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Should student loan debt (USA) be forgiven?

Tekate

Ideal_Rock
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May 11, 2013
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6,331
Well, if you had gone to Georgetown and had my husband's uncle you would have head for the hills, typical Jesuit! :)

You are right in saying @msop04 is remarking if one wants to attend college one can and more cheaply if they go to CC and on to a State College. I will only say that because of what happened to my older son, starting out 10K less than programmers who went to UT makes me sad and angry, it's artificial and unfair and mean and it takes quite a while to make up that 10K, could my son have gone to a higher tiered college? probably could have gotten in to UT, but Austin Community College and Texas State University have a reciprocal agreement about credits and that was a huge attraction for my son, and frankly since he was a commuter I was just as glad that he was driving 35S down to San Marcos, TX rather than going into the city for UT (he'd already been hit downtown once already).. there is the the pathway program. https://www.admissions.txstate.edu/future-students/freshman/pathway.html

What they didn't tell my son was his degree would be worth less.

:)


I totally understand your points @Tekate and agree. I would never attend a college where religion was the major focus because I am not religious. I choose to study areas I am interested in and can use towards my future career. I am Jewish (as you know) and I would not have attended a Yeshiva college. Because that area of study is not an area I am interested in focusing on more than just briefly. It is also why I would have been fine attending Georgetown or BC because most of their curriculum is secular in nature and I would not have had to take any religious classes if I did not want to. Or I would have made sure that I would not have had to if I was interested in attending. So yeah free doesn't automatically mean yes I want to attend. I agree with you. Again, it comes down to the individual. For me and if I may for a moment speak for @msop04 (and please correct me if I am wrong msop) it comes down to the fact that in the USA if one wants to attend college one can attend college. There is more than one option and one doesn't have to be wealthy. Though I do feel the cost of higher education has gone up way too much and is verging on ludicrously expensive if not already there.
 

rocks

Brilliant_Rock
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649
@missy CCNY would have been a good choice in your day perhaps, it was extremely cheap in mine. I did take classes at Marist and Fordham but I would never have applied for full time, too expensive. If they were free? maybe I would have thought about it. Take Yeshiva, it's undergraduates are predominately Jewish because studying the Torah is required..their graduate schools are not as Jewish as they don't have the same requirements. Would I have considered Yeshiva if it had been free? maybe but probably not. I recognize that I'm seguing into religion, I basically want to point out different aspects of 'free college' and what it might mean in America. You know Missy I understand where you are coming from totally. :)
There was a time when CCNY was a remarkable institution. By the time missy and I were graduating from hs the CUNY system had adopted an open enrollment policy....no standards. I know that my hs was more rigorous than any CUNY in the late 70’s and 80’s. The city, in its wisdom took a true gem and turned it to coal. Deblasio is trying to do the same thing to the elite city high schools.
 

Tekate

Ideal_Rock
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6,331
Why would his degree be worthless? ...and if so, why would anyone tell him that?
I didnt say worthless I said worth less. It would have been great if someone at ACC told him that since he was xfering to TxSt that when he graduated his degree would be worth less than if he'd transferred to UTATX...
 

OboeGal

Shiny_Rock
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Mar 22, 2017
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346
I can understand where you're coming from... For me, though, I wouldn't see any reason to push oneself to endure extremely vigorous programs (such as medical), if the payoff isn't there. I like my job, but I like the pay more. I'd love to sit around and play with diamonds and cats all day, but I'd rather have the lifestyle I do now.
You're getting the wrong idea about prosperity in western and northern European countries.

Yes, they pay slightly more taxes than we do here. However, because those taxes provide a strong social safety net and ensure that medical needs are covered and that the elderly and their families are not bankrupted by long-term care costs, the amount of expendable income left over after taxes are paid that is available to spend on whatever one wants is more than the typical American has. They don't have to have enormous amounts going to health and long-term care insurance premiums, copays, out-of-pocket expenses, college tuition, and savings for future long-term care costs. They do spend and save some for these things, but it's nowhere near what we have to here. They have thriving market economies - including in health care, at least in the Netherlands, where you still have your choice of provider, so there is still incentive for providers to offer excellent patient care and run their businesses well so they are chosen by more patients - and thriving middle classes. You absolutely can become very well-off there, if you work hard, if you have good ideas, and/or if you have valuable skills to put in the marketplace. The real difference between there and here is seen at the economic extremes of extreme poverty and extreme wealth. There, you don't see people at the levels of extreme poverty that we do here, as the social safety net prevents that for anyone who does not wish to be that poor, nor do you see folks at the level of Jeff Bezos with triplicate billions. Everywhere in between is fair game. In fact, over the last 10 years, the "American Dream" of putting something of value into society and being rewarded by becoming very well-off has become more achievable there than here, ironically. (This has been noted by economists.) There are plenty of millionaires and multi-millionaires there - just not outrageously rich multi-billionaires who are buying the political process to game the system to their further advantage and hollow out the middle class, as has happened here.

Source: my Dutch husband, his best friend, his family, and all the other folks there and in the surrounding countries whom I've had the pleasure to get to know since he and I have been together.
 

jaaron

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2016
Messages
547
I'm not sure of the answer to this. I do know that it's not a simple yes or no, black or white, question. I feel like pages and pages could be written without managing to touch on all the issues around this.

State schools that are much more expensive than they used to be, that take out of state kids so they can charge them more, limiting places for in-state kids, which of course, is partly a result of budget cuts. Private colleges and universities that are more interested in growing their endowments, buying real estate, investing in major sports programs and building fancy facilities (mainly to please alums) than in giving scholarships. All that contributes to the problem.

I was fortunate enough to graduate without any loans, as my kids have been, but my H had some from law school. They were easy to get in those days, and low interest, but even so, it took seemingly forever to pay them off. Shouldn't there be some forgiveness for the lower-paid professions that we desperately need people to go into? Teaching, nursing, social work, public health? I know college and universities do some of that (didn't NYU make med school free?), but, considering the size of a lot of their endowments (see above), not as much as they should. My husband would have liked to go into public interest law after law school, but we couldn't afford it. His law school now has a program that forgives (law school) loans for people who do just that, but obviously that's a drop in the bucket.

Not making university accessible and affordable does absolutely limit mobility -social, geographic, and, to some extent, intellectual. I know liberal arts degrees are widely looked down on, but a math or English BA provides a background that can lead to all kinds of different career paths, whereas one that's seen as a certain route to one kind of job can end up leaving that person with fewer prospects and less flexibility if the market changes. I hate the idea that only kids from well-off families can have the option to pursue that route. It feels to me like when we set it up so only the wealthy have the opportunity to explore creativity and intellect and everyone else needs to go in a straight line to safety, we miss out as a society.

Not to mention that kids from poorer families/deprived areas often don't have good steering from high school counsellors/family in terms of their options. It's an unfortunate fact, but a fact all the same, that not all degrees are created equal. My husband's law firm does hire people from second tier law schools--as paralegals. But do these schools advertise that before collecting enormous tuition from people? Of course not. And for some professions and/or further education, which will benefit earning power in the long run, a more prestigious degree is a lot more valuable--their vast networks of contacts and alums can open a lot of doors.

Ok, now I've depressed myself :)
 

jaaron

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2016
Messages
547
To add-

I'm a trustee of a foundation that helps with scholarships (to local private schools) for middle-school aged children with academic promise or a particular talent that's not being nurtured in their current situation. The goal being that moving them to an environment that can bring out the best in them will pay future dividends in their (and their families) lives. While I'm a believer that in an ideal world, public education would work for everyone, this isn't always the case at the moment. And I can say without hesitation that our rate of getting these kids through to full academic or talent-based scholarships to high school and college is phenomenal, but that's a slightly separate point.

The point on topic, is that for most of these kids, their parents really don't even know or understand what kind of help they are entitled to, how to find it and/or how to wade through the morass of paper work to get it. Granted, we're not in the US, so university is different price wise, but I could easily see a situation in which they would be absolutely thrilled to have their child going on to higher education, but have no idea or understanding of what kind of debt might be accruing, so not be able to offer any guidance.
 

msop04

Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Dec 3, 2011
Messages
9,768
I didnt say worthless I said worth less. It would have been great if someone at ACC told him that since he was xfering to TxSt that when he graduated his degree would be worth less than if he'd transferred to UTATX...

I got you... totally saw that as one word! LOL
 

msop04

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 3, 2011
Messages
9,768
You're getting the wrong idea about prosperity in western and northern European countries.

Yes, they pay slightly more taxes than we do here. However, because those taxes provide a strong social safety net and ensure that medical needs are covered and that the elderly and their families are not bankrupted by long-term care costs, the amount of expendable income left over after taxes are paid that is available to spend on whatever one wants is more than the typical American has. They don't have to have enormous amounts going to health and long-term care insurance premiums, copays, out-of-pocket expenses, college tuition, and savings for future long-term care costs. They do spend and save some for these things, but it's nowhere near what we have to here. They have thriving market economies - including in health care, at least in the Netherlands, where you still have your choice of provider, so there is still incentive for providers to offer excellent patient care and run their businesses well so they are chosen by more patients - and thriving middle classes. You absolutely can become very well-off there, if you work hard, if you have good ideas, and/or if you have valuable skills to put in the marketplace. The real difference between there and here is seen at the economic extremes of extreme poverty and extreme wealth. There, you don't see people at the levels of extreme poverty that we do here, as the social safety net prevents that for anyone who does not wish to be that poor, nor do you see folks at the level of Jeff Bezos with triplicate billions. Everywhere in between is fair game. In fact, over the last 10 years, the "American Dream" of putting something of value into society and being rewarded by becoming very well-off has become more achievable there than here, ironically. (This has been noted by economists.) There are plenty of millionaires and multi-millionaires there - just not outrageously rich multi-billionaires who are buying the political process to game the system to their further advantage and hollow out the middle class, as has happened here.

Source: my Dutch husband, his best friend, his family, and all the other folks there and in the surrounding countries whom I've had the pleasure to get to know since he and I have been together.
I totally get what you're saying... and it may be fine for some. However, I feel like I can manage my money MUCH better than the government can -- so I'd rather not be taxed to death, knowing the government is "looking out for my best interests." No thanks.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
30,834
I totally get what you're saying... and it may be fine for some. However, I feel like I can manage my money MUCH better than the government can -- so I'd rather not be taxed to death, knowing the government is "looking out for my best interests." No thanks.
Yeah again I agree with you @msop04. I know we are better at managing our money than the government. Hands down.

I cannot forget nor disagree with this quote:
"If the US federal government was put in charge of the Sahara desert there would be sand shortages in five years."
-Milton Friedman

I am paraphrasing by the way...not the exact quote but close enough.
 

msop04

Ideal_Rock
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Dec 3, 2011
Messages
9,768
Yeah again I agree with you @msop04. I know we are better at managing our money than the government. Hands down.

I cannot forget nor disagree with this quote:
"If the US federal government was put in charge of the Sahara desert there would be sand shortages in five years."
-Milton Friedman

I am paraphrasing by the way...not the exact quote but close enough.
That is sooooo true.
Give it to the government, and it will cost WAAAAYYY more and be done much less efficiently.
 

rocks

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 13, 2003
Messages
649
All I can say is wow!

...Rodgers and her husband collectively owe $900,000 of student loan debt. This includes $340,000 of student loan debt from Rodgers’ husband for law, bachelor’s and associate’s degrees as well as a master’s program.

And if the article is accurate, Rogers borrowed the money with no intention of paying it back in full...
 

hera Anderson

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 27, 2003
Messages
17
I don't think the loans should necessarily be forgiven but I do think we should be moving towards low cost - maybe even free tuition. I think our society is better more educated and with less student loan debt so that money instead can be used out into the economy.
 

msop04

Ideal_Rock
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Dec 3, 2011
Messages
9,768
And if the article is accurate, Rogers borrowed the money with no intention of paying it back in full...
Yep.

ETA: it seems she took out the maximum amount she could (and used it for more than school), with no intention of paying it back. I don't know of any school(s) that would amount to that sum. I would question her character as well.
 

AV_

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Messages
3,314
@redwood66 It was more than half for one, then, a ten year sabbatical is more like jail than like nothing.
 

MollyMalone

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3,028
And if the article is accurate, Rogers borrowed the money with no intention of paying it back in full...
Yep.
ETA: it seems she took out the maximum amount she could (and used it for more than school), with no intention of paying it back. I don't know of any school(s) that would amount to that sum. I would question her character as well.
Zack Friedman's declaration in the piece he posted on Forbes.com -- "The court noted in its opinion that Rodgers borrowed the student loan debt with the knowledge that it will never be repaid" [emphasis his] -- is actually not accurate.

I'm responsible for the attorney ethics blog that my office launched several years ago & came across this matter last week as I was doing my weekly surfing of the 'net for articles-cases to write about. I too was dumbfounded by how this could have happened, so I read the Ohio Board of Commissioners on Character & Fitness recommendation that she not be permitted to take the bar exam for at least 5 years; the accompanying report from its hearing panel; Ms. Rodger's brief to the Ohio Supreme Court; and watched the video of the oral argument in the state's Supreme Court -- which took place the same day Friedman posted his article. (Don't know why he thought the Supreme Court has rendered a decision; the document's title, in big print, is Report and Recommendation of the Panel.) Much of this saga remains a mystery, but the Commission did not say what Friedman attributes to it -- although the Commission, understandably, takes a dim view of the Rodgers' indebtedness and notes that Ms. Rodgers acknowledges the odds of repayment are slim to none. Friedman mistakenly attributes the ~$340,000 in loan indebtedness to her husband, but that figure is what the Commission attributed to her. (The Commission didn't explore her husband's indebtedness because he's not the one seeking to take the bar exam.)

So far as I can tell, much of her indebtedness is due to the 6% interest that started accruing in 2001, when she became disabled as the result of a tree limb falling on her; this subsequently qualified her for SSI. I don't think back then SSI was a ground for seeking modification/discharge of student loans. And in 2010, she was the hapless passenger in a car-truck collision that left her with traumatic brain injury. As of 2001, she had loans outstanding for her Associates Degree, her BA, and a master's program (she never secured her post-graduate degree). She's one of 11 children who grew up on a farm in Ohio; she doesn't seem to owe anything on the loan she took out to attend nursing school shortly after high school.

She apparently took out another loan to attend Capital University's Paralegal Program, graduating from that in 2014. Capital U. gave her a scholarship in the amount of that tuition for her first year at its law school & she received a scholarship (from, coincidentally enough, a fund established by one of my dad's dearest friends) for her final year of law school, where she won honors for her legal clinic work. She says she's not in arrears on her law school loans, but think that's because she's on an income-based, student loan repayment plan. Her oldest daughter earned her MBA from the Wharton School and is living and working in NYC; the second daughter graduated from OSU and is a dental hygienist (here's hoping they are keeping current with whatever loans they might have!).

The foregoing does not really explain why she has no paid employment history in the many years preceding her admission to/graduation from law school. And she did not help her cause at oral argument (she represented herself, did not have a lawyer stand up for her) when the Chief Justice asked her, "How much precisely do you yourself owe?" and she said she wasn't certain. It's clear from the Commission's July report that her same vague response at the May hearing "bugged" them as it suggested indifference, so she should have been prepared to offer a precise answer to the Chief Justice's question.
 

redwood66

Ideal_Rock
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Aug 22, 2012
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6,743
Zack Friedman's declaration in the piece he posted on Forbes.com -- "The court noted in its opinion that Rodgers borrowed the student loan debt with the knowledge that it will never be repaid" [emphasis his] -- is actually not accurate.

I'm responsible for the attorney ethics blog that my office launched several years ago & came across this matter last week as I was doing my weekly surfing of the 'net for articles-cases to write about. I too was dumbfounded by how this could have happened, so I read the Ohio Board of Commissioners on Character & Fitness recommendation that she not be permitted to take the bar exam for at least 5 years; the accompanying report from its hearing panel; Ms. Rodger's brief to the Ohio Supreme Court; and watched the video of the oral argument in the state's Supreme Court -- which took place the same day Friedman posted his article. (Don't know why he thought the Supreme Court has rendered a decision; the document's title, in big print, is Report and Recommendation of the Panel.) Much of this saga remains a mystery, but the Commission did not say what Friedman attributes to it -- although the Commission, understandably, takes a dim view of the Rodgers' indebtedness and notes that Ms. Rodgers acknowledges the odds of repayment are slim to none. Friedman mistakenly attributes the ~$340,000 in loan indebtedness to her husband, but that figure is what the Commission attributed to her. (The Commission didn't explore her husband's indebtedness because he's not the one seeking to take the bar exam.)

So far as I can tell, much of her indebtedness is due to the 6% interest that started accruing in 2001, when she became disabled as the result of a tree limb falling on her; this subsequently qualified her for SSI. I don't think back then SSI was a ground for seeking modification/discharge of student loans. And in 2010, she was the hapless passenger in a car-truck collision that left her with traumatic brain injury. As of 2001, she had loans outstanding for her Associates Degree, her BA, and a master's program (she never secured her post-graduate degree). She's one of 11 children who grew up on a farm in Ohio; she doesn't seem to owe anything on the loan she took out to attend nursing school shortly after high school.

She apparently took out another loan to attend Capital University's Paralegal Program, graduating from that in 2014. Capital U. gave her a scholarship in the amount of that tuition for her first year at its law school & she received a scholarship (from, coincidentally enough, a fund established by one of my dad's dearest friends) for her final year of law school, where she won honors for her legal clinic work. She says she's not in arrears on her law school loans, but think that's because she's on an income-based, student loan repayment plan. Her oldest daughter earned her MBA from the Wharton School and is living and working in NYC; the second daughter graduated from OSU and is a dental hygienist (here's hoping they are keeping current with whatever loans they might have!).

The foregoing does not really explain why she has no paid employment history in the many years preceding her admission to/graduation from law school. And she did not help her cause at oral argument (she represented herself, did not have a lawyer stand up for her) when the Chief Justice asked her, "How much precisely do you yourself owe?" and she said she wasn't certain. It's clear from the Commission's July report that her same vague response at the May hearing "bugged" them as it suggested indifference, so she should have been prepared to offer a precise answer to the Chief Justice's question.
Thanks @MollyMalone for your in depth research!
 
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