same useless majors is doing them a criminal disservice.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 13:24 | 2755142 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Complete and utter worthlessness is perpetuated. No one knows how to be useful or do shit anymore. Self-reliance is squashed, and dependence on the State becomes the norm. Enslaving the young and destroying the old...

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 14:48 | 2755259 Sathington Willougby
Sathington Willougby's picture

Run to the hills, run for your lives.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 18:46 | 2755523 chasman
chasman's picture

I hope your daughter listens to her father and understands....Sooooooo many of these parents today are Bull Shitted by these liberal academic Ass hole educators that they are the solution....FOLKS the higher education system is just a step below a bankers beliefs.....These kids today are doomed to be enslaved to the government, colleges and the belief that a house is an investment

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 18:47 | 2755525 chasman
chasman's picture

I hope your daughter listens to her father and understands....Sooooooo many of these parents today are Bull Shitted by these liberal academic Ass hole educators that they are the solution....FOLKS the higher education system is just a step below a bankers beliefs.....These kids today are doomed to be enslaved to the government, colleges and the belief that a house is an investment

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 14:21 | 2755226 MarcusLCrassus
MarcusLCrassus's picture

What a ridiculous article.


College = bad, so don't even try


Education = Bad, so dont even try

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 14:30 | 2755236 akak
akak's picture


What a ridiculous article.

College = bad, so don't even try

Education = Bad, so dont even try


If that is what you took away from this article, then might I humbly suggest that it was your education which was bad?

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 20:07 | 2755601 mumbo_jumbo
mumbo_jumbo's picture

brought to you by, no conflict of interest in that article what so ever.

Sun, 09/02/2012 - 00:14 | 2755825 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

Dated figures, incomplete data, and from a sponsoring source that has a vested interest in make private college looked superior (even if online schools still suffer a real social stigma among employers)

Sun, 09/02/2012 - 00:25 | 2755833 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

The only way it makes sense to go to a private school for undergrad is if you get into an elite private school (e.g., MIT, CalTech, Ivy League, UChicago, Stanford, etc) and even then if you don't have to take out a high-debt load.  Otherwise, it makes sense to go to a public university especially if you are in a state with a very strong public school and an honors program. 

Going to a public school though will hurt your chances to get into an elite grad school program even if you have incredibly strong grades, excellent recommendations, and very strong GMAT/LSAT/etc scores (90th percentile and above).  Sucks but the way the world always has been and always will be. 

Either way it still doesn't teach you social skills/soft skills which are increasingly meaningful today.  Tougher skill to pick up and learn.  

Sun, 09/02/2012 - 12:23 | 2756288 SaveTheGreenback
SaveTheGreenback's picture

Undergraduate degrees are a rip-off unless you major in and master a real subject...

I used to think that the school choice was the end-all be -all...not so...

it's about what you get out of real world problems and think critically

i.e.  Economics, Constitutional Law, Biology, Engineering...etc...all majors that generate high-paying jobs...

The problem is that there are many majors and degrees that are in fact worthless...and those are attractive to the ME, ME, ME lazy generation...

Don't complain when you are in up to your eyes in debt from school when you majored in philiosphy or anthropology...


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