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  1. #21
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    Re: Student Loan Debt: Who is to Blame?

    Who's to blame.. not sure its the right question.

    Its a tricky situation all around...
    1. We want people to get a good education because it makes them more valuable members of society which benefits nearly all of us in some way.
    2. People entering school don't generally have much money.
    3. We generally want to pay professors pretty well for their work as they need to be competent professionals in their field.
    4. We also want universities to be brimming with opportunity and have modern tools of the trade they teach and all that is expensive.
    5. The american job market tends to demand ever more increasing levels of skill for good paying jobs.

    1 & 2 is at the heart of the idea of a student loan. It is an investment in labor that is expected to pay off over time. That is a case where it makes sense to borrow money. It's more rational than when buying a house or personal car since it pays you back over time in increased productivity.

    3&4 are mostly about costs
    5 is about demand which pushes up price

    I think here is the most important changes we can make.
    1. Change the way people think when they hire so that they look more at ability than education
    2. Help that by raising the prestige of alternate means of education than just 4 years college
    3. Celebrate a culture of learning at work and bringing in fresh people with new ideas and giving them trade experience.
    4. Further the economies of scale in education with internet classes for mass audiences that come with some kind of accreditation through automated testing.
    5. De-Emphasize the importance of Liberal Arts education. Don't eliminate it but tone it down so other types of education are also valued.
    6. Scale the cost of education by the cost of education and pay instructors in subjects closer to their market value for the same profession. (this helps make the cost of a course of learning closer to what its going to pay off, now an engineering degree isn't much more than an English degree but the actual relative cost should be pretty different.)
    Feed me some debate pellets!

  2. #22
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    Re: Student Loan Debt: Who is to Blame?

    Quote Originally Posted by DevilPup John View Post
    The issue, at least in my mind is a catch 22. Schools can continue to raise costs because they know student loans will always be there.

    What incentive do I have to change my costs or lower overhead when I have guaranteed loan money?

    Schools can charge so much because everyone wants a college education. Or I should say it's a very common goal. The demand is there, loans are available to anyone needing them. You can go to college today without an immediate out of pocket cost.



    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
    I tend to see Squatch's point as the main problem with student loans. The only way to restore any coherent equilibrium between the cost of a college education, and the loans available to pay for one, is to get government out of the business of granting them. That should be the role of those entities who will benefit from their education; the companies, industry sectors, etc., that are going to put those graduates to work. We need a system more like a modified apprenticeship system than the one we've got.

    Take your case, for example. Maybe you went to a company who matches other companies willing to offer college loans for certain major programs they believe graduates of would benefit them, with students willing to enter those programs on a contractual basis. You agree to work for them, after graduation, for a set period of time at a set wage and benefit package that includes repayment of the loan, after which, you become a "free agent". For their part they agree to employ you continuously for that re-payment period so long as certain business environment criteria are met, or unless you give them "cause", where "cause" is specified in the contract.

    And everybody's happy and we don't have 100,000 starving law school graduates gaming the means tested federal assistance programs AND defaulting on their loans!

  3. #23
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    Re: Student Loan Debt: Who is to Blame?

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford View Post
    I tend to see Squatch's point as the main problem with student loans. The only way to restore any coherent equilibrium between the cost of a college education, and the loans available to pay for one, is to get government out of the business of granting them. That should be the role of those entities who will benefit from their education; the companies, industry sectors, etc., that are going to put those graduates to work. We need a system more like a modified apprenticeship system than the one we've got.
    I agree what you propose would be more ideal but....

    1. I doubt it would have nearly enough participation to make up for the loans the government currently offers (the quantity is huge!)

    2. If it did, the same supply demand issue that pushes up tuition would be the same.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

  4. #24
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    Re: Student Loan Debt: Who is to Blame?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    I agree what you propose would be more ideal but....

    1. I doubt it would have nearly enough participation to make up for the loans the government currently offers (the quantity is huge!)
    Well, first off credit where credit is due, my proposal is simply my understanding of the proposal made by Squatch, so unless I've severely misunderstood him, it's really his proposal. The problems with the current system are that it a) produces more college graduates in more major programs than the private sector needs or can economically absorb, forcing grads to seek work outside their major fields, and making it difficult for them to re-pay their very large student debt, and b) that the deep pockets of the federal student loan program feed into the tendency of all businesses to raise prices until price hurts market share or sales. So why would reducing the number of grads to what the private sector needs be a problem, when it's the number of graduates the federal system creates at such huge costs, that then cannot find work adequate to pay off the loans that is an important failing of the present system?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sig
    2. If it did, the same supply demand issue that pushes up tuition would be the same.
    But clearly it wouldn't, and if it did, wouldn't be a fix for the problem you noted in your #1.

  5. #25
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    Re: Student Loan Debt: Who is to Blame?

    You know a lot of students have themselves to blame. The fact that you can delay payment until you graduate....I have met many students who have taken out student loans for anything and everything other than college itself. Not saying this is every student or even the bulk of the loans of those who do, but it is done. College is also an investment. I value the humanities and all those subjects that will not get you a great paying gig right after graduation....but lets be honest, if you are going to go into debt to feed your interest in Art history or English with no clear goal in mind, then you also have yourself to blame.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

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