T Nation

Student Debt


Friend linked me this, im not american, but does this really occur?



Ohh Jeez. Look most debt can be avoided if you do not go to a top tier school. Most People can just go to a Community College and transfer to a 4 year. Hell and if there on good terms with their parents they can go to a commuter school and save even more money( this is ofc if they live near a 4 year school which I think alot of people do).

Also not nearly as many kids apply for Scholarships as they should.

But hell everybody wants the College Experience(whatever that means) so they go to a school far away and acquire massive debt.

Im just generalizing but this is the vibe I get from alot of my friends who went to other schools not near home our of high school they all say "I want to get the Hell out of here." and do it but acquire alot of debt in doing so.

Or maybe im just mad cause I am going to a commuter school and leave with my parents??!?!?! THe plot thickens


Meh, taking out loans isn't the problem. It's students majoring in something where the market is entirely flooded, or a major with zero job opportunities to begin with. I fully plan on being 200k in debt once I'm done with school, it's how it is, I accept it. And if I live in 3-4 years of residency making 50-60k, then I should really be able to live off that same 50-60k for a year or two while I'm making 150-300k and pay off my debts.


American tuition prices are absolutely ridiculous. The most expensive tuition here is like 6 grand a year. I couldn't imagine being 200k in debt, without a top notch job how do you pay that back before it buries you. Ridiculous. The main part I was referring to was the whole making money of off defaulting of peoples loans and shit...thats evil.


The whole student loans thing is a scam- though I believe most students should try and do without loans, some may need them. The fact that there is government backing is, I believe, immoral (someone else's money) and so I oppose it and do not personally take out student loans.


i made the army pay for my school. woot.


^ Winning


Many students in the US take out the loans and use the refund checks to buy beer and pot. This happened a lot at Rutgers.


Silver lining of the story: Collections is a great career opportunity?


It costs about 50 thousand dollars a year to attend a private university in the USA. That's not counting books, transportation, supplies and other miscellaneous expenses. Your bachelor's degree cost you 200 thousand dollars, if you can get it in four years.


Um... Optheta has no clue what he's talking about - he basically says so in his own post, lol.

Yeah, it's fucking ridiculous. I happen to be in the last year of a 5-year escapade. One school switch (2 years in) and 3 major changes forced that.

There's no good way to avoid bad debt when being in college other than having rich parents who will pay your way or getting in, and getting the fuck out in under 2 years (unlikely, the US student average time in college is now just under 6 years.)

What's funny is that I've had a lot of professors talk about how big of bullshit colleges have actually become. Students are expected to be held to the same standards as the 60s and 70s when in all actuality, the schooling system is much different these days and about 10x more expensive. Fuck, a Bachelor's degree is about the equivalent of a high school diploma now. So you're telling me I'd have to go back for at least 2 more years and pay $70/credit hour, a parking pass for a campus I can't park on, and $200 books that I will never use, never read, and only get $4 back for?

Yeah, fuck that. America is the biggest joke in the world when it comes to schooling.


...and this is the kind of financial hardship that one would incur if they were a person from the middle class and actually had the foresight that going to a private college might lead to a better social and economic position in the long run.

Now imagine how much more of a shitty situation you would be in if you were a marginalized individual (not just a minority individual, but think of those rural folks and formerly incarcerated too) knowing you would have to incur debts to get a college education, and yet your other options - community college, vocational school, online educations - do not receive the support needed, both financially from the gov and institutionally from the higher ed system, to make you a viable contender in the US's glorious free market.

The higher ed system in the US is an absolute disgrace.


Work hard in high school and get some scholarships :slight_smile:

edit- it is a shit ass system though


Even though I work for a college, I agree with this 100%.


Good post. I should also say, I'm from a middle-class family, and we never struggled with debt or money per se (although, Dad works for GM, so, ya know...) I saved up quite a bit of money before college and got some scholarships (3-4, nothing amazing, but I'll take it.)

I'm still going to be paying for years and years to come.

The model that they have now for school systems, as I've said, just isn't economically feasible for anyone who's not birthed into a upper-class family or someone who takes high school WAY TOO seriously. (Sorry, but when I was in HS the last thing I was worried about was taking AP classes and all that jazz, haha.) That's my own fault, but still.


Lol! I'm sure your proximity to the higher ed system only better illuminates its faults.

I find it sad really. Education is meant to "break the fetters of oppression" and in fact it just creates more of them.


It definitely does. I'm just staff, but I interact with students and considered taking "free" courses to get a 2nd degree. No way. I've felt their frustration 1st hand.


Good post Maschy.

The whole model here in America now is to go into massive debt to get the best degree you can to work SALARY for the best employer that you can... In other words, just shut up, keep your head down and work for "the MAN". And, "oh yeah, I'm gonnna need you to come in on.. Saturday... MmmmKaaay?... Riiight". No Overtime on Saturday, though - you're SALARY. If you're lucky you'll get a bonus. People do this because they feel LUCKY to have a job.

When I got out of prison, I got into the electrical apprenticeship (a five year program that's FREE - I even got PAID to go to school) when I was 22. By my THIRD year, I was already making more money than most of my friends who were in massive debt with college degrees.

I did that for a decade and then got into the mortgage business and used that capital to leverage ownership in several other businesses and buy a bunch of real estate that cash flows very nicely - even after property values took a hit.

The role of the small business owner here in America is being filled by people from OTHER COUNTRIES who grew up NOT drinking the cool-aid! Tell me how a person can immigrate here from Korea with 20K that their family saved up for for DECADES and start a successful small business. NOT speaking the fucking LANGUAGE half the time! And they are MILLIONAIRES in ten or fifteen years, but for regular AMERICANS with the benefit of being CITIZENS here, it simply doesn't even OCCUR to them to take HALF the money they would have spent on college and start a business with it.

It BOGGLES my poor little mind. Keep drinking the cool-aid, though - let me know how it works out as the economy worsens, unemployment rises and you need a fucking MASTERS degree to even compete for a "good job" (oh wait...)


Interesting. I went to college, and thanks to a few scholarships, graduated in 4 years without any debt. Then I went to grad school and received a Masters. I had either a grad assistantship or a tuition waiver the entire time - so I didn't pay $1 for tuition. I lived in a cheap apartment with a couple friends, made all my own food, and lived cheaply. Grad school barely cost me anything - and that includes food, books, tuition, and room and board. Maybe some of you guys are doing it wrong?

I am a proponent of going to a community college first - great way to save money (I didn't do it, but I can certainly see the benefit).

You can get textbooks for dirt cheap these days - just rent them instead of buying them. Almost all campuses offer this option. If they don't, then rent online.

EDIT: I've also worked in higher ed - and the poor financial choices made by college students continually blew my mind.


I don't pay to go to med school, I get paid 434 dollars a month for it.