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Old 02-12-2012, 12:12 PM   #21
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I so agree with the OP. I also completed college with no debt. I had to use state schools, do the two year first then transfer credits to the university, and work part time the first two years and full time the last two. It was the only way I could afford to get a degree. But I had a job and zero debt when I graduated. Today students want to borrow, not work, and then not want to pay it back. A very sad entitlement world we have created for them.
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Old 02-18-2012, 01:16 PM   #22
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In defense of the old folks like me, in the old days, those crazy loan sharks didn't exist. I didn't see anybody on campus trying to solicite credit cards or loans. There were no commercial college mills either. A lot of students were on Pell Grant (I think that's what it was called.), so they studied hard to get a good GPA to qualify for the financial aid. I went to a private university and it was something like $4000 including room and board for the whole year (2 semesters). If you did some analysis on cost of college in relation to average household income, I bet the college cost was much lower in the old days. I was a foreign student, I couldn't become a in-state student anywhere in the country, so if I could go to a state school as an in-state student, the cost would have been much lower the private route I took.

Having said all this, I would encourage kids nowadays to take as little student loans as possible. No commercial college mills, for sure. Go to a community college the first 2 years (hopefully stay at home while working to save money for the 3rd and 4th year.) Talk to a counselor, do your own search to find out if your major can get you a job after graduation and if you can make a decent amount of money. And plan accordingly regarding the spending for tuition, etc.
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Old 02-18-2012, 01:29 PM   #23
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I do agree that it's important to consider the jobs and skills that are likely to be in demand (and resistant to offshoring), but I wouldn't dismiss the "do what you love" idea completely. There's something to be said about a job that you don't already want to escape when you're only 30.

I do think we failed young adults with the "do whatever it takes and go into any debt necessary to go to the right college", though. That has led to many folks with $50-100K in student loan debt and no decent job to help pay it off.
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Old 02-18-2012, 01:45 PM   #24
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I think it is still possible to graduate with very little debt or no debt from college. What you decide to get a degree in is a personal choice. I am assuming you just want a 4 year degree.

Stay in state at a public university. I am sure your state probably has some top ranked schools.

Attend one of the community/branch locations nearest your home and commute. Take a full load for credits. The hour rates are usually lower and can many times attend the main campus for the lower rate.

Live at home. My parents were OK with rent free as long as I was in school.

Get an apartment off campus, farther away the cheaper.

Get a part time job. School is still top priority.

Get job at the University no matter what it pays. In Ohio then school is free.

Get a full time job and one of the benefits is continuing education


There you go. Pick any 2 from the list above and you will graduate debt free.
I did my part to educate the youth on a debt free degree.
I got a job at the State DOT and they put me through school to get my engineering license. When I did it they taught in house, but the laws changed so now they pay for classes at the university and and an hour paid each day to attend classes. You make up the rest. Lots of folks come in early, got to class, then come back and work late. Engineering degree on the cheap.

I think one of the themes is that if you're good at math, for instance, is that you owe the rest of us to become an engineer, scientist or whatever. You can't become a painter or your wasting your talents and depriving us of your smarts. Nobody owes anyone anything. Straight A students can swing a hammer and C average students can work their butt off to become a rocket scientist.

I mean so that smart kid becomes a scientist but hates it. Is he really serving the rest of society well? Probably not. I'd rather have the average kid who has a passion for cancer research working on a cure rather than a smart kid pulling down a paycheck and watching the clock. When people do what they want, we are all served best. That's what we should be telling our kids.
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Old 02-18-2012, 02:12 PM   #25
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I personally don't have any problem with an engineer type becoming a carpenter if that's what he loves to do. None whatsover. I just don't want to see someone majoring in something they love while accumulating a huge studen loan debt, without being aware that his getting a job in a field is slim (not without an advanced degree for example), and even if he did, he wouldn't be paid much.

One such example is social workers. I believe they need an advanced degree to become a licensed social worker. They are the kind of people who care about people's welfare and wellbeing and they are not in it for the money because they don't make much money. Can you imagine you graduate and find a low paying job and pay a hefty monthly mortgage without even having bought a house? When can they afford to have children?

Personally, I would feel doomed.

I know a person whose son is going to a private college to study Graphic Arts. He has just finished the 2nd year and has already accumulated 40K of student loan debt (some of which his father co-signed.) That is totally crazy, in my opinion. Sure, the son loves what he does, but at what expense?
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:39 PM   #26
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Personally, I would feel doomed.
I know a person whose son is going to a private college to study Graphic Arts. He has just finished the 2nd year and has already accumulated 40K of student loan debt (some of which his father co-signed.) That is totally crazy, in my opinion. Sure, the son loves what he does, but at what expense?
Oddly enough, I know a business out here having problems finding graphic artists. What's he doing for spring break?
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:36 PM   #27
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Oddly enough, I know a business out here having problems finding graphic artists. What's he doing for spring break?
He is working in a coffee shop.
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:19 PM   #28
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My whole family is encouraging my daughter in her art. I'm the only one trying to talk some sense into her. Easy for them...they're not the one who's house she'll be moving back into, hehe.
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:51 PM   #29
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My whole family is encouraging my daughter in her art. I'm the only one trying to talk some sense into her. Easy for them...they're not the one who's house she'll be moving back into, hehe.
My daughter is on that same career track. Of course I have voiced my concern since my idea of art, is having clean white walls in my house. But ultimately it is her life, I just want her aware of the potential outcomes from her chosen path. At this point all I can do now is be in a supportive role and get her out of school debt free. The rest will be up to her.
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Old 02-18-2012, 11:24 PM   #30
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My whole family is encouraging my daughter in her art. I'm the only one trying to talk some sense into her. Easy for them...they're not the one who's house she'll be moving back into, hehe.
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My daughter is on that same career track. Of course I have voiced my concern since my idea of art, is having clean white walls in my house. But ultimately it is her life, I just want her aware of the potential outcomes from her chosen path. At this point all I can do now is be in a supportive role and get her out of school debt free. The rest will be up to her.
Bob Clyatt (ESRBob) told me once that in high school he got "the talk" from his dad about his art interests, and was "strongly encouraged" to learn some other skill in college. So he put aside his art and learned his trade. But as soon as he had enough to ER, he went back to art.

And now it's pretty much taken over his entire ER life...
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:55 AM   #31
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My daughter is on that same career track. Of course I have voiced my concern since my idea of art, is having clean white walls in my house. But ultimately it is her life, I just want her aware of the potential outcomes from her chosen path. At this point all I can do now is be in a supportive role and get her out of school debt free. The rest will be up to her.
My offer is for her to get a free education at a state school, whatever regular 4 year degree she wants (no ROI restrictions). Then she can do what she wants for grad school, because at that point, she will be independent, and the financial aid people won't expect me to contribute. I think the best thing I can do to support her is to have her get her back up plan in place before embarking on her dream. I want to support her, but just can't stomach blowing $100K of 529 money and have her job be waiting tables when she's done.
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