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El Rey
09-18-2010, 08:21 PM
555,000 Student-Loan Burden
http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showthread.php?t=75024&page=5

:eek:

and this http://finance.yahoo.com/banking-budgeting/article/109698/placing-the-blame-as-students-are-buried-in-debt?mod=bb-debtmanagement


Posters have mentioned the girl in this article living in San Fransisco. Maybe it does make more sense for her to live there. She pays $750 in rent. That is very comparable to rent here in Houston, which is known to have a lower cost of living than many major cities. I'm assuming she also doesn't have a car. Which in most cities around the United States is a necessity. I had to go without a car for one week and decided to ride the bus. There's a bus stop right in front of my place. Even then, it took me almost two hours to get to work with the transfers. So although she might live in a city with a higher cost of living, assuming she doesn't have a car, it might make more sense to live there. She has a perfectly fine salary as well. Her mistake was that dumb ass degree.

mindy74
09-19-2010, 04:23 AM
I went to a state college and because I commuted, my parents paid the tuition. It was fairly cheap. When I decided to go to grad school, I knew I'd have to take out loans. Fast forward to after graduation and all the mailings and counseling telling me to consolidate my loans. What was not explained to me was that once I consolidated those loans, I could not refinance. So, like a good girl I consolidated my loans at around 8%. A few years later, interest rates dropped to like 2-3%. I got numerous mailings about how low my payments would be. Unfortunately, it was at this point that I found out I could not refinance my loans. I was horrified. I was depressed. To sit there and think that your payment could be cut in HALF but you can't do anything about it was emotionally distressing. My uncle could refinance his freaking boat loan, but I could not refinance money I borrowed to "better myself."

My student loans have been a burden around my neck for the past 10 years. I've deferred payment a few times, but all that does is add interest to your balance. In 10 years my balance has barely gone down. The only light so far has been the passing a couple of years ago of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Act, which allows the balance of your loan to be forgiven after 120 payments provided you stay in a full-time public service job. Of course payments you've already made are not grandfathered in.

I have loads of regret. I spent too much money on a degree and the salary for the career doesn't match. I should have known, but I was young and wanted to help people and didn't realize how hard it would be to do this on my own. All of my debt is from my graduate degree. I wish everyday that I had chosen a different path. My mom feels guilty that she didn't steer me in a different direction. I don't live a luxurious life--no fancy vacations, I don't eat out much, I drive a paid-off Corolla. All I heard all my life was higher education means you will have a better life than your parents. Well, my parents owned a home and had 3 kids by the time they were my age. And neither of them went to college. They had some savings. I have none of that.

Yes, I have a roof over my head and a job and health benefits (well so far--we'll see how much my lovely governor wants to hatchet on that) so I try to focus on that.

Anita18
09-19-2010, 05:22 AM
Posters have mentioned the girl in this article living in San Fransisco. Maybe it does make more sense for her to live there. She pays $750 in rent. That is very comparable to rent here in Houston, which is known to have a lower cost of living than many major cities. I'm assuming she also doesn't have a car. Which in most cities around the United States is a necessity. I had to go without a car for one week and decided to ride the bus. There's a bus stop right in front of my place. Even then, it took me almost two hours to get to work with the transfers. So although she might live in a city with a higher cost of living, assuming she doesn't have a car, it might make more sense to live there. She has a perfectly fine salary as well. Her mistake was that dumb ass degree.
BART is actually quite a chunk of cash. My sister lives in SF and commutes to Oakland for work (it definitely would be cheaper to live in Oakland but she loves the city), and a monthly pass for BART is over $150. Lower than a car payment sure, but it would depend on the car. :lol:

$750 is also what my sister pays to live in a house with several other people in the Mission District. It usually gets a lot more expensive than that.

venja
09-19-2010, 05:46 AM
Lower than a car payment sure, but it would depend on the car. :lol:

$750 is also what my sister pays to live in a house with several other people in the Mission District. It usually gets a lot more expensive than that.

Do you know how much car insurance would cost in the Bay area? Where I live my car insurance is almost 3Gs and I'm sure it's going to go up next year when I'm due for a renewal.

SF looks like a cool place to live (I've considered moving there) BUT I've heard that it costs an arm and a leg. The $750 rent for the girl in the article seems like a steal if you ask me...

I was debt free when I did my first undergrad, however I did it by working lots of hours, living at home, and taking the 4+ year route to finish. I wish I had done better in high school to get monstrous scholarships like these people I've read in a Canadian newspaper article. (http://www.thestar.com/article/860021--super-candidates-cash-in-on-huge-scholarships) Do these students make a profit or must they exclusively use it on education?

PDilemma
09-19-2010, 04:19 PM
a monthly pass for BART is over $150. Lower than a car payment sure, but it would depend on the car. :lol:
.

We spend over $200 a month just on gas for a 30 minute daily commute (one way) for my husband and a 35 minute commute two days a week for me. (We live in the middle). Then there's insurance and maintenance costs for the vehicles. And, of course, car payments. We're spending well over $300 a month on two cars. And would be spending right around that if they were paid for.

Anita18
09-19-2010, 06:49 PM
Do you know how much car insurance would cost in the Bay area? Where I live my car insurance is almost 3Gs and I'm sure it's going to go up next year when I'm due for a renewal.

SF looks like a cool place to live (I've considered moving there) BUT I've heard that it costs an arm and a leg. The $750 rent for the girl in the article seems like a steal if you ask me...

I was debt free when I did my first undergrad, however I did it by working lots of hours, living at home, and taking the 4+ year route to finish. I wish I had done better in high school to get monstrous scholarships like these people I've read in a Canadian newspaper article. (http://www.thestar.com/article/860021--super-candidates-cash-in-on-huge-scholarships) Do these students make a profit or must they exclusively use it on education?
I actually don't remember, my parents paid for my car insurance in HS when we still lived in the Bay Area, and my sister doesn't own a car so she doesn't have to pay for it now. I do remember that it was the only thing cheaper in CA than NJ - one of the grad students is from Long Island and car insurance for her in HS would have $4K! :eek: It's NOWHERE near that, IIRC. It's about $1200 for me now and that's because I just bought a new Honda Civic. When I was driving my old beater car, it was $860. :lol:

$750 is REALLY good for rent in SF, and my sister does manage it, but in a not-that-nice neighborhood and sharing an apartment with a couple other people. If you want your own apartment in a nice neighborhood, be prepared to shell out the $$$$. I think it's kind of the same here in LA, in terms of rent situation. But you would have to have a car. :lol:

I think rent is way worse in NYC. There we heard horror stories from relatives' kids about rent being $1000/month AFTER being split with 4 people! At least you wouldn't have to have a car...

I think most scholarships have some fine print saying that you need to spend it on something related to school.

overedge
09-19-2010, 07:49 PM
I think most scholarships have some fine print saying that you need to spend it on something related to school.

And some also have clauses saying that if you accept that scholarship you can't accept ones that are tied to other schools (i.e. you have to attend that school to get the scholarship). Because school-specific scholarships are basically a recruiting tool.

It's great that super-achiever students get multiple scholarship offers, but I wish that rather than just throwing money at the students with the top GPAs, the scholarship givers would be a little more broad in their scope. There's only so much money one student can spend! There are probably other students who are outstanding in other ways who would benefit from the money just as much.

GarrAarghHrumph
09-20-2010, 12:55 AM
t's great that super-achiever students get multiple scholarship offers, but I wish that rather than just throwing money at the students with the top GPAs, the scholarship givers would be a little more broad in their scope. There's only so much money one student can spend! There are probably other students who are outstanding in other ways who would benefit from the money just as much.

There are some scholarships like that. My favorite is at Ball State, given by David Letterman (it's his alma mater). He funds a scholarship that goes to a student with so-so grades but creative promise.

There is a way for less-than-stellar, but okay, grades to get merit aid. If financial aid is an issue, I recommend that students apply to a couple of schools - one public in their home state, and one private anywhere - where their stats are higher than the average for that school - on the high side of their averages, or beyond. That may mean applying to some lower tier schools. But what this does is maximize your chances for merit aid. For example, if your grades are in line for SUNY Binghamton (strong SUNY), apply to SUNY Binghamton, but also consider applying to Plattsburgh (not as highly ranked, lower admissions requirements), because Plattsburgh may give you merit aid.

Another way to do this is to apply to schools where your grades/SATs are a bit on the high side for the school, and the school is actively seeking people of your demographic. I often recommend that male students consider applying to women's colleges that have recently turned co-ed, because they are actively seeking men - and that can benefit you re: merit aid. Or if you're from New England, apply to a private college in Nebraska. Etc. No guarantees, but things like this can increase your chances of getting merit aid.

GarrAarghHrumph
09-20-2010, 02:44 PM
Just to add, there are colleges/unis in the US which are tuition free (still have to pay room and board), and there are colleges which are entirely free (whole nut covered) if you can get in. They include Berea College, Deep Springs, the Cooper Union, Alice Lloyd, the Curtis Institute, College of the Ozarks, Olin College of Engineering, the US military academies (Navy, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine), Webb Institute.

There are also programs that make tuition and/or etc. free, within unis that aren't free: CUNY Teacher's Academy, CUNY Macaulay Honors Program, Georgia Hope, etc.

Not all of those require stellar grades and etc. Some are region-specific. Some are field-specific. For example, Curtis is a music school. Webb is naval engineering and naval architecture. Alice Lloyd is only for people from a specific region. Etc.

Clytie
09-21-2010, 01:33 PM
This has been a really interesting discussion. I don't know much about the US college/university education system except how expensive tuition is. I do know a couple of people who went to the US on athletic scholarships. They seemed to enjoy it. And one guy from my highschool who got a full scholarship to MIT based on something he designed for a prestigious science fair. This was also a guy who broke into the school's computer system and wiped out all the semester long projects of the seniors he hated. It was the early nineties so there was no backup. Alot of people were :lynch: but they could'nt prove it was him. And then two years later he gets a free ride to a top school.

My parents were definitely lower middleclass with 5 kids and could'nt help out with much. They also did'nt push us to go. My mom had dropped out of teachers college and my dad was smart but hated school. I knew several other highschool students in the same boat. Most chose to go to a community college. Of course my youngest brother who did a three year engineering degree at a college earns 3 times what I do with my five years of university. College gets a bad rap here in Canada.

I ended up going to a university two hours away. Would have loved to have gone to Toronto but the cost of living would have crippled me. I lived with an aunt the first year to save money and worked part-time at the same non-profit place she did. However I was working too much and my GPA fell and I had to drop out of the honours program. The next two years I did'nt work and lived off-campus with roommates. I also rarely ever went out partying, unlike alot of people I knew. I ended up with a Psych BA, not exactly the most useful degree. In order to get a job I took a two year community college ECE diploma and worked in daycare for the next seven years.

Then I decided to go to teachers college not believing that the teaching field here in Ontario was already over crowded. I did a two year university course in another province and worked part-time. When I got back to Ontario it took me two years to get on a supply list and four years later I am still on it with only a few LTO's in between. I am looking at other fields because apparently a teaching degree is useful so I don't feel like I wasted my money. I can only image how people are feeling who went the American/Overseas teaching route were tuition was closer to 20,000 a year and with few job prospects. Most people I know graduated from teachers college with had a student loan debt load of about 30,000. I honestly meet few whose parents were paying the way.

That being said tuition here in Canada is alot cheaper. MY BofED tuiton was 6,000 a year for a two year program. I got a partial government grant to go those two years I don't have to pay back. The first time I went I got 6,000 dollars free grant because my family was low income. I realize now if I had looked into it I might have gotten some other bursaries or grants because my grandfather was in the army or through certain companies ie the YMCA. I just did'nt look that hard and the high-school counsellors never mentioned anything other than OSAP. In total for 7 years of post-secondary education I ended up owing about 24,000.

I do think alot of kids are feeling the pressure to go onto a post-secondary education. I also agree that kids have unreal expectations of what goes on there. Here in Ontario there is so much pressure to not fail kids that teachers are not allowed to take marks off for work handed in late or give 0's. I've worked with intermediate kids who can't do simple division and multiplication and these are not spec-ed kids. They simply don't want to do the work and expect you to just give them the answers. Yet like someone mentioned they want to be vets or lawyers.

The university profs are complaining that kids feel they should be getting B's just for showing up to class:rolleyes: Of course the legislators are telling us that school is not the 'real world' so we need to stop telling them that some of these strategies are just not working. Its another reason I am looking to get out of the teaching field. I never fully understood how little control most teachers are given over how they teach. Some of the 'ideas' I've seen in the last 8 years are truly :wideeyes: And like most people here in this thread have mentioned - alot of kids are truly clueless about finances and how much things cost. They think they are going to come out of school into great jobs.
Man just typing that was depressing.

GarrAarghHrumph
09-21-2010, 02:20 PM
This has been a really interesting discussion. I don't know much about the US college/university education system except how expensive tuition is.

I've actually recommended Canadian universities to some students in the US who will not qualify for US financial aid. If they have to pay the full boat, it can sometimes be less expensive to go to a uni in Canada, even paying international rates, than it is to go to a comparable uni in the US. And there are a couple of unis in Canada that are generally known in the US.

Anita18
09-21-2010, 06:44 PM
The university profs are complaining that kids feel they should be getting B's just for showing up to class:rolleyes: Of course the legislators are telling us that school is not the 'real world' so we need to stop telling them that some of these strategies are just not working. Its another reason I am looking to get out of the teaching field. I never fully understood how little control most teachers are given over how they teach. Some of the 'ideas' I've seen in the last 8 years are truly :wideeyes: And like most people here in this thread have mentioned - alot of kids are truly clueless about finances and how much things cost. They think they are going to come out of school into great jobs.

Man just typing that was depressing.
No, it's definitely the same here. :lol: Even in the grad school I work in, many students don't understand the concept of plagiarism and think that copying and pasting stuff from different sources into their papers should net them A's. Many of these students are not native English speakers so some of the administration think we should let them off easy but hell, my father came to the US for grad school in the exact same circumstances and his thesis is still being read in Princeton engineering classes! It's really a case of lowered expectations.

I'm sure many of these students are perfectly capable of turning in good work, but the concept of being proud of hard honest work hasn't been instilled in them.

I don't know if that kind of attitude is because people want the next generation to have it easier than they did, but the younger generation still have to work for it in some capacity.

Southpaw
09-21-2010, 06:52 PM
I'm sure many of these students are perfectly capable of turning in good work, but the concept of being proud of hard honest work hasn't been instilled in them.

I don't know if that kind of attitude is because people want the next generation to have it easier than they did, but the younger generation still have to work for it in some capacity.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: it's that self-esteem movement coming home to roost. These kids are awesome and deserve every little thing they want just because! Just for being their own unique selves! And anybody who doesn't recognize how awesome they are is stupid. Or old. Or both.

overedge
09-21-2010, 06:55 PM
And like most people here in this thread have mentioned - alot of kids are truly clueless about finances and how much things cost. They think they are going to come out of school into great jobs.
Man just typing that was depressing.

Interesting article about the general decline in math skills in students entering university, including something I hadn't thought about....how the financial meltdown might be partly due to people not being able to accurately calculate how much a mortgage would really cost them.

http://www.universityaffairs.ca/big-drop-in-math-skills-of-entering-students.aspx

manhn
09-21-2010, 07:17 PM
So, when was this golden age of perfect students who worked hard and had no self-esteem?