Monday, September 23, 2013

I have another friend who is a young parent of a beautiful young adult who have decided to make the investment of a college education for their daughter.  It is a big plunge for them because neither parent has a college degree and feel well, they struggle but for the most part lead a fairly comfortable life.  Does happiness necessarily come from a college education?  It all reminds me of a blog I wrote on June 11, 2012 and sadly, things financially have not changed much for now the struggling student with college loans . 
 My friend was complaining about the $7,000 she would have to pay for education left after loans and grants paid for some of the cost.  But, already she has noticed a new enthusiasm about life from her beautiful young adult.  The student looks forward to passing assignments successfully instead of hanging out and going to the bad habit of self destruction of slashing one's body which so many teens are getting involved in lately.  So, any investment in education is a good investment overall.  Just try to afford it all.  Here is the blog from over a year ago.
America is the land of our educated poor. Is an education worth becoming poor? Or do they just expect the educated to figure out a way to pay their loans somewhere along the career route? Is going to college worth the cost or do the elected politicians just expect our educated to struggle to survive. Student debts now top a Trillion dollars and college tuition's across the country are rising.

Sara Lawrence College, located near New York City, will charge $60,000 per year per student tuition in September. It is the most expensive college in the nation. Is college worth it? What am I investing in anyway? Sure, they are good kids and they have my smile but all that money? At least both parties the democrats and republicans want to keep interest rates on loans at 3.4%. Why are the college costs rising so quickly?
Most of the money goes to teacher’s salaries. In other industries we find ways of using fewer labor hours and more technology. In education, nothing much has changed in that you still need human teachers that need to make a good wage at the college teaching level. So, as a result, college tuition has risen at twice the rate as inflation. In fact, they doubled in just 10 years according to the Bureau of  Labor Statistics.
Faculty salaries have still been pretty stagnant but their compensation goes up when health care goes up. So, there are higher costs and growing enrollment that all add up to a mountain of debt. The nation’s total student loan bill now topples outstanding debt on all of our credit cards. One Trillion dollars and counting. More and more students are having difficulty paying for colleges which often forces them to borrow more.

We are becoming a nation like to what happened in the Middle Ages where the rich get richer. Only the rich can afford to educate their children thus creating a class state. There is a web site called FinAid .org which is a student guide to financial aid. The site noticed that the average debt at graduation was about $27,000. If you throw in the parent loans, it totals about $34,000.
Last month in Washington students showed up at Sallie Mae, the student loan agency protesting the higher and higher cost of a higher education. Last week there were still more protests . The students absolutely see this as a crisis and it seems that every school proposes 10% increases. There is a group forming called Occupy Colleges where they have at least once a week a protest at a college.

What is Washington doing about the crisis? President Obama has been campaigning at colleges saying not much but for the students to plea to Sallie Mae to not to double the interest rates on student loans in July. Hey! We elected you already. How about getting a Congressional Committee to enforce some constraints. These are just kids trying to learn stuff not professional protesters. Where did all the hippies from the 60’s go? Those people knew how to protest everything.

Republican candidate Mitt Romney was close behind Obama in the appearances for campaigning votes and said, “ I fully support the effort to extend the low interest rate on student loans.” That’s it? What is the plan dude!!?? Oh, I forgot, Mitt never had to worry, he was able to afford his Harvard degree, he is rich. House Republicans voted to use money set aside for the Obama Health Care Program. That is certainly not going to fly well with the President. Democrats propose closing tax loopholes for oil and gas companies. Now, it is the Senates problem.

Passing some controlling legislation will help students next year not now. There are still a lot of students out there with loans that exceed 3.5%. This in an economy struggling to create jobs for all these young , bright and beautiful students with all that debt to start their careers with. These kids are at an age where they could help the economy if they could. They want to purchase new cars and buy homes and spend to furnish them but can’t.

There is one program at which is a program that students can participate in working off payments by volunteering. Some like it because it is a way to give back to their community. I say that the last thing I want to do is to get paid nothing to help another be an unpaid expert of sorts.


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