The Cost of Higher Education

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from BostonDotCom. Show BostonDotCom's posts

    The Cost of Higher Education

    Writer Michelle Singletary wonders if taking on large debts to pay for college is worth it. Are you having trouble paying off your college loans? Is the investment in higher education worth the hefty price tag?
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from heynow98. Show heynow98's posts

    The Cost of Higher Education

    awe......poor graduates can't go out 7 nights a week now that student loan bills started rolling in.

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from laryan. Show laryan's posts

    The Cost of Higher Education

    getting a degree today is a double edge sword:today's kids are paying more for one year of college today than I did for 4 years of college in the late 70's/early 80's,� with "free aid" next to�impossible to get.yet, you need the degree to get a job.� even simple reception jobs require a minimum of a bachelors degree.� �sad part is, I'm hearing from friends w/kids�applying to colleges is that state�colleges have substantial waiting lists as everyone is applying to state schools.�its turning into a "no win" situation!�

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from alsingle. Show alsingle's posts

    The Cost of Higher Education

    In general, I disagree with Ms. Singletary. I think that borrowing money to get a college degree or to pursue a graduate degree is worth it, as long as you don't borrow too much for undergrad, and provided that you anticipate earning enough after graduation so that you'll be able to pay off your debt. For example, it probably does not make sense to borrow $100,000 for undergrad if you plan to take a job that pays under $40,000 per year. Particularly given the high cost of living in Massachusetts, you'd never be able to afford a mortgage and your student loans.I borrowed a total of $15,000 to attend a public university where I was eligible for in-state tuition. Following graduation from my affordable public university, I was accepted�at a private graduate program in Boston that cost approximately $42,000 annually including living expenses. I was able to attend�through a combination of scholarship money, federal subsidized and unsubsidized student loans and private loans (little to no help from the parents, by the way).� Altogether, I borrowed close to $92,000. While this is a formidable amount of debt to take on, I knew that I would be able to afford the payments because I anticipated earning a good income upon graduation. Of course I sometimes wish that I didn't have to make monthly student loan payments of $548.00, but without my graduate degree, I would not be able to find a job that paid�even half of my current salary.I do agree that the price of college tuition is really spiraling drastically out of reach for so many people, and it's a shame because�it just doesn't make sense not to get a degree in our current society, even if you need to borrow a little to do it. However, I think that parents who sacrifice saving for retirement so that they can send their kids to private four year colleges are short-sighted. Kids who are motivated and driven, will be fine even if they don't get an ivy league undergraduate education paid for by their parents.

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from dvayda. Show dvayda's posts

    The Cost of Higher Education

    Judge Smails: Well, the world needs ditch diggers, too.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from fendawg. Show fendawg's posts

    The Cost of Higher Education

    It is a predatory industry plain and simple. Loan sharks are more up front about the risks involved. Compared to some countries in Scandinavia where a college education is FREE, and in some cases they pay the student to go to school, the US education system is a disgrace. Right up there with our health care system.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from microplasma. Show microplasma's posts

    The Cost of Higher Education

    My husband and I are both teachers. After finishing our required master's degrees we owe 70k. Our salaries combined don't top that. We hope to have these paid off by the time we retire.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from abostonguy2001. Show abostonguy2001's posts

    The Cost of Higher Education

    It's definitely a bad investments for some schools, and definitely for some majors.� I got an engineering degree from a� top school for graduate and undergraduate.� My payments are a lot, but they're bearable for me.� But if you're paying the price of a top school to get a teaching degree, an english degree, or something along those lines, you could be in trouble very easily.�

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from kledoux. Show kledoux's posts

    The Cost of Higher Education

    I was just talking to my nieces about this today because I fear they will make frivolous decisions and be saddled with debt and a mediacore profession.A college degree is important and a masters can be too, but being smart about your major - the college, and your chosen career is just as important.� Don't go to a 20-30k per year private school to get a degree in Sports Management or� Criminal Justice - these degrees can easily be obtained at a state school for half the cost.� My husband's brother did the above and is now making 24k a year in a career that will never get him on the financial scale he needs to pay off his loans and have a life - he regrets it - 80k in loans later!

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from hertyung. Show hertyung's posts

    The Cost of Higher Education

    Fortunately, college tuition costs will come down.� While your kids are probably too old to see this benefit, those with kids who are further away from college should start to see lower tuition costs.�

    It's no secret that the credit crunch has spread to student loans.� As credit dries up (deflation) that will put downward pressure on college tuition as less students will be able to afford to attend.� The same way that the real estate bubble was fueled by lax lending standards, so to was the college tuition bubble fueled as students had access to cheap money through loans.�

    It was not long ago that a student could put themselves through college with a part time job.� But over the last 20 years or so, the US has been literally running on credit.� Anyone with a pulse could pretty much get a loan.� And when you increase credit (the money supply, which is inflation) you get rising prices.� More money flowing towards higher education meant higher tuition prices.


    What is happening to the real estate market (deflation due to decreased credit availability) will happen to college tution rates.�

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from trottier. Show trottier's posts

    The Cost of Higher Education

    �the judge know his stuff. a ditch digger, working for the big pig, probably made 100 grand a year. I know my nephew , is one, and makes very good(actualy very very good) money. simple drop out of school, and end up digging ditchs and do damm well.

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from foolish1. Show foolish1's posts

    The Cost of Higher Education

    Someone should ask why it is so expensive to attend college?� Where does the money go?� Where is the accountability?

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from wildguyboston. Show wildguyboston's posts

    The Cost of Higher Education

    Michelle is absolutely correct!� It is not worth it.� My advice to young people is to follow their dreams.� If their dreams entail doing something that requires a lot of education, at a high price, then fine.� Otherwise, young people without a specific need to enter a specfic profession would be best advised to learn a worthwhile trade, like being an electrician, plumber, mechanic or carpenter, which will always be in high deman.� And this is coming from a JD, who has found that my education simply does not provide the financial return that I expected.�

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from alsingle. Show alsingle's posts

    The Cost of Higher Education

    I think I was lucky that interest rates were at historic lows when I finished my graduate degree. I have one student loan with a variable interest rate based on LIBOR, but it's only for $10,000 so when the interest rates change, the monthly payments don't increase too dramatically. I also have one other private graduate loan that has a fixed 5% interest rate. My federal sub and unsub loans have a combined interest rate of 2.58%. So essentially, I have $63,000 of student loans consolidated at a very low interest rate. I'm not planning to pay these off early, because the interest is so low. I'm just resigned to always�making a monthly student loan payment of�$293 until I'm in my 50s.I agree that it's unfair that your parents' income impacts how much you can borrow from the federal government for�undergrad programs, but I assume it is to ensure that people who need the money most (i.e., people without parents with relatively high incomes) are able to get it.I think the point of Michelle's post is that maybe people shouldn't borrow extensively for a bachelors degree through private loans if they could choose a cheaper college option. There's no question that private loan interest rates are too high, but they are also riskier for the lender because there's no guarantee that people will repay them and the government isn't guaranteeing them.Australia has a great system for financing higher education. Basically, you borrow money from the government for school and when you graduate and take a job or start your career, you begin repaying based on a percentage of your income. The value of this system is that everyone can go to college, and when they start working and earning money they pay it back commensurate with what they can afford. If they fall on hard times, they pay less or get some exemption from making payments. It encourages people to get a degree which is a societal good, and doesn't discourage people from taking lower paying jobs.

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from alsingle. Show alsingle's posts

    The Cost of Higher Education

    In-state tuition at the public university I attended for undergraduate was under $10,000 per year and the cost of living in the midwest is very affordable. I had a partial academic scholarship for each semester and also won an essay contest to get some additional money. I borrowed $15,000 for all four years of school.For graduate school, I received an academic scholarship to attend. Without that, I would not have gone. I applied to other schools that would have given me free tuition, but I wanted to go to the best school I could get into for my graduate program. The price I paid for that was borrowing $22,000 for three years in a row.The low loan payments have more to do with low interest rates�at the time�I consolidated my student loans. For people who graduated from school during periods of high interest rates, the payments would be a lot higher.

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from kmira1. Show kmira1's posts

    The Cost of Higher Education

    I agree with Ween.� I figured out pretty quickly that I wasn't going to make enough to live with a Sociology degree.� I was told by so many Baby Boomers at job fairs that I would need a business degree to get into business.� Temp agencies wouldn't even look at me.� Well, I'm now an AVP for a large financial institution, working right along side with MBA grads up to their necks in debt.� I'll be getting my series 7 and grad school can wait so I can raise my one child properly.I also agree that kids shouldn't be pushed or expected to jump into a 4-yr school on a complete meal ticket from Mom & Dad.� Our generation basically did just that and look where we are now with all our mismanaged debt?

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from mimaloney01757. Show mimaloney01757's posts

    The Cost of Higher Education

    Here's an idea - reduce the salaries of our college�president's and use the overflow money�to subsidize / pay for our children's education.� Children are our future and education, along with medical benefits, should be free.� I hope that the mortgage and credit crisis, along with the oil crisis, shakes up our world and rids us of the overly greedy and selfish folks, aka CEO, CFO, Presidents, and maybe we can elect some honest (yea right!) politicians and get things straight!America needs change and we need it now!

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from tenzenz. Show tenzenz's posts

    The Cost of Higher Education

    I have a college age student who completed his freshman year & then I was in an accident & have been on disability for more than a year. My credit has suffered greatly in the meantime. On top of that, MEFA fouled up the loan we took out for his freshman year & we were expected to begin repaying the loan shortly after his first semester. Another ding on my credit where he was not 18 at the time of the loan so we have no chance at getting any school loans to continue his college�education at this time. He is working & trying to save money in order to pay for courses in a local community college, or looking for a different�job where he can get some�education benefits from it. Furthermore I have a HS Senior who plans to go onto higher education as well. Fortunately she works part time for the same company I was employed at prior to my disability & is saving much of her income in order to pay for school in the fall as well as some Federal Grants & Scholarships. Again, she will attend a local community college in order to be able to afford to pay-as-you-go. I have told my children, no more school loans. These same companies that offer them are the ones that have taken advantage of the middle class taxpayer in the current mortgage debacle. I have no faith in these financial institutions & especially in their principles and do not want to put any more money into their pockets. Lord knows the federal government will do enough of that now & in the foreseeable future in order to bail them out with middle class tax payer money. Can you spell E_N_R_O_N or does anyone remember the Savings & Loan Scandal?

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from dvayda. Show dvayda's posts

    The Cost of Higher Education

    Er....

    A) Lets say that you cut jack Wilson's pay in half and he only collected, say $100,000 of his salary...how many kids would that pay for (not many) and...

    B) Who would be the University President after he left, because he wouldn't stay in the job if you didn't pay him accordingly (and he's underpaid as it is, considering the size of his responsibilities)?

    How can ANYTHING be free? If your getting medical coverage, somebody has to pay for it, same with education.

    Are you suggesting that we enslave people and force them to work for free?

    Soooo many problems with your response.

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from dignan2. Show dignan2's posts

    The Cost of Higher Education

    I'm not a BC grad, but I find your comments about BC a bit extreme.� Look, I find the average BC grad as annoying as the next person, but do you honestly think that the average BC grad is not of higher academic caliber than the average UMass graduate?� Look at the % that go onto grad school.� That's not about connections.�

     
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  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from dignan2. Show dignan2's posts

    The Cost of Higher Education

    del.OK, so if the average BC grad had a higher GPA in high school and better SAT scores, does that not mean that it's likely that they are, on average,�stronger academically at entrance to college than the average State U grad?� I'm not saying everyone, simply on average.� I�hate the�argument (not�your argument, but another poster) �that there's no reason to pay more for private school because you know someone who went to UMass and is doing just fine.� Of course, there are many UMass graduates that are�very successful.� The point is, prestigious private school graduates have a better chance, ON AVERAGE,�of success in most disciplines.

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from velvis. Show velvis's posts

    The Cost of Higher Education

    I grew up in Dartmouth, MA and went to UMass-Dartmouth.� At the time, I was jealous of all my friends who went to UMass-Amherst, Univ of Vermont, basically everyone who got to live in dorms and party every night, while I was stuck living with Ma+Dad.I had to pay for my own college education. i was lucky enough to win a fellowship at a prestigious top-ten Engineering University for graduate school.� I had to work as a research assistant and graduate assistant during grad school, but the yearly income was great ($18K plus free tuition).After graduating, I was 24 years old, with ZERO DOLLARS�in student loans, and with a BS and a MS in Engineering.� From all my part-time jobs I worked from 8th grade through college, I was able to purchase a brand new car.My wife had student loans from grad school. She was lucky as her parents paid for her undergraduate tuition.� She was able to pay off her loans in 18 months because she lived at home for a year! (yeah it sucks but it's great when your parents charge you zero dollars per month rent).I am now 34 years old.� My wife and I have 40% equity in our house.� That car I bought after grad school just died, just bought a used 2005 car. I�could have�paid cash for this car as well, but decided to get a loan.� I'll probably pay of the 5-year car�loan in about�a year.� Living frugally has paid off!My advice to high school juniors and seniors:(1) don't treat colleges like a brand name.� If Rutgers,�UMass, or UConn�offers you a full tuition scholarship, but you also get accepted to MIT, but MIT offers you no grants or zero percent loans, then swallow your pride and go to the state university.� Sure, telling people you went to MIT is much more presitgious than Rutgers or UMass, but you can still get a quality education at state universities.� It's like shopping for a new car; you go to the dealership that gives you the best deal!� Don't�be loyal to one dealership�(or one university). Go to the University that gives you the best deal.(2) If at all possible, live with your parents after you graduate.� Even if it is only for 6 months or a year.� Yeah it sucks but imagine paying what you do for rent towards your loans.(3) Don't buy a new car! Get�a used car, something cheap, reliable, and easy on gas�(Mazda3, Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic).� If you live and work in the city (Brookline, Boston, Quincy, Cambridge), ask yourself if you really need a car.� (4) Pay extra on your car loan and student loan if you can, so that you can get out of debt quicker.Things are tough, but after living frugally for 5 years, 10 years, etc... you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor.� Good luck and godspeed.�

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from christalmage. Show christalmage's posts

    The Cost of Higher Education

    Studies have shown that kids that get accepted at higher end colleges as well as stateU do as well as their private school counterparts upon graduation.� (the computer adage: garbage in-garbage out)��

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from christalmage. Show christalmage's posts

    The Cost of Higher Education

    Will look for the sources and post after supper.
     
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