Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Should student loan debt (USA) be forgiven?

Tekate

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 11, 2013
Messages
6,331
I agree with all you say and forgiveness should be given according to income and the economy. Its a sad situation that some find themselves in after college.


I didn't interpret Kenny's remark the way that you did. My interpretation was that you should only go to school if you can afford to do so. This disproportionately penalizes the poor and perpetuates the cycle of poverty. Countries *should* be investing in those who are born poor and who have the ability and the will to work towards a better life for themselves and their children. It saves billions on the back end of tax dollars that would otherwise be paid out in welfare, medicare, police, and the human costs associated with intractable poverty.

Student loans are intended to borrow against an anticipated future. But what happens if you get sick? Or injured? Or the job market dries up? Or through no fault of your own you get laid off. For houses, cars, credit card debt...you name it for any of the less important things that people spend money on, if you can't pay, the bank takes back any assets you have and you declare bankruptcy. Not so for student loans. I'm not sure that's right or fair.

Also, students graduating in many fields are graduating with student loan debt that greatly exceeds their ability to repay it. Professional training programs (including law and medicine now), not a BA or a BSc. Especially those who don't have parents who can help or who can offer somewhere they can live while going to school. Many training programs require students to relocate at least once and often twice for school, again for residency/articling/internship, and again for fellowship/post-doctoral training. I moved four times by the time my training program was done, and five if you count moving again to find work. Again, this is hardest on those who are not from families who can help. And the for profit schools make this exponentially worse.

I do think that loan forgiveness maybe should be done after a deferral period (maybe of 10 years to give people a chance to get on their feet post-graduation and find a job) and based on income. And come with the same consequences as personal bankruptcy. I don't think a blanket forgiveness program is the answer.
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
31,014
i'd love to not pay mine back either but I like my credit score.
At my age I could care less about my credit score. I'm not planning on borrowing any more money from the bank. I'm gonna buy a 5ct diamond with my CC and let someone else pay for it, b/c I'm entitled to sport a 5ct diamond ring...:praise:
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,497
DF :lol:

(It's funny because I agreed with Tekate that I wouldn't want to mess up my credit score, either, but I can't imagine a scenario where we'd ever borrow money again! But still, I'm not gonna ruin the score now!)
 

Tekate

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 11, 2013
Messages
6,331
My son's, both computer programmers with Comp Sci and CIS degrees would disagree with you in one way. Not everyone can program at a high level, but a programmer must continue to educate themselves in the newest and trends etc.. I've seen coders and I've seen computer engineers and I've seen software engineers and I've seen computer programmers, all are somewhat different in nature and what they do.. My younger son would say to you that Indian programmers on H1B visas are holding the payscale down for programmers because they are contract and work for less, my older son says some HIB programmers are great and some are terrible. Big tech is also trying to push the salary of programmers down by accepting two year degrees and paying the programmer less which pushes down the BS or CIS salary down.. it's business, it sucks, but according to my younger son, having teams in India and the US is slowing down due to communication problems and no American's wanting to go to India, time changes etc.



I really do feel for them because I fell for the there will be a shortage of EET graduates and millions of jobs.
Which was true but in China not the US.
Within days of me graduating the bottom fell out of the market with people with 10+ years experience willing to take entry level positions.
I struggled for years to pay off my loans on jobs that paid far less than I was expecting to be making.
In all honesty I never recovered financially from it.

Today the same BS is going on with coding.
Coding jobs can pay well because people capable of being great coders are rare. Everyone else who is not near the top is competing with India for the crumbs. Big tech wants cheaper coders so they can pit them against each other so they are pushing the big lie.
Coding is today's big lie just like EET was in my time.
 

Tekate

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 11, 2013
Messages
6,331
How can you equate something intangible like a college degree with a rock? you are comparing apples and oranges.


At my age I could care less about my credit score. I'm not planning on borrowing any more money from the bank. I'm gonna buy a 5ct diamond with my CC and let someone else pay for it, b/c I'm entitled to sport a 5ct diamond ring...:praise:
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
31,014
DF :lol:

(It's funny because I agreed with Tekate that I wouldn't want to mess up my credit score, either, but I can't imagine a scenario where we'd ever borrow money again! But still, I'm not gonna ruin the score now!)
:think::think:...decision, decision!!...


 

MakingTheGrade

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 2, 2009
Messages
10,896
“A bad system beats a good person every time” -Demming.

I advocate for personal responsibility. I do. But when so very many young people are in the same crisis, I think it’s naive not to be critical of the system that may be preying on human nature rather than guiding it.
For those of you who feel these kids and families should have done better homework, I assume then that you all have thorough knowledge and understanding of the risks inherent in your investment accounts and 401ks? None of you are just following a status quo recommended financial plan laid out by a family member, work mentor, bank rep, spouse right? You did all the research and math yourself? If things go badly and all your money is lost, you have only yourself to blame right? I mean we all sign on the line that says we understand that massive loss is possible and nobody is liable but us for taking the risk in investing. Granted the comparison isn’t quite the same, we are investing money that we have to lose. But just trying to say that many people are guilty of listening to what people say is “common practice” when it comes to financial decisions because most people feel like if they are doing what everyone else is doing, then it can’t be that wrong right? I know a lot of physicians who are really smart humans who put their money in actively managed accounts (and are probably losing money) for no reason other than that was advice they got from family,coworkers, and banks. Which is pretty much what a lot of college kids did too, they listened to college financial advisors, family, lenders, upperclassmen. And probably figured that if everyone is taking out loans, that’s just how things are done. Could they have made a smarter choice? Of course. Are things set up to make the smart choice at all obvious or feel feasible? Ehhhh....

Also, no citizen is an island. If the banks were too big to fail, it may also be that student loans have become too rampant to be ignored with no attempt at some sort of remediation. I imagine it can’t be great for societal stability to have a large sector of the young population in financial crisis. Deletion of all debt just seems like bad math but doing nothing might not make sense either.

Generally speaking, it’s never a good place to be to allow desperate times to become too desperate. Or for the wealth gap to be too extreme. This tends to be how civil unrest and violence happens. And if you’re buying 5ct diamonds, it’ll be hard to enjoy them when there are tire fires and mass lootings in most major cities. Unless you also sunk money into doomsday prepping lol.
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
31,014
How can you equate something intangible like a college degree with a rock? you are comparing apples and oranges.
Easy, b/c a BIG rock will bring happiness and happiness is more important than any college degree. :tongue:
 

Tekate

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 11, 2013
Messages
6,331
No that is isn't what I meant.. one is an object and one is a possible key to being able to buy a 5ct diamond.

You can't have a 5ct diamond without money, can't get money without SOME kind of education unless you are a rare entrepreneur at a young age.

I have no interest in a 5ct unless it fell in my lap 3 ct is almost too big for me.

DS said you were just fooling around so that is probably correct. Me? I just feel for the humans experiencing this dilemma, I do believe in personal responsibility, I paid back my college loan, I went to community college, getting a higher education meant I needed a car I had no money for a car in 1970 and I was working in a grocery store then, but I moved to the city and took advantage of all that could be offered to me at that time, and eventually I didn't get a 2 year degree after 3 years of college. So I paid my loan back and my exhusband had what we thought was a huge loan then 4K which is 21K today, between my and his loan we paid them off in 5 years and it was during the recession time of the mid 70s. But I thought I could get ahead and I did because I was lucky enough to get a job at IBM in 82, then it was awesome because I just moved up and I trained, went to IBM schools, learned IBM languages for programming (and PL1) I took advantage of every opportunity IBM offered me. I just don't see a person being able to do that today, maybe so, so many contractors today.. it's so different. I'm glad I was a 70s kid.



Easy, b/c a BIG rock will bring happiness and happiness is more important than any college degree. :tongue:
 

msop04

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 3, 2011
Messages
9,768
I didn't interpret Kenny's remark the way that you did. My interpretation was that you should only go to school if you can afford to do so. This disproportionately penalizes the poor and perpetuates the cycle of poverty. Countries *should* be investing in those who are born poor and who have the ability and the will to work towards a better life for themselves and their children. It saves billions on the back end of tax dollars that would otherwise be paid out in welfare, medicare, police, and the human costs associated with intractable poverty.

But the fact is that everyone CAN go to school, even if they can't "afford to" pay it upfront... so this is a moot point. This is the reason why there are student loans available to everyone.

Student loans are intended to borrow against an anticipated future. But what happens if you get sick? Or injured? Or the job market dries up? Or through no fault of your own you get laid off. For houses, cars, credit card debt...you name it for any of the less important things that people spend money on, if you can't pay, the bank takes back any assets you have and you declare bankruptcy. Not so for student loans. I'm not sure that's right or fair.

This is a risk that everyone takes... we never know what the future holds. If no one went to school for fear of these things, then no one would go. I've been laid off twice, but I just found another job. Another factor is to be vigilant of the job market of your chosen field of study... if they can replace you with just anyone, then it's riskier.

Also, students graduating in many fields are graduating with student loan debt that greatly exceeds their ability to repay it.
Professional training programs (including law and medicine now), not a BA or a BSc. Especially those who don't have parents who can help or who can offer somewhere they can live while going to school. Many training programs require students to relocate at least once and often twice for school, again for residency/articling/internship, and again for fellowship/post-doctoral training. I moved four times by the time my training program was done, and five if you count moving again to find work. Again, this is hardest on those who are not from families who can help. And the for profit schools make this exponentially worse.

This is something that everyone has to consider when choosing a career, but most importantly, a college. Wanna go into communications?? Attending an expensive school is not a smart choice. At some point, we have to take some responsibility for our choices...

I graduated from pharmacy school (doctoral program), and my parents didn't give me a dime. I had to take out what I needed to live and pay for school. I didn't have to relocate per se, but I did have to drive 3.5 hours round trip for 2 of my residencies and 2.5-3 hours round trip for 2 others. The rest were within 1.5-2 hours round trip. This doesn't include traffic, mind you... so better tack on 30-45 minutes in the morning for that.

Re profit schools make... Schools are a business too. Students need them, and they need students. I feel that most professional schools are worth it, because you are paying for the expertise and training of some of the most professionals in their fields. This is especially true of medical fields.

I do think that loan forgiveness maybe should be done after a deferral period (maybe of 10 years to give people a chance to get on their feet post-graduation and find a job) and based on income. And come with the same consequences as personal bankruptcy. I don't think a blanket forgiveness program is the answer.

Deferral by 10 years would be disastrous, as I feel a lot of people would spend close to what they earned to live... then all of a sudden they have a big loan payment. They would be more likely to defer then, IMO. I can maybe see deferment for 18-24 months to find a job and get situated in a new location, if needed. My loans required that I start paying them 6 months after I graduated, due to having to sit for the pharmacy board and getting licensed... but I realize their are different requirements, depending on the terms of the loan. I agree with you about complete forgiveness of bankruptcy... bad idea.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JrJ

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,497
“A bad system beats a good person every time” -Demming.

I advocate for personal responsibility. I do. But when so very many young people are in the same crisis, I think it’s naive not to be critical of the system that may be preying on human nature rather than guiding it.
For those of you who feel these kids and families should have done better homework, I assume then that you all have thorough knowledge and understanding of the risks inherent in your investment accounts and 401ks? None of you are just following a status quo recommended financial plan laid out by a family member, work mentor, bank rep, spouse right? You did all the research and math yourself? If things go badly and all your money is lost, you have only yourself to blame right? I mean we all sign on the line that says we understand that massive loss is possible and nobody is liable but us for taking the risk in investing. Granted the comparison isn’t quite the same, we are investing money that we have to lose. But just trying to say that many people are guilty of listening to what people say is “common practice” when it comes to financial decisions because most people feel like if they are doing what everyone else is doing, then it can’t be that wrong right? I know a lot of physicians who are really smart humans who put their money in actively managed accounts (and are probably losing money) for no reason other than that was advice they got from family,coworkers, and banks. Which is pretty much what a lot of college kids did too, they listened to college financial advisors, family, lenders, upperclassmen. And probably figured that if everyone is taking out loans, that’s just how things are done. Could they have made a smarter choice? Of course. Are things set up to make the smart choice at all obvious or feel feasible? Ehhhh....

Also, no citizen is an island. If the banks were too big to fail, it may also be that student loans have become too rampant to be ignored with no attempt at some sort of remediation. I imagine it can’t be great for societal stability to have a large sector of the young population in financial crisis. Deletion of all debt just seems like bad math but doing nothing might not make sense either.

Generally speaking, it’s never a good place to be to allow desperate times to become too desperate. Or for the wealth gap to be too extreme. This tends to be how civil unrest and violence happens. And if you’re buying 5ct diamonds, it’ll be hard to enjoy them when there are tire fires and mass lootings in most major cities. Unless you also sunk money into doomsday prepping lol.
I certainly hope all here who promote financial responsibility either invest retirement or other money by doing their own research (alone or with a reputable advisor) or just put money into a good low fee index mutual fund and just let the market do what it does over time which has been a pretty sure thing. I've been around long enough to see the account balance fall (like in 2008 or 2009) and then rise way above the loss over the next 10 years. I don't worry too much about the corrections because the market has always come back. But we aren't as aggressively invested as we were when we were younger. I do give advice to our children about investing and I also help a sibling. So getting advice from someone who is more knowledgeable is not always a bad thing for those who don't have the desire, confidence, or ability to do it themselves. That method would also work just fine if a friend or relative asked me about borrowing $200k for private undergrad college. I'd say, "Hell no"!!! And then I'd explain ways to get an education without getting into major debt which have been listed several times on this thread! I believe many young people did hear this advice from someone but did it anyway. I don't believe that they were all misled.

Could we lose it all? Sure, some disaster like a nuclear war could happen and cause that. But burying your nest egg in the back yard historically has been the poorer choice.

I am definitely for limiting interest rates on prior student loans. Surely that is something that can be done to some degree. I think we need new reforms so that student loans (and work-payback scholarships) will only be given to those in majors that are highly needed. Then the colleges can't keep raising prices when the people don't have the money to pay the tuition. Some will close and that's just fine. Things need to be streamlined, have more online classes, and reduce costs. Tech/trade schools are the ones that need good scholarships and small loans to allow anyone who qualifies to go. Ours are already pretty accessible to all, and the loan debt is very small (and can be zero for those who also work). These are the things I want to hear from politicians, not forgiving the loans.
 
Last edited:

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
31,014
I'd agree that we need to lower the interest rates for student loans.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
20,177
I never said this generation of millenials had it tougher than my grandparents, both my grandfather's were able to keep their jobs during the great depression, what I said was these kids have it tougher in the getting ahead department compared to boomers.

People saddled with debt after a college education start off at a distinct disadvantage compared to rich kids. When my son was looking for a job in 14 with a degree in Comp Sci and a minor in math but NO internships he was offered his first job at a very low salary compared to what my husband earned when he graduated in 74 with a degree in math and a minor in computer science because at the time there was no 4 year degree at the University of Illinois in comp sci. My son went to Texas State University - the job my son was offered was 10K less than what he should have started out with, the hiring company - HP - said because he went to 'lower' end college that they start out people who go to those schools less than they do say kids who went to UT Austin which is highly rated..was this fair? is calculus different at Yale than at Texas State? I thought it grossly unfair but he took it, but he did despise HP forever after. So my son, who's a math whiz and a great programmer was discriminated against (IMHO) because he went to a tier 2 state college, instead of A&M or UT. So what happens when one graduates from Cal Tech? or Morehouse? I guess this is a part of life, but money begets money is this fair? is any of it fair.. naw, but that's life. I'm not a big believer in inherited wealth.
Such an interesting discussion - thank you for posting @Tekate!

I’ll provide an opposing perspective. I went to a top tier undergraduate programme at a top tier university (that my parents paid for out of pocket).
We had several students transfer into the programme from other schools during third year. By and large those students couldn’t keep up: They’d taken the courses required for credit transfer, but their versions had been less rigorous. Calculus is taught differently at different schools, unfortunately... As is chemistry, thermodynamics, biology, any number of topics. Even independent initiatives like capstone study and pursuing research opportunities. When I got to grad school the divide between those who were prepared and those who struggled was even greater, and again, could largely be predicted by prep school.

I said “by and large” because individuals certainly can - and do - break that mould! But in my experience that’s the exception, not the norm.

My dad grew up in India. His family was poor by every definition of the word - he and his siblings regularly went without meals, his primary school “classroom” was a clearing under a banyan tree. My mum’s family was in better position - solidly middle class. Both their families prioritized education above all else (this Asian stereotype is dead on), and both my parents pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and got lucky enough to keep moving up, up, up until they reached a point of being able to send their daughter to an expensive private university sans loans.

They always took my education very seriously: School was for learning, not socializing; an “A” in every class was the expectation, not something to celebrate; commitment to at least one sport and at least one musical instrument was a requirement for healthy body and spirit. I once went to dinner with a friend and listened to him explain what AP courses were to his mother - it was a thoroughly bemusing experience! My parents, by contrast, could probably still list all my grades in my AP courses year by year.

My parents would not have paid for me to study a liberal art at a liberal arts school. It wouldn’t have been something that I ever asked for - I understood that I would be responsible for my bills after graduation, and therefore needed to choose primary work in a field that could pay those bills. This, I think, is @msop04 s point: Some degree of situational awareness of one’s future prospects should be demanded of those requesting tens - hundreds - of thousands of dollars of aid. If your position is such that you can get a degree in philosophy and join a lucrative political campaign thanks to your family’s connections and safety net, go for it. If your position is such that you’ll be responsible for every meal and bed the minute you step off campus, realize that art history is probably going to land you firmly in “starving artist” territory and for god’s sake don’t romanticize that.

You need to love your life. Some people are lucky to love their work as well. Not everyone’s equal, and not everyone’s equally lucky, but a job that pays well enough (and provides enough downtime) to finance health and hobbies is IMO a recipe for a fulfilling life.

I acknowledge that I’m completely disregarding the fact that professionals like teachers and social workers require expertise that takes expensive study but that doesn’t reward with commensurately high income. This is a deplorable state of affairs, and something we as a society should be thoroughly ashamed of.
 
Last edited:

MakingTheGrade

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 2, 2009
Messages
10,896
@yssie haha I had a similar upbringing but Chinese parents. Although I did have to explain to them what AP classes were since they wanted me to “go to Harvard” but had no clue themselves about the education system here. They actively tried to prevent me from doing extracurriculars because they thought it was a waste of time since in China the college admissions are literally just test scores.

They were able to help me with college costs. And between that and scholarships I got out with minimal debt. I also loaded up credit hours every semester and graduated a year early so I could spend a year working to get a jump start on saving for med school.

My partner and I are both educated and responsible folk. As part of that responsibility we are holding off on having kids since he’s re-entering medical school which is $$$. Children are also $$$. We are both fine with this decision. But it makes me wonder if that’s another intangible cost of education and loan costs being so high. Smaller family sizes or decisions to not have kids for many professional families. I know a lot of my peers in healthcare have chosen not to have kids in part due to the financial debt making it feel too risky. Lots of docs I know have one child in their late 30s after they’ve paid off the bulk of their loans.
 

Matata

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 10, 2003
Messages
6,612
I've said it before in related discussions here -- The purpose of an education is not to prepare a student for one possibility but for many possibilities. Expecting a student to consider only careers that are imminently trending is limiting and will affect their ability to evolve in a rapidly changing economic environment. This is especially important considering that there will be fewer jobs available and the unknown impact of AI.

Expecting students to adopt fields of study that they are not interested in or show no latent talent/ability in simply because they might get a job and pay back loans is a disservice to the students and their future employers. Some people are content in jobs they don't especially like as long as it allows their life outside work to be fulfilling and others are crushed by that prospect. The point is that with a different approach to education in this country, there's no reason why we can't eventually achieve both for a greater percentage of students -- jobs people love that also provides a satisfying life outside work.

We need monumental change to our approach to education. More attention to determining where students' talents and interests intersect with the jobs that will be available in their futures.

I believe a right to an education is equal to a right to medical care and that we need to make it easier to achieve both. I spent 33 years in higher ed and saw thousands of students working multiple jobs to get an undergraduate degree. Living on ramen and lack of sleep getting a degree with a boat load of loans to repay. In my area now, which is rural, not only are those students working multiple jobs but they also stop-out--enroll for a year or two, take a year or more off to earn enough money for tuition and books for another year or two and they still have to continue to work to pay living expenses when they return. It takes them 6-8 years to get an undergrad degree. The challenges inherent in that are overwhelming and puts them at a distinct disadvantage over students who are fortunate enough to have an easier path. We owe our futures a lot better than that.
 

Tekate

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 11, 2013
Messages
6,331
@yssie Hola! can you tell me how calculus is taught differently at a tier one college vs a tier two college? ty!

My nephew is married to a woman who has 2 law degrees one from a French Canadian college and a masters program at NYU.. she worked for Goldman Sachs and she said that at GS they definitely thought that tier 1 was better than tier 2 and that is was very hard for a lawyer/whateverer get a job at GS in NYC anyway. This seemed grossly unfair to me, they are letting gems go (not my sons :) ) but discriminating against possible people who are leaders, and have different world views etc. BUT it is the way it is done.

My younger son does think that going to TxSt didn't hurt his chances too much in getting a job in software, my older son, he took a circuitous route to becoming a comp sci major :) so perhaps the hiring jerks at HP thought it took him 9 years to get a 4 year degree and that he must be a dumb butt, he wasn't but he was strong willed and very very oppositional :)

Yes yssie but you proved my point in a way, tier 2 colleges degrees are worth less, even it seems STEM degrees, you find it amazing that a person was explaining what an A/P class to his mom, my 2nd son was an A/P with scholar with distinction, but I couldn't tell you what that meant, I couldn't tell you what A/P classes he took because I wanted him to be responsible for what he took, I wanted him to be either want to be the best he could be and I also wanted him to own it, by that I mean he wasn't getting taking A/P classes because he wanted to please us (husband and I) I wanted him to WANT to take them, I wanted him to mature up (not that you weren't etc this is my son I am talking about).. My sons both went to a VERY competitive high school in Austin, #1 son basically smoked pot, got in some trouble and occasionally passed classes, we wouldn't send and pay for summer school, you fail, you own it, take it again :) he graduated with good SATs, low class rank, and a desire for a camaro and to rule the world.. ha! my second son graduated with a 4.00 cum very very high SATs, A/P scholar with distinction and middle of the road class rank because many kids had 5.0's at his school :).. so they were very different in school but both are highly competent and very well paid and highly paid programmers, one for the state and one for a large bank in NYC, which he said is boring. My first son chose wife, family, a secure job, my 2nd son is a job hopper and make 2x what is big bro makes (of course this is the big apple too yssie). Each is motivated but in different ways.

At UT here in Austin, it's very hard to get into, you must be damn special, and your class rank but be top 6% now, used to be top 10%, but what happened was kids who went to less rigorous schools flunked out, it is MUCHO easier to get into UT sophomore, and junior year as a transfer.. Both my kids didn't want to go to private college (we really didn't offer the option to #1 son :) )

I think it's very important where one goes to college and a better college brings in better money over the long term :)

My younger son is thinking of grad school, he said Columbia :) his company will pay, he said because he wants his kid(s) (eventual ones) to have legacy! hahaha.

It is all very interesting actually.

We paid full ride for both sons all expenses everything. :)

Always love seeing your thoughts on bling and subjects yssie :)

regards
 

LLJsmom

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
9,239
I thought I could get away with not responding, but I can't help myself. My discussion with @missy today solidified my take on this. So many people have made such excellent points that I will reference them but I can't remember who suggested what.

For reference, my oldest is now a HS senior and we are in the throes of the college application process, thus my disappearance from PS.

I think a very holistic approach to solving this problem of access to and the cost of higher education is necessary.

To answer @missy 's original question, no, I don't think taxpayer money should be used to pay off loans that have already been incurred. I agree that it discourages personal responsibility in general. However, I do love the following suggestions.
1. A high school class on personal finance should be a graduation requirement for all schools.
2. Loans practices must be regulated to ensure the borrower is fully aware of the consequences of the loan, as should the repayment process. I read a post about how Australia structures it's college loans, no interest, but required wage garnishment when the individual achieves a certain income level.
3. As @yssie says, people need to be practical about their lives. They need to project their income upon graduation and determine whether that will allow them to pay off the loans in accordance with the terms. That means the need to be practical about their choice of major, and related job prospects. If they want to attend graduate school, they need to plan for that financial responsibility as well.
4. I fully support more training and accessibility to trades schools. However, the more "liberal arts" courses in college - poli sci, econ, history, sociology, psychology, etc. are also crucial to the personal development of any individual. There should be schools that allow a student to learn and become trained is a particular trade, yet still be provided the opportunity and be required to take these liberal arts classes to give them the historical and current understanding of comparative economic and political systems, just to be a more informed and effective member of society. These classes train people to think critically with the accurate historical perspective so they can evaluate the value and accuracy of all the information that is put into the world.
5. With that said, I do think the whole educational system in the US needs a complete overhaul. And the money that would be used to forgive the debt should be put toward this effort. The federal government would need to lead the charge to provide many more higher quality higher educational institutions, by funding existing public schools, by funding states to build more schools, and setting standards for quality of education provided. (I don't have a plan, just an idea.) The higher education playing field needs to be leveled. And I believe that as the public schools are improved and become cheaper, more people will be able to afford them, and these ridiculously expensive private institutions will become less desirable, and thus they will need to reduce their fees to compete with public universities. This will also help reduce the socioeconomic gap that exclusive high end universities perpetuate. But this effort would take years, and money. And will the federal government take this on? I'm not holding my breath.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
30,845
I thought I could get away with not responding, but I can't help myself. My discussion with @missy today solidified my take on this. So many people have made such excellent points that I will reference them but I can't remember who suggested what.

For reference, my oldest is now a HS senior and we are in the throes of the college application process, thus my disappearance from PS.

I think a very holistic approach to solving this problem of access to and the cost of higher education is necessary.

To answer @missy 's original question, no, I don't think taxpayer money should be used to pay off loans that have already been incurred. I agree that it discourages personal responsibility in general. However, I do love the following suggestions.
1. A high school class on personal finance should be a graduation requirement for all schools.
2. Loans practices must be regulated to ensure the borrower is fully aware of the consequences of the loan, as should the repayment process. I read a post about how Australia structures it's college loans, no interest, but required wage garnishment when the individual achieves a certain income level.
3. As @yssie says, people need to be practical about their lives. They need to project their income upon graduation and determine whether that will allow them to pay off the loans in accordance with the terms. That means the need to be practical about their choice of major, and related job prospects. If they want to attend graduate school, they need to plan for that financial responsibility as well.
4. I fully support more training and accessibility to trades schools. However, the more "liberal arts" courses in college - poli sci, econ, history, sociology, psychology, etc. are also crucial to the personal development of any individual. There should be schools that allow a student to learn and become trained is a particular trade, yet still be provided the opportunity and be required to take these liberal arts classes to give them the historical and current understanding of comparative economic and political systems, just to be a more informed and effective member of society. These classes train people to think critically with the accurate historical perspective so they can evaluate the value and accuracy of all the information that is put into the world.
5. With that said, I do think the whole educational system in the US needs a complete overhaul. And the money that would be used to forgive the debt should be put toward this effort. The federal government would need to lead the charge to provide many more higher quality higher educational institutions, by funding existing public schools, by funding states to build more schools, and setting standards for quality of education provided. (I don't have a plan, just an idea.) The higher education playing field needs to be leveled. And I believe that as the public schools are improved and become cheaper, more people will be able to afford them, and these ridiculously expensive private institutions will become less desirable, and thus they will need to reduce their fees to compete with public universities. This will also help reduce the socioeconomic gap that exclusive high end universities perpetuate. But this effort would take years, and money. And will the federal government take this on? I'm not holding my breath.
Agree completely on all points.
#spreadsheetsrock
 

Tekate

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 11, 2013
Messages
6,331
Here's a good article from the NYTimes today on Personal Finance.

Does Personal Finance Still Work in Our Changing Economy?


Our changing economy has made this a more common reality. Consumer spending is increasing and unemployment rates are low, but wage growth has been slow, some people have given up the job search and income inequality is still very much a thing. With a financial system so drastically changing — and seemingly for the worse — what can we do about money? ....

If anyone cannot see the rest I will copy and paste for you.

@LLJsmom I agree with much that you say, except the bailout. I think maybe not a total bailout but steps to eliminate the debt that any major can do.

During the Great Recession people went to school because our economy fell apart, predatory lenders, our government and just plain inexperience put many of the millenials in trouble, the millenials are the future as is your son GenZ I think they are. GenZ has a lot more opportunity in finding a job vs Millennials at this point anyway. At this point in time and in the last 13 years if a person majored in English Lit they are toast more or less, there are always companies that will take a chance on a person.

How I see it is that the lower middle, some middle class, and poor people have getting ahead stacked against them. I have pointed out that even going to elite schools is more important than going to a lower tiered state school. It's the way our country works (probably Europe too but don't know). I grew up pretty poor so because of who I am (or was) I didn't want to incur tons of debt for college, but I did believe wholeheartedly that would do better than my parents and what I borrowed I would be able to pay back, and I did. There is no excuse for a young person today to not understand personal finance because they can just search it out. Maybe if counselors in high school were realistic and said to an aspiring poet, "you won't make any money, you will be saddled with debt for over 20 years, major in business" maybe at that level we can avoid young people incurring mounds of debt coming out of college. I changed my major from psychology to business because back in 1971 I realized I could make more money in business, I may have been a great psychologist, but I made more money in business and my luck of being hired by IBM and working my way up.. It's a Brave New World for youth today (thank you Huxley) :)

I understand every point made here and hope my sons generation can find a way to reach the American dream they wish for themselves.
 

LLJsmom

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
9,239
Here's a good article from the NYTimes today on Personal Finance.

Does Personal Finance Still Work in Our Changing Economy?


Our changing economy has made this a more common reality. Consumer spending is increasing and unemployment rates are low, but wage growth has been slow, some people have given up the job search and income inequality is still very much a thing. With a financial system so drastically changing — and seemingly for the worse — what can we do about money? ....

If anyone cannot see the rest I will copy and paste for you.

@LLJsmom I agree with much that you say, except the bailout. I think maybe not a total bailout but steps to eliminate the debt that any major can do.

During the Great Recession people went to school because our economy fell apart, predatory lenders, our government and just plain inexperience put many of the millenials in trouble, the millenials are the future as is your son GenZ I think they are. GenZ has a lot more opportunity in finding a job vs Millennials at this point anyway. At this point in time and in the last 13 years if a person majored in English Lit they are toast more or less, there are always companies that will take a chance on a person.

How I see it is that the lower middle, some middle class, and poor people have getting ahead stacked against them. I have pointed out that even going to elite schools is more important than going to a lower tiered state school. It's the way our country works (probably Europe too but don't know). I grew up pretty poor so because of who I am (or was) I didn't want to incur tons of debt for college, but I did believe wholeheartedly that would do better than my parents and what I borrowed I would be able to pay back, and I did. There is no excuse for a young person today to not understand personal finance because they can just search it out. Maybe if counselors in high school were realistic and said to an aspiring poet, "you won't make any money, you will be saddled with debt for over 20 years, major in business" maybe at that level we can avoid young people incurring mounds of debt coming out of college. I changed my major from psychology to business because back in 1971 I realized I could make more money in business, I may have been a great psychologist, but I made more money in business and my luck of being hired by IBM and working my way up.. It's a Brave New World for youth today (thank you Huxley) :)

I understand every point made here and hope my sons generation can find a way to reach the American dream they wish for themselves.
I can visualize a high school class that shows kids (on a spreadsheet :lol:) the per hour salary of say 50 different professions, the years of schooling, the cost of schooling, the location of work opportunities, pros and cons, physical and emotional toll, and other relevant data points. Kids don't have to decide, but they should be informed before making a decision. I skimmed the article on personal finance. I do still believe a rigorous course in high school, maybe even a year long course, would be beneficial. And since that has never been tried, how much could it hurt? (Just teach the kids that basically all lenders are loan sharks, would love it if you NEVER repaid your debt, and go from there.) It will help introduce them to the financial reality of adulthood.

In Germany, public university is free, and Amsterdam, about $2K a semester for a resident, and HK, a fraction of the cost in the US. It would be too naive and simplistic for the U.S. to expect to be able to achieve this level reasonableness in university education across the board, if for no other reason that this country is so much bigger, and has so many more people than those much smaller countries. But it CAN be improved. I too agree that college should be reachable for all who desire it. Maybe a solution is to REQUIRE either an additional two years of "high school" in a trade school, or additional four years at a university, allowing the individual to choose. But many will not agree to that, and I am probably just as naive to suggest it. More required education will not be fun for all, but I believe in its value. And why can't more critical and analytical thinking courses be "required" in high school? But not to go off on a tangent.

And honestly, maybe the American Dream, which was established during the boom years, will need to change with the times. America has had 200 years of growth and prosperity, of course not without ups and downs, (Great Depression, various recessions, etc.) but all countries have the growth and expansion period, and of course all is great and expectations are high. But if you look at the course of history, the countries do come to a period of slowing down and decline. Look at the Roman Empire (lasted a lot longer than most), British Empire (the sun never sets...). That is the natural state of economic development, now even more so, and more quickly with globalization of everything, in particular the workforce. A country grows, the population experiences greater wealth, improved working conditions which workers will continue to demand, the cost of labor increases, companies seek lower cost labor, manufacturing moves, countries experience some decline, and the other countries to where the manufacturing moves experience the expansion. The U.S. needs to reinvent itself, innovate and become leaders in new industries which due to the information age, have actually bloomed. But with globalization, this advantage will not last long. In this vein, the "American dream" may look a lot different from the McMansion, picket fence, 2.5 kids, 2 SUVs, etc. People may start having fewer kids because they are expensive, and because there are fewer opportunities for their children. More families will live in flats in the major cities, because land and housing have become scarce and expensive. (NY, Tokyo, SF) Or the standard of living for all will need to be adjusted down. Yes, people are spending more and earning less. I see millenials paying for little expensive things, (blue bottle coffee) because they cannot afford a house so they may as well enjoy the little pleasures they can afford. Unfortunately this gets them no closer to a home. Multiple generations may cohabitate, which is not an uncommon practice in Germany and China. A hard lesson may be the only way they will learn. But they need to be allowed to learn it or else they and the next generation will never become smarter and wiser with their resources. (Now I am more convinced than ever that personal finance course is required in high school.)

Just my thoughts. As my own children approach adulthood, and make decisions that impact their future, I have been giving this a lot of thought.
 

Tekate

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 11, 2013
Messages
6,331
Hi @LLJsmom and everyone, while my sons are both out of college (both graduated in 2014, one in August the other December) and we paid their full ride. But I feel for this generation and their inability to repay their loans consistently or at all due to bad major, not finishing,etc.

Well I did reading and my eyes were opened a bit. First I must say I am liberal but often have more in line views of center democratic and can be downright conservative (death penalty).

So here are two different ways to assist future college students and and assist those who are having trouble. Of course I am liberal and like the liberal approach but I also think the conservative approach would meet my requirements for assistance and be more palatable to many many Americans. For me this segues into @OboeGal posting on coming together for the good of our spirit, ourselves and others.




I have to say I really like the conservative approach in making the institutions accountable. THAT is awesome, that might end the for profit colleges :)

This is been a great read and I so enjoyed everyone's thoughts. THANK YOU. especially @missy who always has a great view on things and posts thought provoking topics all the time.
 

rocks

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 13, 2003
Messages
649
Lots of interesting perspectives. I graduated from one of the “academically elite” high schools in NYC in 1975. We had some interesting requirements.....a consumer economics class, a home repairs class ( for the shop requirement) and had to be able to type at least 40 or 50 wpm (can’t remember). The logic was that we would be attending elite colleges and would be able to do our own typing and make some money on the side. In retrospect...pretty sensible.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
20,177
@Tekate I owe you a response still, I'm sorry for the delay! It's a bit manic at work right now but I'll revisit this thread tomorrow - hopefully!
 

House Cat

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
3,852
I guess the question is, should college be a luxury or a right? When I really think about it, I believe it should be a right to anyone who wants to go. In that sense, I also believe fully that the student debt should be forgiven.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
30,845
I guess the question is, should college be a luxury or a right? When I really think about it, I believe it should be a right to anyone who wants to go. In that sense, I also believe fully that the student debt should be forgiven.
Yes, I agree, higher education if desired should be a right. And I maintain that anyone can obtain higher education though perhaps not at the University of their choice. That cannot be a right. But the ability to get a higher education is possible IMO for most if not all. Starting with Community college and going from there.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
30,845
Lots of interesting perspectives. I graduated from one of the “academically elite” high schools in NYC in 1975. We had some interesting requirements.....a consumer economics class, a home repairs class ( for the shop requirement) and had to be able to type at least 40 or 50 wpm (can’t remember). The logic was that we would be attending elite colleges and would be able to do our own typing and make some money on the side. In retrospect...pretty sensible.
That is pretty sensible. Unfortunately my high school did not require such classes (though they offered them but I had no interest in taking them) and when I went to college I could neither type nor cook nor sew nor do anything useful. That was on me of course. But my 13 year old self placed no importance on such things. I had just turned 13 when I entered high school and no wiser when I graduated high school at age 16. But I digress.

During college I realized very early on I had to choose a career I could make a living doing and one that I would enjoy as well. Practicality necessitated it.

@yssie I hear you on that being a luxury many cannot afford but I for one did want to enjoy what I was doing. As I always (and still do) subscribe to the thought that if one enjoys one's career/work it doesn't feel so much like work if you kwim.


choose-job-love-you-will-never-work-day-life-confucius.jpg

I don't agree completely with the above quote (there are days where work definitely felt like work and more of a chore but more days than not I enjoyed my career and what I did for others) but there is much truth in it. For me.
 

kipari

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 9, 2015
Messages
1,780
@missy , I think this is one of the rare topics where we're not on the same page ;-) . You've said before that the system of free education like in the EU or NZ or Oz wouldn't work in the he US.

Would you mind explaining why you think it's not scalable?

One can basically study for free in any EU country as an EU citizen.
Many degrees are in English to keep them open for EU students Vs the local language. Taken together this is a market comparable to the US, population wise. 330 m people for the US vs 510 m in the EU.

I'm always shocked at the interest rates etc. In the US.
I think we as democracies need educated peoples. Otherwise we cannot evolve as a society.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
30,845
@missy , I think this is one of the rare topics where we're not on the same page ;-) . You've said before that the system of free education like in the EU or NZ or Oz wouldn't work in the he US.

Would you mind explaining why you think it's not scalable?

One can basically study for free in any EU country as an EU citizen.
Many degrees are in English to keep them open for EU students Vs the local language. Taken together this is a market comparable to the US, population wise. 330 m people for the US vs 510 m in the EU.

I'm always shocked at the interest rates etc. In the US.
I think we as democracies need educated peoples. Otherwise we cannot evolve as a society.
Yes I agree we need people who are educated to evolve as a society. In that we are in complete agreement.

As far as not being able to provide free education to all in the USA it is (IMO) because we are too many in number. Everything is more manageable in the smaller countries. It is flat out too expensive to be able to do so.

Do I think something needs to be done to reign in the cost of education in this country? Absolutely I do. But until then I don't see how it is possible. Smarter people than I have tried (and are hopefully trying) to figure it out. Never say never but I can say that at this point in time I do not think it is doable.

What is doable IMO is everyone who wants an education can and should get one. That is possible. There are lower cost options that exist for those who are motivated in obtaining a higher education.
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top