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Posts Tagged ‘student loans’

I was reading the excellent New York Times blog The Choice this morning and was happy when I read the top headline. A City Council Asks Washington to Forgive Student Loans. Jacques Steinberg explains:

In explaining its action, the council noted in its resolution that “the average debts of students graduating with loans rose from $18,796 in 2006 to $20,098 in 2007, according to the Project on Student Debt.” The Council argued that “forgiving student loan debt would have a stimulating effect on the economy.”

Specifically, the resolution imagines how “responsible people who did nothing other than pursue a higher education would have hundreds, if not thousands of extra dollars per month to spend, fueling the economy,” and that, “as a result, tax revenues would go up, the credit markets will unfreeze and jobs will be created.”

Now, you might not agree with the council, and you might have ideological problems with that kind of debt forgiveness. I think one of the best results of this issue being raised is that it brings the issue of student loans to the forefront. I talked about the issue a bit a few posts ago, and think it’s worth bringing up again.

I know my fair share of friends whose loan debt is way above $20,098. In fact, so many that I almost want to call shenanigans on that figure, but whatever. So, students, graduates, and anyone else–what do you think about this? Is a complete or partial debt forgiveness the way to go? Would it affect how you looked for a job? For example, if you suddenly had no loan debt, would  you be willing to take a job that paid less? I’m curious to hear your thoughts!

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Aaaaah, college. The place that teaches you just how much pizza one person can consume in a single week. The place where you learned that one red shirt can, in fact, ruin an entire load of laundry. The period of your life when you find out just what your limit is on having an obnoxious roommate. It’s a life changer, college is.

Just as essential to the experience, at least for many students, is the ritual of taking out student loans. Say “FAFSA” and students will cringe at adding to their debt, yet run wildly to fill out the form each year to get survival money. ‘Tis life.

Apparently, it’s becoming a more expensive one. I came across this article in Wichita Business Journal that discusses “Drowning in Debt: The Emerging Student Loan Crisis,” a new release from the think tank Education Sector. Kelly Johnson breaks down some of the findings from the analysis, and one that sticks out is the following:

Borrowing has gone from being the exception for undergraduates in 1993, at only 32 percent, to the rule. As of 2008, more than 50 percent of students at public four-year universities borrowed for their education. In for-profit education, the percentage of borrowers went to 92 percent in 2008 from 53 percent in 1993.

Why do I tell you this? Not to be a Debbie Downer, I promise. And not to say you shouldn’t take out student loans or that you need to only think about making a ton of money when you graduate. Instead, I point this out and encourage you to read the article because every student should be aware of their financial situation. Even if you’re like most college students and that financial situation is, well, dour because you’re focusing on your studies and not on raking in the dough.

When you’re looking for a job after graduation you should see if your employer has any type of loan repayment plan or will pay some or all of the tuition for you to earn another degree. Also, in some industries (often education and social work) your employer (often the government) will pay off your loans after you’ve worked a certain job for 10 years or more. There are these opportunities out there for you to look at. I recommend doing your research because each industry has its own opportunities and it’s just one factor worth considering when you’re looking for work.

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