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Robert Winner

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College Debt in the US

The national average for a recent graduate is $27,000 however, if you add all the college, finicial institution, federal, state, and local government loans it is $47,000.

The outstanding Federal Educational Loan debit is 956 Billion. (US)

This shoud not become a debate on if education should be free ... its not.

The debate at hand is that professionals in high places and making big bucks still owe money to many places for their education ...

These people are employed by the military, government, industry, etc ... what is the best means of recovering these lost loans.

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  • Dec 28 2012: You can't get rid of student loans by declaring bankruptcy and the loans will follow you to your grave.
    What else do you want?
    Rather than make education free, the question is why is it being extended to so many people. That was not the original intent of a university education and really does not provide value for the money spent.
    Observing the predatory house loans, student loans and the general bad behaviour of wall street, maybe the motto of the US should be changed to "never give a sucker an even break"
    • Dec 28 2012: "You can't get rid of student loans by declaring bankruptcy and the loans will follow you to your grave.
      What else do you want?"

      That's right: 100% of what people can pay is already being recovered, there are no ways to recover more. However there are ways of reducing the burden: people need to understand that just getting any degree isn't automatically going to get you a good job like it used to, so they can avoid paying $100.000 for a useless art degree and if European universities can pull off running their teaching business off of $10.000 or less per student per year then so should American universities.

      I mean seriously, in 2010, the CEOs of American for profit colleges alone raked in $2bn, that's $100 per college student in the US that year. One of these CEO, Robert Silbermann received a whopping $42 million in 2010, or roughly $780 from each of the 54.000 students enrolled at his institutions. Just bringing his pay down to $2 million per year (still more than the president of Harvard gets, even when corrected for student numbers, and also more than president Obama or any other world leader gets) would cut tuition by $740 per year per student and in doing so cut $3.000-4.000 from their student debt! But hey, his students get $3.000-4.000 more value than they would get at Harvard, right?
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        Dec 29 2012: I think the for profits should be exempt from student loans. They should have thier own financing and recover their profit themselves instead of having the feds try and recoup the loans. They might be a little more selective on who they let in.
        Federal and state funded schools should be the ones that have access to federal student loans. Non-profit private schools should have access to some federal student loans but not have the entire education funded by loans.
      • Dec 29 2012: I've read somewhere that over 80% of university students in the US go to private institutions.
        When I went to University, you didn't expect to come out an expert in anything, but you learned how to learn and that got you into your first job and along the way.
        I am not sure that is still the case (I think it is not) and the old way of using Universities to find higher quality staff has past its best before date. The universities are no longer as relavent as they once were, however they still are trudging on as deploma mills, now moving into the online world.
        Your mention of salaries is interesting.....I have long believed that the US in particular but western culture in general believes that you must pay top dollar to get top people.
        This is wrong. You want people good at what they do and who like what they do. You pay them enough that they don't want to go elsewhere but not much more than the average employee.
        No one person is worth a million much less multiple millions.
        • Dec 29 2012: "I am not sure that is still the case (I think it is not) and the old way of using Universities to find higher quality staff has past its best before date."

          It definitely is: the situation in the Western world used to be such that there was a sudden increase demand for white collar workers while only a small percentage of the population had a college education, the result was that even a degree in art history would land you some comfortable desk job. Times have changed a lot, office work you could do with an art degree has been outsources/automated and now half of high school graduates go to college. True, there has been a rise in demand for skilled labor and specialist college graduates (like scientists and engineers), but those fields are not very popular among high school graduates.

          "No one person is worth a million much less multiple millions."

          Exactly: some faceless 9-to-5 executive running a handful of small colleges cannot possibly justify making many times more than all the G20 leaders combined. I'm always amazed when people think executives are actually worth the amount they're being paid when even the shareholders know it's not true: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tournament_theory

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