ANSWERS: 3
  • i think the person should pay it off
  • Why not? They did it for the housing industry when people wanted houses they couldn't afford and didn't pay for and caused the crash of '09. They will never learn from their mistakes. The dummies don't get the concept that there's no such thing as free money!
    • Archie Bunker
      Nope, they don't. And meanwhile, they keep encouraging these folks to borrow more money and get a useless degree that won't get them a job to pay off the loan anyway. The federal government needs to get out of the student loan business, which to me, is one of the main reasons we're having this problem.
    • Linda Joy
      Government shouldn't be in business at all! They can't even do the business of running the government without shutting down every year!
  • Ooof. Well, there is a lot to it. A career as a librarian might have seemed like a viable option in the 1990's and not in the 2010's, and there might be a grey area in between. It didn't help that for-profit schools like ITT Tech and DeVry and University of Phoenix were cleverly targeting students in short lived career fields and misleading students about their odds of paying off their student debts. It also didn't help that the federal government made it very easy for students to rack up tons of student debt during that time frame without vetting their aptitude of ever paying it off with the skills they were assumed to be learning. So, is it a "crisis," as you sardonically punctuated? Yes, of course it is. You have a significant portion of the young adult population with crippling debt. It's widespread and it poses practical problems. But who should be left holding the bag? The students nerfed up when they didn't use the best judgement getting taken for a ride by scam college recruiters. The colleges that took advantage are mostly long gone now, so good luck getting that money back. Since the government is owed the money by a large number of people who simply don't have the financial ability to pay it off, the tax payer is left with the responsibility. Is there another option?
    • Archie Bunker
      Well, my opinion is that you took the debt, you pay it back. If it takes you 50 years, so be it. As an adult that took out the loan, there is something that college might teach you after all....responsibility. But I agree with part of what you said. The government should not be in the business of college lending. With college loans so easily attainable (unlike a bank who would underwrite the loan and determine the probability of getting paid back), all colleges were free to also jump on the bandwagon and start charging more and more for college classes. Not just the for-profit schools, but all of them. That's one of the reasons why college is so expensive nowadays.
    • bostjan64
      Absolutely! But I'll stress again that for-profit colleges had a business model solely based on taking advantage of this weakness in the federal government, whereas public universities and community colleges at least already existed prior and had a more complex business relationship with both students and with the government. Most of the for-profit colleges weren't even accredited at any meaningful level, so if you took any number of years of classes at one, then transferred anywhere else, you'd have to start over at square one. Additionally, some employers would refuse to recognize a degree from some of these for-profit colleges as an actual degree, making the student's entire education there entirely worthless. I'll post a real life example below...
    • bostjan64
      So, example... Say you are in your 20's, it's way back in 200X. You live in mom and dad's basement and work at Taco Bell. Your grades in high school were painfully mediocre and you didn't even bother taking ACT or SAT. You have no savings, no gainful employment, and no career potential. Then you get one of those bulk mailers: "Dear chowderhead, does your career suck? We can help! Call us today at ITT Tech!" So, you pick up the phone and call and they tell you that all you have to do it sign some papers, and you'll be able to get this cool high tech degree and start raking in cash by the wheelbarrow. You don't even have to pay that much out of pocket - the government will pay for everything (they never tell you that you have to pay the government back, and why would they tell you that?) So, you sign a few papers and then you go to class. The instructor teaches you basic skills, like how to turn on a computer and write an email, how to solve the quadratic equation, how to write a book report. It's all stuff you ought to have learned in high school, though. After a year and a half of that tripe, you finally learn how to solder or fit pipes together or write simple PLC programs - something vaguely career-oriented-ish. Then they happily give you your two year degree, and you're off to the career world of electronics or hydraulics or industrial logic programming (CNC or whatever), and find out immediately that none of the employers in your area give a rat's tail about your ITT Tech training. You didn't learn their system, they already have someone, they have a low opinion of ITT Tech, etc. You still work at Taco Bell, but now you are even worse off, because of all the time you had to set aside for your for-profit college education (when you could have been working your way up to supervisor, shift manager, general manager, etc.). Then you get the bill and see that ITT Tech charged you $170000 for your associate's degree. Yes, I looked it up and that's the typical cost of one of those. Since you make $22k/yr working at Taco Bell (full time, now that your classes are done), it'll take you eight years to pay that off, assuming that you have NO OTHER EXPENSES. But, by now, you are 24-28 years old, and mom and dad are ready for you to GTFO of their basement, and your job at Taco Bell is going nowhere, because you spent so much time there with reduced hours. Since you DO have other expenses, and your job doesn't pay enough for you to cover those, you have to pick up another part time job. Let's say it's tenish years later, you are now in your mid-to-late thirties, and you still owe well over a hundred grand for college, you still haven't managed to convince any employers that your degree is something they should care about (they don't, it's well known at this point in time that ITT Tech degrees ended up mostly being useless, in spite of sounding like they were in useful industrial fields), you probably have 2-3 kids by now, and Taco Bell has to lay you off, because your state is requiring them to pay you $15+/hour, and you just aren't worth that much to them in an economy where an AI machine that makes better tacos than you can be made out of a $35 RaspberryPi computer and a pair of $20 stepper motors. Now compound that with the fact that there were 57000 students/year graduating from ITT Tech, and they are all in similar situations as you. It was all systematic, and it was widespread. Now ITT Tech is no more - the government finally shut them down before Obama left office, for being fraudulent. On the other hand, do the maths - 57000 student/year times $85000 per student per year = $4.8 million/year. And that's one college. Somebody out there made out like a bandit.

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