Monday, December 28, 2009

The Washington Post: As college costs rise, loans become harder to get (via Newsalert).


Blogger Cham said...

If kids were smart they'd start finding new ways to get themselves educated for a career track that differs from a traditional 4-year college education.

4:39 PM, December 28, 2009  
Blogger David Foster said...

Agree with Cham, but also, strong pressure needs to be put on colleges to require a higher degree of financial responsibility. Right now, they mostly seem to believe they can go hog-wild on spending, and someone or something has the responsibility to pay for it all.

See my post fisking Fish's fishy financial findings.

5:41 PM, December 28, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've run into people with over $100k in student loan debt with some dorky degree in sociological something-or-other, no job and no prospects for a job. All while that smoking-hot, super-duper degree in writing out your FEELINGS is slowly becoming old.

"People" as in more than one.

And "people" as in women-type people.

What they usually do is just marry a sap and then complain about him. He can pay off her loan.

I have no idea what stupid men do. You can't get rid of student loans in bankruptcy. I guess they are just in debt their whole lives and beyond.

6:57 PM, December 28, 2009  
Blogger David Foster said...

Target...I suspect that a certain amount of the free-floating anger in our society is due to people who get themselves into the kind of situation you describe. Problem is, instead of being angry at the academics who suckered them into the path they took, they tend to be angry at "society" in general.

In particular, I think this syndrome feeds anger at businesspeople. Someone who has paid $100K for a squishy-soft advanced degree and is now working at Barnes & Noble is likely to feel very, very resentful about people who are now making multiples of his income *without* benefit of any advanced degree at all.

7:23 PM, December 28, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree David.

I also think there's an offset in who has to really pay off those loans, even today.

Women still "marry up" and (for some odd reason that I don't get) women with dopey college degrees are more likely to bag a big-earning man. I guess they want a "respectable" woman, but I just think a lot of academic directions today are simply hot air.

8:22 PM, December 28, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In other words, in their search for "respectable" women they can bring home to Mom, they wind up with a truly stupid woman who has been brainwashed with the feminist crap and who has built up tens or hundreds of thousands in loans.

And that's more or less the situation.

And "hundreds of thousands" in loans may not be that far off. A friend of mine got to know a woman over the Internet (in Boston) and went to visit her. After lots of (expensive - on his part) dating, it finally turned out that she had almost $200,000 in student debt for some really idiotic degrees. And my buddy - since he was a big earner - was supposed to take the role of savior.

She is going to find somebody. And then she can complain about how men get all the advantages in this society. As she sips her tea, as her man keels over from a heart attack.

8:31 PM, December 28, 2009  
Blogger Trust said...

Ironically, while I'm a big fan of college (I went twice), I think it is overall good for students to find ways to attend without burying themselves in debt. It makes for more responsible, more mature, more appreciative graduates--who don't start out trying to climb out of a huge hole they dug.

Sure, some people won't be able to go. But honestly, if fewer go because of the failure to get loans, you can bet colleges will be dropping tuition costs or developing pay as they go plans.

8:39 PM, December 28, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There seems to be no one telling students that a doctorate in women's studies (yes, they offer them now at a few universities) will not be your path to riches.

It is ironic that a doctorate in women's studies will usually ultimately be paid for by a man (either daddy or hubby if they can bag one).

8:52 PM, December 28, 2009  
Blogger David Foster said...

I think that as a society we do a pretty poor job of giving kids a realistic idea about the career options that may be open to them, what working in these fields is really like, and what's required to get into them and succeed in them. Certainly, television focuses only on a few niches: cops, lawyers, doctors, etc, and gives a pretty skewed idea of what these fields are like. Teachers & guidance counselors don't usually have the knowledge of a wide array of fields. Media stories based on BLS data are usually very superficial.

10:33 PM, December 28, 2009  
Blogger Topher said...

The accumulation of debt by young people is astounding - we college kids waste time, but to judge from my friends' credit card debts, most of them are running up huge tabs on total waste items like bar bills, tacky wardrobes and spur of the moment vacation getaways and road trips. Not to mention strip clubs and, in some cases, drug habits.

This is called "the college experience" by some, but my college experience had plenty of hijinks without blowing wads of money I didn't have.

Add that to the student loan debt and someone can have ten years or more of earnings already earmarked in debt financing.

I do not know how colleges can in good conscience offer a bogus, totally non-earning degree like women's studies and tag students with six figures of debt they'll pretty much never be able to pay off with the degree's earnings, but I am reminded of the phrase "a fool and [her] money is soon parted." And I think the colleges do an awful job of getting kids to recognize the reality of jobs available to them so they can be realistic about their futures.

I really don't have any sympathy for Angry Studies degree holders' financial problems, although I sort hope they find dull supernumerary jobs where their indoctrinations will be useless and they won't be able to re-infect society with their nonsense.

1:51 AM, December 29, 2009  
Blogger Larry J said...

There are other ways of paying for college than taking on a lot of debt. I spent 6 years in the military and then used my veterans benefits and part time work to make it through a BS degree in math. I only took out $4000 in student loans and in retrospect, I should've only used half of that. As an older "non-traditional" student who was paying most of my own way through college, I wasn't interested in partying or skipping class. Why waste my own money? Instead, I looked for every opportunity to stretch my money. For example, the small university I attended counted as full-time anyone who took over a 12 hour courseload. They charged the same for 12-18 hours so I never took less than 18 hours a term. Frequently, I took 20 hours or more. This allowed me to finish a 4 year degree in a little over 3 years.

One other thing - I had the good fortune to meet and marry a practical woman. We agreed to alternate working and going to college. She worked and helped me finish my last couple years of school. I then worked and put her through nursing school (ADN). She helped me when I was going for my Masters degrees and I helped her get her BSN. We were and remain a team when it comes to finances and absolutely hate owing anyone money, so we don't.

As for the "studies" degrees, I believe they're worse than useless but may actually be a detriment to employment. Why hire someone who is likely to see themselves as a victim all of the time?

2:52 PM, December 29, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"One other thing - I had the good fortune to meet and marry a practical woman."


That's a smart move for your life.

The typical man in his 20s chases after stupid women who simply display all the signs (hair and nails, useless banter), and then he pays and pays and pays and pays for the rest of his life in one form or another.

6:28 PM, December 29, 2009  

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