Will there ever be a student loan bailout? - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-22-2009, 03:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wondering. So many people are stuck with massive amounts of student loans that are next to impossible to get rid of. It's probably just wishful thinking on my part though - lol
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Old 03-22-2009, 04:23 AM
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I know so many people who owe so much money... like, 80K - 100K or more... and they're going to have degrees in anthropology when they're done, if they finish! One friend who owes 80K just dropped out, so she has an MPH and an M.A... another has over 100K in loans and hasn't even done her fieldwork yet, so she's nowhere near getting her PhD.

I don't know... they'll be paying close to $1000 a month, the way I figure it. I know people who stay in school and keep racking up loans because if they drop out they have to start repaying the loans... so it sort of snowballs.

I don't have a lot of loans - I wish I didn't have any, but then I'm also glad I took them so I could spend more time with my daughter. They're all interest deferred, too, so they won't accrue interest until after I graduate, and I shouldn't need to take any more. It does seem like a big problem for a lot of people, though...

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Old 03-22-2009, 04:39 AM
 
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i only have about 25k although that has increased from i think 15k just with interest even though i'm forbearing and defering (dependin on which i qualify for.... i've done both)

but evn that amount... theres no way i can pay that back until i make a lot more...and thats just not hapening anytime soon

if i had known then... iwouldn't have evne gone to college, certainly not on loan $. i'm not encourging myy kids to go until they have had some life experience to know what they really want to go for or until they have to go as a prerequisite for employment

i mean i wasted all that money on something that while fascinating i'm not going to make a career of... and now that i know what i want to do i can't pay for it
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Old 03-22-2009, 04:41 AM
 
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Of course not. Working people don't get bailouts, only the rich get bailouts.

It would be nice if instead of bailing out the big corporations, some of the tax money went to working people to pay their mortgages, student loans, COBRA coverage for people who have lost their jobs, etc.

But see, when working people have financial setbacks, they're irresponsible. When fat cats have financial trouble, it's the economy.:

I'm feeling very cynical about the whole thing at the moment.

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Old 03-22-2009, 12:51 PM
 
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Wouldn't that be great! If that would happen dh and I would be doing pretty good.

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Old 03-22-2009, 12:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bigeyes View Post

It would be nice if instead of bailing out the big corporations, some of the tax money went to working people to pay their mortgages, student loans, COBRA coverage for people who have lost their jobs, etc.
.
Well to be fair some of the bailout money is going to these things. The first 9 months of COBRA coverage are now being covered 65% by the feds..and its retroactive to sometime last year. Most states have received millions to beef up unemployment insurance so people can be covered longer. In many states this second provision is being blocked by the Republicans though...I know in California accepting this money was defeated by one vote, although they are going to try again.

But yeah, I hear you about the student loans...sigh.
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Old 03-22-2009, 01:24 PM
 
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Ha! I wish! my husband did an extra law degree in tax, to the tune of an extra 40K in student loans! We were told by everyone that when he finished, he would be a shoe-in for a great position paying $140-150k per year at one of the many snazzy DC firms. Ha! Then the economy collapsed and no one is hiring. So my husband is stuck doing tax returns for $30 an hour, with all these stupid loans!!!

Anyway, while there is no bailout planned, there is this, which was discussed on this forum a few months back: income based repayment, which are student loan repayment plans based on income, family size, etc.

http://www.ibrinfo.org/
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Old 03-22-2009, 01:30 PM
 
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Well to be fair some of the bailout money is going to these things. The first 9 months of COBRA coverage are now being covered 65% by the feds..and its retroactive to sometime last year.
We did COBRA for a little while last year. Where can I find info on this?

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Old 03-22-2009, 01:31 PM
 
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like, 80K - 100K or more... and they're going to have degrees in anthropology
<snip> I know people who stay in school and keep racking up loans because if they drop out they have to start repaying the loans... so it sort of snowballs.
This would be me ~ only I've got the genius degrees in Creative Writing, Philosophy, and Religious Studies !!! Guaranteed employment I tell ya!

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Old 03-22-2009, 01:37 PM
 
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Well, on the upside, Income Based Repayment begins on, I believe, July 1 of this year. While it is certainly not a bailout, it is a big improvement.

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Old 03-22-2009, 01:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bigeyes View Post
Of course not. Working people don't get bailouts, only the rich get bailouts.

It would be nice if instead of bailing out the big corporations, some of the tax money went to working people to pay their mortgages, student loans, COBRA coverage for people who have lost their jobs, etc.

But see, when working people have financial setbacks, they're irresponsible. When fat cats have financial trouble, it's the economy.:

I'm feeling very cynical about the whole thing at the moment.
:

bail out big businesses, bailout auto makers, but whatever you do, dont bailout the people. :

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Old 03-22-2009, 01:47 PM
 
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I owe $148K. I was unemployed for nearly 2 years. Now I finally have my big ticket job, but I owe so many people so much money from my two years of unemployment that it's sometimes mind-numbing. : At one point I got in a fight with the US Dept of Education. I told them I had resorted to prostitution to buy my groceries, so I suppose I could add one more trick each week to pay them the money they wanted every month for their help in funding the education that had allowed me to achieve such wonderful career heights. They made me talk to the manager. I have to pay $1200 per month for my "bankruptcy" for the next five years. Only then can I think about starting to pay back the student loans, which by then I'm sure will be closer to $200K.

I'd love a bailout. Don't see it happening though. For some reason, the return on my educational investment merits the wait-and-see approach - I should be able to pay off my loans some time in the next 30 years. Yet a bad mortgage? They don't have to wait for their market to rebound. Sigh.

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Old 03-22-2009, 02:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mrsfrenchy View Post
We did COBRA for a little while last year. Where can I find info on this?

Here ya go: http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-cob...ductionEE.html
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Old 03-22-2009, 02:48 PM
 
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I certainly hope not.

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...It would be nice if instead of bailing out the big corporations, some of the tax money went to working people to pay their mortgages, student loans, COBRA coverage for people who have lost their jobs, etc....
Yes, I agree. (Some) Tax money should go to the public to use for their own needs - mortgage, COBRA, student loans, etc.

(This thread makes me want to watch The Corporation again....)
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Old 03-22-2009, 03:23 PM
 
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We had to take out loans for my dh to go to school. To the tune of about $300 a month for 10 years. We didn't own a home for many of those years because of them. I get that we didn't take out nearly as much as some of you, I can't imagine paying $1200 a month in loans. But by living incredibly carefully we paid them off. It's such a good feeling and dh no longer has to drive his POS car.
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Old 03-22-2009, 03:43 PM
 
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if i had known then... iwouldn't have evne gone to college, certainly not on loan $. i'm not encourging myy kids to go until they have had some life experience to know what they really want to go for or until they have to go as a prerequisite for employment

i mean i wasted all that money on something that while fascinating i'm not going to make a career of... and now that i know what i want to do i can't pay for it

Amen to that, had i known i would have gotten pregnant right after my last year of college i would not have finished. i only had 10k in loans, and that is down to 8k, but still, i'm sahming right now, can't even find a pt job to help out that is worth it, so essentially if i want a decent job i'd have to go back to school for 2 more years, which is not even an option at the moment, as i am not interested in getting more debt and i'm not that interested in going back to school all together. Granted my loan repayment is not that bad about 120$ a month on 10 year loan, but 120$ could def be used elsewhere atm. i am considering forebearance as i am having trouble paying the loans right now.

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Old 03-22-2009, 04:16 PM
 
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I keep thinking about what a horrible obstacle this is to our children's future. You have to have college to have a shot at a decent income, but you start out with this awful debt that keeps you in the hole for years....it seems like no matter what you do you're destined to have several years of living on very little money.

And if you save money for college, they give you less help when you try to get help paying for college. If you get scholarships, great, but if you don't, years of debt.

It's scary.

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Old 03-22-2009, 04:30 PM
 
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You have to have college to have a shot at a decent income, but you start out with this awful debt that keeps you in the hole for years....
It seems like many people in this thread are saying that college did not give them a shot at a decent income... So the problem is a culture of "College at any price" rather than student loans being considered an investment in future income.

I believe College is another bubble just like housing. Sure higher education is a GREAT asset, and a often good idea, but borrowing too much money for what is often a "gamble" on future speculation isn't a good idea.

Everyone in america said "It is important to get a house as soon as possible, and to borrow the money at any cost." And it backfired. They have been doing the same thing with student loans too.
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Old 03-22-2009, 04:54 PM
 
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It seems like many people in this thread are saying that college did not give them a shot at a decent income... So the problem is a culture of "College at any price" rather than student loans being considered an investment in future income.

I believe College is another bubble just like housing. Sure higher education is a GREAT asset, and a often good idea, but borrowing too much money for what is often a "gamble" on future speculation isn't a good idea.

Everyone in america said "It is important to get a house as soon as possible, and to borrow the money at any cost." And it backfired. They have been doing the same thing with student loans too.
I can't tell you how many times I've been passed over for promotions or missed out on jobs because I didn't have a degree, or how many times I've worked for someone who used me as their personal spell-checker, even though they were the one with the degree, the title and the big paycheck.

It matters. Even entry level positions in many companies require degrees now, and in some areas unless you want to work retail or food service you just about have to have a college education. If you don't have the money to get that education, what do you do? If you're like me, you go to work, and then if you get caught up in the trap of thinking you don't need the education...then years later when you're dissatisfied, you have debts and responsibilities, and when you're searching for jobs employers want to know why you don't have an education at your age. Since plenty of other people do, you're at a disadvantage.

I think the worst mistake anyone can make is to put off going to school. AFAIC it's the only debt that makes sense. But paying it off shouldn't be so rough. Payments should be income based or something.

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Old 03-22-2009, 05:03 PM
 
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And if you save money for college, they give you less help when you try to get help paying for college. If you get scholarships, great, but if you don't, years of debt.
.
The other option is work and pay as you go (either the parents or the student).
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Old 03-22-2009, 05:07 PM
 
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I know so many people who owe so much money... like, 80K - 100K or more... and they're going to have degrees in anthropology when they're done, if they finish! One friend who owes 80K just dropped out, so she has an MPH and an M.A... another has over 100K in loans and hasn't even done her fieldwork yet, so she's nowhere near getting her PhD.

I don't know... they'll be paying close to $1000 a month, the way I figure it. I know people who stay in school and keep racking up loans because if they drop out they have to start repaying the loans... so it sort of snowballs.

I don't have a lot of loans - I wish I didn't have any, but then I'm also glad I took them so I could spend more time with my daughter. They're all interest deferred, too, so they won't accrue interest until after I graduate, and I shouldn't need to take any more. It does seem like a big problem for a lot of people, though...

dar
My very practical question is this: if someone is going into a field where there aren't many jobs, or at least not ones that pay very well, such as anthropology, why do they rack up so much in loans and then talk about how difficult it is to pay them off?

I can understand racking up a lot of loans for law, medicine, engineering, etc., but anthropology or religious studies?

I also don't get the thinking of attending a pricey private school for something like education. Someone I know is attending a private school for an education degree. She's got so much in loans that she's going to have to move home for a while after graduation this spring, to work on paying them off before she can get married.

She'd still have loans if she had gone to a state school, but nowhere NEAR as much!

I'd appreciate someone explaining this thinking to me, because I don't get it. I went to a second-tier state school for journalism (1987-1991). Parents paid tuition and some of rent and I paid everything else. Lived pretty frugal, no car, etc. No loans. I only worked as a reporter for 16 months, but having that journalism degree on my resume has been very helpful (given the lack of communications skills many have, my employers have been happy to see that - I can't tell you how many MBAs I've seen who can't spell very common words - and in emails to customers, too!)

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Old 03-22-2009, 05:25 PM
 
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it's the only debt that makes sense.
blanket statements are the real problem. There is no debt that universally "good" as housing and student loans were both considered untill very recently.

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Payments should be income based or something.
Projected income SHOULD be the basis on the amount you were originally planning to borrow. The fact that loans must be repayed and projected salary differentials should not be a surprise to anyone... and if they are a surprise, well then the cultural problem of "student loan debt is the only debt that makes sense" has reared its ugly head. If you borrowed money in order to enhance future income, and that income is not what you have gambled it to be, well then you lost the gamble, it sucks but it is true. That is the fundamental difference between planning and gambling.

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employers want to know why you don't have an education at your age.
Questions in interviews are not rhetorical. If you have no good answer of course that is bad. Depending on the position, most non-idiot employers will respond very well to: "I did a cost benefit analysis on the pros and cons of halting my career to borrow money for college, and it might surprise you how much more risk I was facing had I made financial commitments without solid prospects for paying them back. Since then I have had plenty of time to prove my skill and worth through X,Y,Z and have developed a skill-set that is not for sale in an institutional setting, and has to be earned over years of hard work in the front lines of the real world."
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Old 03-22-2009, 05:53 PM
 
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Yeah, but the crux of the problem is this:

Say you want to be a teacher. In my state, an education degree takes 5 years. EASILY. The nearby university, where DH works, is the cheapest in our state. Yes, it's public, and an education school.

Even still, it costs $15,000 per year if you live on campus. Off campus, it's about $7000 per year, but you're paying rent and buying groceries, so it's basically a wash, unless you are lucky enough to live with your parents the entire time, and only work part time to pay for your car.

That's $75,000. For the cheapest public school. To get an ed degree. Again, in my state, public school teachers can expect to make $25,000 their first year, and only break $35,000 after they get tenure.

(Even if you get a full Pell grant, that's about $4200 bucks a year. I also managed to snag a state scholarship for another $1500 per year, and a honor society scholarship for $500. But I still had to live and pay for books and transportation. I worked at least part time all through school, and still racked up $5-$7000 in loans per year. If I hadn't, I would have either had to drop out or have been homeless, and I am not exaggerating.)

If we tell kids not to take out more loans than their first year's expected salary (which is what they're starting to do) what person in her right mind is going to become a public school teacher?

Even if you homeschool, that's EVERYONE'S problem, folks. Many public service professions are low paid, but require education. We are in an educational economy that is not sustainable, because tuition is continuing to outpace inflation, even in this miserable economy.

My solution is to reform education spending AFTER we enact a cap on tuition for public universities. But I'd love to hear other ideas, because this whole loans after loans thing isn't gonna work for much longer.

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Old 03-22-2009, 07:36 PM
 
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Community college is a brilliant option for two (+) years. In addition, CLEP, Dantes, etc., can assist in cutting credits where applicable and transferable.

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The other option is work and pay as you go (either the parents or the student).
I completely agree.
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Old 03-22-2009, 07:47 PM
 
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I keep thinking about what a horrible obstacle this is to our children's future. You have to have college to have a shot at a decent income, but you start out with this awful debt that keeps you in the hole for years....it seems like no matter what you do you're destined to have several years of living on very little money.
I don't think this is true. As many people have posted here, a college degree isn't a guarantee of a well-paying job. And, anecdotally, I know of many people who never graduated from college and yet worked their way into high paying professional jobs.

While the statistics do say that those with a college degree have higher salaries on average, there will always be people who make above- or below- average salaries. Like anything else, a degree is a tool. It's up to the individual to use their education to the best of their ability.

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I think the worst mistake anyone can make is to put off going to school. AFAIC it's the only debt that makes sense. But paying it off shouldn't be so rough. Payments should be income based or something.
In many cases, payments already ARE based on income. Those with very low incomes can often defer their payments.

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Yeah, but the crux of the problem is this:

Say you want to be a teacher. In my state, an education degree takes 5 years. EASILY. The nearby university, where DH works, is the cheapest in our state. Yes, it's public, and an education school.

Even still, it costs $15,000 per year if you live on campus. Off campus, it's about $7000 per year, but you're paying rent and buying groceries, so it's basically a wash, unless you are lucky enough to live with your parents the entire time, and only work part time to pay for your car.

That's $75,000. For the cheapest public school. To get an ed degree. Again, in my state, public school teachers can expect to make $25,000 their first year, and only break $35,000 after they get tenure.
If you attend a community college for the 1st two years, you can probably knock $20K or so off that total amount. Also, are 5 years of school required, or do people just stretch it out that far? If people sat down to THINK about it before signing up for classes, they might decide that it's worth it to buckle down and get through the program in 4 years if they know it's going to cost them an extra $15K.

I agree with ShaggyDaddy that a cultural bias towards education at any cost is working against us here. Young people with very little life experience are told that to succeed in life, they need a college degree. Private schools are assumed to be better (because the more expensive something is, the better it is, right?). And student loans are so common as to be thought inevitable.

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Old 03-22-2009, 08:05 PM
 
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it costs $15,000 per year if you live on campus. Off campus, it's about $7000 per year, but you're paying rent and buying groceries, so it's basically a wash, unless you are lucky enough to live with your parents the entire time, and only work part time to pay for your car.

That's $75,000. For the cheapest public school. .
People underestimate how much money a student can earn while going to school. It isn't as much fun to go to work, rather than watch tv or go to parties, but it surely isn't impossible. If a student works 15-20 hours a week, and earns 7-10k a year, that will significantly offset the eventual loans.
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Old 03-22-2009, 09:21 PM
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My very practical question is this: if someone is going into a field where there aren't many jobs, or at least not ones that pay very well, such as anthropology, why do they rack up so much in loans and then talk about how difficult it is to pay them off?

I can understand racking up a lot of loans for law, medicine, engineering, etc., but anthropology or religious studies?
Yup. I'm with you - I don't get it either.

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Old 03-22-2009, 09:46 PM
 
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This is NOT a generalization, and not true across the board, but, in this state, it is very difficult to transfer from a cc to university if you are getting a EDUCATION degree.

There's a few reasons for this, but they are all boring, so I won't go into them unless pressed for details.

And yes, in MI, an ed degree takes a full five years to get. A typical bachelor's is in the range of 124 credit hours, or about 16 ch per semester, assuming that you don't drop or fail anything, and that you don't take summer classes.

An education degree here is anywhere from 148 to 16some credit hours, depending on what you're trying to get certified in. That's a full year more, maybe even two.

I seriously considered getting a teaching degree, but after doing the math and finding out my cc credits wouldn't transfer, I said no thanks.

I always made more than $10,000 per year when I was working in college, but it costs more than that to live. College towns tend to be expensive. You have extra transportation and other expenses (books are $$$). It's hard to work, go to school, AND pinch pennies. I ate a lot of Ragu and box of pasta dinners, and bought books online whenever I could, but I still had to rely on fast food and the college book store sometimes. It's impossible to research every purchase to death, sleep, earn money and keep your grades up.

I'm not saying that people should or should not go to college. I'm just saying that if people don't get educations that lead them into public service because of the cost-benefit analysis, we all will suffer.

Trying to turn hearts and minds toward universal healthcare, one post at a time.
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:38 PM
 
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And there are programs for teachers student loans to be repaid for that reason. They require sacrifice, but they are a choice. Same is true of some forms of social work, etc.

Also, while it raises the cost some, 160 credit hours is a 4 year class load with summer school. If i'm going to have living expenses, might as well go to school and reduce overall length and cost.

But alas, I have no dog in this fight, I have no loans as I had a full ride and then some.
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Old 03-23-2009, 12:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnmama View Post
The other option is work and pay as you go (either the parents or the student).
Doesn't work out very well.

Me, working part time and going to school, never sleeping, getting skin problems as a result of the strees . . .
paying rent, utilities, car insurance and gas (to get to the JOB and school since I couldn't live on campus) clothes, food, ETC. there's just not enough $$ leftover after paying the bills to buy more than one or maybe two classes per semester IF nothing "comes up". Oh and I was on foodstamps during the above scenario because we literally had $40 left for two weeks for two adults!

Someone working part-time at an entry level job simply can NOT make enough to support themselves AND pay tuition/books/fees.
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