Should New Student Borrowers Be Charged What Older Ones Are?

Should Stafford program student loans originated on July 1, 2012 and later have interest rates of 6.8 percent rather than 3.4 percent? That's the topic du jour and like many such issues, the quality of discussion suffers from total agreement across Republican and Democratic lines.

Both parties want to keep the loans, which are already subsidized by taxpayers in a variety of ways, even more subsidized. The rates started going down in 2007 as part of a Bush-era plan; the cuts expire in the summer.

Both parties agree that keeping the lower rates in place for another year is the thing to do and both parties apparently agree that doing so will cost taxpayers an additional $6 billion. They disagree about how to pay for them.

When it comes to that, each side has in effect taken a political hostage: House Republicans would cut spending from Obama's prized health care overhaul law, Senate Democrats would boost payroll taxes on owners of some private corporations and House Democrats would erase federal subsidies to oil and gas companies.

Before moving on, let's at least note that at least they're talking about paying for them. That's progress, of a sort, I guess.

I've read accounts that the Obama administration claims the difference in rates could mean borrowers would pay anywhere from $1,000 more a year (New York Times) to $1,000 more over the course of the loan (many places), neither of which seems accurate. Using this loan calculator, a $10,000 loan at 6.4 6.8 percent paid back over 10 years (the repayment period allotted Stafford loans) would cost a total of $13,810. At 3.4 percent, the total would be $11,810, for a difference of $2,000.

What I haven't read, really, is a case for simply letting the rates go back to 6.4 6.8 percent. I understand that it's an election year so nobody wants to be seen as making anybody pay for anything (and the cynicism of extending the rates for a single year underscores that it's an election year). But there is little indication that the increase on new loans would actually price prospective students or borrowers out of the market (the repayment period wouldn't begin until after the students either graduated or left college), so letting the (still-subsidized) rate go back to where it was a few years ago would have minimal impact on students or the current economy.

I used student loans to pay for part of my undergrad and grad school years (at significantly higher rates than 6.4 percent, alas). I think college is important for intellectual reasons and others (I also think college is far more than a jobs-training program, which an appalling number of rightists and leftists seem to be arguing these days). I don't think costing yet more of that experience onto taxpayers is a particularly good thing to do. These loans are voluntary, after all, and there's every reason to believe that the free and/or heavily subsidized money via government that flows to colleges is a major reason for the rampant cost increases in higher ed.

Only half of all college kids take out any sort of loans and the typical graduating student who takes on debt graduates owing $25,000. (For more in this vein, go here.) That's not an incredible burden to bear, especially when you factor in the increase in earnings that go along with the amount. It would be a great world, I suppose, if nobody ever had to pay for anything and all colleges were free. But that would take, what, professors and administrators and janitors and rec center employees all donating their time, right? There's no question that college is worth a hell of a lot and there's no question (in my mind) that it's worth paying for. Especially by the person who is the chief beneficiary. 

The country is trillions of dollars in debt and the Republicans and Democrats' response to this has been to propose 10 year spending plans that do not balance the budget or cut spending in any way, shape, or form. As Obama administration officials like to remind us, "the time for austerity is not today." The Republicans agree, of course, they just prefer to strike a different pose in public.

Which helps explain why we're even in the situation we're in. The current discussion over student loan rates simply makes clear that we're going to remain stuck in this situation for a very long time to come.

Watch 3 Reasons Not to Bail Out Student Loan Borrowers:

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  • Ice Nine||

    OK, look, could you do our eyes a favor and never show that clown's photo again?

  • General Butt Naked||

    If you mean the video, then yes it should be banished to the Reason basement. It's rage inducing qualities are so strong as to be a threat to the community.

    Ever since Reason went (relatively) troll-free I've disabled my ad blocker for this site, hoping that they get some revenues from my eyeballs. I might have to turn it back on as not to see the protesting dipshit youtube videos that accompany many threads*.

    *my adblocker blocks the videos here for some reason, didn't happen when Postrel was in charge...just sayin'

  • o3||

    offset w big oil subsidies

    * OH NOES *

  • sarcasmic||

    Anyone who doesn't oppose the hike in the interest rate supports subsidies for big oil.

    Gotcha.

    Holy shit you're a fucking moron.

  • o3||

    as bad as the gop diverting health care money for disabled kids to offset eh?

  • sarcasmic||

    Keep huffing the ozone.

  • o3||

    next time im golfing w bohener i'll let him know since its his idea to hate on the disabled

  • Kwanzaa Cake||

    Jack 'em up. Concealing the true cost of college and grad school has yet to yield a decent result, unless you consider ever-rising tuition a good thing. And I suppose that if you are a diversity administrator pulling down 6 figures, it sounds pretty great. For the rest of us, not so much.

    But I'm curious as to where fairness comes into play here. Back in the 90's I borrowed at over 6% to pay for law school. After graduating, I took this crazy approach of paying extra on the loans every month so I could get out of debt faster and not have to ask the taxpayers for extra handouts. I paid off all the loans years ahead of schedule. Now I'm going to be asked to pony up more money (through taxes) so today's students can borrow at half the rate I did? So much for equality.

  • Zeb||

    I had about $30k in loans when I graduated, at about 5%, I think and paid them off in about 5 years. Paying a few hundred extra a month does a lot.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I paid off my unsubsidized loans that way, but I didn't do that with the subsidized loans, given that they were around 3%.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I took out $40k for grad school at about 7%. Down to 32 now, and I should have them all paid off in a total of about 3.5 years.

  • robc||

    Paying for grad school seems weird to me.

    Engineers (and scientists and etc) get paid to go to grad school.

  • ||

    I wish Architects got paid to go to grad school. Especially since the government says I have to (on top of 2 years of internship) in order to sit for the licensing exam.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I am an engineer.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I got paid to get my masters in Medieval Lit.

  • ||

    My stafford loans for law school were 6.8% just like they were for all grad students. The lower rate is only for undergraduates. In fact they have already ended the subsidized loans starting this year for all grad students. I was part of the last class to get subsidized loans and now my sister is starting med school without them, sometimes life isn't fair. I did have the government take my loans off of Chase's hands in the middle of school which blows.

  • ||

    Wasn't that awesome how they did that for us?

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    My cursed student debt was well north of 50K (6 fucking %)but I paid north of 1K a month (Saved enough on the side to eventually strangle the whole goddamn thing to death in its exponential crib), ate like shit, lived in almost literal shit, had no fun, an unsexy car, no girlfriend and considered faking my death a viable option (still do for unrelated reasons) but by Fin Fang Foom as my witness, I paid that fucking bitch off in 5 fucking years. How did I "really" do it? Let's just say I didn't major Womyn's studies.

    If they bail out these kids, I might actually, finally, have the balls to consider one day seriously thinking about leaving this fucking country. I'll probably go live on that giant trashpile in the Pacific ocean.

    At the same time, it's not really their fault the dollar is destroyed, their high school educations are patently worthless, and college is sold to them as the pack of lies it is. Regardless, they can have my money after they murder me.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Politics aside--because that's all this is about right now--what's the big deal? Three percent is ridiculously low for an unsecured loan--well, unsecured plus loan--and doubling that isn't going to wipe anyone out in the early years of repayment.

    Over the life of the loan, it can amount to a good chunk of change if the principal is large enough, but you can also start paying down principal when your income gets higher, reducing your effective rate, and you can also benefit some from inflation.

    Lesson? Don't max out on loans, go to state schools, and get a real job.

  • wareagle||

    Politics aside--because that's all this is about right now--what's the big deal?

    it is all about politics and nothing else. This is Obama pandering to the yoots who have no clue what interests used to be and being aided by a media that refuses to provide contextual reporting. As usual, Obama is fighting the straw man as no one appears to make the case in favor of increasing loan rates.

    Whether the rate should go up or not is a separate, and more substantive, argument. But Prezzie Cool has no time for substance and no ability to intellectually argue it.

  • WTF||

    Lesson? Don't max out on loans, go to state schools, and get a real job.

    Clearly, you don't understand that everyone is entitled to a college education and a fulfilling job, and should never have to be responsible for making hard choices. You monster.

  • ||

    I did two out of those three. Unfortunately my real job pays shit right now, making me a sad panda.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Someone should probably mention...

    Student loan interest is tax deductible, right?

    You may be able to deduct interest you pay on a qualified student loan. Generally, the amount you may deduct is the lesser of $2,500 or the amount of interest you actually paid.

    http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc456.html

    Using this loan calculator, a $10,000 loan at 6.4 percent paid back over 10 years (the repayment period allotted Stafford loans) would cost a total of $13,810. At 3.4 percent, the total would be $11,810, for a difference of $2,000.

    So in addition to Gillespie's observation...over 10 years, are we talking about $200 a year on a $10,000 loan, which may, for a lot of people, actually be tax deductible?

    I'm feeling less sympathy for student loan borrowers by the minute.

  • nicole||

    Of course, people with student loans who actually get higher-paying jobs don't get to deduct that interest, either, so it gears things even more toward subsidizing degrees that don't pay off as well. Why yes, I am bitter.

  • Ken Shultz||

    It just reenforces how much a political thing this baby is...

    If a lot of people are already deducting this off their taxes anyway, then how much of a burden is it?

    Is it a burden if they graduate and can't find a job within six months?

    Yeah! And that's exactly as it should be.

    I mean, if Congress wants to keep playing the shell game, then increase the interest deduction. ...don't spend another $6 billion a year--because graduates shouldn't have to deduct more interest from their taxes...

    If that's the choice, I'd much rather have a bigger tax cut than more spending. I'm a "starve the beast" kinda guy anyway.

  • robc||

    Even if tax deducted, you are still paying ~75% of the interest (assuming 25% tax bracket). More if in a lower bracket.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Yeah, that happened to me too. I ended up working a shit-ton of overtime last year, made about $25K over what I did the previous year in a mad scramble to get my student loans and other debt paid off, and ended up not qualifying for the deduction.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    It's tax-deductible, but the impact is fairly negligible. I think the difference between taking the deduction or not was about $200/yr on my return during the time I was paying down my student loans (all paid off as of this January, thank you very much!). In the larger picture, that's really not a heck of a lot.

  • Ken Shultz||

    You must not have borrowed a lot.

    If you come out of college with $40,000 in debt, and you're paying 6.25%, then you should be able to deduct $2,500, right?

    The IRS is saying you can deduct up to $2,500 a year--if that's what you actually paid.

    Maybe I'm reading this wrong. If so, somebody please show me how.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    It wasn't a lot, relatively speaking-- about $28K at 6.5%, altogether. I think I paid about $1200-$1500 in interest every year until the last year, when I was furiously paying the debt down.

    It took me 9 years to get it from $28K to $18K, and then I paid off the rest in one year. I guess I could have taken a trip to Italy with some of that cash, but in the end I'm confident it was worth it to get that monkey off my back.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Quality of life decisions are hard to argue with.

    Who cares if you save a few bucks--if it means you still have something in the back of your mind bugging you when you go to sleep at night...

    Those kinds of considerations don't fit into any of my proformas, but they're often the difference makers.

    That's another reason why we shouldn't let politicians make choices for us.

  • ||

    So wait, are you saying that people are individuals and make individual decisions with their money? And some people might have chosen to go visit Italy instead of pay off their loans?

    /sarc

  • Rhywun||

    If they're single and just out of college, they probably don't itemize.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The deduction is claimed as an adjustment to income so you do not need to itemize your deductions on Schedule A Form 1040

    http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc456.html

  • ||

    You don't have to itemize to get the student loan deduction.

  • Rhywun||

    Huh. I only itemized for the 1st time this year*, so I guess it's no surprise I don't know shit about it.

    *Solely because my state and local taxes are so high, and only because the software told me about it....

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Using this loan calculator, a $10,000 loan at 6.4 percent paid back over 10 years (the repayment period allotted Stafford loans) would cost a total of $13,810. At 3.4 percent, the total would be $11,810, for a difference of $2,000.

    So in addition to Gillespie's observation...over 10 years, are we talking about $200 a year on a $10,000 loan, which may, for a lot of people, actually be tax deductible?

    I'm feeling less sympathy for student loan borrowers by the minute.

    This. $2k over the life of 10 years is $200 a year which comes out to . . .

    Carry the four multiplied by Pi minus the square root of y . . .

    $16.67 a fucking month, or just over 2 hours work at minimum wage. That's 4 dollars a fucking week.

  • Apple||

    My rate was around 7.5%. Took me 15 years to pay it off, but that was 12 years of paying the minimum, then 3 years of aggressively paying once I got a good enough job. That's life, kids.

    Lately my Facebook wall has been getting flooded with friends who still have loans asking me to sign the debt forgiveness petition. Sorry, I have no interest in being that guy at Woodstock who heard "This concert is now free!" ten minutes after he ponied up every last dime he had for a ticket.

  • NoVAHockey||

    Am I the only one who doesn't have a facebook account?

  • Zeb||

    I have a fake one that I never look at. Pretty close.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Fuck facespace.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    When a girl asks me if I have one, I always tell here no, but she can always get on MyFace. Works more often then it doesn't.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Nope. Still holding out.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Maybe, if nothing else, this will discourage people from taking Griefer Studies classes and actually learn a useful skill-set... so they can actually get jobs and pay off their loans.

  • Ken Shultz||

    There's actually a place in this world for people who major in Griefer Studies.

    And the people who legitimately should be majoring in that? Probably don't need the extra competition from all the slackers who wouldn't be in college if the government wasn't making it so easy for them.

  • ||

    Plenty of people majored in nothing in particular in the 80s and 90s but still got jobs. Why? Were psychology majors that much more career-ready in 1992 than today? Of course not. The problem is that we're in a Depression.

    Put another way, the job situation would not be much better if everyone switched their major to math or chemistry tomorrow.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    That, and the fact that there's a lot of college students who are just treating the experience as Grades 13-16. Considering a lot of them will just move back in with their parents after college anyway, they'd probably be better off staying at home to begin with and not taking out all that debt.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Well, shit, guys... now I am depress.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I bet the unemployment rate for former mortgage brokers with a degree in psychology is a lot higher than it is for chemistry majors--those who are actually working in the field...

    However, some of those hard science professions are kinda tricky, too. My understanding is that a bachelors degree in biochemistry isn't especially marketable in the pharmaceutical industry...

    If you have a PhD or a masters degree in biochemistry, they want to talk to you. And having a bachelors in biochemistry is great if you want to go to medical school. If you double majored in biochemistry and computer science, they definitely want to talk to you...

    But in some areas like that? Having a bachelors in a science--by itself? Isn't much better than having a degree in anthropology or history. ...and actually may be worse if you're trying to get a job where you have to write a lot and talk to people.

  • ||

    Think of it this way. What if everyone majored in chemistry? Would the job market be that much better?

  • General Butt Naked||

    I'll be getting out soon with an ACS chem degree and have tentatively looking at jobs online.

    I've noticed what you speak of. Basically all jobs require a masters' degree at least.

    I'm thinking of going back after graduation and getting a chem e bachelor's degree. You can find a decent paying job (>$60k) the minute you graduate.

    You know the difference between a chem e degree and a chem degree?

    A lot more math and a lot less humanities classes (at least where I go).

  • Ken Shultz||

    Engineering is like that.

    People will pay a lot more for someone who they think has been trained to solve their problems--rather than someone who they think's done a lot in the laboratory and knows a lot of theory.

    Marketing matters!

    Chemical engineering is supposed to pay the second highest out of all the engineering professions--or so I've heard? Second only to petroleum engineers?

    On the other hand, one of the best commercial real estate brokers I've know was a chemistry major.

    People think you're smarter than psychology majors, when you're going head to head against other people in non-technical fields, but you gotta be one of those people who can communicate well, make friends and influence people.

    I know a lot of STEM people who really couldn't make it in insurance sales. If you're a chemistry guy that can make friends and influence people, though, you'll probably be successful no matter which way you go.

  • General Butt Naked||

    A chem degree now just sets you up for something else; like for grad, pharmacy, or med school. Pretty much it's 4 years training to take gres and -cats.

    I was thinking of doing pharm or grad school, but I can't imagine another 4 years in school. I think I could bust my ass and get an engineering degree in a year and a half.

  • ||

    I think I could bust my ass and get an engineering degree in a year and a half.

    I'd be willing to bet you could, too.

  • db||

    I'm a chemical engineer, and the difference is not just a sales spin. Chemical engineers are trained to know the details about the equipment and processes used to scale lab work up to industrial production. We work with real world problems like impure feedstocks and heat balances that generally are not part of lab work. Many chemists are trained to deveop synthetic methods that would blow up a chemical plant if directly scaled. The types of equipment and process issues seen at the industrial scale are very very different from the lab. Chemists do great work to understand chemical structures and synthetic pathways and often the "whys" of how things work, but they aren't necessarily trained to come up with a viable production process. Any good chemical company needs both specialties, but the expectations placed on engineers can be considerably higher because we have to consider real world nonideal problems to an extent that chemists don't because they can control many more factors in the lab.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Thanks!

    I was merely trying to say that if you can market yourself as someone who can use chemistry to solve their problems, it makes a difference. Compared to marketing yourself as someone who's done a lot of theoretical work.

    I'm drawn more to the engineering side of things myself. I'm generally just interested in the theoretical insofar as it helps me solve a problem.

    Or, rather, if I'm going to spend a lot of time on something theoretical, I'd just as soon study aesthetics or philosophy or anthropology or...

  • ||

    Student loans aren't normal loans for one extremely important reason: they can't be discharged in bankruptcy except under extreme hardship. You can walk away from a house. You can get unpayable medical debts wiped away. You can always return the car. But the student loans never go away until they're paid off. If you don't get a good job - which happens a lot in a Depression - you can enter default. The debts compound, plus penalties, and can't ever be discharged. It's crazy.

    Only half of all college kids take out any sort of loans and the typical graduating student who takes on debt graduates owing $25,000.

    Okay, but who graduates without student loans?

    1. Rich kids
    2. Really smart kids who chose lower-ranked schools.

    Which two sets of graduates are least likely to struggle with money problems after school?

    1. Rich kids.
    2. Really smart kids, who get offered the best jobs.

    The people who take out the loans are also the most likely to have trouble finding a good job. It's akin to a cigarette tax for education. You need to think about this a little harder, Jacket.

  • DJF||

    So we already have big problems of people not paying for their house, car, medical etc loans and these loans being dumped on the taxpayers and you want to include student loans to also be dumped on the taxpayers.

    Why even have loans, we can just give everything away and add it to the national debt.

  • ||

    Why do you think there's so much debt around? Consider where dollars come from.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Because the risk of a loan is supposed to go both ways. Bankruptcy laws are in place so both the loaner and loanee assume the risk of the loan not being paid back. The loanee can have their credit rating trashed, making it harder to take out loans until they prove they can be responsible with credit. The loaner can never again see the money that they lent out, nor the interest they would have received over the life of the loan.

    Until colleges and the banks once again assume the risk of lending people with minimal credit history tens of thousands of dollars, the cost of tuition is going to continue to inflate. When risk only goes one way, it creates distortion.

  • Surly Chef||

    Unfortunately it's too powerful of a vote harvesting mechanism for anyone to make real changes until the system collapses. The system is gamed to make it prohibitively expensive, subsidized funding is used as an issue, the subsidization causes prices to rise and increases the customer base but the real cost is kicked down the road a few years. Young people, lacking in the wisdom to see this, don't. They call for relief. Some of the pols answer, or at least appear to, to get votes. The cost rises, staff increases, the real cost is kicked down the road again. It's simply the healthcare problem, except not everyone needs an education, at least not it the way that it's offered, everyone just believes it to be so.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Well, sure, I don't disagree with you at all. The administration's approach to this issue is exactly the same as it is healthcare--focusing on a symptom rather than the cause--because they know it will be easier to pander for votes. Most college students aren't intellectually or emotionally mature enough these days to think about the larger societal implications. They've been inculcated with the "GIBS ME DAT" mentality since birth and their worldview can't accomodate the idea of long-term consequences.

  • Surly Chef||

    Given unlimited funding for a product the product will ultimately cost an unlimited amount of money. The only real solution is not to subsidize higher education lending at all. Some people shouldn't go to college, actually a lot of people and a lot of subjects taught there shouldn't be. If aptitude and future earning potential were the only factors in education lending, then amazingly college would actually be affordable for those who can't get loans after a few years of moderate saving. Of course 90% of staff and faculty would be out of a job.

  • ||

    I agree with pretty much all of this. The unfortunate thing is, you can't even get interviewed for anything besides burger-flipping without a degree. The degree doesn't guarantee you get hired, but the lack of it guarantees you don't.

    In an economy not geared towards big business, that wouldn't be as much as a problem. You go work for your family. You start your own business. But in our fake free-market economy, college is both artificially expensive and artificially important.

  • Surly Chef||

    And as I stated above there will be no imperative to fix the system until to collapses. As long as everyone can go to college, provided they are willing to borrow, everyone will require that you do. In step necessary to bring responsibility for education back to the 3 parties it belongs to (individuals, lenders, and educational institution) the system would be fucked. The pols will keep flogging it until it dies from exhausting and can't be used as a campaign issue.

    Basically everyone is fucked either way.

  • robc||

    3. Ivy league kids whose parents arent rich.

    Princeton has the lowest percentage of students graduating with student load debts, IIRC.

  • robc||

    Also, Im wondering which I was.

    Clearly not #1 (or my #3). Im willing to claim the first part of #2, but I dont consider Georgia Tech to be "lower ranked", plus it was out of state for me. So that tripled the cost. I graduated without debt.

    I did have a free-ride offer from a lower ranked school, so if money had been more of an issue, I would have gone that route and gone to school for free.

  • bp||

    Yep. Try paying off your 8.25% loan when you graduate from Uni at 33 just when the bubble bursts. Nobody will interview a 33++ y/o white guy with a disabled spouse and an unservicable debt that has ruined his credit score.

    In the long run, all going back to school has meant to me is a 4 year hole in my resume (nobody cares that it was to go back to school) $34K (now $50K) in debt, and a fancy piece of paper that says I got a BA in Corporate Ethics/PR. Yippie.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    College shouldn't be a jobs training program, but I don't see why it shouldn't be jobs focused, at least while you're young. Education should be foundational, and that foundation has to be directed towards more than just a vague intellectual environment.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I think college is important for intellectual reasons and others (I also think college is far more than a jobs-training program, which an appalling number of rightists and leftists seem to be arguing these days).

    The problem is that colleges can either be job training centers or institutions of education, but they can't be both. They've tried to do the latter since the GI Bill, and now their model is completely dysfunctional. People are expecting to be both intellectually enlightened AND be qualified for a good-paying job after getting their degree, but colleges are not capable of offering that anymore, especially now that universities are largely run by feather-nesting bureaucrats and cultural marxists with massive chips on their shoulders.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    One of my big problems with secondary education is that people justify college, even if it's worthless, by saying it's a credential. But if all you're going to college for is intellectual enlightenment, then why does that credential matter? Credentials only matter if there's a corresponding job and someone to impress.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    I sold drugs and robbed honkys to pay for collage.

  • ||

    I made the unfortunate decision that I wanted to be an Architect and have roughly 80k in student loans after finally graduating. Of course that is my fault and I am willing to pay it back as soon as I'm able.

    The answer to your question Nick, is FUCK YES THEY SHOULD!

  • Ken Shultz||

    I don't think people realize what a pain in the ass it is to become an architect.

    I think it has to be one of the roughest programs out there.

    Not to mention the rarity of those two talents occupying the same space--the artistry and the technical.

    That's a rough program. As a developer, I've had more fun wearing the architect hat playing architecture than any of the others. Certainly more fun than wearing the civil engineer hat, the environmental engineer hat, the lawyer hat, the construction hat, or the government employee hat.

    Most of those other people? They all seem to wish they could be developers. ...all except for the architects, who seem to be more than happy being architects. I'm sure it's better from the outside looking in.

  • ||

    It's what I love to do so I can't complain too much. But the profession ceded a lot of ground over the last 30 years to developers and engineers and so our market value has dropped considerably.

    I'm actually thinking about going back to get an engineering degree so I can be a double threat. But I don't want to take any more loans out to do it.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    An architect designing a development is doing the same thing as a civil engineer designing a development. It takes technical knowledge as well as visualization. It is less difficult than structural engineering.

    The problem with the academic part of architecture is it is full of social progressive crap and trendy icon worship. The academians are almost as bad as art professors with arrogance.

    Civil engineering is tainted by rent seeking and control over involvement in specialized fields.

  • ||

    I was luckily spared most of the social progressive crap, thank god, but I went to a school that leaned a little more towards the analytical side than the artsy side.

  • ||

    In an economy where college is artificially expensive and artificially important, and where good jobs are increasingly scarce, The Jacket is hypervigilant that the students don't catch a break.

    That's Pot-Smoking Republicanism.

  • Marshall Gill||

    "Catching a break" at the expense of others is nothing more than a euphemism for "wealth redistribution". And a Libertarian is opposed? You don't say.

  • ||

    One can admit that the system letting banks and schools behave as they do, without worry about consequences and repercussions, while the student assumes all of the risk is more than a little fucked up and still be libertarian.

  • ||

    You know what the ideal Republican would be? A Pot-Smoking, Gay Immigrant Republican. With a Jacket.

  • Old Bull Lee||

    I got loans for a technical school, and I'm in a decent job now. I was able to pay off my loans somewhat early.

    However my personal passions are more liberal arts-oriented.

    Now that I have a decent secure income and my student loans are paid off, I can party and study Dostoevsky on my own time and dime.

    So the "college shouldn't be a jobs training program" argument is kind of bullshit if you want to live in the real world. If you want the "college experience" pay for it your goddamn self.

  • ||

    Dude no braw, that's not cool at all.

  • Zingotooo||

    OK so who comes up with that?

    www.Gotta-Be-Anon.tk

  • bp||

    The self righteousness of those who were fortunate enough to get good jobs after school is amazing. I particularly like the one poster who was able to make $25K in OT.

    Isn't that special. $25K has been right at my average income since graduating - with a $34K loan at 8.25%. Yes, 8.25%, not 6%.

    Since graduation I've had to capitalize $16K because I haven't been able to afford the INTEREST, much less principle.

    But hey, that BA in Business was supposed to make me more marketable, right? I guess it doesn't work for balding 45 year old grads though - especially not ones with disabled spouses.

    Not that we didn't try - we even moved across country twice to try different business oriented urban centers, worked with what agencies we could and worked whatever scut jobs we could find. But scut jobs don't enhance the Resume and don't pay Sallie Mae.

    So please, go ahead and keep your self righteous noses in the air and keep telling me that a bad person who simply wants to get over on the taxpayer because I want my Student Loans to be treated like other financial instruments - ones that can be refinanced when rates are down (like when they went from 8.25% in 2000 to 2% in 2002).
    How awful of me.

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