The University of Alabama and changing times

jashleyren2

Scout Team
Aug 27, 2018
310
51
38
Hey all. Not sure where this post would belong, but this seems like the right place.

My wife and I graduated from THE University of Alabama in the very late 90's. I loved my time there, as did she. It's where we met, and still have fond memories of parties at the Centre Court apartments there behind the strip, where she lived for 2 years. On to my point...

The place is a lot different now. 20 years has seen a lot of improvements to the whole campus, and that part of Tuscaloosa extending to downtown. Good stuff. But some of it, I leave wondering how a "broke" college student is supposed to enjoy. Which bring me to a thought: knowing that more than half the incoming freshman class every year is from out of state, and tuition rates are what they are, what is the long game for business in Tuscaloosa, and the University of Alabama's attendance? By "long game", no doubt that much of the growth since 2010 or so has come due in large part to the success of the football team. Hallelujah for that, after sitting through the DuBose years. But the growth, especially following the terrible 2011 tornadoes, seems to focus on people spending more money than I ever had while a student there. Going out to eat was a 1x per week affair. And, at best, it was gonna be Chili's or Applebee's, or something crappy like that. None of this boutique restaurant business. Likewise, shopping has grown in Tuscaloosa en masse. Specialty stores, high end retailers that focus on profit margin rather than volume are everywhere.

The place seems so different. Today's student is walking around with a phone connecting their eyes to their hands, with a considerable contract cost to each of them. This life isn't free, for sure. My recent trip to Santa Barbara, CA confirmed any doubts I had that things cost more now. But Santa Barbara is a resort city, a vacation place, with rich people living in it, that just so happens to also have a college in it. Tuscaloosa IS the University of Alabama, for the most part. Sure, there's other folks besides students, but the ratio of full time residents to students has actually gotten larger since I was there (attendance in 1996 was about 20k undergrad, compared to under 100k residents). Undergrad attendance is close to double that now. How are these people affording this place, anymore? Rents are MUCH higher, with more "luxury" living? Was this the ultimate goal of President Witt, when he launched large initiatives to grow the school?

Lastly, and thanks for staying along so far, I ask this question as an alum, who now has one of college age, and wishes she would choose U of A. She is not choosing U of A, for many of the reasons I listed above.
 

TIDE-HSV

Senior Administrator
Staff member
Oct 13, 1999
68,316
5,040
323
Huntsville, AL,USA
I worry about many of the same factors you've enumerated. I know I couldn't begin to work my way through the way I did in 1957...
 

crimsonaudio

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 9, 2002
45,769
4,711
348
crimsonaudio.net
It’s called govt backed student loans. And these kids are piling them up like crazy. Always go back to Sugar Daddy when it runs out and get some more.
QFT.

Lots of out of state students are getting big scholarship money, but they're still piling up student loans at incredible rates.
 

Bazza

TideFans Legend
Oct 1, 2011
25,344
2,470
173
New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Not much - no different than a majority of American who live beyond their means via credit...
Seems like a noteworthy topic for discussion - in the category of being a "responsible self-reliant human."

I grew up with parents and teachers who taught us this basic tenant. Emphasis on parents, for which I will eternally be grateful for.

Have things changed since I grew up in how our young people are versed in responsibility, such as this?
 

4Q Basket Case

FB|BB Moderator
Nov 8, 2004
5,407
1,012
228
Tuscaloosa
Seems like a noteworthy topic for discussion - in the category of being a "responsible self-reliant human."

I grew up with parents and teachers who taught us this basic tenant. Emphasis on parents, for which I will eternally be grateful for.

Have things changed since I grew up in how our young people are versed in responsibility, such as this?
From what I see, hear, and read, yes.
 

81usaf92

Hall of Fame
Apr 26, 2008
14,172
2,446
178
Sylacauga,AL
Tuscaloosa IS the University of Alabama, for the most part. .
Not really. Tuscaloosa is everything you hate about the bad parts of Birmingham. The University might as well be its own city because too many people only associate Tuscaloosa with the university. If people just read or watch the Alabama news organizations then they would see daily reports of crime and violence in this "sleepy little town". Sure 1/3 of the population is students, but the median income for the rest of those folks is 27k a year.

Basically Tuscaloosa is a city that is trying to get out of crime and poverty, and a greedy university that is trying to suck every last dollar out of anyone that steps on their grass. I got my degree there recently, and the less time im in that city the better. Really, if I wasn't getting paid to help out during the home games, to see a friend that still lives there once in a while, or catch a must see in person football or softball game then I couldn't care less if I ever go to Tuscaloosa ever again.
 

jashleyren2

Scout Team
Aug 27, 2018
310
51
38
I really appreciate all of you who chimed in. I was shocked to see that elected politicians children can indeed have student loans (Federal) discharged in bankruptcy, while the rest of us can't. This seems like the kind of thing that isn't known by the major news outlets. If it were, I wonder if anything would change? On the one hand, while it doesn't seem fair, I know that the discharge rules would simply be changed to not allow it anymore. I don't think that solves the bigger problem, of young people leaving places like The U of Alabama with 100k in debt to begin their careers. Not only does this just not seem "right", it also seems unsustainable. I believe it sets up future job market recessions to be even more disastrous than the 2007-2009 recession.

Couple that with soaring rent and home prices, not just for students in Tuscaloosa, but really, anywhere you might want to live or have to live, and I worry about a future economic event really derailing the American way of life for most, not just many. That's big picture stuff, I suppose. But, when your largest monthly expense just gets larger all the time, and income doesn't follow closely, where do we end up?

I remind my daughter all the time that college will not be a time for shopping sprees and spending indiscriminately. It's a time for learning, preparing, and intense attention to finances. When she was born, I was already in a professional field, and doing pretty well. But two recessions in my first 9 years out of college sort of "held me up" on saving for her, if you will. Things are better today, but the kind of economic crunch our family will deal with to help her through school was nothing I had prepared for.
 

GrayTide

Hall of Fame
Nov 15, 2005
16,578
590
123
Greenbow, Alabama
Not really. Tuscaloosa is everything you hate about the bad parts of Birmingham. The University might as well be its own city because too many people only associate Tuscaloosa with the university. If people just read or watch the Alabama news organizations then they would see daily reports of crime and violence in this "sleepy little town". Sure 1/3 of the population is students, but the median income for the rest of those folks is 27k a year.

Basically Tuscaloosa is a city that is trying to get out of crime and poverty, and a greedy university that is trying to suck every last dollar out of anyone that steps on their grass. I got my degree there recently, and the less time im in that city the better. Really, if I wasn't getting paid to help out during the home games, to see a friend that still lives there once in a while, or catch a must see in person football or softball game then I couldn't care less if I ever go to Tuscaloosa ever again.
Pretty much how I feel also. I romanticize often about the great times, places, and people I shared those days with as an undergraduate in Tuscaloosa. It was one of the most enjoyable times of my life, but it was a different time and place and most of those people I have never seen since graduation. The University of Alabama in my heart and memory no longer exists, that, to me, is sad, but it is life. We have friends in Tuscaloosa that we visit each fall when we attend the once a year game. I always look forward to that trip, but know I will be disappointed with what the University has become and, the total commercialization of the "game day experience". On our Sunday drive home after the game, I always ask my wife, "why in the hell do we do this every year knowing how we will feel for weeks after the trip". Maybe some day I will finally accept the fact that "you can never go home again".
 
Last edited:

seebell

Hall of Fame
Mar 12, 2012
9,527
437
98
Gurley, Al
Can some one please post a link showing that children of congress can discharge student loans by bankruptcy. I am skeptical.
 

rolltide_21

Hall of Fame
Dec 9, 2007
7,172
376
98
NW AL
Can some one please post a link showing that children of congress can discharge student loans by bankruptcy. I am skeptical.
It is more misinformation from FB-

https://www.factcheck.org/2011/01/congress-not-exempt-from-student-loans/

Anyone can discharge student loans after being in repayment for 7 years. You have to prove it causes “undo hardship.” Yeah, good luck with that. In other words, you don’t stand a snowball’s chance getting them discharged.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/zackfriedman/2018/06/18/bankruptcy-student-loans/


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

92tide

TideFans Legend
May 9, 2000
40,196
4,806
173
50
East Point, Ga, USA
It is more misinformation from FB
like so many of these things, it started as a lie on fox news and spread from there.

The confusion appears to stem from remarks Fox News political contributor Dick Morris made Aug. 23, 2010, (a Monday) on "The Sean Hannity Show." Morris misrepresented the student loan repayment program, and then his comment was further distorted by the viral e-mail and those who passed it along as fact.....

Morris: Do you know — my wife Eileen just told me yesterday that staff in the House of Representatives and in the Senate do not pay student loans back? The government pays it for them?

Hannity: I didn’t know that.

Morris: The House of Representatives last year spent $25 million paying the salary, student loans of their staffers.
 

BamaNation

Publisher and Benevolent Dictator
Staff member
Apr 9, 1999
12,846
1,545
323
This post has crossed over to the political so moving to the appropriate place.
 

Jon

Hall of Fame
Feb 22, 2002
11,893
1,722
173
Atlanta 'Burbs
Hey all. Not sure where this post would belong, but this seems like the right place.

My wife and I graduated from THE University of Alabama in the very late 90's. I loved my time there, as did she. It's where we met, and still have fond memories of parties at the Centre Court apartments there behind the strip, where she lived for 2 years. On to my point...

The place is a lot different now. 20 years has seen a lot of improvements to the whole campus, and that part of Tuscaloosa extending to downtown. Good stuff. But some of it, I leave wondering how a "broke" college student is supposed to enjoy. Which bring me to a thought: knowing that more than half the incoming freshman class every year is from out of state, and tuition rates are what they are, what is the long game for business in Tuscaloosa, and the University of Alabama's attendance? By "long game", no doubt that much of the growth since 2010 or so has come due in large part to the success of the football team. Hallelujah for that, after sitting through the DuBose years. But the growth, especially following the terrible 2011 tornadoes, seems to focus on people spending more money than I ever had while a student there. Going out to eat was a 1x per week affair. And, at best, it was gonna be Chili's or Applebee's, or something crappy like that. None of this boutique restaurant business. Likewise, shopping has grown in Tuscaloosa en masse. Specialty stores, high end retailers that focus on profit margin rather than volume are everywhere.

The place seems so different. Today's student is walking around with a phone connecting their eyes to their hands, with a considerable contract cost to each of them. This life isn't free, for sure. My recent trip to Santa Barbara, CA confirmed any doubts I had that things cost more now. But Santa Barbara is a resort city, a vacation place, with rich people living in it, that just so happens to also have a college in it. Tuscaloosa IS the University of Alabama, for the most part. Sure, there's other folks besides students, but the ratio of full time residents to students has actually gotten larger since I was there (attendance in 1996 was about 20k undergrad, compared to under 100k residents). Undergrad attendance is close to double that now. How are these people affording this place, anymore? Rents are MUCH higher, with more "luxury" living? Was this the ultimate goal of President Witt, when he launched large initiatives to grow the school?

Lastly, and thanks for staying along so far, I ask this question as an alum, who now has one of college age, and wishes she would choose U of A. She is not choosing U of A, for many of the reasons I listed above.

couldn't even get my daughter to consider Bama

I didn't try all that hard for the record. I am done with sending them money and have been for some time.
 

Latest threads

TideFansStore.com