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(USA Today)   Americans now borrowing less for college. Apparently they are going back to the old way of paying for higher education ... selling their stuff on eBay   (usatoday.com) divider line 37
    More: Interesting, Americans, Sallie Mae, junior colleges, family income, reversal  
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487 clicks; posted to Business » on 02 Aug 2014 at 12:09 PM (6 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-08-02 11:20:22 AM
Well, student loans these days are a complete ripoff. The loan company applies the payments to the interest first, so they can slow down the reduction of the principal and keep the interest payments high. The interest rates themselves are highway robbery. Death is no guarantee of loan forgiveness if you have a co-signer (and most recent high school grads do). Is it any wonder that people are finding different ways to pay for school?
 
2014-08-02 11:40:27 AM
I 100% regret using loans to pay for school. I had no idea I would be a slave to them for half of my life, of course the economy was much better when I made that decision, but hindsight is always 20/20. Then again, my other option was to not go to school, but that seemed like a bad idea.
 
2014-08-02 12:14:51 PM

Saborlas: Well, student loans these days are a complete ripoff. The loan company applies the payments to the interest first, so they can slow down the reduction of the principal and keep the interest payments high. The interest rates themselves are highway robbery. Death is no guarantee of loan forgiveness if you have a co-signer (and most recent high school grads do). Is it any wonder that people are finding different ways to pay for school?


That is a whole lot of ignorance packed into a small post.

Good job on efficiency.
 
2014-08-02 12:18:45 PM
My loans aren't much of a burden, but that's because I ended with a major (mechanical engineering) that greatly increased my chances of earning a decent income. And I have. My junior year, though, I had a sobering thought- I was tens of thousands of dollars in debt already, and if I didn't take out more loans, I couldn't pay back the ones I already had.

One solution to this is to put colleges partly on the hook for student loan defaults. They'd be less apt to let some kid borrow $100,000 to obtain a master's degree in 'victim group x studies' if they knew there was a good chance they'd have to cough up half that loan money in a few years.

As it stands right now colleges- ALL of them- will let young adults saturate themselves with debt, and pursue any degree they want- including degrees that are statistically unlikely to yield a return on investment. They also have no incentive to control costs if the funds are just a signature away, and the student or federal government is on the hook thereafter.

In theory, colleges aren't supposed to be for vocational training. In reality, if you're borrowing vast sums of money to attend them, they damn well better be.
 
2014-08-02 12:21:31 PM

BMFPitt: Saborlas: Well, student loans these days are a complete ripoff. The loan company applies the payments to the interest first, so they can slow down the reduction of the principal and keep the interest payments high. The interest rates themselves are highway robbery. Death is no guarantee of loan forgiveness if you have a co-signer (and most recent high school grads do). Is it any wonder that people are finding different ways to pay for school?

That is a whole lot of ignorance packed into a small post.

Good job on efficiency.


Saborlas needs to take a remedial class on financial math. I had to sit down with a coworker of mine- reasonably intelligent, I must say- and explain to them why the interest isn't 'front-loaded', it's just the nature of borrowing money at a certain percent for a certain term. I don't have the patience to repeat the lesson for Sarbolas.
 
2014-08-02 12:25:15 PM
wp.streetwise.co
 
2014-08-02 12:38:58 PM
Hey, whatever works! I plan on selling all my extra body parts for some spending cash.

If anyone is looking for a coccyx in good condition, hit me up.
 
2014-08-02 12:46:28 PM

dfenstrate: My loans aren't much of a burden, but that's because I ended with a major (mechanical engineering) that greatly increased my chances of earning a decent income. And I have. My junior year, though, I had a sobering thought- I was tens of thousands of dollars in debt already, and if I didn't take out more loans, I couldn't pay back the ones I already had.

One solution to this is to put colleges partly on the hook for student loan defaults. They'd be less apt to let some kid borrow $100,000 to obtain a master's degree in 'victim group x studies' if they knew there was a good chance they'd have to cough up half that loan money in a few years.

As it stands right now colleges- ALL of them- will let young adults saturate themselves with debt, and pursue any degree they want- including degrees that are statistically unlikely to yield a return on investment. They also have no incentive to control costs if the funds are just a signature away, and the student or federal government is on the hook thereafter.

In theory, colleges aren't supposed to be for vocational training. In reality, if you're borrowing vast sums of money to attend them, they damn well better be.


So the problem is that the government hands out absurd amounts of money to teenagers for worthless degrees (or, often a year or two of partying before dropping out) and the solution is to have colleges raise tuition to cover loan losses (which the government will gladly hand out loans to cover)?
 
2014-08-02 12:49:53 PM

Saborlas: Well, student loans these days are a complete ripoff. The loan company applies the payments to the interest first, so they can slow down the reduction of the principal and keep the interest payments high. The interest rates themselves are highway robbery. Death is no guarantee of loan forgiveness if you have a co-signer (and most recent high school grads do). Is it any wonder that people are finding different ways to pay for school?


This is how all loans work -- auto, home, etc.

If you want to complain about something unique and kinda hidden to student loans, it's that the interest accrued while in school capitalizes at the end of the deferment period.

It's a stealth way of hiding the true cost of the loan because when you sign up for it, the total cost projection assumes you pay off the interest before it capitalizes, but few people actually do it.
 
2014-08-02 01:07:00 PM

raerae1980: I 100% regret using loans to pay for school. I had no idea I would be a slave to them for half of my life, of course the economy was much better when I made that decision, but hindsight is always 20/20. Then again, my other option was to not go to school, but that seemed like a bad idea.


It's hard to make such a big decision when you are only 17.
 
2014-08-02 01:26:32 PM
 
2014-08-02 01:28:53 PM
d3rm69wky8vagu.cloudfront.net

And Gary, you keep selling your possessions on ebay

www.eurweb.com

That I do
 
2014-08-02 01:45:02 PM

BMFPitt: So the problem is that the government hands out absurd amounts of money to teenagers for worthless degrees (or, often a year or two of partying before dropping out)


Yes

 and the solution is to have colleges raise tuition to cover loan losses (which the government will gladly hand out loans to cover)?

No. The only premise that would lead you to that conclusion is the assumption that colleges are spending money efficiently on their core function.
 
2014-08-02 02:50:14 PM

dfenstrate: BMFPitt: Saborlas: Well, student loans these days are a complete ripoff. The loan company applies the payments to the interest first, so they can slow down the reduction of the principal and keep the interest payments high. The interest rates themselves are highway robbery. Death is no guarantee of loan forgiveness if you have a co-signer (and most recent high school grads do). Is it any wonder that people are finding different ways to pay for school?

That is a whole lot of ignorance packed into a small post.

Good job on efficiency.

Saborlas needs to take a remedial class on financial math. I had to sit down with a coworker of mine- reasonably intelligent, I must say- and explain to them why the interest isn't 'front-loaded', it's just the nature of borrowing money at a certain percent for a certain term. I don't have the patience to repeat the lesson for Sarbolas.


Some lenders will apply extra payments to "pre-pay" interest not yet accrued if you don't breathe down their necks about it.
 
2014-08-02 03:16:10 PM
"Taylor Manning, 19, who will be a senior at Florida Southern College this fall, said she saved $500 by choosing a cheaper meal plan. "

500 USD per month?

A lot of things I don't understand. Why does a college have a meal plan? And since they do, how can it cost more than 500 USD per month?
 
2014-08-02 03:20:35 PM
I'll never repay my student loans.

300k in total - most of it 'Grad Plus' and something near 7%.  It's like buying a house on a credit card.  Eight years of school to be a vet, starting salary around 50k.  Financial suicide.  I'll never repay my student loans.  I'll follow the IBR scheme (income base repayment) and I'll pay a few hundred each month.  The amount I owe will grow though as my payment will be less than the interest.  I'll do this for 10 years, while working some crappy 'qualifying' job (and any job that qualifies will get people like me who will work for free in exchange for meeting the requirements).  If I make payments for 10 years, never miss one, always working at a qualified job, after 10 years, my debt will be forgiven.  Maybe.

If anything goes wrong, if the program changes, if I miss a payment, if the bank screws up, my employer fills out paperwork wrong, the deal is off and my debt won't be forgiven.  I suspect I'll owe closer to 500k when it's forgiven, or when they say 'Haha - screw you'.

If they say 'Haha - screw you', I'll never be able to pay.  If it's not forgiven, I'll be stuck making IBR payments for 30 years....at which point I'll owe EVEN MORE than 500k.  The real kick in the balls is that, they'd forgive my loan debt, but it would be taxed at the same rate as income.  IE - they'd forgive the million dollars that I owe them, and the IRS would say I need to pay them.....250k.  Naturally, I won't have 250k sitting in my pocket.  They'll take me to court and the judge will authorize my wages to be garnished.  If I have a house or any assets, they'll seize them, if they think it's worth the hassle.

As a result, I have about zero motivation to work for anything.  Best case scenario, I make payments for 10 years, work a crappy job for crappy pay, and my loans disappear.  That'd be a decent enough.  But if anything goes wrong, I'll be bankrupt.  Not for 7 years or 10 years, but forever.

It's pretty grim.

I used to own a house and save for the future and all that jazz.  But my mindset is now 100% different.  If I save money, I'll probably just lose it when the shiat hits the fan.  But if I go on a fancy vacation?  You can't repro. my vacation.  My wife and I are looking at getting divorced to limit her financial liability.
 
2014-08-02 03:37:34 PM

spawn73: "Taylor Manning, 19, who will be a senior at Florida Southern College this fall, said she saved $500 by choosing a cheaper meal plan. "

500 USD per month?

A lot of things I don't understand. Why does a college have a meal plan? And since they do, how can it cost more than 500 USD per month?


The theory behind it that so this way students wouldn't need to cook for themselves, as most college dorms in America don't have kitchens and don't allow hotplates. Some do allow fridges and microwaves.

The minimum meal plan at my Alma mater is $1,542 a semester, which comes to $385 a month. That is just for food. The cheapest dorm is $2,580 a semester, which comes to $645 a month. That's with a roommate. Freshmen and sophomores are required to live on campus. So a student, who lives in the cheapest dorm and gets the cheapest meal plan, has to pay $16,822 for two years of food and shelter. They don't even get to stay in the dorms all year round. They have to go home (or find another place to live) during the summer.
 
2014-08-02 03:59:25 PM

dustman81: spawn73: "Taylor Manning, 19, who will be a senior at Florida Southern College this fall, said she saved $500 by choosing a cheaper meal plan. "

500 USD per month?

A lot of things I don't understand. Why does a college have a meal plan? And since they do, how can it cost more than 500 USD per month?

The theory behind it that so this way students wouldn't need to cook for themselves, as most college dorms in America don't have kitchens and don't allow hotplates. Some do allow fridges and microwaves.

The minimum meal plan at my Alma mater is $1,542 a semester, which comes to $385 a month. That is just for food. The cheapest dorm is $2,580 a semester, which comes to $645 a month. That's with a roommate. Freshmen and sophomores are required to live on campus. So a student, who lives in the cheapest dorm and gets the cheapest meal plan, has to pay $16,822 for two years of food and shelter. They don't even get to stay in the dorms all year round. They have to go home (or find another place to live) during the summer.


Oh well. I guess the theory is that treating the students as shiat, makes them tough or something.

/In Denmark I paid 250USD for a single dorm room, with a shared kitchen. Studying wasn't only free, but paid for by the government to the tune of 1000USD per month.
 
2014-08-02 04:00:36 PM

Fark_Guy_Rob: I'll never repay my student loans.

300k in total - most of it 'Grad Plus' and something near 7%.  It's like buying a house on a credit card.  Eight years of school to be a vet, starting salary around 50k.  Financial suicide.  I'll never repay my student loans.  I'll follow the IBR scheme (income base repayment) and I'll pay a few hundred each month.  The amount I owe will grow though as my payment will be less than the interest.  I'll do this for 10 years, while working some crappy 'qualifying' job (and any job that qualifies will get people like me who will work for free in exchange for meeting the requirements).  If I make payments for 10 years, never miss one, always working at a qualified job, after 10 years, my debt will be forgiven.  Maybe.

If anything goes wrong, if the program changes, if I miss a payment, if the bank screws up, my employer fills out paperwork wrong, the deal is off and my debt won't be forgiven.  I suspect I'll owe closer to 500k when it's forgiven, or when they say 'Haha - screw you'.

If they say 'Haha - screw you', I'll never be able to pay.  If it's not forgiven, I'll be stuck making IBR payments for 30 years....at which point I'll owe EVEN MORE than 500k.  The real kick in the balls is that, they'd forgive my loan debt, but it would be taxed at the same rate as income.  IE - they'd forgive the million dollars that I owe them, and the IRS would say I need to pay them.....250k.  Naturally, I won't have 250k sitting in my pocket.  They'll take me to court and the judge will authorize my wages to be garnished.  If I have a house or any assets, they'll seize them, if they think it's worth the hassle.

As a result, I have about zero motivation to work for anything.  Best case scenario, I make payments for 10 years, work a crappy job for crappy pay, and my loans disappear.  That'd be a decent enough.  But if anything goes wrong, I'll be bankrupt.  Not for 7 years or 10 years, but forever.

It's pretty grim.

I used to own a house and save for the future and all that jazz.  But my mindset is now 100% different.  If I save money, I'll probably just lose it when the shiat hits the fan.  But if I go on a fancy vacation?  You can't repro. my vacation.  My wife and I are looking at getting divorced to limit her financial liability.


Damn dude...and now I feel bad complaining about the $120k I owe. But I'm walking a fine line as well with the IBR. Any little thing can throw you off. It seems...unfair.
 
2014-08-02 04:11:48 PM

dustman81: spawn73: "Taylor Manning, 19, who will be a senior at Florida Southern College this fall, said she saved $500 by choosing a cheaper meal plan. "

500 USD per month?

A lot of things I don't understand. Why does a college have a meal plan? And since they do, how can it cost more than 500 USD per month?

The theory behind it that so this way students wouldn't need to cook for themselves, as most college dorms in America don't have kitchens and don't allow hotplates. Some do allow fridges and microwaves.

The minimum meal plan at my Alma mater is $1,542 a semester, which comes to $385 a month. That is just for food. The cheapest dorm is $2,580 a semester, which comes to $645 a month. That's with a roommate. Freshmen and sophomores are required to live on campus. So a student, who lives in the cheapest dorm and gets the cheapest meal plan, has to pay $16,822 for two years of food and shelter. They don't even get to stay in the dorms all year round. They have to go home (or find another place to live) during the summer.


Is that bad?  Where I live, a little over a thousand a month for a room next to a college campus and board would be very good.

It's not a great deal if living with your parents is an option, though.
 
2014-08-02 07:21:57 PM

Fark_Guy_Rob: I'll never repay my student loans.

300k in total - most of it 'Grad Plus' and something near 7%.  It's like buying a house on a credit card.  Eight years of school to be a vet, starting salary around 50k.  Financial suicide.  I'll never repay my student loans.  I'll follow the IBR scheme (income base repayment) and I'll pay a few hundred each month.  The amount I owe will grow though as my payment will be less than the interest.  I'll do this for 10 years, while working some crappy 'qualifying' job (and any job that qualifies will get people like me who will work for free in exchange for meeting the requirements).  If I make payments for 10 years, never miss one, always working at a qualified job, after 10 years, my debt will be forgiven.  Maybe.

If anything goes wrong, if the program changes, if I miss a payment, if the bank screws up, my employer fills out paperwork wrong, the deal is off and my debt won't be forgiven.  I suspect I'll owe closer to 500k when it's forgiven, or when they say 'Haha - screw you'.

If they say 'Haha - screw you', I'll never be able to pay.  If it's not forgiven, I'll be stuck making IBR payments for 30 years....at which point I'll owe EVEN MORE than 500k.  The real kick in the balls is that, they'd forgive my loan debt, but it would be taxed at the same rate as income.  IE - they'd forgive the million dollars that I owe them, and the IRS would say I need to pay them.....250k.  Naturally, I won't have 250k sitting in my pocket.  They'll take me to court and the judge will authorize my wages to be garnished.  If I have a house or any assets, they'll seize them, if they think it's worth the hassle.

As a result, I have about zero motivation to work for anything.  Best case scenario, I make payments for 10 years, work a crappy job for crappy pay, and my loans disappear.  That'd be a decent enough.  But if anything goes wrong, I'll be bankrupt.  Not for 7 years or 10 years, but forever.

It's pretty grim.

I used to own a house and save f ...


WTF is your degree in and where did you go to school?  Seriously.  If you racked up 300K in debt and don't have a career plan that has you making 100K a year, you have made a serious error in judgement.
 
2014-08-02 08:28:54 PM

Fark_Guy_Rob: I'll never repay my student loans.

300k in total - most of it 'Grad Plus' and something near 7%.  It's like buying a house on a credit card.  Eight years of school to be a vet, starting salary around 50k.  Financial suicide.  I'll never repay my student loans.  I'll follow the IBR scheme (income base repayment) and I'll pay a few hundred each month.  The amount I owe will grow though as my payment will be less than the interest.  I'll do this for 10 years, while working some crappy 'qualifying' job (and any job that qualifies will get people like me who will work for free in exchange for meeting the requirements).  If I make payments for 10 years, never miss one, always working at a qualified job, after 10 years, my debt will be forgiven.  Maybe.

If anything goes wrong, if the program changes, if I miss a payment, if the bank screws up, my employer fills out paperwork wrong, the deal is off and my debt won't be forgiven.  I suspect I'll owe closer to 500k when it's forgiven, or when they say 'Haha - screw you'.

If they say 'Haha - screw you', I'll never be able to pay.  If it's not forgiven, I'll be stuck making IBR payments for 30 years....at which point I'll owe EVEN MORE than 500k.  The real kick in the balls is that, they'd forgive my loan debt, but it would be taxed at the same rate as income.  IE - they'd forgive the million dollars that I owe them, and the IRS would say I need to pay them.....250k.  Naturally, I won't have 250k sitting in my pocket.  They'll take me to court and the judge will authorize my wages to be garnished.  If I have a house or any assets, they'll seize them, if they think it's worth the hassle.

As a result, I have about zero motivation to work for anything.  Best case scenario, I make payments for 10 years, work a crappy job for crappy pay, and my loans disappear.  That'd be a decent enough.  But if anything goes wrong, I'll be bankrupt.  Not for 7 years or 10 years, but forever.

It's pretty grim.

I used to own a house and save f ...


Do what your grandparents did. Save money in liquid cash. Keep it in  safe somewhere.  fark them. If the creditors come, you will still have a cushion.  And they can never touch a 401k in these kind of deals. Maximize your investment in that first.
 
2014-08-02 08:46:00 PM

thornhill: Saborlas: Well, student loans these days are a complete ripoff. The loan company applies the payments to the interest first, so they can slow down the reduction of the principal and keep the interest payments high. The interest rates themselves are highway robbery. Death is no guarantee of loan forgiveness if you have a co-signer (and most recent high school grads do). Is it any wonder that people are finding different ways to pay for school?

This is how all loans work -- auto, home, etc.

If you want to complain about something unique and kinda hidden to student loans, it's that the interest accrued while in school capitalizes at the end of the deferment period.

It's a stealth way of hiding the true cost of the loan because when you sign up for it, the total cost projection assumes you pay off the interest before it capitalizes, but few people actually do it.


That's if your loans are unsubsidized. If you have subsidized loans and are in a deferment the subsidized interest will be paid by the government (except for the 6 the month grace period after you drop below half time in classes). A forbearance is a whole nother matter

/worked for one of the four major student loan servicers until March (hint not Sallie Mae, Great Lakes or Pheaa)
 
2014-08-02 08:49:38 PM

Fark_Guy_Rob: I'll never repay my student loans.

300k in total - most of it 'Grad Plus' and something near 7%.  It's like buying a house on a credit card.  Eight years of school to be a vet, starting salary around 50k.  Financial suicide.  I'll never repay my student loans.  I'll follow the IBR scheme (income base repayment) and I'll pay a few hundred each month.  The amount I owe will grow though as my payment will be less than the interest.  I'll do this for 10 years, while working some crappy 'qualifying' job (and any job that qualifies will get people like me who will work for free in exchange for meeting the requirements).  If I make payments for 10 years, never miss one, always working at a qualified job, after 10 years, my debt will be forgiven.  Maybe.

If anything goes wrong, if the program changes, if I miss a payment, if the bank screws up, my employer fills out paperwork wrong, the deal is off and my debt won't be forgiven.  I suspect I'll owe closer to 500k when it's forgiven, or when they say 'Haha - screw you'.

If they say 'Haha - screw you', I'll never be able to pay.  If it's not forgiven, I'll be stuck making IBR payments for 30 years....at which point I'll owe EVEN MORE than 500k.  The real kick in the balls is that, they'd forgive my loan debt, but it would be taxed at the same rate as income.  IE - they'd forgive the million dollars that I owe them, and the IRS would say I need to pay them.....250k.  Naturally, I won't have 250k sitting in my pocket.  They'll take me to court and the judge will authorize my wages to be garnished.  If I have a house or any assets, they'll seize them, if they think it's worth the hassle.

As a result, I have about zero motivation to work for anything.  Best case scenario, I make payments for 10 years, work a crappy job for crappy pay, and my loans disappear.  That'd be a decent enough.  But if anything goes wrong, I'll be bankrupt.  Not for 7 years or 10 years, but forever.

It's pretty grim.

I used to own a house and save for the future and all that jazz.  But my mindset is now 100% different.  If I save money, I'll probably just lose it when the shiat hits the fan.  But if I go on a fancy vacation?  You can't repro. my vacation.  My wife and I are looking at getting divorced to limit her financial liability.


Your payment on the ibr will only go up significantly if your income goes up significantly. The way IBR screws you is that if you stay on the plan for 25 years and have a balance remaining (which almost everyone will) the government will forgive the remaining balance, but you will be taxed on it
 
2014-08-02 09:09:55 PM
I do love the sob stories In here about self inflicted debt. Should we feel sorry for rednecks who blow their hands off with firecrackers? You knew # of years and cost. You knew about average starting salary. You lived off bank loans for ten years and are now crying about it. What whiney self entitled children. College did shiat into making you adults.
 
2014-08-02 09:26:39 PM

Saborlas: Well, student loans these days are a complete ripoff. The loan company applies the payments to the interest first, so they can slow down the reduction of the principal and keep the interest payments high. The interest rates themselves are highway robbery. Death is no guarantee of loan forgiveness if you have a co-signer (and most recent high school grads do). Is it any wonder that people are finding different ways to pay for school?


Sounds like someone needs to study up on how loan amortization works...
 
2014-08-02 09:37:26 PM

Fark_Guy_Rob: I'll never repay my student loans.

300k in total...I suspect I'll owe closer to 500k when it's forgiven, or when they say 'Haha - screw you'.


So I'll ask the obvious question:  what were you thinking?  Did you evaluate the economics before going down this path?  I'm just trying to understand the mindsets of students who rack up so much debt.
 
2014-08-02 10:01:07 PM

dfenstrate: My loans aren't much of a burden, but that's because I ended with a major (mechanical engineering) that greatly increased my chances of earning a decent income. And I have. My junior year, though, I had a sobering thought- I was tens of thousands of dollars in debt already, and if I didn't take out more loans, I couldn't pay back the ones I already had.

One solution to this is to put colleges partly on the hook for student loan defaults. They'd be less apt to let some kid borrow $100,000 to obtain a master's degree in 'victim group x studies' if they knew there was a good chance they'd have to cough up half that loan money in a few years.

As it stands right now colleges- ALL of them- will let young adults saturate themselves with debt, and pursue any degree they want- including degrees that are statistically unlikely to yield a return on investment. They also have no incentive to control costs if the funds are just a signature away, and the student or federal government is on the hook thereafter.

In theory, colleges aren't supposed to be for vocational training. In reality, if you're borrowing vast sums of money to attend them, they damn well better be.


Or we could go back to properly funding state schools like we used to.
 
2014-08-02 11:18:55 PM
Not long after Bill Clinton declared that he would make college affordable to everyone, did the prices skyrocket.
 
2014-08-03 07:16:40 AM

arcas: Fark_Guy_Rob: I'll never repay my student loans.

300k in total...I suspect I'll owe closer to 500k when it's forgiven, or when they say 'Haha - screw you'.

So I'll ask the obvious question:  what were you thinking?  Did you evaluate the economics before going down this path?  I'm just trying to understand the mindsets of students who rack up so much debt.


Honestly, no.  But for me, this all started when I was 6.

I was a bright kid with good grades.  When I was little I said, 'I want to be a Veterinarian'.  It's a well respected job, like a 'doctor for animals!'.  A lot of people, myself included, assumed that vets made a lot of money.  And as a kid, nobody tells you to worry about money....but even as I got older, nothing suggested that this wasn't a completely safe and respected path to an upper-middle life standard of living.  I remember career day and crap at my high school, nobody ever said, 'Ya know, going to vet school is something only rich people can do.  It's probably not for you, you probably can't afford it.'  Everyone responded positively to my saying, 'I'm going to be a vet'.  The only time anyone questioned why I'd be a vet, it was just to point out that doctors made more money.  To most people, 'doctors' are rich.  I didn't care about being rich, but I also didn't think I'd be poor....

I started my undergraduate degree at a normal state school (in-state tuition) and I spent four years getting a degree in Equine Science (horse science).  I owed something like 35k in student loans when I graduated and I had a 4.0 GPA.

Vet school is very expensive though.  When I was a kid, it wasn't.  When I was in junior high, it wasn't even that bad.  But while I was busy going to school, and following my dream, nobody mentioned to me that tuition for vet schools were sky-rocketing and median salaries weren't.  I had no idea.  As a high school student, when I decided to go to college, I had no idea how much it cost.  Everyone said it was the 'smart' thing to do, and that loans would cover everything.  Same deal with vet school.

Anyway, in my particular case, despite having a 4.0, I was rejected by my in-state veterinary school.  Unlike a lot of other fields, veterinary medicine is highly regulated, so there are about 30 universities in the world I could attend to legally practice in the US.  Had I gotten into my in-state school, I would have ended up with 100k more in student loans + my existing 35k.  That's a lot, but I would have repaid it.  But once you go out of state, it mostly doubles.  Four years of out-of-state vet school tuition and you're screwed.  My *TUITION* is 46k per year.  * 4 years is 185k.  Only the interest will already be accruing on my grad plus loans.  That doesn't include the books (a single book might be $200-300) or things like room and board.

Now, a lot of people might say, 'Well, why didn't you just get another job?  Don't be a vet!' and that's a fair point.  After finishing my undergraduate degree, with my 35k of debt, and my 4.0 GPA my career options would have been limited to grunt work on a horse farm, grunt work at an animal clinic (both for ~ minimum wage) or any other job that doesn't require a college degree.  That's a bitter pill to swallow.  Maybe I should have stopped there.  I'm not sure.  The worst thing of all, is that they (the government) give you hope.  And when you are desperate, you cling to hope.

They really do have loan forgiveness programs and they have income based repayment.  If you go and talk to a financial advisor (like I did) they'll assure you that you are doing the right thing by going to school and that, look, the government even has programs to help you!  If you make 55k as a vet and owe 300k @ 7% - why you might only pay $200 per month.  That's not so bad, is it?

So my choice was really drop-out of school and take my horse degree to McDonalds or pay outrageous amounts of money to get a veterinary degree and pray that I can navigate the loan forgiveness process without a single mistake.  But, I still think I'm making the rational choice.  At least, if you start from the point where I already had a degree in horses.  If I could go back to freshman year of college and go into accounting or computer science, finish with 35k in debt, I would.  Short of having 1.21 gigawatts of electricity though, it seems like I'm in a hole and my best option is to keep digging.
 
2014-08-03 08:04:59 AM

Fark_Guy_Rob: Now, a lot of people might say, 'Well, why didn't you just get another job? Don't be a vet!' and that's a fair point. After finishing my undergraduate degree, with my 35k of debt, and my 4.0 GPA my career options would have been limited to grunt work on a horse farm, grunt work at an animal clinic (both for ~ minimum wage) or any other job that doesn't require a college degree. That's a bitter pill to swallow. Maybe I should have stopped there. I'm not sure. The worst thing of all, is that they (the government) give you hope. And when you are desperate, you cling to hope.


Fark_Guy_Rob: So my choice was really drop-out of school and take my horse degree to McDonalds or pay outrageous amounts of money to get a veterinary degree and pray that I can navigate the loan forgiveness process without a single mistake. But, I still think I'm making the rational choice. At least, if you start from the point where I already had a degree in horses. If I could go back to freshman year of college and go into accounting or computer science, finish with 35k in debt, I would. Short of having 1.21 gigawatts of electricity though, it seems like I'm in a hole and my best option is to keep digging.


Pyrrhic victory
 
2014-08-03 08:25:07 AM

Nemo's Brother: Not long after Bill Clinton declared that he would make college affordable to everyone, did the prices skyrocket.


Wow, a classic "bbbut Clinton!" No love for the Republican Majority in Congress at the time? Oh, right, I keep forgetting, that part of your brain doesn't work.
 
2014-08-03 08:38:21 AM

Fark_Guy_Rob: So my choice was really drop-out of school and take my horse degree to McDonalds or pay outrageous amounts of money to get a veterinary degree and pray that I can navigate the loan forgiveness process without a single mistake.  But, I still think I'm making the rational choice.  At least, if you start from the point where I already had a degree in horses.  If I could go back to freshman year of college and go into accounting or computer science, finish with 35k in debt, I would.  Short of having 1.21 gigawatts of electricity though, it seems like I'm in a hole and my best option is to keep digging.



Was going back to your state school for a different degree out of the question (surely there's *some* overlap between Bachelor of Horses and other degrees)? Hell, you could get into a good law school with a 4.0 in horses. At any rate, good luck digging through to the other side and I hope you at least enjoy your work.
 
2014-08-03 09:31:15 AM

Shakin_Haitian: Or we could go back to properly funding state schools like we used to.


The funding you're nostalgic about would still require massive cuts in the administrative and other non-education parts of those state schools. They're all fat on easy federal money borrowed by unsuspecting youth.
 
2014-08-03 10:04:20 AM

Monkeyfark Ridiculous: Fark_Guy_Rob: So my choice was really drop-out of school and take my horse degree to McDonalds or pay outrageous amounts of money to get a veterinary degree and pray that I can navigate the loan forgiveness process without a single mistake.  But, I still think I'm making the rational choice.  At least, if you start from the point where I already had a degree in horses.  If I could go back to freshman year of college and go into accounting or computer science, finish with 35k in debt, I would.  Short of having 1.21 gigawatts of electricity though, it seems like I'm in a hole and my best option is to keep digging.


Was going back to your state school for a different degree out of the question (surely there's *some* overlap between Bachelor of Horses and other degrees)? Hell, you could get into a good law school with a 4.0 in horses. At any rate, good luck digging through to the other side and I hope you at least enjoy your work.


You're right, of course.

I don't know much about law school, presumably I'd be missing a lot of pre-reqs for any decent law schools, but it's an option.  Honestly, if I were completely removed from the situation, and someone told me 'Look, I have a degree in horses but I just found out I'll need to pay over 200k to go to vet school, and I want a financially stable life' I'd tell them to forget about the degree.  Consider it a sunk cost (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunk_costs#Loss_aversion_and_the_sunk_c os t_fallacy), pick up a book on Java or Python, move to CA, and get a job in Software Development (or similar).  No degree necessary, good working conditions, high wages, particularly in CA (median salary 95k - not too shabby).  Pay off the 35k you already owe and life comfortably.

Or yeah, if law sounds more appealing, try to turn it into a law degree.

But from the perspective of someone whose spent their entire life focused on doing X, whose spent the last four years focusing on doing X, not just the classes too, but I was doing summer internships on horse farms and what not...to say, 'Okay, I need to completely disregard everything I've done AND pick a new thing that will now become my career' is a pretty scary proposition.  Let's say I go to law school and hate law.  Or can't hack it.  Or spent a few years not getting accepted.  Or I move to CA and realize I'm not very good at software development and nobody will hire me?  It feels pretty risky.

For whatever it's worth, I fully accept that my choices put me in this situation.  I wanted to become a vet, even when it didn't make financial sense.  I didn't want to abandon years of effort towards becoming a vet, so I did whatever I could.  It will probably work out poorly for me.

Having said all that, if you remember history, people signed up voluntarily to be indentured servants.  And we've outlawed it.  Same deal with bankruptcy laws, people take out loans voluntarily, but when they screw up, we have bankruptcy laws to help them.  I'm in the fairly unique situation where my crippling debt is except from the bankruptcy laws and my lenders are guaranteed their money, no matter what.
 
2014-08-03 11:40:48 AM

Fark_Guy_Rob: But from the perspective of someone whose spent their entire life focused on doing X, whose spent the last four years focusing on doing X, not just the classes too, but I was doing summer internships on horse farms and what not...to say, 'Okay, I need to completely disregard everything I've done AND pick a new thing that will now become my career' is a pretty scary proposition. Let's say I go to law school and hate law. Or can't hack it. Or spent a few years not getting accepted. Or I move to CA and realize I'm not very good at software development and nobody will hire me? It feels pretty risky.


I got kind of screwed up with that whole "go to college, it's worth it!" stuff too. I was going to be a vet too, long ago. Well, vet school was very hard to get into, even 25 years ago, and I didn't have the grades. But so what, I had no loans and I ended up with an English degree--nobody in my family had ever been to college, and I had no idea how to navigate any of it.

Went back to school not too long ago--was living on the loans, but since my other option was to shoot myself, that was fine. I ended up with half of a master's degree, (dropped out of the program for personal reasons), and got a science degree that I can't make a living with. So now I've stopped trying to get by on that, and I got a job using my half master's (and my sordid past, but that's another story). I work for a non-profit now, so I thought about getting into the IBR program, but I only work half-time. I used to work for the government, but only seasonally. It didn't seem worth it, it would take me just as long to get my loans "forgiven" as it would to just pay them off.

I'm still broke. I still have student loans I can barely pay (not like you, but too many for my income.) I could go finish my master's and that is a good field (money-wise) but I can't afford any more loans. And then what if it didn't work out for some reason? I can't make it on my science degree. Eight years I've been trying and I can't take it anymore. And that was my life dream.....I just wanted to go hang out with the animals.

The jobs just aren't out there anymore. the subject of student loans is one that pisses me off like few others. It's a farking racket, sold to kids with all kinds of dreams, and it does nothing but put most of them into debt before they're even old enough to understand what it is they want out of life.

I don't have that excuse, because I wasn't a kid, but I still heard all the same "you'll get lots of jobs with this degree!" shiat that everyone else hears.

/yeah, I considered law school too.
 
2014-08-03 08:33:08 PM

dfenstrate: Shakin_Haitian: Or we could go back to properly funding state schools like we used to.

The funding you're nostalgic about would still require massive cuts in the administrative and other non-education parts of those state schools. They're all fat on easy federal money borrowed by unsuspecting youth.


What's different about how easy it is to get student loans nowadays versus back in the 80s?
 
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