Social Question

JLeslie's avatar

I just got an email to sign a petition to forgive student loan debt, what do you think about that idea?

Asked by JLeslie (60531points) October 17th, 2011

The theory is it would put more money in the hands of Americans, leading to more spending, leading to a better economy.

At first glance I don’t like the idea, but want to hear what other people think.

There are all sorts of reasons why I don’t like it. One is I think people should pay their debts. Two, the government needs money right now. Three, I think the whole tuition going up much faster than inflation is a big problem, and I think student loans probably feeds the problem, so I want the underlying problem fixed.

What’s your opnion, and if you don’t mind I am curious what political party you identify with. I am a Democrat.

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53 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I think it’s a good idea. If we can forgive much more of banks, we can forgive student loan debt. Socialist.

Mamradpivo's avatar

I’ll sign it.

jaytkay's avatar

Existing programs give people a break in exchange for teaching in low-income schools for a few years.

I would direct your correspondents there.

For example: Stafford Loan Forgiveness Program for Teachers

wundayatta's avatar

Sometimes you need to forgive debt and sometimes you need to let people go bankrupt. Sometimes you help people get jobs so they can pay off their debt. If you don’t forgive the loan, a lot of people will go bankrupt. This makes it impossible for them to get credit and so they can’t get capital and build a new business. Not that they would be likely to do so, but it is a cost.

I don’t think it matters if we forgive loans or not. The banks might be hurt, or the taxpayers might be hurt, but we’re going to be hurt anyway. I don’t really think it matters, except I do think that only people in dire need should get forgiveness.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@jaytkay Unfortunately, that program only forgives $17k in student loans, when that’s only a small percentage of what most owe in student loans. And, it’s only for certain areas, if you spend 40 years teaching in a suburban, wealthy area for a public school, you don’t benefit at all from that program. We need a program that offers total loan forgiveness eventually, even if you don’t teacher impoverished inner-city youth. Perhaps a program where teaching in impoverished inner-city areas speeds up your loan forgiveness, but where that’s not the only way.

@wundayatta Student loans, both public and private, cannot be forgiven by declaring bankruptcy.

WestRiverrat's avatar

The problem is, if those students do not repay their loans, there will be less money for the next generation’s students to borrow. Which means there will be less people able to afford post secondary educations.

There are already several avenues by which the federal government will forgive part or all of your student loans. Many private firms also have as one of the benefits student loan repayment programs.

None of these people had a gun put to their head when they signed up for the student loans. I personally would not sign the petition.

ETpro's avatar

I got it too, and deleted it. I don’t like the idea of forgiving debt others already incurred, transferring the responsibility to the people who never benefited from what the loan payed for and asking them to pay it, or bankrupting the lending institutions that made the loans in good faith.

I do think we should move toward ensuring that all qualified young Americans can attend a state college regardless of their means to pay, and can graduate without crushing debt. Perhaps a national service corp. could be set up where one could work off college debt after graduation and at the same time gain experience that will benefit them in a career. But there are no free lunches.

talljasperman's avatar

I was wondering if we can link some of the debts to the students success?... like purchasing a share in future income(like 10% of income for every year in university for 10 years after grad or until the debt is payed’we can haggle over the details later’ ) would encourage universities to be invested in seeing the student succeed.

zenvelo's avatar

My concern is it is a one-time deal, and therefore not fair. Believe me, it would certainly help my girlfriend who has struggled to pay her student loan while working to pass her professional licensing exam.

I’d be very supportive of a complete restructuring of the outstanding debt. Perhaps no interest, just principal only.

jaytkay's avatar

if you spend 40 years teaching in a suburban, wealthy area for a public school, you don’t benefit at all from that program

If you can’t repay your loan after a 40-year career in a wealthy school district, I wouldn’t want you teaching my kids. Especially math. Don’t discuss math with my kids, thanks.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@JLeslie Could you post the email? I’d love to know exactly what we’re talking about here.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@jaytkay Where you work as a public school teacher doesn’t have a whole lot of bearing on how much you earn as a public school teacher. And while most can pay them off eventually, the idea with student loans is to be able to pay it off in a decade, not a year before you die of old age. And luckily, if you have a kid in a wealthy public school district, you can probably afford to send them to a private school, where you can be more picky about who teaches your kid. But why should a teacher’s ability to teach the American Revolutionary War to teens have any more weight than how they handle their finances, amiright?

JLeslie's avatar

Below is the email. I should have posted it in the original question.

Hi, I signed a petition to The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate and President Barack Obama, which says: “Forgiving the student loan debt of all Americans will have an immediate stimulative effect on our economy. With the stroke of the President’s pen, millions of Americans would suddenly have hundreds, or in some cases, thousands of extra dollars in their pockets each and every month with which to spend on ailing sectors of the economy. As consumer spending increases, businesses will begin to hire, jobs will be created and a new era of innovation, entrepreneurship and prosperity will be ushered in for all. Therefore, we, the undersigned, strongly encourage Congress and the President to support H. Res 365, introduced by Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-MI), seeking student loan forgiveness as a means of economic stimulus.” Will you sign this petition? Click here: Thanks!

Aethelflaed's avatar

I think if we’re going to be ok with bailing out those who have money but pissed it away, we have to also be ok with bailing out those who want to better themselves via higher education so as to one day contribute even more to society. But we can’t bail out banks and the auto industry and then not bail out students.

Supacase's avatar

I would love to have that debt erased. We could definitely get a step ahead without that monthly payment. But, I owe what I owe. Don’t get me wrong – I wouldn’t turn down the offer and it totally ticks me off that companies and people far better off than I am get bailed out.

The entire system needs an overhaul, IMO. I had no idea the financial hole I was digging for myself at the time; I was fresh out of HS and making a major financial decision that would affect the next 20 years of my life, which is crazy, but what else could I have done? I had no other way to go to college. My parents made too much money for me to qualify for any assistance but too little to pay for my college. I think it sucks that aid is based on parental income anyway. Not all parents pay for their kids to go to college even if they can afford to.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Supacase Not all parents pay for their kids to go to college even if they can afford to. Can I get a what what?

mrrich724's avatar

(I didn’t read other answers for this question)

I think students knew what they were doing when they signed up for loans, they should man up and pay the debts they knowingly acquired; not just jump on the bandwagon and point fingers so they can cop out of their responsibilities along with lots of others.

Bailing out banks is bullshit, but “forgiving” everyone else isn’t going to resolve the issue.

You can’t say, “Helping the banks is bad but if you help me too it will be ok” That’s bullshit.

Don’t help the banks, don’t help students, and SERIOUSLY, I think peoples’ entitled attitudes are what helped this mess begin, and what keep propagate the issue.

ETpro's avatar

Gah! I absolutely HATE that I have to defend the bank bailouts. But the alternative of allowing a second Great Depression was even less palatable. And in fairness to the banks, they got loans, not forgiveness of debts. The loans have been repaid with interest. We The People not only avoided the horrors of another Great Depression, we made money on the deal.

mrrich724's avatar

@ETpro if that’s true, that’s a really important fact. I think the fact that the bailouts were actually loans repaid with interest should be advertised more!

ETpro's avatar

@mrrich724 Here’s how TARP has shaken out to date. If Faux News and the GOP weren’t psuhing so much disinformation about it (even though it was proposed and passed by George W. Bush) the public would know the facts.

The government still holds several million shares of GM Stock from the auto industry bailout. It remains to be seen how We The People will do on that one. But preserving several million US jobs at a time when unemployment was north of 9% will probably by worth the cost.

XD's avatar

I received my undergraduate degree 16 years ago and still owe $10,000 on my student loan(s). My repayment has been stretched out through deferment, consolidation, and because I chose a graduated payment plan (making lower payments at first and more later). Along the way, I also received an educational award amounting to $4,000—$4,500 (or so after taxes) for completing a year of service through Americorps. I identify more or less as a progressive liberal.

A cursory glance at statistics (and reading that tragic petition) tells me that this is a bailout masquerading as a panacea for a class that is presumably literate and civic but also terribly myopic. If my numbers are right and if I did the math right, this petition represents something like 10% of the U.S. population (25% having completed college and of those 38% taking student loans).

So, maybe it is progress, but it still ignores a majority of the U.S. population. It still requires spending trickling down to be of wider benefit. If my student loans were forgiven, would I spend that money on local goods and services or would I buy a better Xbox? I’m not sure.

And how is this any different from the “bail out Main Street” argument we heard in the midst of bank bailouts? We could have bailed out homeowners and presumably this would have kept the derivatives market from wagging the dog, because all of those Aaa rated instruments would have been backed by solvent lending. I would say that I was probably more for bailing out Main Street in that case, but my point is to draw the comparison and infer that it’s highly unlikely that this idea is going anywhere.

I disagree that the government needs money. There is a ton of Pentagon money that is wasted and unaccounted for. If the government needs the money then it because of mismanagement.

I think part of this phenomenon is a tuition bubble, which is another way of saying it’s systematically rising faster than inflation. Maybe this one is engineered just like others have been, so who’s to blame?

Why isn’t there more informed consent in this process? Who in their right mind would give an 18 year old a check for $50,000—$100,000 without making sure they understood the implications of that loan? I can’t say it was explained to me, and I went to an excellent private school and had a stable, nuclear family with parents who graduated from college.

I’m having a hard time bringing this one home, but what I want to throw out in addition to the above is the lost and buried notion of jubliee, which is the (now seemingly lost) periodic forgiveness of debts. So, while foreign to our ears, there is historical precedent for something like this.

Carol's avatar

@mrrich724 When former students took out loans they had no idea whatsoever that a growing percentage of graduates would not be able to find jobs.

What if a former student had to earn forgiveness? Ex: At some arbitrary points, such as five years or ten years, if a student has made every payment on time, they got a percentage of what is left removed? It would serve as an incentive to pay the money back and reward good behavior.

The government pushes people to attain more education while, at the same time, disregarding what the individual faces after school. The idea that banks and auto companies get bailed out but individual citizens do not is total bullshit. It does however show us what entities are running our country.

Coloma's avatar

It’s all a game, I just take that big step out into the universe and laugh at all the chaos down here on earth. Let us all eat cake!

I propose that every american is given a free duck mask. ;-)

augustlan's avatar

I got the same email, and I also deleted it. I have several issues with the idea, but the first one that came to mind is that it would be rather unfair and kind of arbitrary. As @XD said, it would help only a small portion of people. And what about people carrying debt due to medical expenses, or adoption, or any number of other ‘worthy’ causes?

I’m all for restructuring, though.

tedd's avatar

Ok here’s the problem… This wouldn’t forgive PRIVATE student loan debt.

The people who are in debt by hundreds of thousands of dollars (like myself) do not owe that money in federal loans. We owe it to private banks because the federal loans were capped at 10 or 20 thousand dollars.

Next, while forgiving my student loans (saying for the moment it included the private ones) would give me a TON of extra spending cash (like $750 extra a month), it would severely hamper the banks and what not, as they would basically just be taking a hundred thousand dollar hit.

I am all for reforming the system, because it is supremely flawed right now. We’re telling kids to go to college and get an education so they can better the country and make more money… But if you don’t have some kind of technical or scientific field, you’re going to be lucky to pay your bills for the first 15 years after you graduate. It’s a giant chain holding down the American people. But just flat out forgiving student loan debt isn’t going to fix the problem.

You need to make education cheaper first and foremost. Tuition has skyrocketed in just the past 10 years, let alone 20 or 30 years. Next I would mandate that student loan interest rates be capped, rather than free market…. I have one private loan that is at 9%… thankfully it’s my smallest.

syz's avatar

If you knowingly entered into a contract and were extended credit based on your promise to pay it back, then you should pay it back.

mrrich724's avatar

@Carol Students who go to college, generally are smart enough to understand the concepts that go along with student debt. In order to even take out a loan, there is a financial aid orientation which is mandatory, which schools you to these concepts. It even says something toward the effect of (sorry, don’t remember, I signed my contract in ‘03) ’ we give you a year to start paying back, you have to start paying back even in the not-unlikely event that you don’t find a job.’

I am one of these people. I didn’t have to work as hard as others in college b/c I took out loans. I am now paying them back. There are SO MANY options to repay your debt. There are grace periods, grace period extensions. The department of education will even buy your debt and work with you endlessly on options to make sure you can afford it.

This program gives you ¼ percent off just for enrolling in automatic deductions. When you make a certain amount of payments, you get another ¼ percent or so off.

I deferred my loans for over a year and a half, and I found a job within three months of graduation. It was not easy. I applied for jobs every single day. In 2010, I also quit my job to relocate to Florida b/c I could NOT take California anymore. This was risky as lots of people were in a hiring freeze. Within one month I found a job!

I graduated in the middle of ‘08, and b/c of my age, to this day I have friends graduating every semester. They all get jobs straight away. Maybe I’m a lucky guy, but from my observations, it seems that when you get that degree, it’s alot easier to find a job than those without the credentials.

This economy has taken away opportunity from alot of people, I know this. But the people suffering worst are the people who have to work in the mall, or at restaurants, or McDonalds, or for the government who has no money. Those who have gone to college and /or have some relevant experience are able to work more easily.

The bottom line is, students don’t need any more help than they are already receiving, but some cry helplessness to jump on the bandwagon (as I mentioned earlier) and get a piece of the pie while everyone else is. And students aren’t guaranteed that just because they went to college they DESERVE, or will BE HANDED a job.

Working in HR I see people hired and fired every day, and there are many many many people who show up to interviews without there best foot forward just because they’d (admittedly) rather collect unemployment than work. And I hire people every single week, I see what people out there are doing to try and get work, or to try and say “hey I’m looking” when they really aren’t.

Students don’t need any more help than they are already given, and people can say whatever they want about how so many people go to college, and how college costs are through the roof, but there are still PAH-LENTY of people who can’t even go to college. So students should be grateful they get an opportunity that most people STILL aren’t getting, and do what they have to do to make it happen.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I, too, think people should pay their debts and, for that reason, having not read much about the benefits of forgiving student loan, I would be against it. However, I would be open to changing my moind if I genuinly believed it would be for the greater good.

wonderingwhy's avatar

One could make the same argument about any loans, for example mortgages. I could certainly put that money to better use than giving it to the bank – though I’m sure the bank would disagree. Instead of forgiving the loans I’d rather see terms more in favor of the borrower, scaled (and reassessed) to their current wealth and income over the life of the loan, and with less significant penalties for missteps during repayment. You could also go down the road of creating state and federal positions where a quarter of each dollar used to pay the loan is matched in exchange for a multi-year commitment of service. More to the point, a one time amnesty on loans might make things look better but it doesn’t address how we got to this place to begin with or aid us in preventing a reoccurrence. So no I couldn’t in good faith sign/vote for the OP’s petition. Political Affiliation: I’m more interested in issues and sustainable solutions that keep society progressing than party lines, but in general I lean left/social/dem.

mrrich724's avatar

Simply put, we are adults. We sign agreements, and should be as good as our word.

If something isn’t in your favor to the point that you would want to restructure it, then don’t agree to it to begin with!!!

No one has a gun to your head to take out college loans, or a mortgage for that matter.

The banks job is to earn money for shareholders, like any other company, not to make things pleasant for you just because you (anyone) feel like you deserve something.

They will present an attractive offer, it’s your responsibility to weight the pro’s and con’s before you make the commitment.

Jaxk's avatar

Seems I agree with the majority here. There is no free lunch. And I would agree that the real problem is the escalating cost of college. There are however very good community colleges that are quite reasonable.

If you want to compare this with the Bank bailouts, you’re missing the point. As @ETpro mentioned above the Banks bailouts were in fact loans. So that would mean your tuition loan, was your bailout. Also it should be noted that unemployment for college grads is running 4.3%. which is why I wonder about OWS

JLeslie's avatar

Wow, I agree with @Jaxk. Write down the date.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] This is our Question of the Day!

ETpro's avatar

@JLeslie & @Jaxk Politics does indeed make strange bedfellows at times.

martianspringtime's avatar

Mixed feelings on this.
I do think that if you borrow money, you should be expected to pay it back. Ideally, no, loans shouldn’t just be forgiven.
However I do think that tuition costs are ridiculous. That of course doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be paid, but it’s hard to argue that they are ridiculous.

I also agree with @Simone_De_Beauvoir‘s statement on how we forgive banks. I don’t understand the concept of forgiving some, but not others.
If paying back is justified, everyone should have to pay back. If forgiveness is justified, everyone should be forgiven.

JLeslie's avatar

@martianspringtime Why not go after the universities for the tuition they charge, rather than give away tax dollars for loans or forgive the loans?

And, the bank bailout was loans. The banks are paying back the money to the government. The banks weren’t “forgiven” as @ETpro and @Jaxk pointed out. The bank my husband works for paid back all the money several months ago. Don’t get me wrong some of that money was doled out when it was not necessary, but it is being paid back. This shows some of the numbers.

mrrich724's avatar

@JLeslie the problem I have with “going after the universities” is that Universities don’t hide their costs until you agree and make arrangements to go to a school. You know what the costs are up front! As a consumer, if you don’t think you are getting the value for the university’s cost, you don’t have to go!

Also, I think people like to blame universities, for expensive costs, but I think people need to get real.

State tuition at a quality state school is approximately $3,000 per year, cheaper than elementary private school! I have about $30k in student loans for attending my state university for 6 years, and that includes EVERYTHING not just tuition. This means that I spent about $5,000 a year to live life: food, housing, daily expenses AND education (which may I add is an education much more valuable than the more expensive private elementary school). Let’s say my calculations are off and my cost to attend school were doubled and the rest were paid out of pocket and with scholarships which I’m not including. That’s still only $10,000 for ALL MY EXPENSES. (which I can tell you, it wasn’t doubled, I’m using benefit of the doubt) And at the end of the day, we’ve already established that only $3,000.00 per year of that is for tuition.

When I was school shopping (in ‘03), all the state schools I explored had costs in the same ball park.

If you can’t afford state school, there are community colleges that are half the already low prices!!!

If you as a consumer want to go out of state, or attend a private university, than you have other values that come with another cost!

But the whole “lets find another excuse to benefit the consumer in blaming the university system” just doesn’t rub me the right way.

JLeslie's avatar

@mrrich724 You might be interested in this Q I asked a while back about tuition costs. Tuition has outpaced inflation in the last 20 years. I question all businesses and how they charge consumers, because there seems to be so much out of control greed in America lately. One interesting point on the Q I linked was doling out the loans, means educational institutions can charge higher tuition than they might have. Which costs the tax payer more money, and who benefits is the schools. This is one of the reasons I am against vouchers for primary and secondary education, but that is another topic. True in state school can still be reasonable, but I think American children should be able to go anywhere in America reasonably. I know that would mean a huge overhaul to the system, so I don’t hold onto any hope with that. I also completely agree consumers can decide to not pay or attend universities that have crazy high tuition. But, that does not seem to happening. Instead the people with money get educated, and those without have a very hard time.

mrrich724's avatar

Is it possible that the cost of education has outpaced inflation b/c it wasn’t valued appropriately a long time ago? Maybe not, but I’m just throwing that out there.

More realistically, what about supply and demand? There is a much greater demand for continuing education than there was a decade ago.

I’m not sure I see the greed in the education like in other institutions. For a paltry $3000 a year you get an education tailored to your goals, but you also get access to INCREDIBLE resources on campus like state of the art gyms, cafeterias that often give out free (good) food, computer labs with the latest tech, access to PhD professors who are leaders in their fields of knowledge, and you can learn directly from them!!! Libraries that blow local libraries out of the water and have many more documents including research documents that aren’t available everywhere, and the list goes on and on! I mean, I truly (in college and now) wondered how they could afford to do this and only charge me 1500 a semester, and I’m definitely a consumer who loves to keep my money! LOL.

I can see how making loans and education accessible to more people can lead to higher costs, but in the few years I was in school SO MANY buildings were erected to accommodate the new student numbers, and those buildings were built in half the time private structures take, and with more technology . . . that money has to come from somewhere.

The point is, even if the cost of education has outpaced inflation, I see legitimate reasons why it would!

Unlike the cost to bank, $5 a month for a debit card when BOA has posted 6 billion in profit for the quarter, $4 for a gallon of gas when in high school in 2003 I was paying $1.15 . . . that’s unreasonable, that’s greed. I’m not getting gas that’s 3x better in quality. . . I’m not getting higher interest rates on my bank balances. . .

JLeslie's avatar

@mrrich724 What school is only $3K per year? Most are more. I think my school is now $10k per semester? And, it is a state school. In the state I live now, in state tuition per year is about $8k more or less. I know Hunter College in NYC is next to nothing, but they were free in the past, there is a specific reason their tuition is so low, and that is a city school, so not exactly what we are talking about. Honestly I think even $10K isn’t bad at all, but as you point out out of state is much higher, double or triple, and private institutions are a fortune.

mrrich724's avatar

Florida State University for one. And I remember when I was comparing, UCF, UF, and FIU weren’t too far off. FSU has one of the best business schools and hospitality programs in the nation for a public institution. UF has one of the best pharmacy programs in the nation. I mean, these are great schools!

They may have gone up since then, but the campus has changed SO much in the three years since I’ve been gone, as I still have friends who attend and tell me about all the new stuff (ethernet connections in classrooms as an example). I also forgot to mention Thagard, our free healthcare center! Once I had to go for scar tissue that was developing on my tongue. Same day, a doctor surgered it, and I paid twenty dollars with no insurance!

As for out of state tuition, I think that’s a whole other discussion. Why should someone from Michigan come to Florida, use Florida’s state resources to gain an education they can get in Michigan (grants, scholarships, and a seat that can be filled by a Florida student), and then take their new education free of charge to Michigan, back to Michigan. So I can see why they charge more for out of state students! Also, there are steps you can take as an out of state student that can gain you in-state tuition, like getting a job in-state, changing your license to in-state, etc. (Things that people who might have a genuine interest in remaining in state would do, and who those who blatantly want to leave after college would be less motivated in doing)

I used Michigan as an example b/c I had a roommate from Michigan who held a job in Florida for two years to get in state tuition, and he did get it.

Private schools are yet a whole other discussion. My highschool classmates who went to private universities are making double my salary straight out of college. And for this I don’t doubt the benefits of what a degree can do for you, regardless of experience (although as an HR professional, I can definitely see how experience can be huge over a degree, it’s all circumstantial).

JLeslie's avatar

FSU is very inexpensive for in state. I think it is around $170 a credit hour. It has been so long since I went to college. I looked it up a few months ago for a relative. Out of state more than triple. So, what does that work out to? I can’t remember is a semester 12 or 15 hours? Still, even if it is 15, that’s what? About $5k a year for tuition. Great price.

Funny you use Florida state schools, where I lived most of my adult life, and a Michigander in your example, I went to school at Michigin State University.

So, if tuition is so reasonable, why is everyone getting a loan? I just started a Q regarding that.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@mrrich724 FWIW, I go to the cheapest state school in my state. The cost is 5k per semester (tuition and fees only, does not include cost of living).

mrrich724's avatar

@Aethelflaed I don’t know how you feel about it, but even 5k is worth the benefits I’ve mentioned above. @JLeslie even mentioned above that she thinks 10k a year is reasonable!

@JLeslie Out of state is much more than triple. I think Mr. Michigan was paying about 15k/year for FSU when we were paying 3.

Also, I think people are getting loans b/c they can’t afford it, but value (to me anyway) isn’t based on what you can afford, it’s what you can get for the money you spend!!! And the value in the education is so good, that even with an interest rate tacked on, it’s worth it to go to school on a loan, than not to go. There’s the optimistic take on it anyway! LOL

They may also be getting loans simply b/c they value going to school and focusing on school rather than working through it, b/c in actuality, at $3k a year, or even $5k a year, it’s possible to go to school without loans. At community college, it’s even cheaper (as mentioned before) so easier to do without the loans. But again, it’s all about where your values are: do you garner the interest, or do you sacrifice now and work through it?

JLeslie's avatar

@mrrich724 Community College is only a two year institution. I know the student can transfer, but those first two years on campus are the most amazing. I transfered as a sophomore, and I am so glad I did.

Yes, FSU is verh expensive for out of state if I remember correctly. I remember being shocked that it was over triple a credit hour compared to in state. Something over $600 a credit hour. I went to MSU out of state. I think back then it was around $500—$600 now it is around $1,000! I understand the reasoning behind people in state getting a better deal than out of state. But, I don’t like it. I think it sucks that some kid born and raised in Mississippi doesn’t have a reasonable chance to go to another part of the country for a university education because of cost. I think going to school in a different part of the cou try is an amazing experience, and also certain majors are much better at one school than another if their interest is very specialized.

I think $10k is reasonable, but just to clarify, I come down on the side of school being much more affordable. My dad went to college for free. Poor boy from the Bronx of immigrant parents, you have probaby seen me write about it before, and if it wasn’t for NYC believing so much in educating the poor who demonstrated strong academic ability, I don’t know what he would have done.

I really hate the loans. I hate children graduating school with loans on their back.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@mrrich724 Are you talking about these? you also get access to INCREDIBLE resources on campus like state of the art gyms, cafeterias that often give out free (good) food, computer labs with the latest tech, access to PhD professors who are leaders in their fields of knowledge, and you can learn directly from them!!! Because, no, I can’t. We have a gym, but it costs $5 everyday just to get in, and then often more for classes (like spinning classes, water aerobics classes, etc). You can’t get any food for less than $1.75 in the vending machines for chips and candy bars, lunches cost more around $4–5 every day, and that’s if you’re going with the soup and nothing else – something more substantial like a burrito costs $7.50. Access to PhD processors who are leaders in their fields of knowledge… usually, no. Some of them are quite good and competent, but I can’t think of any professors I know of at this school that are considered leaders in their fields. The leaders in their field PhDs are up at the public Ivy school that costs 20k a semester in tuition. Also, parking costs $5.50 every single day, at least, and parking permits are actually more expensive than just paying the cash every day.

My point was, I think even a really cheap education costs a lot more than you say it does.

JLeslie's avatar

@Aethelflaed Well, food and and gym would cost money no matter where you are. I agree that the best schools are not accessible because the tuitions are extremely high. Goes back to a kid being disadvantaged because of his place of birth and economic circumstance of his family. I hate that. Feels unAmerican, and at the same time unfortunately very American.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@JLeslie Yeah, I mean, I’m not really upset that food and gym cost money, I just think it’s important to note that I can’t just show people my student ID and then get free food and exercise, that these aren’t quite the “included amenities” people think of them as. Biking in the park near me is significantly cheaper than using the gym at school.

augustlan's avatar

I think it also depends on what you want to go to school for. My oldest has a very specific major/minor, and it’s not offered everywhere, nor are the programs equal everywhere. It’s going to cost way more for her to get a quality education in her chosen field than community college costs.

bkcunningham's avatar

@JLeslie, why would you say that? “I understand the reasoning behind people in state getting a better deal than out of state. But, I don’t like it. I think it sucks that some kid born and raised in Mississippi doesn’t have a reasonable chance to go to another part of the country for a university education because of cost.”

I know lots of kids born and raised in Mississippi that had a reasonable chance and did go to good colleges. In and out of state, and including Old Miss.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@JLeslie Often, schools will accept more kids from out of state than in state, because they get more money from the out of state student.

mrrich724's avatar

@Aethelflaed and @JLeslie Well I guess I’m blessed.

I guess Florida really does have the pick then b/c yes, all those things I mentioned are pretty standard at the public institutions in South, Central, and North Florida, even West Florida (UWF)

and being that Florida never seems to be conveyed at the top of the academic food chain (nationally), I thought it was safe to assume that there’s at least one comparable university in each state.

I know Georgia has them, I can name schools in Georgia, Alabama, California, Arizona, Texas, and Louisiana that are comparable, (maybe more if I really sit here and think about it). But all these schools have great football programs that bring in lots of money. I remember one time I was walking in to Strozier, the main library at FSU and there was a huge banner that said “Thank you to the FSU football program, which just donated $100,000 to our library program.”

So maybe just look for the University that has a nationally recognized athletic program, and go there heh.

JLeslie's avatar

@bkcunningham I chose MS randomly, although it is a very poor state. W. VA is poor too. Hell, poor people are all over the country. It’s a national disgrace. Of course MS kids can go out of state, if they have the money to pay out of state tuition. I don’t think any schools in MS are rated like UVA, U MI, etc. Certainly MS has some decent universities though, even if they continue to come under fire for being racist because of their original school song being dragged out by students still to this day. I wouldn’t want my kid going there, but I know many many people who have graduated from there. All very nice people.

@Aethelflaed Yeah, I think that is how I got accepted to MSU. Probably if I was competing to get in as an in-state student I would have been less likely to be accepted. Luckily my parents had the money for out of state tuition.

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