Skip to main content

View Diary: Rush Limbaugh is right: College tuition is too high. It goes without saying he's wrong about why. (93 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Make student loans dischargeable in bankruptcy (7+ / 0-)

    Right now, student loan companies can and will loan ridiculous amounts of money to average students who major in [generally] go-nowhere majors like psychology, sociology, etc.

    The student loan company knows it will be paid back, and the college has little incentive to stop teenagers from making serious errors. I mean what is the psychology department going to say: most of our graduates don't really make any kind of money with our degree so we basically should not exist or be scaled back a lot? Of course not.

    With discharge-ability of student loans, the student loan company has to think long and hard about whether it is going to offer certain kinds of loans, because they will lose major money if they make the wrong decision. Far better to put the issue in their hands, than to put it in the hands of a 17-year-old whose parents never went to college.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 05:27:33 PM PDT

    •  So you think (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DemSign, hooper, wishingwell

      lenders should be dictating what students can major in, and making judgments about what majors will lead to practical careers, even though that sort of thing is really difficult to gauge? That path leads to a bunch of young people being assigned careers that corporate overlords need automatons for.

      Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

      by anastasia p on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 05:38:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Personal Bankruptcy (6+ / 0-)

        carries a significant penalty for those who file.  Making a terrible decision about a college major and future employability should be subject to this significant penalty rather than indentured servitude for the rest of life.  The NYTimes recently reported some 60 year olds still paying back college loans.   This must be because they can't be discharged through bankruptcy.  Such a national policy is just stupid.  At some point, being able to declare your losses and move on is appropriate.  Student loans should be permitted to be part of that equation.

        •  Some of those loans (0+ / 0-)

          are for college later in life or co-signs.

          Reality is that it's not for loans taken out in 1970.

          But it was alarming and it was a spiffy headline.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 10:19:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  That said… (3+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        hooper, hmi, nextstep
        Hidden by:
        JugOPunch

        …students shouldn't be taking out massive loans to major in say, pottery, at a massively expensive school like GWU, just because they can get a loan, no questions asked.

        Someone needs to occasionally, say "NO".

        Teh stoopidTM, it hurts. Buy smart, union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone: DemSign.com. Get your We are the 99% Yard Sign.

        by DemSign on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 05:43:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You rec'd the comment that disagreed with me (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nextstep

          I'm genuinely curious what mechanism you think should be used to say 'No', eg who says no, how is no enforced, and how is the naysayer motivated to do so? What's in it for them?

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 05:57:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ideally… (0+ / 0-)

            …parents would say, "No."

            Another thought is that students actually get credit counseling and basic financial education before being allowed to take out a loan, so that the student could then make an educated decision, thus being able to tell him/herself, "No", without the necessity for creating an enforcement mechanism.

            Teh stoopidTM, it hurts. Buy smart, union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone: DemSign.com. Get your We are the 99% Yard Sign.

            by DemSign on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 08:33:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  The current system... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, Flying Goat, hmi

        ...allows students to run up massive debt in useless majors.

        No one is entitled to a loan, and I would argue that no loan is entitled to special protection from bankruptcy of the borrower.

        This isn't some special thing I'm asking for, just for student loans to be placed in the same category as all other loans.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 05:50:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Unentitled loans (0+ / 0-)

          "no loan is entitled to special protection from bankruptcy of the borrower."

          Except that part of the reason why student loans were removed from eligibility for bankruptcy was that a significant number of students would graduate from college and, with little to lose by way of assets or credit rating, would immediately declare bankruptcy. So, I'd at least go with the suggestion that's been mooted that you could make those loans eligible for bankruptcy declaration only after 10 years. I'd also like to see the universities on the stick for 50% of the loan amount. As it now goes, they have zero incentive to control costs or to advise borrowers as to the wisdom of taking out loans for this or that particular program. And it wouldn't be beyond the pale to require the schools to publish detailed job placement statistics for all majors, going at least 5 years out from graduation.

        •  Which is why we should stop loans to for-profit (0+ / 0-)

          colleges regardless of what they call their major.

          I think you and I disagree on what counts as "useless" though I suspect we would agree that 6 figure debt is too much for any degree.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 10:21:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  How do you know what is right four years from now? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, Calamity Jean, elfling

      Example:  A close relative has a B.S. in Architecture from perhaps the top state university program in the country and an M.S. from another highly regarded program in a different state.  

      20 years later the loan from the M.S. hasn't been paid off yet as each recession brought a layoff and a bought of unemployment, the worst being of course the last one.  It's been about 2 years since they had a job with bennies and now they have a devastating health crisis.  I don't know if they will ever work again, though at age 50 they need to support themselves for however long they are blessed to have remaining.

      Should they be penalized for choosing Architecture 33 years ago at age 17?

      •  not penalized... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sparhawk, hmi

        but if you "purchase" more education than you can afford, or afford to pay back...that's a different issue.

        I always have owned a car...but I've never owned a Beamer.

        "By your late thirties the ground has begun to grow hard. It grows harder and harder until the day that it admits you.” Thomas McGuane, Nobody's Angel

        by Keith930 on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 06:46:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But some sneer at Humanities Majors (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RerumCognoscereCausas, elfling

          Granted my B.A. in history was in state tuition in the 1980s so my parent's thrift was enough to cover tuition.  Would some say it's a "stupid" degree to get now without knowing the salary I make as a top performing financial analyst.  Would someone think Architecture was a "worthy" degree back in 2005 leaving one with graduate school debt and 60 percent unemployment in the field come 2010?

          •  That's why you... (0+ / 0-)

            ...make the student loan company responsible for making that determination, not you.

            A student loan company does finance and is (in theory) well in tune with understanding the state of the economy and what will and will not be useful in future years.

            A 17-18 year old student alone is almost completely incapable of doing this unless they or their parents are some kind of genius or very knowledgeable about the state of the world.

            Can you do all the right things and get screwed anyway? Absolutely, it happens all the time. But at least this method removes a lot of dangerous possibilities from the hands of people who do not know any better.

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 07:15:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Would they know in 2005 about the housing crash? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              elfling

              Seriously would they?  Or would they have predicted the oil price crash of 1986 that caused me to switch from Geology to History?  Would they think Pets.com was the next AOL?

              Now all that said, I do think I'd advise a college student to get a minor in something marketable like say Accounting in my case.

              •  Re (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DemSign

                They should get a major in something marketable.

                It is true that market shifts can happen, but that isn't an excuse for majoring in something you know is unmarketable now and never will be, especially if you're going into serious debt to do it.

                (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                by Sparhawk on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 08:13:38 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  I like to hire humanities majors.... (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            akeitz, ebohlman, hmi, elfling, Dr Stankus

            Because they can think, and they tend to have a very deep well of knowledge to draw upon.  Years ago at the height of the dot com boom, I was hired at a small software company of about 200 people.  After about 6 months of hard work, I was promoted to management of a team of programmers.  I almost always found that the people with so-called "worthless" degrees who taught themselves programming surpassed those who had computer science degrees in their ability to problem solve.  

            If I had a buck for every jackass with a master's in computer science who was one-upped in ability by some person with a history degree who learned programming with one of those "teach yourself....." books, I'd...  wait, I probably do.  

            Anyway, point is, many employers have found humanities majors to be excellent employees in a wide variety of fields which seemingly have little to do with their major.  

            •  Hahaha, I did teach yourself Oracle ;-) (0+ / 0-)

              Before my current gig, I was an oracle junior DBA having done OTJ training when my organization dumped the WANG mainframe for a customized database using InfoMaker back in the 1990s.  Now I'm the one learning as much as I can about the customized version of Oracle Financials my government agency switched to on October 1st last year .

              I think I'm the John Hodges character from the Daily Show, every night he was an "expert" in a different crazy field.

              •  I started with MS SQL Server... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                elfling

                ..and later moved up to Oracle.   I made a more detailed response to another of your posts down below, but I took a couple classes at Comm. College.  My first job as a database designer was at some fly-by-night outfit in Los Angeles who really wanted someone with more verifiable database experience than I had, but they gave me a chance (at a laughably low salary!) and the rest is history.  Within six months, I was off and running.  I left that place and went to the small software company I mention above, then to a private venture capital firm, then onto state government and finally federal...   By the time I got to that level, I was burned out, and decided to go back to college to study what I wanted to study all along -- humanities.   ;)  

      •  Exactly (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        akeitz, ebohlman, Mr Robert, elfling, Chayanov

        IT was a great field to get into during the 1990s, during the 2000s it experienced a tremendous slump.  Law school used to be considered a ticket to great wealth;  now that field is glutted.  Engineering went up and down.  Mathematics at the graduate level experiences a boom because somebody had to derive the derivatives.

        It will be interesting to see what happens to the MBA when a trade can be executed as easily in Bangalore as in Manhattan.

        Maybe the smart choice is for each student to study what appeals to himself or herself and become really good in it.  The world does not need half-hearted, mediocre graduates in even the most-demanded fields.  

        "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

        by Yamaneko2 on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 06:59:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I studied what I loved, consequences be damned (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RerumCognoscereCausas, elfling

          Granted it wasn't underwater Basketweaving but some look at History as worthless and to be sure I'm NOT working in my field.  However it was a great foundation for the financial analyst position I'm in.

          Now if only more employers were enlightened about this....

          •  You're lucky. It took me years to figure that out (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elfling, akeitz

            I studied engineering when I was shipped off to college at 18.  My dad was an engineer, and he made decent money at it, and he was paying not only my tuition, but for my relatively extravagant lifestyle.  Yeah, I never had to sell plasma to buy food.  I had a car and an Amex Gold card (linked to dad's platinum) and the usually visa and master cards.  So when my dad told me to study engineering, I listened.  

            I hated it.  Absolutely hated it.  (Funny thing is, my dad hated it too, but it paid the bills so he did what he thought he had to do).  

            I graduated, went to work in the engineering field, and detested my life.  I changed tracks to computer stuff in the 90s completely by accident:  I was good with computers since they were a hobby of mine, so I was named backup sysadmin at my office.  I filled in for the single IT person we had when he was out sick or on vacation, and would help him with special projects.  I found I liked my "backup" job more than my primary one, so I took a few classes at community college, and made the switch.  

            Nothing ruins a hobby faster than doing it for a living, and after a few years in the software business, my wife finally convinced me to quit my job (where I was miserable) and go back to school to study anything I wanted.  

            It was the best thing that ever happened to me.  I love what I studied, and I love what I do.  I find it interesting, meaningful, and I'm far from starving.

            If I knew then what I knew now, I would have gone to the registrar's office when I was 18 and changed my major to the "Worthless" degree I wanted to get.  And I would have told my dad to keep the car and the credit cards if he didn't like it.  I could have taken out loans, ate ramen noodles and drunk Milwaukee's Best Light just like my room mates.  And I would not have spent 15 years floundering around between jobs I hate but that pay the bills, just like my old man.    

    •  also these companies push the parents to cosign (0+ / 0-)

      so the kids have access to more cash.  When I realized one of the kids was going to flunk out, I refused to cosign for him to transfer to another school.  That earned me a flurry of phone calls with one loan rep upbraiding me for being a lousy parent

    •  I'd rather see sliding rates (0+ / 0-)

      depending upon major.

      Want a loan to pursue a degree in medicine?   Here's the rate.

      Want a loan to,pursue a degree in Art History?  Here's the other rate.

      "By your late thirties the ground has begun to grow hard. It grows harder and harder until the day that it admits you.” Thomas McGuane, Nobody's Angel

      by Keith930 on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 06:42:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Re (0+ / 0-)

        It will be that way.

        If you make student loans dischargeable, the market will naturally evolve to be what you are suggesting in any case. Availability and interest rates will vary depending on the major.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 07:18:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site