Will there ever be a student loan bailout? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 282 Old 03-23-2009, 09:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sanguine_speed View Post
This is a good point. I am a professional social worker. Where I live, it is against the law to use the title "social worker" without holding a degree from an accredited university and registering with a professional college. An undergraduate degree in social work is a 4-year full-time degree, and for one year of that at my school I had to do field placements where not only was I not paid, I had to pay several thousand in tuition (in addition to the tuition for coursework). In that scenario, it's a low-paying field, and my ability to work through school was severely hampered by the requirements of my degree. I also had kids and could not do the work all day at school placement then work at night at the bar that seems to be done sometimes by students without dependents. I did do what I could and for two years worked 20 hours a week on campus, and did other jobs during other years. But this meant cutting back on school a bit, and so it took longer and in the end I'm not sure how much better off I was financially for working while in school. I did it as much for the experience...
:

I'm currently working on my my Master of Social Work (which is basically the minimum requirement for social workers in health and mental health due to state and federal reimbursement regs.) The full time students in my program take 4-5 classes a quarter AND have practicum 16-24 hours a week. Working is not really possible. In state tuition is just over $18,500 for the (6 quarter) program.

Lots of students make the same mistake I did and enroll part time so that they can only take 1-2 classes while doing the 16-24 hr a week practicum and work part or full time, but in the end it doesn't really save you money since you pay tuition by the credit hour rather than by the quarter. In the end the program will cost me $28,000 over 14 quarters for tuition alone.

And all of that for a job that in this area pays only an average of $32,000 a year : I'd love it if social work paid more, or school cost less but honestly I think it is a bit silly to ignore my desire to be a social worker and the need for young social workers to replace those who are retiring all because I don't have a rich somebody to pay my way through a very demanding and time intensive program. If every one who wanted to be a social worker/teacher (or insert any low paying job that requires a high level of education here) did so we wouldn't have very many people working in those fields at all.
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#62 of 282 Old 03-23-2009, 10:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Leta View Post
Belleweather, you are absolutely right. (While we're at it, let's suggest a reformed Farm Bill, shall we?) I mean, this is so reasonable- 120 on time payments and then forgiveness. This solves the public service problem.

And, come on, you can rack up five figures of debt on cars and shoes and electronics and file for bankruptcy and be forgiven... but you can't make a mistake in your late teens and end up with a degree that doesn't pay well without being stuck? That doesn't exactly seem fair, now does it?

Not only that, here's some more fun math. In the 70's, minimum wage was $2 something an hour. Our local university cost $22 per credit hour. (I am not making this up.) Now, in MI, minimum wage is $7.45 an hour, and the U costs $277 per credit hour. Just credit hours, not fees, books, transportation, anything else.

In the 70's, you could work all summer, full time, at minimum wage, and if you lived with your parents and saved every penny, you'd have about $1300 before taxes- enough to pay for FOUR semesters worth of tution (assuming 15 ch per semester). If you worked full every summer and lived frugally, you could conceivably work part time during school and pay for everything out of pocket. Even after taxes, you'd have enough from your summer earnings to pay for both your semesters of college that year ($660), as well as your fees (prob. only another $50-$100, as they are about $200 per year now), and your books. Shoot, you could do that and still put gas in your car all summer long. You wouldn't need financial aid, and while this is assuming very helpful and supportive parents, they wouldn't have to pay your tuition.

Now, if you worked FT all summer and saved everything, you'd have about $4800 before taxes- enough to pay for ONE semester of school. You might have enough left over to pay for that semester's worth of books, too. So not only could you not keep gas in your car, you are still going to into debt to pay half your tuition alone, not to mention other expenses and needing to live.

In other words, as a practical matter, it's four times as hard to work your way through school now.
Excellent points. My eldest is a year away from college and mathematically even with the plan of him working summers there is no way an $8-9 an hour gig is going to pay much of anything substantial as far as tuition. Even the community colleges in my state are high and honestly so many folks are going to them these days its not so easy to just go and knock out the pre-reqs as folks think. ESpecially in rural states like I live in where everyone has this idea but the funding is reduced.

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Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
On the one hand, I get what you're saying. It's imprudent to get into so much debt without really thinking it through.

On the other hand-- who is going to do these low-paying jobs that still require a college degree, except the people willing to go into debt? I think of social workers, for example. The world needs social workers. Social workers need a college degree. College degrees cost money. Social work doesn't pay all that well. It's like there's a missing part of the equation.

Also, I think it's good to remember that often it is 18-21 year old kids who are getting themselves into these loans. I know I didn't understand the repercussions of my financial decisions when I was fresh out of high school. I'm not saying it makes it right or wrong, but it is something to think about.
ITA w/you. I am the director of a small non-profit that serves at risk kids. Considering I have a graduate degree I make peanuts, I am almost certain the manager at the local McD's makes more than I do, yet what I do serves greater society. Yes, considering I have a masters in non-profit management, I could be doing something a tad more profitable but if we all chased the bucks where would that leave us a society?

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While I agree we should all try to do a much better job managing our money in undergrad or grad school (not take out as many loans, not go to really expensive private schools, etc.) I think this discussion is disturbingly snarky about people who work in the social sciences and humanities. If your kids do choose to go to college, don't you want them to have an education that includes history, philosophy, and anthropology?

Anthropology teaches people about the diversity of our world, how to approach complex issues and problems, and how to write clearly. And who do you think does the research that backs up much of this community's claims about mothering? Um, anthropologists. (And psychologists, sociologists, and historians, of course). In the 1960s and 70s, feminist anthropologists turned their attention to gender and sexuality across the globe. And they realized that the Western way of raising babies is not the only one. I know not all of you root your parenting choices in this history, but the next time you discuss the research on co-sleeping or baby-wearing (and it usually draws on cross-cultural comparison), thank an anthropologist.

The central problem here is not the silly people who chose to work (or have a calling to work) in poor-paying fields, but a society and government that doesn't value education, teaching, or learning.

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So true. My dh is a journalist by trade has both his undergraduate and grad degrees in journalism and he has seen his own field go downhill. We only have to look at how local newspapers are going bye-bye. Seems we live in society that does not value a lot of good professions just because they are not money makers.

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#63 of 282 Old 03-23-2009, 11:05 PM
 
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It's my understanding that while that is true for sciences it's not necessarily true for humanities - maybe others can address that more accurately though (I was in sciences).
I was in social sciences, and everyone that I knew well enough to know about their finances got at least full tuition and a modest stipend. It was enough to live on if you were careful and maybe worked a bit. I got through with under $10,000 in loans for grad school.

I really had no idea that people went deeply in to debt for academically-oriented Ph.D.'s. Maybe an MBA, JD, or MD, but certainly not a Ph.D. in social sciences or humanities.
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#64 of 282 Old 03-23-2009, 11:07 PM
 
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Now, if you worked FT all summer and saved everything, you'd have about $4800 before taxes- enough to pay for ONE semester of school. You might have enough left over to pay for that semester's worth of books, too. So not only could you not keep gas in your car, you are still going to into debt to pay half your tuition alone, not to mention other expenses and needing to live.

In other words, as a practical matter, it's four times as hard to work your way through school now.
This is exactly how I found it to be true. I managed to save almost $5k every summer for the next two semesters. ONE semester of state university (nothing private or fancy) cost me $4800 easy, before books, other fees and living expenses. I always had to take out a loan for the spring semester.
I quit when I no longer wanted to take out another loan. It sucks.

I'm considering going back to school for a 2 year degree and this is what's holding me back. I can barely afford the bills now, there's no way I could attempt to finish school without taking out MORE student loans.
I cry about this.
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#65 of 282 Old 03-23-2009, 11:11 PM
 
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Where I'm in grad school now (rich private university) everyone who is accepted gets full tuition plus stipend. Where I was before (big state school), it varied, and none of the RA or TA positions paid enough to actually live on (like, under $10K a year).

People at my current university are fine - some of us have modest debt, but nothing major. Pretty much everyone at my old university is in serious trouble.

Dar
Wow. I really had no idea that it was that bad.

Still, I don't understand why someone would go $100,000 into debt for a doctorate in anthropology. (I'm just using your example, not meaning to pick on anthropologists.) It doesn't take a math whiz or a nobel prize-winning economist to figure out that that doesn't make much sense financially.
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#66 of 282 Old 03-23-2009, 11:30 PM
 
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Where I'm in grad school now (rich private university) everyone who is accepted gets full tuition plus stipend. Where I was before (big state school), it varied, and none of the RA or TA positions paid enough to actually live on (like, under $10K a year).

People at my current university are fine - some of us have modest debt, but nothing major. Pretty much everyone at my old university is in serious trouble.

Dar
My sister is finishing up a geo-chem program in a moderately sized state school. She is funded and has a livable stipend.

But I believe there is a big difference between hard science programs and other programs. Are social science programs ever funded?
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#67 of 282 Old 03-23-2009, 11:42 PM
 
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I don't get taking out huge student loans when your projected income will be low. Doesn't everyone have to go through loan counseling that includes a calculator to figure out how much is "safe" to borrow based on your career choice?
I've never heard of that, although it's been a long time since I was in school. That type of counseling should be mandatory, but isn't it mainly the parents' responsibility to financially educate their freshman-to-be before sending her off to sign her life away to indentured servitude?

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#68 of 282 Old 03-23-2009, 11:44 PM
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My sister is finishing up a geo-chem program in a moderately sized state school. She is funded and has a livable stipend.

But I believe there is a big difference between hard science programs and other programs. Are social science programs ever funded?
Yeah, the people in hard sciences were definitely better funded at big state university.

But yes, social sciences programs are sometimes funded... that's one of the reasons I left big state university for smaller private university. I'm very generously funded now...

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#69 of 282 Old 03-24-2009, 12:02 AM
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Borrowing money for school is a choice.

I chose to borrow money to pay for classes to get my Associate's, but I borrowed the bare minimum ($3000 per semester), and I chose to make interest payments on my non-subsidized loans. I could have borrowed twice as much as I did, and I could have not made any payments while I was in school. The loans are at the bottom of our debt snowball because the interest rates are so low and the amounts are so small, and we will be done with them by the end of the year. The Associates has helped me get jobs I might not have.

My husband worked before he was in college, and while he was in college, and worked two jobs when he wasn't in classes. He chose to not borrow money and he had no student loan debt when he graduated. He paid for his schooling as he took the classes.

His sister has a Master's degree and has no student loan debt 4 years out of college. She, too, worked in high school, worked while she was in college, and worked multiple jobs while on breaks. As soon as she had a job in her field, she began tackling the small amount of student loan debt she graduated with, instead of paying it off on their 15 year repayment program, and then began saving that money for her down payment. She will begin shopping for a house for herself later this year. She's not even 30 yet, and she's well ahead of most 40 year olds financially.

It's all a choice. Anthropology would be a cool major, but if you have to go $100K in debt to finance it, it's probably better to leave that type of interest to a hobby.
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#70 of 282 Old 03-24-2009, 12:08 AM
 
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I'll get in line with my hand out.

Just found out that the ILs way of "we'll pay for your school, dear teen son" was to put it all on student loans in his name.

So I thought I was marrying a debtless man and now found out he has more than 15k in student loans.



:

Actually, I'm scratching my head and DH is too. Basically, his parents said that if he did what they wanted, they would pay for his undergrad school. He took two years before giving up on that idea, lol. But he had no idea that by "paying for school" they meant put it all on loans for him without his knowledge.

Can you even do that? I'm assuming DH just signed the papers as a teen w/o questioning it.

I am flying the white flag of surrender!

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#71 of 282 Old 03-24-2009, 12:25 AM
 
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Can you even do that? I'm assuming DH just signed the papers as a teen w/o questioning it.

I would be shocked if that is possible, and think he likely signed without questioning. I'd be interested in hearing if it is possible, though!

The 15k would be a jarring shock if you weren't expecting it, but it is a very manageable college loan in the long run. Dh, a teacher, had a similar amt of debt, and was able to make the payments easily. The dishonesty is another story, of course....
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#72 of 282 Old 03-24-2009, 12:25 AM
 
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But yes, social sciences programs are sometimes funded... that's one of the reasons I left big state university for smaller private university. I'm very generously funded now...

Dar
That is good to know! (even though I don't think I am ever going back to school....but never say never!)
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#73 of 282 Old 03-24-2009, 12:56 AM
 
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This is exactly how I found it to be true. I managed to save almost $5k every summer for the next two semesters. ONE semester of state university (nothing private or fancy) cost me $4800 easy, before books, other fees and living expenses. I always had to take out a loan for the spring semester.
I quit when I no longer wanted to take out another loan. It sucks.

I'm considering going back to school for a 2 year degree and this is what's holding me back. I can barely afford the bills now, there's no way I could attempt to finish school without taking out MORE student loans.
I cry about this.
Fill out that FAFSA and see what happens. In a household of three with @ 36k in income, I get cash back from my PELL and MAP grants. Those grants will cover CC costs and that is where you get your two year degrees. I'm going for nursing and it actually takes more like four years. lol
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Actually I think that my ability to write off the interest on my student loans annually is a huge gift.
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#75 of 282 Old 03-24-2009, 01:04 AM
 
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And all of that for a job that in this area pays only an average of $32,000 a year : I'd love it if social work paid more, or school cost less but honestly I think it is a bit silly to ignore my desire to be a social worker and the need for young social workers to replace those who are retiring all because I don't have a rich somebody to pay my way through a very demanding and time intensive program. If every one who wanted to be a social worker/teacher (or insert any low paying job that requires a high level of education here) did so we wouldn't have very many people working in those fields at all.
I am a teacher. I have a good friend with a master's in social work.. she makes WAY more than me and her employer is paying back her loans for her.. she got a sweet deal.. She probably makes twice your figure stated above..
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#76 of 282 Old 03-24-2009, 01:15 AM
 
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I've never heard of that, although it's been a long time since I was in school. That type of counseling should be mandatory, but isn't it mainly the parents' responsibility to financially educate their freshman-to-be before sending her off to sign her life away to indentured servitude?
Maybe it's standard nowadays?

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Before receiving a student loan, borrowers must complete an entrance counseling session. This quick and easy interactive counseling session provides useful tips and tools to help you develop a budget for managing your educational expenses and helps you to understand your loan responsibilities.
https://www.dl.ed.gov/borrower/CounselingSessions.do

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#77 of 282 Old 03-24-2009, 02:18 AM
 
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Lol none of my schools actually did that. They just have you check the box where it says, "I received my interview" or however they word it.

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Fill out that FAFSA and see what happens. In a household of three with @ 36k in income, I get cash back from my PELL and MAP grants. Those grants will cover CC costs and that is where you get your two year degrees. I'm going for nursing and it actually takes more like four years. lol
All they would give me was "subsidized" student loans instead or regular ones. Big whoop, it's still a effin loan.

Also they look at LAST years tax info, when DH and I both worked full time. and now I'm unemployed (and I would have to cut my hours to go to school anyway) so it's not like they look at your ACTUAL current income.
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Also they look at LAST years tax info, when DH and I both worked full time. and now I'm unemployed (and I would have to cut my hours to go to school anyway) so it's not like they look at your ACTUAL current income.
IIRC which i might not be- filled out DD's Fafsa recently- you can include extra info if there are "special circumstances" with your current income - unemployment etc -vs the previous year


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If you (and your family) have unusual circumstances that might affect your financial situation, complete and submit the FAFSA and then notify the school's financial aid office. In some cases, the school's financial aid office may decide to take these unusual circumstances into account and adjust your cost of attendance or the information used to calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Provide the financial aid office with adequate documentation to support any special circumstances.

Possible examples of unusual circumstances include:

Tuition expenses at an elementary or secondary school.
Unusual medical or dental expenses not covered by insurance.
A family member who recently became unemployed.
Changes in income or assets that may affect your eligibility for financial aid.
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Lol none of my schools actually did that. They just have you check the box where it says, "I received my interview" or however they word it.
I had to do it for each disbursement of my loans; so, I did it three times.
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#81 of 282 Old 03-24-2009, 11:23 AM
 
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I can give you, in a paragraph, the content of "student loan counseling".

'This is real money. You WILL have to pay it back. You can't bankrupt it. If you end up on permanant disability, we can and probably will take payments out of your disability check.'

Nothing about debt to income ratio, or length of payback, or anything. Just a promise to hunt you down if you try to skip out.

Trying to turn hearts and minds toward universal healthcare, one post at a time.
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I don't have a massive amount left to pay - probably around $7K or so, but it's more annoying than anything. We only pay $100-$150 a month on it...it's just one of those things that I wish we could just pay off and be done with it. So yes, a bailout for student loans would be greatly appreciated in this household!!
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#83 of 282 Old 03-24-2009, 12:27 PM
 
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I am a teacher. I have a good friend with a master's in social work.. she makes WAY more than me and her employer is paying back her loans for her.. she got a sweet deal.. She probably makes twice your figure stated above..
Good for her. But I can tell you that that kind of deal really doesn't exist around here for non administrative social workers. My practicum site offered to hire me once I graduate and the salary they offered was just over $28,000 a year, which is pretty standard for crisis intervention and community mental health.

(Now teachers on the other hand in this area start at $38,000 with a Bachelor's and $42,000 with a Master's and most of the districts do pay for you to get your Master's degree. I have a friend that after 13 years of teaching and earning her Master's makes $71,000 a year. She also had a chunk of her student loans forgiven just because she taught for 5 years. But I realize that I can't generalize her experience to every other teacher in the US)
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I just cant get over some of the comments on this thread. If you borrow money you need to pay it back period end of story. No one borrows money for a car and then whines "I dont like making car payments, Govt. come pass some laws so I don't have to pay my car note".

No one held a gun to anyones head and said "You will borrow more money in student loans than you can ever pay back." If you did not realize you were borrowing more than you could afford it is not the ebil banks/schools/whatever fault and it is certainly not governments responsibility to clean up your mess (or anyone's mess). It is something you should take up with your parents for their failure to teach you basic life skills.

I am going back to school, not for what I would love to do, but for something practical that I could easily get a job in and make a decent living. I quit my job and we are living way below our means off my husbands salary. It sucks but it means I can get through CC with out taking out loans. When I am done with CC I am going to a private school which offers an accelerated program for adults. I will have to take out loans for the private school to the tune of roughly $25,000. We have already planned that when I graduate, the first year I am employed we will still continue to live frugally off my husbands salary and every cent I make will go towards paying off my student loan. The loan should be paid off with in a year. Ideally in about 10 years after we have a substantial amount of money saved up and the kids are older I will go back to school and get a degree in what I really want to do, but until then I am being practical.

You don't always get what you want in life, sometimes it means you aren't able to follow your dreams immediately, sometimes it means you need to live below your means for a few years, and sometimes it means you need to suck it up and pay back the money you owe for the education you already have.
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#85 of 282 Old 03-24-2009, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Leta View Post
I can give you, in a paragraph, the content of "student loan counseling".

'This is real money. You WILL have to pay it back. You can't bankrupt it. If you end up on permanant disability, we can and probably will take payments out of your disability check.'

Nothing about debt to income ratio, or length of payback, or anything. Just a promise to hunt you down if you try to skip out.
That was pretty poor counseling you got, then.

Mine included:
*You must pay back the money, even if you don't like the education you received or if you don't take a job in the field you studied for or you get a job, but then lose it
*You cannot discharge the debt in bankruptcy
*If you fail to make payments, we can seize your assets, including bank accounts and tax refunds
*Subsidized vs. unsubsidized and what that meant
*Payback schedules and terms - level vs. graduated
*Forbearance and deferment: what they are, when they can be used
*Borrow smart - don't borrow more than you can pay back. Try to borrow just what you need to.
*The loans are for educational expenses and expenses incurred as a result of being a student - not for things like buying a car, gambling, or vacations
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#86 of 282 Old 03-24-2009, 02:56 PM
 
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Good for her. But I can tell you that that kind of deal really doesn't exist around here for non administrative social workers. My practicum site offered to hire me once I graduate and the salary they offered was just over $28,000 a year, which is pretty standard for crisis intervention and community mental health.

(Now teachers on the other hand in this area start at $38,000 with a Bachelor's and $42,000 with a Master's and most of the districts do pay for you to get your Master's degree. I have a friend that after 13 years of teaching and earning her Master's makes $71,000 a year. She also had a chunk of her student loans forgiven just because she taught for 5 years. But I realize that I can't generalize her experience to every other teacher in the US)
Well, I wasn't trying to generalize, but I was trying to offer hope that there are better paying social worker positions out there..

For teachers here there is a student loan forgiveness program but you have to live VERY rurally to qualify, and you have to have taken out a certain type of student loan as well.. they pay one year for each year of service, but since these are areas I USED to live in as a child, I know for a fact that my dp would be unemployed, so it wouldn't be worth it financially, plus the stress on my children of being the only Filipino kids in town is just NOT worth it (which is what the end result would be).

My parents both were teachers for awhile (mom's retired, dad's currently a prof) and yeah, they both were making well over the $70k each near the end, although they put much of it in tax deferred retirement programs so lived off of FAR less.

Districts here do NOT pay for master's degrees although they will pay for individual courses (like a %) if it is for an underserved topic or area. They used to though.. my sil had her masters paid for, but certainly not me.
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#87 of 282 Old 03-24-2009, 03:16 PM
 
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This is only specific to teaching- but you can become a National Baord Certified teacher for very little money and most states augment your salary. My state will add 5K a year to my salary once I finish- takes about 2 years- and that is good for 10 years. Then I can recertify, which is not difficult, and continue to collect the extra money. I figure I will teach for 20 more years once I am nationally certified. That is another 100K before taxes, etc, but more than pays for my education.

The time to look for money for college is before and when you are in college- not after. There are lots of scholarships, etc., out there and not all are for straight A students. Live near a Target? There is a $500 grant given by Target- that is just one example. At one of the high schools where I used to teach, we had a senior counselor whose entire job was to find money for the girls (an all girls' school) to go to college. You would be AMAZED what is out there. And while $500 might not make a dent, it all adds up.
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#88 of 282 Old 03-24-2009, 03:22 PM
 
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This is only specific to teaching- but you can become a National Baord Certified teacher for very little money and most states augment your salary.
Everyone I know personally that is going through national cert or has gone through national cert has told me that they spent an incredible amount of $ out of pocket.

At this point I think I would do it if I were ever considering moving out of state, but I am not, so.. not a big deal to me.

If I ever needed extra $ after retirement, I could sub out of state (we are planning on traveling in an rv), or I could pick up writing full time again.. so unless something really drastic happens to dp or me (like health issues that force us out of state) I am not seeing where it would benefit me any.. 'course I could always teach in the Philippines, which I think would be great, anyway..
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#89 of 282 Old 03-24-2009, 03:43 PM
 
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I can give you, in a paragraph, the content of "student loan counseling".

'This is real money. You WILL have to pay it back. You can't bankrupt it. If you end up on permanant disability, we can and probably will take payments out of your disability check.'

Nothing about debt to income ratio, or length of payback, or anything. Just a promise to hunt you down if you try to skip out.
well, maybe it was my community college's specific "counseling" (this was over 5 years ago) because I only wanted to borrow $1200 and had to go thru a pretty extensive half an hour ordeal which included loan calculators, income projection, a section where you typed in your expected housing/food/etc., costs to realistically figure out how much you could afford to pay back. It was a bit different than the session I linked, so that makes me think maybe it was specific to my loan, or my college.

ribboncesarean.gif cesareans happen.
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#90 of 282 Old 03-24-2009, 04:12 PM
 
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To be honest, I don't think it's fair that it isn't dischargeable in bankruptcy.
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