Student Loan Debt

uafanataum

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Some people may view this as criticism of Alabama but it was just the example they used to point out the larger problems. For instance, our state made cuts to public university spending during the 2008 recession but forgot to undo those cuts when the recession ended.
Here is a list of state funding for public universities:
The states that did well surprised me.
 

J0eW

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I'm amazed. My, times have changed int he last 36 years since I earned my degree with financial aid. My loans added up to less than $12,000! I paid these and my wife's in less than 5 - 6 years.

This entire higher education funding model is equivalent to a Ponzi scheme.
 
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Go Bama

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Some people may view this as criticism of Alabama but it was just the example they used to point out the larger problems. For instance, our state made cuts to public university spending during the 2008 recession but forgot to undo those cuts when the recession ended.
Here is a list of state funding for public universities:
The states that did well surprised me.
While the article may have just used Alabama as the example, it is very unflattering and rightfully so. The ROI of the school has to be factored in when choosing a school. The second list was very interesting.
 
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92tide

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While the article may have just used Alabama as the example, it is very unflattering and rightfully so. The ROI of the school has to be factored in when choosing a school. The second list was very interesting.
that article makes me lose a lot of respect for my alma mater. and i know what they are doing is quite common.
 
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Go Bama

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that article makes me lose a lot of respect for my alma mater. and i know what they are doing is quite common.
I agree. The roll of a state university should be to make higher education available to people of the state. There is no way I could have attended under today's tuition costs. I was $50,000 dollars in debt when I graduated from dental school. About $12,000 of that was Bama student loand. It was all paid off in 10 years.
 

DzynKingRTR

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I agree. The roll of a state university should be to make higher education available to people of the state. There is no way I could have attended under today's tuition costs. I was $50,000 dollars in debt when I graduated from dental school. About $12,000 of that was Bama student loand. It was all paid off in 10 years.
When I started, I was paying out of state fees. In state tuition for one semester cost more now than an entire year with out of state fees when I went. I could not afford college now. I was about 30k in debt when I got out. My last 2 years I took out no loans and just worked to pay for college. No way I could do that now.
 

CrimsonNagus

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from the article in post 1 said:
But Thomas yearned for the American college experience of living on a big campus.
I'm not trying to exonerate the universities here. I think what they are doing across this country is wrong and equivalent to a Ponzi scheme, like @J0eW said. But...

The biggest problem, IMO, is the quote above, this mindset that everyone must go to college for the "experience". So many of these kids get there, have fun, then come out with worthless degrees because of pointless majors. We have got to start changing people's mindset and convince them that this "experience" is not worth the cost.

There are many fine jobs and careers that do not require college education and many of these students end up in these jobs despite walking out of a university with a degree. They could have already been on the job for years and without the debt. Many of these jobs offer decent living wages and benefits plus promotion opportunities. There are also plenty of fields that only require trade schooling which is much cheaper then college.

Even in my field, IT, it is a myth that you must go to college and get that computer science degree. I have no college degree for IT (I was stupid and went to film school, a worthless degree), I took a few certification classes and those certs got my foot in the door. 13 years later, and a handful of different IT jobs, I am earning a decent middle class wage, can support my family and have great state benefits.

My wife majored in communications (another mostly worthless degree in our opinions). She graduated in 2003 and we finally paid off her loan earlier this year because of the COVID relief money, other wise we'd have 4 more years of payments. She now works as a pre-school teacher and loves it but, you don't need a communications major to work in a pre-school.

We have already been telling our kids that they do not have to go to college. It all depends on what career they want pursue. You don't want to end up with so much debt that you can't afford to pursue your career because of the bills that start rolling in.

This country has got to get over this idea that everyone has to go to college. Most people spend 10s of thousands of dollars only to end up right back where they were after graduating high school.
 

B1GTide

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This country has got to get over this idea that everyone has to go to college. Most people spend 10s of thousands of dollars only to end up right back where they were after graduating high school.
I agree, but it starts with HR departments. Neither you nor your wife has a degree in the field in which you work, but you both have degrees. That opens doors that would otherwise remain closed because HR departments across America have degrees as a requirement and screen out great applicants who cannot check that box.

Change is necessary, but it has to start with the way that we hire people. We can't ask our kids to forgo college and hope that they will get gainful employment based on their skills.
 

Bamaro

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I went in-state too. Graduated college in 2004. It took 6 years. 3 of those were full ride scholarships. I still ended up with about 40k in debt - & except for the 1st year (in another state for free) I lived at home or with no rent the entire time.

I have no clue how anyone affords it now for themselves or their kids.
Easy as 1, 2, 3
1. Start a 529 early and keep it up
2. Pick a public university
3. You can do it on less if the 1st 2 years are at a community college
 

CrimsonNagus

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I agree, but it starts with HR departments. Neither you nor your wife has a degree in the field in which you work, but you both have degrees. That opens doors that would otherwise remain closed because HR departments across America have degrees as a requirement and screen out great applicants who cannot check that box.

Change is necessary, but it has to start with the way that we hire people. We can't ask our kids to forgo college and hope that they will get gainful employment based on their skills.
I was going to get into that but I was already rambling on. That is another bad side effect of convincing everyone to go to college, it has devalued the college degree, it is the new GED or high school diploma. If we continue down this path, graduate school will soon be he new low bar. Where does it stop? 100 years from now, will you need a doctorate to work at Publix?

There is an unhealthy obsession with college in this country.
 

crimsonaudio

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My oldest is on track to graduate with a bachelro's degree three years plus one summer and has received a check from the burser's office every semester since he started. State school, nothing fancy, but he's going to graduate and be ready to go and actually make money while in school. He stayed in-state (in TN) rather than going to UA because the finances made more sense. Not everyone is offered what he is scholarship-wise, but he earned all of it and didn't receive a penny in grant money.

So like CrimsonNagus above I hesitate in blaming the university - there are lots of alternatives to Alabama in the state that cost a lot less, and if you're out of state, you likely have far more options at a lower rate.

I get it, it's kinda 'taking advantage of' these young adults, but they are adults, and as far as I'm aware no one held a gun to their heads.
 

92tide

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My oldest is on track to graduate with a bachelro's degree three years plus one summer and has received a check from the burser's office every semester since he started. State school, nothing fancy, but he's going to graduate and be ready to go and actually make money while in school. He stayed in-state (in TN) rather than going to UA because the finances made more sense. Not everyone is offered what he is scholarship-wise, but he earned all of it and didn't receive a penny in grant money.

So like CrimsonNagus above I hesitate in blaming the university - there are lots of alternatives to Alabama in the state that cost a lot less, and if you're out of state, you likely have far more options at a lower rate.

I get it, it's kinda 'taking advantage of' these young adults, but they are adults, and as far as I'm aware no one held a gun to their heads.
i agree with you to some extent, but they are pushing this with advanced sales pitches to 17-19 year olds that cover up/gloss over the actual costs of attending and the benefits you receive by obtaining a degree. it's not much different than all of the credit card companies that were flooding campus when i was there giving cards to anyone with a pulse.

the universities are making money more on selling the experience than on delivering something of value and it seems like that is creating perverse incentives for the universities.

that being said, we are saving via 529 and thankfully, the state of georgia has several good 4 year universities that are not emory, ga tech, or uga, so hopefully we can push our daughter towards that assuming that she wants/is able to pursue higher education.
 

4Q Basket Case

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You want new labs, high quality faculty, and all sorts of libraries, computer labs, great academic facilities of all kinds, you have to pay for it somehow. Or we could always go back to the days BW (Before Witt) when, except for a few departments, we were academically suspect.

I think the article places the blame in the wrong place. It lies not with the University, but with the State Legislature.

Education is a high fixed cost /low marginal cost proposition. Costs a lot to get everything in place. But once you do, it doesn’t cost much to put the next student through the process. Trouble is, the State Legislature doesn’t fund anywhere near the high fixed costs.

BTW — The key to success in the HFC / LMC model is top-line revenue. Which is also why we made such a push to recruit out of state students. Costs the same to educate them, but they pay over double. And before somebody goes off saying that they take seats that could go to in-state students…..that’s not true. No qualified in-state student has a place taken by an out-of-state student.

That dynamic — rising OOS population and flat to slightly rising IS numbers is why the enrollment has risen so much in the past 15-20 years.

So, with a few dominoes in between, a derelict State Legislature forces the University to recruit a lot of OOS students. If we didn’t have that, we’d be looking up at a lot of SEC schools.
 

NationalTitles18

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To piggyback on 4Q and 92, the state legislature has pulled ever more funding away from important societal investments like mental health and education and wasted them on the drug war and tax cuts for the wealthy. The state fails in meeting its duties and no one hold them accountable. For that matter, the whole premise of student loans is defective. The current system is only sustainable for so long. We choose to invest money federally on wars and tax cuts instead of spending on improving society.
 

jthomas666

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You want new labs, high quality faculty, and all sorts of libraries, computer labs, great academic facilities of all kinds, you have to pay for it somehow. Or we could always go back to the days BW (Before Witt) when, except for a few departments, we were academically suspect.

I think the article places the blame in the wrong place. It lies not with the University, but with the State Legislature.

Education is a high fixed cost /low marginal cost proposition. Costs a lot to get everything in place. But once you do, it doesn’t cost much to put the next student through the process. Trouble is, the State Legislature doesn’t fund anywhere near the high fixed costs.

BTW — The key to success in the HFC / LMC model is top-line revenue. Which is also why we made such a push to recruit out of state students. Costs the same to educate them, but they pay over double. And before somebody goes off saying that they take seats that could go to in-state students…..that’s not true. No qualified in-state student has a place taken by an out-of-state student.

That dynamic — rising OOS population and flat to slightly rising IS numbers is why the enrollment has risen so much in the past 15-20 years.

So, with a few dominoes in between, a derelict State Legislature forces the University to recruit a lot of OOS students. If we didn’t have that, we’d be looking up at a lot of SEC schools.
I don't disagree that the state has a lot of culpability, but the universities are equally culpable. Whether it's admitting more and more grad students to teach undergraduate classes, regardless of whether there will be any demand for the advanced degrees--resulting in a large number of PhDs with little option than to teach adjunct classes at criminally low wages, or focusing on improving appearance rather than substance.

Basically, government:taxes::university:tuition
 

uafanataum

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To piggyback on 4Q and 92, the state legislature has pulled ever more funding away from important societal investments like mental health and education and wasted them on the drug war and tax cuts for the wealthy. The state fails in meeting its duties and no one hold them accountable. For that matter, the whole premise of student loans is defective. The current system is only sustainable for so long. We choose to invest money federally on wars and tax cuts instead of spending on improving society.
Odly enough Alabama is not even in the top 10.
 
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B1GTide

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Solution - make the schools offer the loans themselves, and allow student loan debt to be forgiven with bankruptcy. Schools do what they do for the same reasons that banks will write a mortgage to a dead person if given the chance - they have no skin in the game - nothing to lose. They get paid 100% of the time.