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Student Loans In America: the Next Big Credit Bubble

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the bursting-education dept.

The Almighty Buck 768

PolygamousRanchKid writes "In late 1965, President Lyndon Johnson stood in the modest gymnasium of what had once been the tiny teaching college he attended and announced a program to promote education. Almost a half-century later these modest steps have metastasized into a huge, federally guaranteed student-loan industry. On October 25th the Obama administration added indebted students to the list of banks, car companies, homeowners, solar manufacturers and others that have benefited from a federal handout. In response to students burying their obligations in court during the 1970s, anti-default provisions were imposed to make it almost impossible to shed student loans in bankruptcy. There are increasingly loud calls for reform of the system, with demands that range from a full-fledged bail-out of borrowers to a phased curtailment of government lending. The changes announced this week are designed to ease the pressure on struggling graduates. Borrowers who qualify will get payment relief, not debt relief. The administration says these changes will have no cost to taxpayers."

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Forgiveness at no cost? (2)

cript2000 (2496368) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889480)

If their debt is forgiven at 20 years instead of 25, who eats the loss?

Re:Forgiveness at no cost? (5, Informative)

chill (34294) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889574)

This means that after 20 years of you making income-based payments, they forgive the remaining debt. In order to qualify for income-based payments, you can be making no more than 150% of the poverty line. In that case, you payments are no more than 10% of your income.

The reality is, there are very, very few people who actually accrue student loans who can't pay them back over 20 years. Not only that, but are living around the poverty line for 20 years.

There are other paths to loan forgiveness in exchange for service. Details are here [finaid.org] .

Re:Forgiveness at no cost? (4, Insightful)

imthesponge (621107) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889734)

"The reality is, there are very, very few people who actually accrue student loans who can't pay them back over 20 years."

That was the reality; not anymore.

The same people *always* eat the loss ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889772)

If their debt is forgiven at 20 years instead of 25, who eats the loss?

The same people *always* eat the loss, the taxpayers and/or consumers. Banks and corporations do *not* eat the loss, it either becomes a fully deductible expense for tax purposes or it is passed along to consumers who are paying for other products or services. Regarding the later, note that when the Dodd-Frank bill limited credit card processing fees the response of the banks was to raise fees elsewhere.

There is possibly another type of person who will "lose". Banks may decline applicants in majors that are not correlated with a higher earning potential.

Australia does a simple job here (3, Interesting)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889482)

Any student loans are put onto your tax return, the ATO (Our form of IRS) knows about it, and if you can't pay for it, it simply garnishes them from your tax return if you have overpayed or been able to claim tax benefits that aren't taken into account (which most of us are able to do) in your normal PAYG tax payment?

We don't have any problems with student loans going out of control here that I am aware of? Seems a really simple idea to follow...

Re:Australia does a simple job here (2)

mdjnewman (2293194) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889512)

We don't have any problems with student loans going out of control here that I am aware of? Seems a really simple idea to follow...

One thing that can happen is people do their degrees here then head overseas, but I admit that's probably not a huge issue.

Re:Australia does a simple job here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37889580)

That's likely more than balanced by people getting degrees elsewhere, then heading for America after graduation.

Re:Australia does a simple job here (1)

JLennox (942693) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889520)

To take on debt is not to spend money, they are very different. When you take on debt you are, well, in someone elses debt.

People are giving away their power. No questions asked: If it's the control of your life you're about to sign away, even a tiny fraction of it, the answer is "no."

Re:Australia does a simple job here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37889864)

Signing away a tiny portion of your life for a huge opportunity you wouldn't have had otherwise (a decent job pretty much requires a degree of some kind these days), the answer isn't an immediate no. Obviously you should weigh your options carefully, but in the case of student loans you are signing away a small portion of a much larger income than you would have been able to generate without a degree. As long as you don't predict that you will have problems actually getting a job, it's a pretty good deal IMHO.

Re:Australia does a simple job here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37889940)

People are giving away their power.

People have the power to choose whether they trade a few years of smaller tax returns for tertiary education. They even get the power to pay it back earlier (which from my recollection is incentivised in its own right: even ignoring the interest savings, you can save a good bit of money by making up front payments against your HECS/HELP debt).

I didn't make up front payments against mine (couldn't afford it at the time), but after graduating I got a fairly typical entry level job in my field, and without having to go to any effort whatsoever (due to the debt payments simply coming off ones tax return), had completely paid off my degree within 4 years of graduating. That's not giving someone "control of my life", that's a fairly basic, and pretty fucking safe investment.

And if someone does wish to pay their own way without accruing debt, there's nothing in the system stopping them working and saving until the point where they can pay cash to study instead.

Re:Australia does a simple job here (3, Interesting)

rabun_bike (905430) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889728)

Student loan default is already setup with wage garnishing. I used to work for ADP which processes 1/4 of all payroll taxes for all Americans and wage garnishing was routine and built into the software. There are many students out there that are going to have a rude awakening when they realize that almost every kind of debt incurred can be shed through painful court proceedings except student loan debt. It will follow you to the grave as cited in the article. This is going to be particularly painful due to the unemployment situation paired with unprecedentedly high tuition.

Re:Australia does a simple job here (0)

imthesponge (621107) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889858)

It gets you an education and a job though; that's what you sign up for, you can't really do it and then expect to skip out on the bill can you?

Re:Australia does a simple job here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37889944)

The difference is that here in the US we have people attending private college to the tune of $37,000 per year to get a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities, then go on to get a state job starting at $25,000 per year (or no job, these days.)

$37,000 x 4 = $148,000. Assuming no interest and managing to squeeze out $6,000 a year in repayments, you're looking at a solid 25 years of paying back your student loans, while never managing to get ahead or save for retirement.

Needless to say, there are people going to college that probably shouldn't be in the US, given that they can't even do a simple ROI analysis like the above.

Re:Australia does a simple job here (1)

man_ls (248470) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889776)

In most other countries, student debt wasn't institutionalized as a way of controlling the youth population like it was here after the 1960s.

Re:Australia does a simple job here (1)

Yold (473518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889790)

Yea that's the way it works in the United States also... Student debts are not dischargeable through bankruptcy. Defaulting on student loans will make you ineligible for government employment, along with garnishments on wages, tax returns, and social security benefits.

I would be very interested to see what percentage of these debts are owed to for-profit institutions (e.g. University of Phoenix). Some of these colleges are owned by publicly traded companies, which provided ample incentive for unethical profiteering. There are colleges in my city that sell absolutely worthless degrees in media related fields, cosmetics, business, and healthcare that cost $60,000+.

If you can't make money, you can't repay debts (blood from a stone). It was a simple idea to follow in the U.S. until some schmuck decided to open for-profit colleges and game the system.

Re:Australia does a simple job here (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889812)

The problem is a simple 3-way intersection.
1. People believe they need higher education to get jobs, of which there are few.
2. Education costs are going further and further up, especially with for-profit institutes and non-academic collegiate activities needed for prestige.
3. Student loans are basically unlimited. Banks will sign you a blank check, with no sense of your ability to pay it back.

If you're not high enough academically to enter state-run institutions, in the US you're looking at around 100k in tuition alone for a 4-year college. After getting out of a college with a 100k bill, that comes out to around $1,500 monthly in student loans. If you've got a professional job and you're earning, say, $20 an hour working as a nurse, you get a take home in the ballpark of 2.5k per month. Even in these good situations, more than half of your income is going to student loans. That's why %10 of students default within 2 years of graduation.

Re:Australia does a simple job here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37889844)

What are you talking about! If you overpay on your taxes in the US and you have a defaulted student loan they keep the money... Australians seem to not have a clue about how things work here in the states but that doesn't stop them from casting judgement.

Re:Australia does a simple job here (5, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889848)

We don't have any problems with student loans going out of control here that I am aware of? Seems a really simple idea to follow...

Do you have many people graduating with student loan debt that's the equivalent of $250,000 US?

The reason the loan problem is so bad is that higher education in the US is so ridiculously overpriced. A year of university used to be equal to much less than a graduate could expect as a starting salary on a first job after graduation. Today, they are much more.

There is a consumer price index that measures how much prices are rising or falling. Higher education has gone up in the area of 300-400% of the CPI for years now and it's accelerating.

As a retired academic, I really don't see why tuitions have skyrocketed. Faculty salaries have held close to CPI, the buildings are already built for the most part. I guess the energy to heat and light those buildings has gone up but not enough to explain the difference.

The really strange part is that those huge endowments that universities have are now topping out in the billions of dollars. Those endowments were supposed to be used to keep tuitions low. Plus, any of you alumni out there know how you're always being hit up for money. So where's the money going? The campus buildings are being built with donations for the most part and universities are tax exempt. And don't forget the huge money the big athletic schools are bringing in. Why isn't that being used to lower salaries? The tuition at the Universities of Texas and Florida and Notre Dame and other have all skyrocketed. Where's all that TV money going?

When I retired in '07 I was making more than the average tenured faculty is making today. It's not personnel costs, it's not building costs, it's not energy costs, it's not technology costs. So why is it so much more expensive? I know it's nice for universities to have overseas campuses, but I'm starting to wonder if that's part of the problem.

But no, I don't think you can compare your student loans with ours in size.

Re:Australia does a simple job here (1)

Spikeles (972972) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889912)

If you earn below AU$47,196 [ato.gov.au] , you don't have to pay back any of your loan. It doesn't get charged interest, it only gets indexed with CPI.
If you earn above that amount, they start charging as a percentage of your income starting at 4% to a maximum of 8% at an income of AU$87,650

When you get a job, you give over your tax file number, and the payment for the loan is automatically deducted from your wages/salary/etc each pay as part of your payment for income tax. At the end of the year, when you do your tax return if you overpaid they give you back your money, or if you underpaid, they'll send you a bill.

Re:Australia does a simple job here (1)

ingsocsoc (807544) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889930)

The 2 major differences between the Australian and the US system is that in Australia if you don't earn above a certain threshold you don't have to pay it back and that the interest rate is limited to the level of inflation. We don't have the same kinds or problems with student loans as the US because there is no money to be made.

No Problem... move along (4, Funny)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889484)

Just sell your house to pay off your student loan.

Mod parent up!! (1)

rueger (210566) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889590)

FUNNY! (At least in the American mortgage context!)

Another Government Program Gone Wild (-1, Redundant)

clm1970 (1728766) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889488)

Like Medicare, Social Security...starts small and gets out of control

Re:Another Government Program Gone Wild (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889530)

Don't forget socialized medicine, Medicare on steriods

Re:Another Government Program Gone Wild (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889928)

Every other industrialized nation on this planet has some form of socialized medicine. They also pay far less than we do for health care. 1/2 or less.

To give a perspective on the situation, consider Canada. The US government pays the same per capita over its entire population for the health care it funds - Medicare Medicaid etc as the Canadian government. What is the difference? The Canadian payment covers it's ENTIRE population, the US payment a much smaller fraction.

It is absolutely ridiculous that we are paying via our taxes per capita the same as nations that receive universal care and the majority of us get bupkiss for it because of the runaway costs of our private system.

Re:Another Government Program Gone Wild (0, Flamebait)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889540)

And gives the Democrats another "entitlement" on which to get elected. "The EVIL Republicans are trying to eat your baby and take away your student loans".

Predictable as anything. And people still fall for it.

Re:Another Government Program Gone Wild (2, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889606)

Social Security and socialized medicine are entitlements, it's something that people ought to be entitled for just for being born American citizens. It's a right that people in other parts of the developed world take for granted.

The point isn't that the GOP is trying to take those things away, it's _why_ they're trying to take them away. They're trying to take them away so that they can give to the wealthy, and cut taxes for corporations who in some cases don't pay any federal taxes. But, most importantly it's because if the average worker didn't have to work for a large company to have health insurance they'd be significantly more likely to do crazy things like start a business or work at something that they enjoy.

Re:Another Government Program Gone Wild (0, Troll)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889732)

"Social Security and socialized medicine are entitlements, it's something that people ought to be entitled for just for being born American citizens."

Bullshit. Complete and utter bullshit. No human has any right to force (via government taxation) any other to support them (parent/child relationships excepted). You want to be taken care of? Look to family and private, voluntary charity. I am not your keeper, except to the extent I choose to be.

You're not "entitled" to anything, except the opportunity to subsist on your own.

Re:Another Government Program Gone Wild (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37889880)

You and your attitude is the reason the rest of the world has been able to watch the rise and fall of the USA over the last 40 years.

When you realise the wealth of a nation is in how it cares for the worst off there may be some hope for the USA.

But if you remain narrow-minded uncharitable xenophobes you will reap what you have sown.
 

Re:Another Government Program Gone Wild (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889744)

I give you a +1 for such an inane post, it's Beavis and Butthead funny.

Re:Another Government Program Gone Wild (1)

drnb (2434720) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889866)

It's a right that people in other parts of the developed world take for granted.

I advise to not attempt this argument. The that's-how-Europe-does-it-and-they-are-economically-healthy argument just doesn't work the way it used to.

Re:Another Government Program Gone Wild (2, Interesting)

Xenkar (580240) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889854)

Republicans have their own entitlements like military spending, oil industry subsidies, multiple forms of corn subsidies, dairy subsidies, a war on drugs, TSA, etc.

It isn't that either side thinks entitlements are bad. They merely disagree on what the entitlements should be.

As a human it is in my best interest to choose entitlements which benefit me as someone whose only healthcare options are medicaid and moving to another country. My Hemophilia is mild but if I get seriously injured, the medication to keep me alive costs $300,000 for the six week recovery. I also have Osteochondroma (bone spikes near joints) that can break off and cause said serious injuries. If I get injured, any company that hires me will see their healthcare plan rates raised up to the point where they either need to let me go or screw over everyone at said company. This does wonders for my employment opportunities in a time when finding jobs are hard.

I choose renewable energy subsidies because I don't want my country to be in perpetual war with any country that refuses to sell us cheap oil for the benefit of US corporate interests. A half a billion loan being defaulted on is peanuts compared to our daily military budget. So we tacked half a day of foreign wars to our budget with that blunder. We're making a big deal out of a tiny leak in a household pipe while the watermain is gushing water down the street.

I dislike the war on drugs because every legal medication that I can take with my Hemophilia either doesn't work or will kill me. Having bone spikes poking my flesh isn't pleasant. I could instead put some Cannabis Indica in a vaporizer and generally feel better, but I'd rather not have paramilitary goons raid my house and then later die from injuries sustained.

I dislike food subsidies as they are because they remove choice. I can't partake of milk products. Why not move the subsidy to the grocery so people can buy subsidized food of their own choice? That way my pseudomilks will be cheaper.

Please tell me how Republican entitlements benefit you. At least make sure you are getting something out of it while they screw me over; other than the joy of knowing they screwed people like me over.

As for Obama, he is the most epic closet republican ever. I wish he'd switch parties so the Democrats can field a real democrat for the position.

Re:Another Government Program Gone Wild (1)

Daemonik (171801) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889856)

We needed a balance for the "Evil Libruls are trying to destroy our Army, prisons and secret intelligence agencies!" side.

Re:Another Government Program Gone Wild (1)

blue trane (110704) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889644)

All those things are basic and can easily be provided for free by govt. The Fed creates $16 trillion to bail out financial institutions, they can pay off the national debt too. What matters is innovation, advancing knowledge; as long as we keep creating we can create as much money as we want and the value will stay strong, like Japan's 200% debt-to-gdp ratio, and they constantly want to lower their currency's value.

Re:Another Government Program Gone Wild (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889838)

Yes, let's look at Japan. As you say they get along fine with a 200% of GDP national debt.

Except the Japanese worker has a 15% savings rate that he cheerfully buys 0% interest government bonds with. So the debt is owned by the Japanese people who get paid nothing to carry it. It is exactly the same as if the US were to add an additional 15% income tax for which they would issue you a certificate for every year. This certificate would bear no interest and would be redeemable never.

I am sure you would like that system.

Re:Another Government Program Gone Wild (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889882)

Wow. The *government* cannot provide anything for free. Anything that comes "from the government" comes from taxpayers, with a tremendous overhead (they call it the "skim" in Vegas) as it goes from my paycheck to the deadbeats. Anything else you may have heard is utter and complete nonsense.

        Brett

Re:Another Government Program Gone Wild (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889898)

Like Medicare, Social Security...starts small and gets out of control

Somehow, I suspect that you believe the answer to the student loan problem is more tax cuts for the "job creators".

Why don't we pay for higher education the way successful countries like Germany do it? Oh, that's right, it would be another government program.

And Social Security didn't "start small". Neither did Medicare. In the first case, Social Security can pay for itself without adding to the federal deficit. In the second case, Medicare became a problem for the same reasons student loans became a problem: because prices have grown out of proportion to any other area of the consumer economy, often several hundred times the consumer-price index.

Buying Votes with Handouts (4, Insightful)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889496)

Nothing new here!

More like raising your 30 y/o child. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37889564)

Just wait until everyone is deemed incompetent to vote until they attend College to get a degree in Sociology and US His-Story.

This entire fiasco is one of many, created by the same people that intentionally unstabilize the civic natures in society to exaggerate problems while destroying the economy.

First women are put on a pedestel, then destroyed. Then agriculture was put on a pedestel, and destroyed.
Thereafter utilities, car companies, medical industry -- you name it.

Government is suppoesd to be competency, not financing problems with money.

NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND: everyone is a 30 y/o child now.

Re:More like raising your 30 y/o child. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889626)

Nice trolling, so in your vision, only the wealthy should go to college because clearly the ability to be born to wealthy parents is a significant contribution to society.

Re:Buying Votes with Handouts (3, Interesting)

blue trane (110704) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889664)

We the People know that govt is supposed to look out for us, so we vote in our best interests. Money is a psychological tool that serves us, we don't serve it. Economics is like a religion with the high priests (bankers, economists) preaching the need for human sacrifice to appease their great god Mammon. Their predictions don't come true, their axioms are flawed, their equations fail to take into account externalities such as innovation, which is where the real focus needs to be. Govt should provide a basic income, and encourage the native spirit of creativity and inventiveness in each of us with challenges.

Re:Buying Votes with Handouts (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889780)

You write for the Onion...right? because they are pretty good at writing satire that is so good, you almost think it was written by someone who believes this shit.

Re:Buying Votes with Handouts (3, Insightful)

atriusofbricia (686672) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889828)

We the People know that govt is supposed to look out for us, so we vote in our best interests. Money is a psychological tool that serves us, we don't serve it. Economics is like a religion with the high priests (bankers, economists) preaching the need for human sacrifice to appease their great god Mammon. Their predictions don't come true, their axioms are flawed, their equations fail to take into account externalities such as innovation, which is where the real focus needs to be. Govt should provide a basic income, and encourage the native spirit of creativity and inventiveness in each of us with challenges.

Yeah, government should just take from the people who do that creativity and inventiveness and give it to those who don't bother to in the form of a "basic income". Meh.

What is flipped? (2)

matthaak (707485) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889498)

There is a flipping element in Credit Bubbles. NASDAQ stocks were flipped in the 90s. Condos and houses were flipped in the 2000s. How does one flip an education? By getting a job where the hiring manager blindly extends offers to a person just because they have a piece of paper. The student buys into the piece of paper using government-supplied money and then the employer takes on the costs of paying it off without really getting their money's worth.

Re:What is flipped? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37889598)

Got my monies worth. Total cost to me about 5k. Rest was gov paid (cost to them 20k). ROI on that about 1.5 million so far. ROI to the gov about 100k. Its called getting a degree in something worth a damn...

Re:What is flipped? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37889720)

How much was Mendel's work worth? Yet he never saw any ROI and everyone ignored his work for decades...How much was Aristarchus of Samos's work worth? Yet society ignored his heliocentric work for millenia...

Re:What is flipped? (2)

Bahamuto (227466) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889642)

I don't know if flipping is criteria of a bubble. A bubble just means that there is inflated value of something. If the colleges raise the rate at which they charge students to a degree where it doesn't make sense to go to school there, (but they go anyway because of promise of a good job) there will be a massive amount of defaults.

    Now these defaults are more or less guaranteed, which eases the problem. I believe the only cause where the default actual is when the student dies. So if the loans ever amount to more then what the student can payback in their lifetime, then there will be an issue.

    Unless of course the banks aren't getting the money fast enough...

Re:What is flipped? (1)

flibbidyfloo (451053) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889694)

Doesn't "flipping" and a "bubble" require a continual increase in the perceived value of the good? I don't see employers rushing to increase starting wages for graduates. In fact in the current job market you've got college educated people taking jobs that used to be 'reserved' for those without a degree.

Stick a fork in it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37889506)

We're done!

What is really needed. (5, Interesting)

VAElynx (2001046) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889518)

Is to outlaw unjust discrimination on basis of education. In other words, a job offer can't have education requirements that can't be justified (asking for just "college education" without specifying a degree is right out) , any more than one can hire personnel on the basis of what car they drive.
You know there's something wrong with the job market when almost any job higher than McD worker, cashier, or floor washer requires a degree.
Such breaking of "degree inflation" would reduce the demand on degrees ,and as such cause the obscene prices asked by the universities to drop. Here in England for example we pay far, far less for education than in USA and I don't see it being of worse quality, quite the opposite.

Re:What is really needed. (4, Funny)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889562)

Is to outlaw unjust discrimination on basis of education. In other words, a job offer can't have education requirements that can't be justified (asking for just "college education" without specifying a degree is right out) , any more than one can hire personnel on the basis of what car they drive.

Damn, and we hired our latest intern because he has an 8 passenger vehicle so we can all bum a ride to lunch... guess we'd better cover that up (easy to do, he's also really good at the tech work.)

Re:What is really needed. (4, Insightful)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889566)

'College Education' is not a requirement, it is a filter. See, they don't care that you can do the job. So can a hundred other people. So how to cut down the number of applicants to a number worth going through? Stick on an education requirement. At the very least it makes sure that everyone has proven their ability to read boring material and then write the necessary boring reports if needed. A truly universal skill.

You have the knowledge to do the job but no degree? So what? Among the dozens of applicants that do have degrees there are at least a few that can also do everything you can do. Among those there will be at least one or two who will be a good fit for the workplace. Mission accomplished! Why is their incentive to give every special little snowflake a shot?

Re:What is really needed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37889926)

Bogus filter is bogus. College degrees don't mean dick, not in the mail room, not in a surgical theater. If a job requires a demonstration of competence before consideration, you should be asking for a certification/license/etc. If none exists and you require demonstration of competence, you need to set up your own screening, or consort with others in your industry to form one. Otherwise I assume you just want to exclude people you don't like based on some bullshit generalization you cooked up.

Given the cost of college education and what is being asked of those who really can't afford it and in most cases probably don't really need it, you are a few steps away from saying "Commoners can't hold this position". College exists to educate people beyond the minimum levels required to live in our culture, and prepare students to learn more and acquire specialized knowledge more quickly on their own. It was never intended to be, nor should it ever be used as, employment qualification. The current system hurts colleges, hurts students and hurts investors (even if they are too typically short sighted to see it).

If we are in the position where more than a small percentage of the population must attend college to get jobs, then we probably need to consider expanding public school beyond high school, or more likely, consider whether our existing school system is serving the community well.

Re:What is really needed. (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889572)

Here in England for example we pay far, far less for education than in USA and I don't see it being of worse quality, quite the opposite.

Are you sure about paying less? I mean, how much of your VAT subsidizes higher education? I do agree about the relative quality.

Re:What is really needed. (0)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889600)

What's you're talking about is called Totalitarianism. It is generally considered to be a bad thing.

Re:What is really needed. (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889604)

Would you bet your life savings and hire someone for your business who has no ambition, poor math and writting skills, and not the brightest?

I am not saying all people who do not have a college degree have these attributes. But if you have no work experience how can you prove you are not a moron? If you have a bachelors with a 3.0 GPA or higher you have ambition and medium intelligence. If you have a 3.4 GPA from a decent skill you have skill and ambition on top of that.

I would take my bet on the latter.

People say these things and how life is unfair until they are the ones who own the business or if their job as a manager is on the line from a single bad hire. Outlawing these filters will have me bring in H1B1 from India instead. As indentured servants I can overwork them and underpay them too which helps my bottom line if I were an asshole. My point is we need to get rid of the regulation and roadblocks to give people incentives to hire Americans. Especially ones who took the expensive risk of college for trying to better themselves.

Re:What is really needed. (0)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889804)

"no ambition, poor math and writing skills, and not the brightest?"

So...the Occupy crowd?

Re:What is really needed. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37889620)

It may also indicate a problem with education at the pre-university level. there are lots of stories in north america about high school graduates who are functionally illiterate. if a high school grad would do, but you need to be sure they are literate, it's much easier to look for a university grad.

Re:What is really needed. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889656)

If they're not careful they can get sued for violating the various affirmative action laws. What they have to be really careful about is what happens if they aren't hiring the expected number of minorities and women. There are no quotas per se in the US, but if there is a conspicuous lack of diversity it tends to attract law suits from individuals that aren't being hired or promoted. And if it turns out that the job posting has requirements that are fraudulent and that tends towards discouraging minority applicants, there could be a law suit.

As for quality of education, it really depends, the UK in general and England in particular is a much smaller entity than the US, there are good schools here and bad schools here, but the good schools are still the envy of the world.

Re:What is really needed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37889916)

The problem is that "the expected number" doesn't match reality. The proportions of minorities with proper qualifications don't match the proportions of non-minorities with the required qualifications. This has led to employers being forced to (or simply doing it proactively in anticipation of scrutiny) lowering their standards so that they can accept "the expected number". Case in point - numerous police and fire departments across the nation being forced to lower their standards because minorities have much more difficult time passing their entrance exams. Luckily, I have yet to hear this complaint applied to the number of minorities getting PE licenses... Just imagine having incompetents designing your buildings and bridges in the name of political correctness...

Re:What is really needed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37889690)

Are you serious? Should resumes also be outlawed?

Re:What is really needed. (0)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889792)

That was a movie called Idiocracy. If they do a remake, you can be the head idiot.

Re:What is really needed. (4, Insightful)

Sancho (17056) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889794)

I come from a family of college teachers. High schools just aren't doing the job these days. Lots of students manage to graduate with no life skills and barely being able to read. They're not even remotely prepared for college, but there are colleges which will accept them.

When it comes time to pay, most get student loans. They abuse the loans. By federal law, they're allowed to take a given class up to three times (with federal money). My parents see the same students over and over again, sleeping through class, texting, etc. The school doesn't care--they get tons of money from it. The students don't care--they're getting paid to be there. The teachers don't care--they're still getting paid.

Our guess is that programs like NCLB are the cause. High schools are pressured to teach to the test (so they aren't teaching much useful) and pass students to the next grade/graduate. Their funding is directly tied to this. Some schools set a floor for grades. Some just hand out grades. They all focus on the weaker students in order to bring them up to a mediocre level rather than bringing up the ones who are inherently better able to cope with college.

It's all a mess, and I don't think legislation is going to fix it. The problem is that any legislation which would stand a chance at solving the problem would be extremely unpopular. No politician will put themselves in that position.

The biggest problem is tuition. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37889550)

Look at what has happened to tuition rates in the past decade. You have to be rich to get a degree or you have to start your career deeply in debt. In the age of technology, shouldn't we be providing education at less cost than ever before? I think it's time people took a look at what has happened to academia.

Re:The biggest problem is tuition. (3, Insightful)

Godskitchen (1017786) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889608)

If you are dumb, go to a state school while working: ~15k in debt
If you are smart, go to a good private school with a huge endowment: ~10k in debt
If you are really dumb, go to a good private school without a scholarship: ~200k in debt

Re:The biggest problem is tuition. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889666)

The issue isn't technology, the issue is that the government has been investing less and less in education in recent years. A large part of why college costs keep going up is the continued cuts by state and federal government. I'm sure the prices are going up even when taking that into account, but I doubt it would be anywhere near as steep an increase.

As for technology, it can help make teachers more efficient and provide better service, but it's hardly a panacea, anybody that was capable of learning that much on their own is probably not going to waste money on a degree in the first place.

Re:The biggest problem is tuition. (1)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889872)

Teacher and professor productivity, by any measure, hasn't budged for decades. Forget the whole "education cuts" trope - that's a red herring. The real question here is why do we see incredible gains of productivity in so many other fields of work, with widget makers making more widgets per person, but in education we've hit a wall?

One answer - teacher's unions. Productivity gains are seen as a threat to union workers, and teachers are no exception. Another answer, state subsidies for education - taking away any incentive to improve efficiency leads to no improvements in efficiency.

I'd argue that besides the unions and subsidies, the other killer for our entire education system is our backwards system of social promotion. By grouping people by age, rather than by accomplishment, we make for nice and neat "grades", but end up with the inability to discern which 18 year old can read, and which 18 year old is functionally illiterate when both of them have the same high school diploma.

I'd argue the answers are - stop social promotion, end public subsidies to education, and if you're going to have public schools at all, end teachers unions.

Re:The biggest problem is tuition. (1)

Georules (655379) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889682)

We are slowly figuring out how to use technology to actually make education better. The internet is really good at providing content to wide audiences, but education works best on a personal 1-on-1 basis.

Re:The biggest problem is tuition. (0)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889836)

What is especially rich is that academia is run by the same idiots who in debt, are providing support to the Occupy crowd and constantly bray about their education.

Can we say Hoisted on their own petard?

Right again (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37889554)

Ron Paul has been talking about this lately. Should the kids that forgo further education really be tagged with the cost of subsidizing those that took on onerous student loans? RP talks about it all the time: bubbles. With good intentions, the US government ends up causing more harm than good. We tried giving everyone a cheap home - that backfired and we're left with more homeless and struggling.

Remove anti-default protections (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37889558)

Right now students are charged exorbitant rates as for high-risk loans, accumulating interest during the deferred payment period, even for drama / theater / ancient Greek history degrees - while the banks making these loans know they are backstopped by the gov't so there is NO RISK to them. Is there any surprise that anything 18ish with a pulse gets a blank check? This is an incredibly asymmetric system, and it is extremely anti-student... Yet those being taken advantage of do not realize they are signing away their lives, becoming debt slaves, until after graduation.

Allow discharge in bankruptcy (which is Constitutional, by the way; the current state is not). Suddenly two things happen:

No more lifelong debt slaves in the guise of students.
College costs instantly become affordable, as the investment must justify the expense.

As a happy side effect, the banksters that lobbied for the current asymmetric system will be forced to eat the paper they should never have written in the first place. For those that will cry "why does anyone deserve a free education!" realize that both parties lose, as is just and right - the bank for lending when they should not have (write down the loss), and the student for accepting the loan (trashed credit rating for a few years).

This is infinitely better than the current government-sanctioned and backstopped, un-Constitutional system designed to make debt slaves of the general populace.

Another right-wing hit piece from samzenpus (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37889614)

How dare the Federal Government take over a Federal Loan Program and make minor modifications to existing loan forgiveness programs! Soshulizim!

ridiculous tuition for worthless education (1)

callmetheraven (711291) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889616)

The real problem is the "higher education" system, the outrageous fees (on top of your tax money for public schools), $300 textbooks required for many classes, the pathetically low education value of most the classes, plus entirely worthless classes (required generals), and the fact that businesses still believe that these moron sheepskins should be a requirement for all employment.

Of course, doctors and engineers, etc, should attend higher training, but even these programs could be seriously stripped of the worthless educational bloat that universities profit so hugely from.

About the only thing that the university system succeeds at is indoctrinating/programing young people in the political agenda of the fringe left.

Re:ridiculous tuition for worthless education (2)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889900)

I am gOing to guess you are either still in school or did not go to college. The gen Ed courses are the ones of real value and I never got that until after I graduated. I am very very lucky I had an attitude of as long as I have to do this, make the most of it while I was in those classes or I really would have missed out. The stuff in your program should be stuff you already know a little about, have some natural facility for and interest enough to learn largely on your own. Gen Ed gives you a foot in the door for the other disiPlines. It ensurese you know the vocabulary and where to find more information if you need it later. It gives you enough comfort to talk to people in those fields to ask questions. You will find if you are doing any real proffesssional level work you don't do it in a vacume and that you need to work with people of other disiplines.

Beh... (0, Flamebait)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889624)

Maybe people will start picking up responsible majors to cover their schooling costs, but hey who knows. I mean how many MA's in womens studies along with various lgtb stuff? Dime a dozen.

Re:Beh... (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889938)

Maybe people will start picking up responsible majors to cover their schooling costs, but hey who knows. I mean how many MA's in womens studies along with various lgtb stuff? Dime a dozen.

Don't generalize. I was an English major in an extremely obscure field (literary theory). When I retired in '07 on my 50th birthday, I was making more money than all but a very very few computer science majors. By my wife's calculations (she's a mathematician) my income put me in the top 1.6% of Americans.

That's with an English major, son.

Judging from the number of out-of-work programmers I see playing Battlefield 3 online, maybe some of them should have been forced to get an extra degree in the Humanities.

Borrowing = good. Getting paid = bad. (2)

beaker8000 (1815376) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889628)

Colleges encourage students to take out massive loans, that are not discharged in bankruptcy, to pay for their education. As if by magic tuition increases rapidly.

While at the same time the NCAA won't allow college athletes to be paid any of the billions in revenue they create for their schools. The money would be bad for them.

Clearly colleges are fine with a student in debt, but not one getting paid. Sad.

bankruptcy on student debt (1)

ebonum (830686) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889638)

Oh how I wish this had been an option. The day after graduation, I would have filed for bankruptcy. It would have saved me from having to work my butt off for years. I could have bought a nice BMW and saved for a house.

Re:bankruptcy on student debt (2)

darth dickinson (169021) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889924)

I could have bought a nice BMW and saved for a house.

Not having just filed bankruptcy, you wouldn't.

Should Have Been a Property Developer (5, Interesting)

rueger (210566) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889640)

It's always seemed rather bizarre that you can be a deadbeat car dealer, subdivision developer, banker - hell just about any "profession" that you care to name --run up unsupportable debts, and then declare bankruptcy and have them disappear with no significant long term harm to you.

Student loans though - the one debt that actually might make you more likely to avoid repeating the boom/bust credit cycle - is somehow untouchable.

Re:Should Have Been a Property Developer (2)

imthesponge (621107) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889832)

Your business would be ruined if you declare bankruptcy.. however your education can not be taken away.

Same broken solution to a cost problem (5, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889658)

The problem here is that the costs continue to skyrocket. Any solution that doesn't address that is simply a band-aid.

Why do costs continue to skyrocket? Because the colleges know that effectively any student anywhere can get loans to pay for the cost of college. From the school's standpoint, they can just about charge whatever they want. There's no brake on the price increase.

This is of course compounded by cuts from government support to the colleges. But the bubble has been inflating since long before the current economic trouble. It is certainly making it worse right now, but it's not the root cause of the problem.

And you can definitely see where the money is spent on the campuses. I work with college researchers and had the opportunity to visit a couple of state schools recently. And compared to when I went to college just 15 years ago, these places are absolutely gorgeous. Until there is some means of implementing cost control at the schools - without affecting the ability of students to go to college - this won't change.

Re:Same broken solution to a cost problem (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889748)

Yep.

Cutting the aid program or tell banks they will have to cover more and more percentages of defaults will quickly fix the situation.

1. Colleges will stop having 12 directors and VPs for things like diversity who get paid $200,000 a year, stop paying $5,000,000 a year on gardens and lawns, and many other useless things because they have free money so why care?

2. Costs will start to go down too and many parents and students will vote for governors who promise more state funding for universities too.

That is another issue. With free money the states can simply not fund their state colleges anymore. They in turn raises rates and students do not care as they are covered with their loans. Boy, after graduation their will be hell to pay when the bill is due.

3. If banks know that a socialogy major will not be able to pay back his/her loan, they can demand students to only major in disciplines that give them a career. Don't like it? Pay for it yourself etc. This will get rid of the art major crowds and force them to major in marketing to use their art skills in advertising.

No bailouts, and gradual cuts and increasing liability for banks will fix it. It will be painful at first and students will be pissed off as hell so I wonder how feasible that would be?

Re:Same broken solution to a cost problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37889878)

Exactly. The student loans are "free money" to both the students and the Universities....until graduation. They make it way too easy. I have a child who started at an out of state university last year. I was somewhat shocked by the UNSOLICITED offers for student loans worth over 2x his annual tuition. He could easily have covered tuition, room and board, and had money left for entertainment, a cheap car and all sorts of other stuff. We declined, and he lives in a cheap apartment with 3 other guys and eats a lot of ramen noodles.

The only way to get the costs under control is to turn off the money spigot. It will be difficult and painful. Those 12 directors getting paid $200K and the tenured Art History professor will not go quietly.

Re:Same broken solution to a cost problem (1)

imthesponge (621107) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889910)

"they can demand students to only major in disciplines that give them a career."

Which disciplines are those?

Re:Same broken solution to a cost problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37889860)

An interesting study in contrast is the College of the Ozarks. They do not let their students take out student loans. Instead, they find ways for their students to be able to work their way through college. They have a number of programs on campus -- one of which is the making and selling of fruitcakes. They make fruitcakes all year long which they freeze for sale during the holidays. Amazingly, they can support the entire school with fruitcakes (and a few other odds and ends) as well as a few donations. No government grants / subsidys or student loans.

Sure, it is a not-quite so well known school but quite frankly, if they can do it there is no reason why other schools can not do the same. In fact, publically funded schools should be run with even more financial scruitiny as the monies that they are paid with are collected by force from people who certainly could have used the same monies for their family, paying off other bills or even seeing that occasional movie. Public money should be handled and spent as a sacred trust -- not as a gravy train or as a means for buying votes.

And yea, their fruit-cakes are super. (Way better than the ones you buy in the store and you don't have to feel bad about giving it as a gift. ;-) My family has been getting them since I was a way little kid (pre-TRS-80 days).

I wish they never existed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37889668)

I for one wish the student loan system never existed. Had this been the case, I wouldn't have some $90,000 in student loans that I will never, ever, ever, ever pay off. Yes, it's my fault I was foolish enough to borrow money for school, it's absolutely true. However, had the program never existed, I could have been saved from myself, rather than enabled to go into a lifetime of debt that has left me at the mercy of employers and government.

And for the curious - no doctor or lawyer. Two undergrad degrees and a useless masters degree.

No WAY (4, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889672)

You agreed. You signed the papers. You gave them your word and honesty that you would do whatever it would take to pay them back. You took the money from hard working Americans' bank accounts for these financial institutions to invest you in the hopes for interest in return to fund their retirement.

Pay it.

Why should hard working successfull people who paid off their loans be punished by having to pay for your own foolishness? They were smart and worked harder and saved and now should have their reward.

One thing we found out is Americans HATE bailouts. They will not support it and will fight every stance to keep what htey earned. Yes costs are going up but you are an adult and need to take responsibility. I wish home owners couldn't default either to level the playing field. The problem is if you help students, help big banks, then everyone else will want a handout. Ultimately, the government goes broke and end up like Greece all poor and taxed to death with no end in sight. ... FYI this is coming from someone who owes $40,000 in student loans and is living with his parents to pay them off.

Re:No WAY (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37889738)

Nice, so your parents are paying off your student loans with the loss of the market rent they would otherwise be making. Too bad not everybody has that option, but hey you do so everyone else should just suck it up!

What a maroon.

Re:No WAY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37889890)

Too bad not everybody has that option

If you're in student loan debt that you can't pay off, then the only valid reason you should have for not living with your parents had better be because you killed them.

Re:No WAY (1)

Thesis (1983882) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889902)

Yes Americans do hate bailouts, especially when the major banks/corporations get bailed out, and the executives get massive bonuses, while the common folks get the shaft. The shaft should have been equally distributed across the board, or the bailouts distributed evenly across the board, rather than catering solely to the elite.

Yes (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889736)

Yes, it is a debt bubble.

This much has been clear for a long time now, we did ask a question on /. What is you college major worth? [slashdot.org] - well, it's not worth much.

Here is what I think about Minimum Wage and Inflation [slashdot.org] and Obama's plan to destroy the education further [slashdot.org] . They don't allow price competition [slashdot.org] with public universities, you know?

Anyway, this is a debt bubble, so are US bonds and any US denominated debt for that matter because the US dollar is a bubble.

A load of crap. (1)

man_ls (248470) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889742)

This is another "accomplishment" in the style of most everything he's done for domestic policy: deliver some good speeches that change has happened, then order a fresh coat of paint applied to the status quo. A lot of big talk for a program with limited scope and impact...that was already passed into law, and is just being implemented earlier. It only applies to students who have not yet graduated, it only applies to Federally guaranteed loans (which, at most universities, do not cover the cost of attendance), and it offers a maximum of 5% of a payment reduction and a 0.3ish % interest rate reduction. And the unpaid balance of the loan expires five years earlier. In other words, this does nothing to help anyone who already has student loans, such as all of the people who graduated college into the depths of the recession or the non-recovery recovery, and are struggling to make payments or even find work.

The company store... (0, Troll)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889754)

So the government gives loans to the poor, to go to a school that it is statistically unlikely that they will graduate from, learn anything from, or even gain any positive benefit from. Then the government demands return payment under penalty of law of this money, which has in every way you look at it, passed directly from the government to schools and teachers that have through tenure been guaranteed high paying, high benefit jobs for the rest of their natural lives. These schools have failure rates that are staggering when reviewed by any measure you can think of, and if forced to rely just on the money that came in from graduating students would be forced to either take drastic pay cuts or shutter their doors. The poor are then forced to spend a large portion of the beginning of their careers paying back loans, that payed for their boss to graduate. It's an inefficient, un-subtle and demeaning tax on the poor to pay for the wealthys education and keep tenured professors in plush offices teaching one or two classes a week. It's typical of a well meaning government program that's been corrupted by rich people that want a free ride, and lazy intellectuals that want to get paid exorbitant amounts of money for contributing to the humanities. As usually, the government should just stay the hell out of it and we'd all be better off.

One of many causes of problem (5, Insightful)

Pollux (102520) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889756)

For-profit schools. Shut them down. Period.

The average annual tuition for for-profit schools this year is about $14,000 [nytimes.com] . Public four-year colleges charge, on average, $7,605 per year [collegeboard.com] in tuition and fees for in-state students. What's worse is this: The default rate on student loans from for-profit institutions is 15% [campusprogress.org] , while the default rate at public universities is only 7.2 percent (same source).

For-profit schools are milking the American taxpayer for money. Just walk into any one of these schools, tell them you want to be a nurse / chef / accountant / whatever, and they'll lay down a student loan form for you to sign before you could even say "Herbie Hancock." Because, at least with the present law, once a for-profit school gets their money from Uncle Sam, it's theirs, no strings attached. I'd almost call it fraud, except those students who enroll in a for-profit school actually do get something in return, even if it is a sorry-excuse of a half-ass education. (PBS did an excellent documentary a year back on for-profit schools, particularly exposing the "value" of a diploma one gets from these crooks. You can watch it here. [pbs.org] )

What's sad is that there's a really simple solution to all this: require a for-profit school to assume some of the risk. If we required a for-profit school to pay back even just 50% of the loan that was defaulted on, you'd see the default rate decrease overnight.

My idea, for what it is worth (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889788)

The problem is pegging the right price to the cost of college.

I say, trace the lifetime incomes of everyone who graduated from college XYZ. Peg the cost of 4 years of that college, to 4% of the average lifetime income of previous graduates. THAT is how much that college deserves to charge.

Then, paying back your college loan is easy: a 4% surcharge is added onto your taxes, your entire working life.

So if the average graduate of college XYZ makes $80,000/ year, on average, for 30 years of employment, on average, then that college deserves to charge only

80K * 40 years * 4% / 4 years of college = $32,000 a year

That is paid back via a 4% tax surcharge over the working lifetime of the grad. Of course there are complications (grad school, only doing 3 yrs of college, etc.), but this is just an rough idea, it can be refined

The Myth (1, Interesting)

codepunk (167897) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889802)

First of all the myth needs to be busted that somehow a continued education is magically going to equal success. Nothing could be further from the truth, it can help in certain situations but as all things in life there is no guarantee.

We all are born with certain talents, it is those that can find and monetarily exploit those talents that find success. Unfortunately we where not all born as equals, some will easily find success while others may struggle their entire lives.

Who's to blame? (5, Interesting)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#37889870)

I don't think college grads are entirely without blame. I graduated less than years ago with a Bachelors degree and a relatively modest $22,000 in student loans. In under 18 months, I've managed to pay off $10,000 while making $30,000/yr (that's 45% of the principal in 15% of the 10 year loan period). How do I do it? For one thing, I don't have cable TV, a smartphone and my car has very little beyond the basic options. Not paying for cable TV and a smartphone with data plan every month is another $80 I can contribute to the student loan (that's nearly an extra $1000/yr off the principal and a savings of more than $3000 in interest over the course of the loan). Throw in the fact that I rarely eat out, buy foods in bulk ($100 chest freezer is a great investment when buying beef by the cow) have all used furniture, work extra odd jobs whenever possible and avoid shopping trips that zig zag around town to save gas and it adds up quickly. I'm finding many of my peers that complain about loans do none of those things... they want everything and they want it now. I realize this isn't an option for everybody... but students also shouldn't be off the hook if they get a crap degree in English or Underwater Basketweaving because it's easy and they have a passing interest in it.

Where is the bailout? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37889908)

This may be due to ignorance, but where exactly is the bail out part? It seems to be simply good business sense if the government is acting like a bank: if the loan can't be paid, reduce the rates so you at least get something.

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