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  #26  
Old 11-13-2013, 03:26 PM
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Default Re: Student Loan debt

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Originally Posted by JoeP View Post
So, what about not getting a student loan, by means of not getting tertiary education at all? And going straight into The World?
It sort of depends. The loan sucks out the equivalent of several thousand pounds out of a graduate's salary. If getting a degree boosts net salary by, say, £5000 a year, it's well worth it. Otherwise I'd say not to bother.
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Old 11-13-2013, 04:00 PM
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Default Re: Student Loan debt

3 extra years of work experience - whether long service in the same job or job-hopping - could be worth something as well. Albeit presumably from a lower starting salary.
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  #28  
Old 11-13-2013, 04:15 PM
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Default Re: Student Loan debt

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Originally Posted by JoeP View Post
Little Miss JoeP is looking at art degrees. One nephew has gone to university. One son of a friend has got straight into employment (retail mgt) while his sister is applying to university.
My friend's daughter just started her theater degree at a performing arts college. Right now she's learning to be an aerialist. Her older brother just graduated with an engineering degree and he says to her, "If people ask you what you're going to do with an art degree, remember that I have an engineering degree and I can't get a job either. Might as well study what you love."

I love that attitude, if you have the luxury of affording it. Their mom is a school lunch lady, so I think they go without a lot to pull it off, plus we still have the Hope scholarship in Georgia.
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  #29  
Old 11-13-2013, 05:10 PM
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Default Re: Student Loan debt

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Originally Posted by Ensign Steve View Post
I love that attitude, if you have the luxury of affording it.
Isn't the essence of this thread that degrees are a luxury (not a necessity or even much of aid in finding a job) that not everyone (perhaps, hardly anyone) can afford?
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  #30  
Old 11-13-2013, 05:36 PM
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Default Re: Student Loan debt

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Originally Posted by Ensign Steve View Post
Might as well study what you love."

I love that attitude, if you have the luxury of affording it.
That is really good advice, if you study a subject that you are really interested in you will learn more and better. A subject that is just a meal ticket will only get the attention to 'get by'. Look back at TLR's posts about students who feel that paying for a course earns them a passing grade whether they do any thing or not.

In a similar situation many years ago my son asked me what I thought would be a good thing to collect that could later turn a profit. It seemed his main interest was in the money he could make in buying and selling. So I told him if his main interest is in the money, just go straight to it and collect money. And in school identify what interests you and study that, if you get really good at it there is almost always a job to be had.
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  #31  
Old 11-13-2013, 05:40 PM
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Default Re: Student Loan debt

Great point. And you have to figure, someone who always wanted to be an artist but studied engineering is going to be competing with people who always wanted to be engineers. Is it better to be a great artist or a mediocre engineer?
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  #32  
Old 11-13-2013, 05:45 PM
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Default Re: Student Loan debt

One cautionary tale, be sure that the subject you are studying and the school you are attending are current with the world. I got (barely) a BS degree in education, Industrial Arts, and after I quit teaching I worked in industry, machine shops and as a draftsman. I found that most of what I learned in college was crap, and was lucky that I could quickly adapt to the real world. I think that when a subject has been taught in college it tends to drift from the real world and is changed and altered to suit the class room situation. Industrial arts, drafting in particular has been taught in schools by teachers who do not work in industry for a long time. My one daughter studied photography and was taught by teachers who still worked in the business, and she was able to directly apply what she learned to her job.
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  #33  
Old 11-13-2013, 05:53 PM
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Default Re: Student Loan debt

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Great point. And you have to figure, someone who always wanted to be an artist but studied engineering is going to be competing with people who always wanted to be engineers. Is it better to be a great artist or a mediocre engineer?
Exactly right, when I was drafting I worked with some mediocre engineers. It could be that they saw engineering as a meal ticket and really didn't apply themselves.

I also had to deal with egos in that one engineer thought that because his pay was more than a draftsman, his ideas were more likely to be correct. Another engineer really got upset when I tried to correct something he was specifying on a drawing.
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Old 11-13-2013, 06:20 PM
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Default Re: Student Loan debt

The cost of higher education in the U.S. has not only outpaced inflation by a wide margin, but even outpaced medical expenses. When I went to college, I could easily have paid my way through school even at barely over minimum wage jobs. Now, not so much, not in most places anyway. Student loans have become essential if you want that education.

In the Fall of 1974, when I enrolled at an Oklahoma junior college, tuition was $7.75 per credit. I signed up for 17 credits, at a cost of $131.75. I bought used books for a total of around $100. My dorm fees for the entire semester were $440, including 17 meals per week at the cafeteria. Other fees, including parking, lab fees, etc., totaled no more than about $40. If I had enrolled at a state university instead, the only thing that would have been significantly higher would have been tuition, which would have been exactly double what I paid. In Texas at that time, in-state tuition was $4 or $8 at all state colleges and universities, $16 for out-of-state, or pretty close to what it would have cost me to go to OSU.

Adjusted for inflation, that $7.75 per credit would now be $35.59. But, that same junior college now charges at least $101.50 per credit, of which $69.50 is considered tuition, the rest is labeled as "fees". There are a host of other fees one must also pay now. But, the one thing a student has to pay for that seems high but isn't that bad is books. I know from my daughters going to school, that even buying used, books run $500-600 per semester, only 20-30% more after adjusting for inflation than that $100 I paid way back when.

Why didn't I realize how lucky I was way back when?
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  #35  
Old 11-13-2013, 08:12 PM
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Default Re: Student Loan debt

It's not essential to go to a university to study. If you love your subject enough, you can do the studying with just books and the internet. There are many good, currently free, courses available on-line. I've done some of the Coursera ones: I think if you completed a portfolio of perhaps twenty such courses in related fields then you would have studied a subject to at least degree level - probably higher.

You wouldn't have the piece of paper saying you have a degree, but you wouldn't have the debt either - and I suspect that at least some potential employers would appreciate your initiative and might be prepared to give you a chance instead of one of the usual suspects churned out by the traditional higher education mill.
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  #36  
Old 11-13-2013, 08:46 PM
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Default Re: Student Loan debt

Well, since I'm some kind of Freedom-hating socialist, it probably goes without saying that I think education should be free to the student in pretty much all instances - I would say it's much more crucial for a modern society to have universal education than universal healthcare, though I support that too. So obviously I'm all kinds of pissed off about the way we handle it in the US (including the whole thing where student loans don't dissolve in bankruptcy, wtf).

I tend to agree with a lot of the assessments ITT about the way we run education and the "value" of a college degree, BUT! I am definitely with lisa in that whatever changes we make we need to be damn careful that they aren't used to reconstruct and reinforce the class and race divisions that we're only just starting to look past - vocational school may well be awesomesauce for the kid that really does just want to be a mechanic, but it'd be all too easy for things to go back to what they used to be, where the children of the wealthy and powerful are "obviously" good college material and everyone else "obviously" isn't. Tread carefully here…

Of course, it may also go without saying to those who know me that I think the value of a liberal arts education is great and central and necessary, completely independent of whatever job prospects it does or does not open up. Knowledge is cumulative, and there's absolutely no good reason we should handicap future generations by not giving them as much of what we have now as we possibly can - whether we can see a practical use for it or not.

I am very interested to see what the future holds as technology and communication continue to put all our accumulated knowledge at the fingertips of anyone with an Internet connection as ceptimus mentions (I recall a YouTube video about the various educational channels there which speculated about "pocket tutor" programs eventually replacing almost all teachers), but I worry about the potential of such technology to make it easier, not harder, to segregate the population and keep large swaths of poor laborers ignorant.
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  #37  
Old 11-13-2013, 09:04 PM
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Default Re: Student Loan debt

When I studied for my degree back in the 80s, not only was my course fully paid for but I received a living allowance that was sufficient to pay for my lodging, food, books, transport and even drink for the three years that the course lasted. My parents didn't earn that much money, but they weren't exactly poor - it was the norm back then that everyone's tuition was paid by the government, and you also received some kind of living allowance unless your parents were quite rich.

I did some jobs during the summer holidays - but that was only because I wanted to earn extra money to travel and buy a better motorbike - many of my fellow students 'signed on' during the holidays and received further government hand-out money because they were 'available for work' but not actually working.

Back then there was a much smaller proportion of young people taking degrees. It seems now that many youngsters just fall into higher education - not because they really want to study - but because they don't stand much chance of finding a job and they don't know what else to do with their time.
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  #38  
Old 11-13-2013, 09:18 PM
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Default Re: Student Loan debt

Yeah, this can't help but be related to broader problems with labor and employment. A lot of people go to college not just for the idea of a better-paying job, but because it delays having to enter a workforce and economy with fewer and fewer options. My wife and I have been living very largely off borrowed money for school, not just because the jobs we want require degrees, but also because without them there's just no serious prospects for work that wouldn't keep us poor enough to stay on the govt dole for life. As we've discussed many times between us, we look forward to the day when we actually owe income taxes.
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  #39  
Old 11-13-2013, 09:44 PM
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Default Re: Student Loan debt

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...we look forward to the day when we actually owe income taxes.
I have it on good authority that this is irrational, and potentially even impossible. What possible reason could anyone have for wanting to move form a state of blissful moochery freedom to one of base slavery to the federal government?
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  #40  
Old 11-13-2013, 10:12 PM
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Default Re: Student Loan debt

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Yeah, this can't help but be related to broader problems with labor and employment. A lot of people go to college not just for the idea of a better-paying job, but because it delays having to enter a workforce and economy with fewer and fewer options. My wife and I have been living very largely off borrowed money for school, not just because the jobs we want require degrees, but also because without them there's just no serious prospects for work that wouldn't keep us poor enough to stay on the govt dole for life. As we've discussed many times between us, we look forward to the day when we actually owe income taxes.
This is why I'm in grad school. :unnod: It only pays 10 grand a year, but that's 10 grand more than I'd be making otherwise. Plus it means I can continue to defer my loans. :biggrin:
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  #41  
Old 11-14-2013, 01:17 AM
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Default Re: Student Loan debt

I do think that education, like health care, should be considered a fundamental human right. If I were ruler of the world, no one would ever have to pay a dime for their education.
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  #42  
Old 11-14-2013, 03:16 AM
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Default Re: Student Loan debt

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I do think that education, like health care, should be considered a fundamental human right. If I were ruler of the world, no one would ever have to pay a dime for their education.

I agree that everyone who wants an education should have the opportunity to get one. The problem is who pays for the school building and the teachers? I certainly hope you are not pulling a Lessans and saying the money will just be there somehow?
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:27 AM
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Default Re: Student Loan debt

Several years ago I had a conversation with an elected politician and I suggested that spending bills should be decided by the voters and tax payers. His stated concern was that the voters would lack the knowledge of each bill as proposed and make the wrong decision. It's possible that he just didn't want to give up his position of power and authority.
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:52 PM
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Default Re: Student Loan debt

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Quote:
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I do think that education, like health care, should be considered a fundamental human right. If I were ruler of the world, no one would ever have to pay a dime for their education.

I agree that everyone who wants an education should have the opportunity to get one. The problem is who pays for the school building and the teachers? I certainly hope you are not pulling a Lessans and saying the money will just be there somehow?
It is common for the government to levy things called taxes, that is government officials or employees will actually collect monies from the citizens. This money can then be used to pay for things like armies, roads, health care, education. Why, now that I think on it, I suppose the breadth of things that the government can spend money on to ensure its citizens have a good life is quite large.
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  #45  
Old 11-14-2013, 08:29 PM
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Default Re: Student Loan debt

Ugh, just imagine all the freeloaders like that Ensign Steve guy, though, pursuing their education and doing research and bullshit I don't understand just to avoid having to do any real work.
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  #46  
Old 11-14-2013, 09:57 PM
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Default Re: Student Loan debt

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A liberal arts education is not supposed to be vocational training, but it does provide vocational benefits in ways far less concrete than (this made me mad) that lady in that article saying that she was working in social media, which isn't even part of a college curriculum! As though her educational background was somehow completely irrelevant because it doesn't exactly match her current job title. She doesn't really think she'd have that "social media" position with just a high school education, does she?
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Of course, it may also go without saying to those who know me that I think the value of a liberal arts education is great and central and necessary, completely independent of whatever job prospects it does or does not open up. Knowledge is cumulative, and there's absolutely no good reason we should handicap future generations by not giving them as much of what we have now as we possibly can - whether we can see a practical use for it or not.
AMEN

I am the beneficiary of a Liberal Arts education and it is indisputably the case that because of that education I am the totally awesome human being that I am today. Also Jesus.
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  #47  
Old 11-14-2013, 10:09 PM
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Default Re: Student Loan debt

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I do agree with that lady that most kids shouldn't go to college right out of high school, though. It helps to spend a little time working and being a sort of grownup first.
I took a year off between high school and college to bum around the country. I could have made a career out of that but God tricked me into becoming a minister instead.

Interesting fact: No specialized education or degrees are required to pursue a successful career as a bum. Talent, desire and opportunity are all that are required. The exceptions to that are Surf Bum and Ski Bum. For those you do need to learn how to surf or ski. Those are, I suppose, forms of specialized education.
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  #48  
Old 11-14-2013, 10:42 PM
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Default Re: Student Loan debt

Some totally awesome on the job training is required for ski bums and surf bums.
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  #49  
Old 11-15-2013, 05:03 AM
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Default Re: Student Loan debt

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Of course, it may also go without saying to those who know me that I think the value of a liberal arts education is great and central and necessary, completely independent of whatever job prospects it does or does not open up. Knowledge is cumulative, and there's absolutely no good reason we should handicap future generations by not giving them as much of what we have now as we possibly can - whether we can see a practical use for it or not.
AMEN

I am the beneficiary of a Liberal Arts education and it is indisputably the case that because of that education I am the totally awesome human being that I am today. Also Jesus.
I think that, especially with humanities, there's something about the abstracts and nuance and not thinking in black and whites that makes it easier to learn new skills, which is something you have to do all the time in most fields. There are always human factors involved, either directly or indirectly, in whatever you do, so that's important, but it also I think teaches people to be flexible in their thinking. And it just makes your life better and more interesting, which also matters.

I've always sort of regretted not studying more humanities when I was in school, like a bunch of literature and maybe sociology and things like that. I was young and poor and in a hurry, though, so I mostly just did the minimum and snuck in a few extras when I had room.
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  #50  
Old 11-15-2013, 08:07 AM
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Default Re: Student Loan debt

I regret not having studied more math and science. I don't regret it a lot, but I do regret it.
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Old Pain In The Ass says: I am on a mission from God to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable; to bring faith to the doubtful and doubt to the faithful. :shakebible:
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Thanks, from:
The Man (05-14-2014)
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