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View Diary: The student debt crisis: Moving beyond interest rates (72 comments)

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  •  As someone who got his degree in 2013 (2+ / 0-)
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    TheFatLadySings, Odysseus

    There are options that don't need thousands of dollars in debt.  BUT it is not easy.  Pell Grants (which have been cut), Scholarships (many go unused, but takes lots of effort to track down and apply and get accepted for.  I had three for $500 to $1,000 each that took about 10 to 20 hours each to apply for), and part time college (so you can work and go to school).

    I also have the GI Bill and a Student Loan Repayment program from military service. (one of the smart things I did back in 1988 was to sign up for the GI Bill even though I "knew" I would not need a college education.)

    I started saving up a small amount from my three part time jobs each paycheck, $5 to $25 for a year before taking classes.  This covered the cost of one to two classes.  With Grants, Scholarships and work I got my Associates and half my upper level classes with out borrowing a dime.  It took eleven years.

    I used some of my GI Bill to finish off the BSc in a year and half.  Other wise I would be looking at graduation in 2017.

    It was not easy, but I also saw classmates who were taking out as much student loan as they could because it was "good debt".  They used it to live on campus, buy food, computers, and cloths. (and beer - but only those over 21 of course).  Several of the people I graduated with who did the four year (most cases five year) program were leaving with $50 to $75 k in debt.  Not one has found a job that pays more than $32k a year in the degree field.   One became an insurance sales rep while they look for work in the field and is making more.  I found a job in a related field that uses the technical training I had before (Paramedic) for just $16.50 an hour.

    Personally I can't see how you could plan on paying off $75k in debt.  I really don't think it is the loan rates that is the problem but rather the cost of college that requires such loans. (and it is just dumb to borrow to live and eat on campus in my mind.)

    Stupid question hour starts now and ends in five minutes.

    by DrillSgtK on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 05:19:42 PM PDT

    •  precisely (1+ / 0-)
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      I was one of the lucky ones: I had a full-ride scholarship (the so-called "Regents Scholarship") from UCLA. Others I know had generous parents who had the means to cover these costs.

      In all of our cases, not having tens of thousands of dollars in debt is what allowed us to pursue dreams and strike out on an entrepreneurial path. If I had graduated with debt, I doubt I would have been able to pursue the path that has led to me writing these Sunday features.

      oops. I hope the gate wasn't too expensive.

      Twitter: @DanteAtkins

      by Dante Atkins on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 05:37:31 PM PDT

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