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We had a really interesting show today and had every line ringing from the beginning to the end. There’s clearly a crisis when state colleges, which are supposed to be affordable, start charging $20,000 – $30,000 for tuition. How are our kids supposed to get a leg up on the global competition when they can’t even learn the skills they need in order to compete? The government can only do so much – colleges need to also try to be as accessible as possible, whether it is through realistic payment plans or giving aid to more students. We also need to help our community colleges, which especially these days are one of the few remaining affordable options for Americans.
Two-thirds of 2011 college graduates in the United States finished school with loan debt. The Institute for College Access and Success found the average amount owed was $26,600, a five-percent increase from 2010. TICAS says current graduating students face the highest average student loan debt since they began keeping track seven years ago.
So what can be done about it? The issue has come up several times on the presidential campaign trail. President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney differ on the amount of government subsidies given to private lenders. Both men pledge to lower the 8.8 percent unemployment rate of 2011 college graduates.
Are you surprised to learn two-thirds of college graduates had student loan debt? What do you think is to blame? What are some solutions? Have the presidential candidates been addressing this issue adequately?
Send your thoughts using the link above.
The fundamental question hasn't been asked: Why is the government making student loans? Why is it robbing citizen Peter via taxation to pay for the education of Paul?
There is an unintended consequence of student loans: higher tuition costs.
As long as the government is giving away money, colleges will raise their tuition rates. Neither colleges nor the government cares whether the loan is paid back or not.
Student loans and the debt crisis it generates is tied to the high cost of education, which unless is brought under control will grow each year, also students need to be better educated on the financial burden and responsibility they face when obtaining these loans.
First of all if one doesn’t have the money for college they need to think about when and if they can pay the loan. Years ago families might be able to send one child full time to school with a part time job and if not they that child and the other offspring have to finish school at night but not expect everyone to keep footing the bill. There are other priorities also such as lodgings, food, etc.
Everyone should not be expected to keep paying for the whole country's education and feel that it is coming to them. We contribute through our tax dollars a huge amount of money for education but it is miss spent all the time. They rob from Peter to pay Paul and yet never account for how they always run short and if anyone voices an opinion we are called the most god awful names, it's not fair to us.
Instead of all the money wasted on bank bailouts, war and foreign aid let's make college education free and give student stipends for all Americans.
How can you repay your student loan when you have no job??? Obama and Romney are both bad news for America
I am currently completing my last year in high school, and most of us seniors are concerned of the costs of colleges. If we had more money support it would encourage us to complete all our studies, especially with the debts that college graduates have and low jobs after completing college, it discourages education.
When I graduated law school I owed almost 75k @ 9percent interest. It took almost 10 years to pay it off. I delayed marriage, children, and the purchase of a home because of it. I am certain I am not the only one. Moral of the story, professors make too much , the students pay too much, and the jobs are not there. It's who you know not what you know. And not everyone needs too go to college.
It's a complicated situation. But. How much of the debt is owed to for-profit colleges that are super expensive but have mediocre credentials. Students need to be better consumers.
Don't pay a Mercedes sticker price for a pinto.
It's ironic that this conversation is taking place at just the time that the Supreme Court is taking up the question of whether affirmative action should be allowed to continue in deciding college admissions. Even if the court rules in favor of continued affirmative action, the soaring tuition rates are likely to have a deterrent effect on communities that are historically economically disadvantaged; This may well nullify any benefits derived from affirmative action in those communities, leaving the schools of excellence -- those that practically guarantee open doors to bright futures, but those that also generally charge the highest tuitions -- available only to the wealthy set.
How do we get out of this?
I attended college in the 80's. I remember government TAP and Pell grants and other programs such as EOP and SEOP, covering the full value of costs. For those students whose family income fell outside the scope of eligibility, I remember student loans being approved almost without exception up to the full value of the cost of tuition, fees, room & board. Today, guaranteed government subsidized and unsubsidized loans no longer cover college costs. Students may have to apply for private loans, and in many cases, parent must cosign for their children's student loan debt. Students attending moderately priced college graduate, facing a Sallie Mae bill of $400 a month and limited job oppotunities.
In researching college costs, it appears that the schools are price fixing. Tuition prices are generally state schools prices or then jump to 30-40K a year. Housing costs are the same and/or similiar across the entire country (whether the school is located in a city or in a rural area). Since our socieity expects our youth to go to college now, I believe the schools are taking advantage of an abundant consumer base.
If you are poor, don't go to school! Seriously, my tuition was 42,OOO and now I owe $65,000 because I have not been able to find a decent job. Interest rate is too high!
Simple, invest in public higher education. I work for CUNY, and even there, students are paying more and more for less and less. We're living in an information explosion, and we need to learn how to deal with it.
We won't tho. Until it's almost too late.
I was an adolescent who didn't know better and paid the Mercedes sticker price for a Pinto. I graduated from a three-year graduate school in the 90's. My ten day pay off amount today is $142,000 with over 8% interest rate. My parents did not go to college, did not save for my college or contribute to it, and did not know how to advise me. My high school did not advise me regarding paying for school. I had no idea what I was getting into...
Upper West Side
I am a specialist in the medical field and I believe something has to be done immediately to settle the crisis of educational debt. I graduated recently, and I've taken out loans for the last 8 years. Over the past 4 years my interest rates have been between 8-9%. Even though I will be making good money, I also need to take into account the $673K I've had to take out for my education. I love what I do, but at the same time I wonder if it was worth it. What happens when good candidates no longer desire to go into the medical/dental field because of cost? What kind of practitioners will the United States be producing? This is an enormous burden, which has taken its toll psychologically on me.
For all of those people who keep saying there's no value in going to college, your mentality is part of the reason that the U.S.A. is rapidly becoming a second (if not worse) world country. It is the reason we will lose status to Northern Europe and Asia. Wake up people!
I just graduated as well this past July and have not been able to find a job. The only difference is that instead of college, I went to a trade school and I have a dept of $15,000 and no job. I think we should talk about not only colleges, however, trade schools as well.
How about some partnerships between businesses, places of work and our colleges, where they fund parts of student's education, whole grooming them for future employment at their respective companies etc.
I am very annoyed with the assertion that college is so expensive because of professors' salaries.
I am a professor, and this is UNTRUE. We make much less in academia than we would in the private sector (in many cases...sciences, engineering and economics, especially). We are in academia because we care about teaching our students and conducting our research (tuition does not pay for our research activities, we must obtain our own funding).
It is the bloated administration that is to blame for much of the exorbitant cost. Administrators are paid much higher salaries than faculty. The for-profit colleges are the biggest swindle of all, they take the students' money and offer them below-par education and a high debt load.
My advice to students who are financially challenged: come to CUNY, SUNY, or any other public university. Great education, little cost. And for those who say college is a waste...if you want to make it through the DOOR of a higher paying career that is not a skilled trade, these days a Bachelors AT MINIMUM is necessary.
A great way to get rid of student debt: take only federal loans, work in the public sector, and in ten years, loans FORGIVEN.
Alex (Biology Professor)
A better way to approve loans can be made by getting loans according to a student't major and earning potential within the given major/profession. A medical student should be given more loans since his earning potential is greater then a student who majors in fine arts an whose earning potential is much less.
The poor, the black and latinos have been oppressed in this country economically, socially, politically and legally. So, if you have to pay $25,000, $35,000.....$100,000 for a student loan, then, forget about going to school for a job. i suggest that you empower yourself and major in economics, political science, sociology, or law. Then you will understand how you are kept down and how you can get up from poverty, unemployment, being 2nd class citizens, illiteracy, lack of health insurance, affordable housing, homelessness and frustration.
The government doesn't want to help students pay for higher education. the government wants students to pay for their own eduction with students loans with high interest rates. the government should either make a college education affordable for everyone or socialize education. this capitalist democracy is bout making the rich richer and richer and richer and the poor do more and more and more with less and less and less.
Capitalist democracy is about supply and demand. Schools are a money making business that schools and government take advantage of .
as competition for a higher education grows in demand and students from other countries, such as China, India, Europe, South America and Asia, want to come to the U.S. to study. With the great demand for higher education in a world of 7 billion people the schools raised tuition. Also, the government does not want to help or spend money for students college education. So, the government decided to let students pay for their own education with students loan with high interest.
It is a human right to have an education. So, the government should either make school affordable for everybody or socialize education.
No disrespect to Heather Jarvis, Student Loan Expert, but I KNEW when you ask her what the solution to increased student debt was, her solution would be to suggest more government loans at taxpayers expense rather than asking the sanctimonious educational institutions to stop raising the rate of their tutiion over two times the rate of inflation for the last 25 years. How dare we suggest such a thing! We the uneducated. How about these educational institutions look at their own housekeeping and drop there ridiculous tuitions, instead of suggesting that we all run and 'go get them more money' by a faster government means.
Students need to be smart and stop going to these expensive private schools. Go to a CUNY school, it's much cheaper. If going away to college is that important to you, go to a CUNY school first, maintain a 3.8 GPA and then transfer to a private school. With a high GPA, you will get academic scholarships. That's what I did. I went to Queensborough, maintained a 4.0 and transferred to St. John's with a free ride. BE SMART PEOPLE.
I am a recent grad from a state school and i have 25,000 in debt. I have a degree in sociology yet i cant find any entry level jobs in nyc. So i have no way to pay back my debt.
Hello, Perhaps to keep costs down, students should consider going to CUNY schools. When i was 17, i had to choose between Hunter and NYU. Though NYU has a better school, I am grateful I chose Hunter in the End because now I can start saving for a condo in NYC right away. The sticker price of a CUNY / SUNY is literally a tenth of NYU.
My two cents
This is responding to the topic about graduates can't find job or underemployed but facing student loan debt. I'm a 2011 grads with a B.S. in Information System and a B.S. in Business Administration (GPA 3.4) but still work a the same job since the last 10 years that doesn't require a degree. My husband lost his job for a year and been bouncing from one company to another because every company that he worked for closed out of business. While we live on my income basically ($36,000 with 2 children in college), I have to pay $500/mo for student loan. We have to cut off lot of other expenses to cope with financial difficult. I always love school & want to encourage my children as well as further my education but I'm not sure it would be worth my investment.
A. L. T.
The interest rates for student loans are at the lowest level ever. The person with the $100k loan from rhinebeck probably lost there house in the mortgage melt down. These ppl just have no clue. Did they not know what they are getting into? $26k is not a significant school debt. Payment plans are extremely flexible. I graduated in 1991 and my debt was 17k. 21 years ago. It is very easy to get a 50k job right out of college. An administrative asst makes 45k to 50k starting. We can't find good candidates. Students coming out of college are lacking general work ethic. Students Hear through the media they can default and don't have to payback loans. They think it's no big deal and complain. The debt level is no different today then it was 20 years ago.....