Student debt crisis watch: pay $18,000 of your $24,000 loan, owe $24,000


Students do understand it in general, but the loans are predatory and a lot of deception is used on the students. And the party giving the loan can basically change the terms at will. I was lucky in that i only had about $3,000 in loans. Course $3,000 in debt seems a lot larger when you can’t get any job that pays anything for 2 years after graduating.


Of course just as a greater supply of student loans has allowed the price of tuition to go up, the greater supply of college degrees, has allowed employers to demand one for more and more jobs. This combined with the decrease in good paying jobs in manufacturing has meant that the “college premium” on lifetime earnings, even for non employment related degrees, has risen, but mostly because the average real wages for non graduates has fallen.


Maybe it sounds to me like you’re being a little judgy of those who haven’t had, and currently can’t have, your admitted luck, which only you know the accurate extent of.

It’s about a level playing field. And acknowledging the efforts -since you and I were in these shoes- to disadvantage the disadvantaged further, to the benefit of the already advantaged. To abuse the students faith in a better future, which it turns out is largely out of reach STILL - because of the predatory nature of the loan enforcement on these.

You’re not responsible for that, but piling on is piling on, and I read you that way.


Bunch of no goodniks


Gosh darnit!!! I was remarking to a friend that the USA has always had a big share of dimwits. But lately, it seems like they are multiplying at an exponential rate. Please prove me wrong, I would love to be wrong about this.


Yes. I spent the past… 10 or so years in school. My fees (not tuition, as I had waivers) went up every year. From around $500 a semester to around $1400 a semester (or so). That’s just fees, not tuition mind.



I’m going to also note here that federal grants are much less accessible and generous than in previous years (it’s harder to get Pell, for example) and various scholarships set up by various institutions took a major hit in 2008. Emory University is a great example of their inhouse scholarships being less generous due to the 2008 economic crash. Plus, the state cut tons of funding for public universities, and the hope scholarship (here in GA) doesn’t pay out nearly as much as it used too. Many of the kids I teach are working full time jobs on top of having a hope grant and loans to get by. They bust their asses to do what they’re supposed to do. It’s disheartening to see how much many of them are struggling.


That is hurting me now 20 years down the road… (it was the 90s, oh hey you know this thing?, come work here) not that a 20 year old degree in math would be relevant to being a sysadmin today. Hell a 20 year old CS degree would be mostly useless by now.


That’s very useful in the event that you’re able to find a job in or near one of the places where they exist. And by “near” I mean a 1-2 hour commute each way.

I’m not talking about 2k sq ft - my house is 1300 sq ft, and it’s more than enough.

Moreover, your “if a person looks for them” doesn’t scale. “People who’ve graduated in the past ten years” is well over ten million of people. The vast majority of people have to live in the vast majority of housing stock - the pidgeonhole principle at work. And the vast majority of housing stock is unaffordable for the vast majority of people.

Some of the obvious workarounds, like sharing and slightly larger space with several friends to save money, are illegal in many cities (at least if you rent), and not really doable for buying if you’re trying to get a mortgage.


Exactly, well a lot less than it used to anyway.

I looked into it earlier this year, because I knew that was most of the story but wanted to get the details. For my local big university (UW Seattle) I was amazed to find that total spending per student is actually almost entirely flat, when adjusted for inflation, for the past 28 years! 28 years, essentially no increased cost (less than 5%, and it bounces up and down that much across that time period a few times).

Tuition, on the other hand, tripled. This is because the State used to pay for about 80% and now it pays for about 25%.

The increase in out-of-pocket costs for students and their families at this state university for the past 28 years is ENTIRELY because of reduced state share.

There is no problem of higher education costs at big state schools. They are controlling their costs absurdly well (higher ed is a intrinsically low-productivity growth industry compared to most, so we actually should expect costs to rise as a share of the economy), more likely they ought to have faster rising costs.

And you don’t have to go back to the 70’s when state schools were essentially free in most of the US.
Compared to now State schools were free in the 90’s. A measly few thousand in tuition each year? Living expenses were significantly larger than tuition and fees? Essentially everyone over 35 is entirely full of shit about how they ‘did it themselves by hard work and bootstraps and eating no avocados’. We all did it because of socialism.


In addition to my sadness and dismay regarding the predatory lending practices described here (particularly as the parent of a current 16-year-old), I am also deeply saddened at some of the comments here that seem to indicate that the only worthy degree is a STEM degree, and that English, sociology, etc are a huge waste of time. I believe that pluralism and diversity in thought is part of what makes a rich society for all. The world would be intensely boring if everyone got the same degree, not to mention that not everyone is suited for a STEM degree.


I did it by working and taking out loans. Working paid for housing, food and utilities. Loans took care of tuition and fees. I qualified for the maximum Pell grant (which was only about $400/semester back then), so that covered books.

My own kid will have to do ROTC or just not go because we won’t be able to afford the projected $30k yearly tuition for in-state university.


Well, considering just a century ago most people were illiterate, bigoted, and murderous, I’m fine being surrounded by the “boring” STEM folks.


People who think STEM degrees are the only worthwhile degrees are stunted trolls who live under a bridge and never read a poem or listened to good music or ate something tasty. I have both an English degree and a STEM degree. The English degree prepared me for expression and reading comprehension, as well as the cultural immersion in our language. The STEM degree built on that foundation and gave me the theoretical and statistical training necessary to do the research that I do. I need BOTH. It all has value. So, STEM purists: please go jump into a data lake.


Yes, college also is a place to get a well-rounded education to become a wiser person. However, the author expected to obtain upward social mobility from her “working class” family by going to a college, and I assume she expected a better job. If that was her goal and she is still baffled by why she still doesn’t make enough to be well off, it looks like she failed in both goals.


People who haven’t tried to PAY FOR a degree lately have no meaningful idea of how much more expensive it is these days. I have a niece and nephew starting college and there is no comparison to what it cost when I started in '81.


Thanks, now I need to wipe coffee off my desk.


No it isn’t. The risk of bankruptcy is priced into loans. If you are going to defend capitalism you should know what you are talking about and not depend on Marxists like me to point out facts like the foregoing.

That one cannot discharge a student loan in bankruptcy is a recent abomination that was bought and for by the lending industry.

I didn’t need student loans either, but the world it was a different then.

That student loans even have to exist is shameful and like our healthcare system is a system largely unknown in the civilized world.


No, I agree that banks are giving loans they shouldn’t be giving.

Well, if you read the article and don’t wonder why she had such great expectations, try reading the original article to a room full of PoC and see how sympathetic they are (possibly before being laughed out of the room).


With student loans you cannot declare bankruptcy, therefore they are 100% guaranteed loans
and lenders should not be allowed to charge high rates.

Much of the European union, university is free. For that matter as a foreign student you can even study in Germany for free, if you qualify and they put you in the Goethe institute to brush up your German.

In the US this would be $60billion dollars, which is what they spend on Darpa or 5% of the military budget.
It is the best bang for the buck as far as government investment goes.

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