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Thanks for watching, and thanks for participating in our conversation, everyone. We hope to do more of these live events in the future.
Beth - It took me eight years to receive an associate degree from a community college (I paid as I went, no loans). I'm making well over $100K now. It's about dedication and hard work, as well as having a college degree.
Please talk about free MOOCs. They will cut the cost of university 25-50% over the next 5 years when students/society begin to accept a mosaic-based approach to education.
This is all so daunting. I am in college right now and I am always limiting myself to the max to try to avoid loans. However, it's impossible. I have to do summer classes this time around so loans here I come. What scares me the most is the fact that I am just a second year undergrad... There's no way I would be able to afford graduate school, which has been one of my biggest goals. Sometimes I regret not attending community college :'(
Beth Fouhy, I didn't attend a community college but I wish I would have. It would have saved me some money. Only losers think CC's are for losers.
I graduated from community and no work to be found above minimum wage. I graduated with a bachelors in the social sciences and still no work in any field related to it. Now I am doing a masters in education because still no work to be obtained. Not from lack of trying. Also degrees in areas that go no where should not be offered and give students false hope. Now it is said there are only about 5 fields with steady work. Work experience does'nt always work. Many times it hits a plateau and goes no where. I have experienced all of this. I will never own a home because if I do, they will take it because I will be lucky to ever pay it all back.
I'm a Creative Writing alum who works for a Fortune 50 company making more than Economics majors, with little student debt. Go to the best schools with the best connections.
@ Beth, community college is a great option, especially if you don't feel like selling yourself into indentured servitude via ruinous student loan debt. Ask how many snobs who disdained community college for a big name school now wish they'd have gone that route themselves now wish they hadn't. People without debt seldom qualify as losers in the game of life.
Chris, I'll be in touch, we may have to use Kickstarter to launch it, otherwise, our work here is done.
Beth..I would say that community college is definitely not for losers. Yes, some of the best and brightest will flock to the big names because of their reputations and how they look on paper - but I believe "You get out of an educational endeavor what you put into it" So in a sense, a degree can be overrated in a sense if it doesn't give you practical application to a job
Rob and I solved the crisis by creating a secondary market for used degrees. Do we have anything else to talk about? Final thoughts?
I went to a community college first and then I went to an in-state university but I still have a large debt because I didn't qualify for most of the scholarships as I was too old. I don't think there is anything wrong with community colleges.
I am currently a PhD student and I am still surprised how financial aid can be based on parents income. My parents had a good income while I attended college, limiting financial aid I qualified for in my undergrad. I never once expected them to pay my way, since I am an adult; yet, financial aid expects parents to contribute. I started at a community college and have attended multiple state universities, and at every level, it seems that colleges spend their money on trivial things. This driving up tuition/fees to offset "costs" of running a university. At some point, colleges need to be held liable for the "costs" they incur or desire that drives up student costs to obtain an education. Simple question though after a little rant: Why is it necessary to have 'well rounded and educated' students in the sense of requiring general education classes?
Chris Suellentrop, I agree that debt isn't always a bad idea but it should be something that will give you a good return on your investment with equity and potential to do even more. Don't get me wrong im not bashing education whatsoever im just bashing the way people see college as a wonderland to join a frat, waste all your money and then when it's over expect a job handed to you in a silver platter because you have a sheet of paper with a fancy signature.
Liz, great point. Don't pay $60,000 to take a year of remedial classes.
I think community college especially makes sense for kids who need to take remedial classes. (As many as 30% of freshmen students at public four-year schools are enrolled in them.)
Agreed Tim. There is no good debt. If it was we wouldn't be chatting on this topic.
I agree with Daniel. I don't understand why you can't have an asset bubble just because the asset is intangible.
And one of our experts dispelled an interesting myth -- that most American students graduate in 4 years. In fact, a majority of students take 6 years to graduate. No wonder they are carrying so much debt!
This IS a bubble. What have you paid for this student loan debt if not an asset? It's simply an intangible asset. The fact is, the price of this intangible asset has tripled, and the government has guaranteed loans. Sound like the mortgage crisis? It's the exact same scenario!
CC is actually a really good idea for those who don't have a clear idea of what they want to get a degree in. Experiment on the cheap, then upgrade to a specific 4-yr institution when you know what you want. That's what my sister did and she is debt free at 25.
CCs are not for losers!!! It's alternative way to avoid huge debt
My parents just told me I'd get a job that'd be able to pay back the loans and more. I was 18 years old and undergoing chemotherapy; I just did what they said. I don't blame them though, that's what they thought was right. On a bright note, I do have a decent job, but it took me getting a Master's and spending two years of unpaid "work" to get it.
To me, one of the biggest problems we have is a sense of entitlement. People seem to think that just drawing breath entitles them to go to college and that a degree entitles them to an immediate 6-figure salary. When you graduate, the ceremony is called a commencment, which means a beginning and that's exactly what it is. A college degree should be viewed as a tool you use to better yourself, not some magic talisman that absolves you from thought and consequence.
Beth, we have a ton of community-college evangelists down here.
Tim: If you're borrowing money to increase your earnings potential, it can be a smart investment. Businesses go into debt all the time. Sometimes it's smart. Sometimes it isn't.
Hi guys. Jumping back in from our live show. We just had an interesting discussion on whether community college is for "losers." What do you think?
And more seriously, I agree with a lot of these comments about community college and state schools. You don't HAVE to commit to a massively expensive private university at 18 if you are not sure what you want to do later on.
Forget sex & drugs, parents need to have "the talk" with their kids about student loans.
Agreed. My degree is in Finance, I work at the largest commercial real estate firm in the world. Yet paying 65% of my paycheck to Sallie Mae is ridiculous. I never had the conversation with my guidance counselor, my university should have seen these 11% interest loans in full coming in, my parents just gave me the information I needed to fill out the application for loans I knew I needed to continue to go back to school each year - no help along the way.
"But debt isn't always a bad idea." Sorry... I'm going to have to call Bologna on that. Please explain how debt of any kind is better than no debt at all.
Awake09 .....Yes, a community college for the first couple of years is a smart idea. Get a job as well during that time to help pay for it. Then attend Local State U. One doesn't need to attend Stanford, or an Ivy League school to succeed.
If we can create a secondary market for "used degrees," maybe all these problems are solved!
The education system in other countries is phenomenal! These young adults come to America with more to offer because their education system is advance. We could land jobs like that if our system was better. Unfortunately, it doesn't work out that way. Race doesn't matter with education. I'm a black 25yo woman making $40K a year with an AS degree, but I have experience and am working on my BS online. Experience is what matters.
I would have absolutely made a different decision. I wasn't able to vote or drink at the time when I was able to lock myself into $140,000 (apx. current amount I owe, including compounded interest, not that I knew what that was at the time) worth of student loans. I am a slave to paying $1,159 a month until I turn 52. It's depressing every day. Thankfully I do have a decent paying job, but this is impacting my decision to ever get married or have children.
I love the idea of being able to flip your degree to a sucker. Now that I don't need my degree anymore, can't I sell it?
Here are a few problems I ran into. 1) Undergrad didn't prepare me for the workforce; it only gave me a degree. Somehow no one at the college told me, or my classmates, just how valuable experience is. 2) I had tuition raised on me while I was in school. How is this fair? I'm paying all this money, and now I have to pay more or waste the thousands I've already spent. 3) I had to move to find work. There were no jobs were I was living and had to move over five hours away to a big city. Not everyone can afford to do this, and I needed help from my parents to do so. I owe them a lot for this. 4) I thought about not finishing college because I didn't think the degree was worth the money. I was shamed by friends, parents, and friends of parents. They told me how DARE I think about quitting.
@Chris: I kinda love what M is doing, sounds pretty smart. (I didn't take any debt either at that age.) And unlike a house or some of Trump's "investments," you can't flip your college degree to a higher-bidding sucker down the road!
Having 3 college students I can see how the loans can get out of control. However I also have seen why they can be so high. You cannot put your entire life for lets say 5-6 years while attaining your degree. Some of our kids fellow students have put vacations, living expenses, food expenses ect. all without holding down a job of any kind! They will be coming out with a degree that will not even come close to covering the $100,000 student loans they have incurred. I blame them for wanting to live the high life while going to school, we as parents have not been able to take the kind of vacations some of our kids friends have taken! This seems to be the era of "ENTITLEMENT" not may are willing to sacrifice by doing without while going to school!
@Gina, I went to Community College for my first two years. Best financial decision ever. I highly recommend everyone do it, if you haven't received a full-ride to a main university.
I have about 80K in student debt. I'm under the income based repayment plan, and I'm not in the job I want.
What I don't see being discussed here is restructuring the student loan system in a way that allows borrowers to repay there loans in a way that doesn't break them financially. Nobody benefits form that...the student loan system or the borrower. The job market is responsible for less people being employed overall, not the people seeking work. People need livable wages regardless of what job they perform and, to go with that, the student loan system should be structured in such a way that there are multiple ways for repayment (volunteering, working at certain places, etc.). I don't have any problem repaying my student loans, I just think that the repayment structure should be realistic.
You people want the best fine wine but you only have cheap beer money. Why don't you attend a community college for 2 years, receive excellent grades, and then apply for scholarships, awards, etc. to the better colleges for the last two years? Is that asking to much?
M: You've made some good choices. But debt isn't always a bad idea. People borrow money to buy houses, and it can be smart to judiciously borrow money for education. Donald Trump borrows lots of money! Not that I'm advising people to be like Donald Trump.
I'm 23 years old and I attended a private college with student loans of approximately $106k which equates to $1200 in monthly payments for the next 10 years. My biggest dilemma as of late was considering whether I should exercise my option for a graduated fixed repayment plan. However I would end up paying at end just under $500k if I were to do this. I now have a new job with higher pay and this is 8 months after I have graduated. After taxes and school loan payments I'm still left with a little over $2k a month. Should I still consider extending my loan payments? Any advice or comments are welcomed.
Our tax system also does not support taking out debt for student loans. For years (when I was applying for loans), it had been said that student loans are good debt. I have learned that there is no such thing. Once you make a certain amount of money, you are subject to phase outs of the tax credit - making the debt more of a burden. Essentially you are punished for taking the risk to be educated.
I wish I could go back and shake myself as I signed up for college. My family was so proud that I was going and didn't help me see that borrowing 12K/yr for the next 4 years was not the best way to get a start in life (I also received about $12k in aid). I graduated right into the internet crash of 2000 and struggled for years to make my minimum payments. Through job loss and low wage positions, I wasn't able to pay and am now stuck with an inflated 70k in debt. I wish I had a better perspective when I graduated high school and a family who wasn't blinded by the idea that I was accepted into a nice school. My children will be encouraged to go to a Jr college for 2 years and then transfer to a decent state school if they decide to get a degree. There is no shame in going that route.
im 19 years old. I go to school part time (community college). take 2 or 3 classes per semester but ace every single one of them.in the meantime I work full time starting my real estate business. is it taking me longer to get my AA degree and my business degree? absolutely. but at least Im not borrowing money from ANYBODY. by the time Im done with school ill put my degree in my pocket and my business is going to be better than ever. seems that college is just making people more stupid. you don't have to have a degree to know that asking for money you don't have is a dumb idea.
I graduate this year with my Bachelor's and a total of $55k in student loan debt. I have already been accepted into a master's program where I will be paying back a minimal amount from my Bachelor's as I work full time in the process of achieving all of this. However most need to look into the 15% & 15 year rule I think it was that Clinton enacted when it comes to paying back student loan debt.