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  • Writer's pictureAlanna Grayce

#44: MY MOST CONTROVERSIAL FACEBOOK POST YET- STUDENT DEBT


Now this post got some massively heated debate going, and I want to highlight here some of the conversations that were had. If you want to scroll past the drama for the research/numbers I found regarding student debt, feel free!!


angry boomer 1: (and they call millennials snowflakes?)

"Susan": No one forced anyone to take out student loans (especially for degrees that don't lead to jobs). As a matter of fact, good grades to earn scholarships were encouraged and going to out of state schools that didn't offer scholarship (and led to higher loans) was discouraged. I know people that used student loans for study abroad and off campus housing while taking useless degrees. This doesn't fly. Sorry.”


Allison: you’re pretty much saying you don’t care when you say we got into this by our own accord. I’m sure you’ve made a decision encouraged by someone older than you who you thought had credibility. as you said “years of experience is a great teacher,” so why is so hard to grasp that young people were convinced they could succeed by going to college? This post simply expresses the anger and frustration many people feel, and you try to negate that anger saying we’ve brought it upon ourselves for not having “years of experience” to make a life impacting decision at the age of 17/18.


angry boomer 2:

"Kevin": “So you are saying an entire generation is easily manipulated and gullible. I know when I wanted to go to college I researched how much the university costs and how I was going to budget to pay. I also researched what my career choice would pay. Gave up a lot to go to school. Went in the Army to get the GI bill, while in college worked in a factory draining oil out of lawnmowers and worked at the VA office on campus. Took 15 to 18 credit hours per semester. Finished a 4 yr degree in 3 1/2 years. Never went to spring break or spent time finding myself. After I started my job I went back to school to get my MBA. Hmm so I could have just borrowed money made decisions without foresight and taken no responsibility form my actions then blamed everyone else for my decisions. No wonder I am not a democrat.”


me: "love how you have to result to insults? Gullible and easily manipulated? When every authority figure in your life tells you as an impressionable child that you have to go to college to make something of yourself, and to look down on trades. Yeah we had choice, but we were also very much pressured." PS, I'm not a "democrat" either. wow.


College classmate:

“I’d personally say “tricked” is a great word for it.

I worked hard in high school, had tons of scholarships. But was HIGHLY encouraged to still sign for $20+ thousand dollars in loans just for my freshmen year alone at 18 years old. Nobody explained to me the ramifications of doing that, nobody explained to me that what that would mean later in life, nobody explained interest and subsidized vs unsubsidized.

They said “you want to go to college? Well you need to go somewhere better than community college if you want a good job later in life. Transy will look GREAT on job applications.” - I don’t regret my Transy education for a second, but no job has cared that I went to Transy. I’ve been paid the same as someone with a community college degree.

Then I got my masters, which having a Transy degree vs a community college degree did nothing to help me get in, and now my masters is all they care about.

I was also told “you want to go to college? Well your family is poor and can’t pay for it. So you have to sign this to get the money to go. You’ll be able to pay it back easily when you graduate” From adults. They tricked me into thinking it wasn’t a big deal and it was easy. It’s not. I’m lucky because I have a great job, with great pay doing something I love and I don’t need to work 2 jobs to make ends meet. But I will be paying off student loans until I die, and still don’t pay it all, because adults decided to trick me into life altering decisions, without giving me all the information. I make monthly payments, more than my required amount, and my principal goes up each month because of interest.

Tricked is a great word for it because it literally means to deceive, and I was deceived that I needed to do all of these things and sign my life away at 18 years old by adults who were supposed to have my best interest in mind.

I’d also like to add that I know COUNTLESS other millennials that are in the exact same boat as me, so this isn’t an isolated case ”


Sorority advisor:

"I think what is also not being brought up here (cause too many people are busy pointing the finger) is this; Student loans are incredibly predatory. We allow people to borrow large amounts for college that they would never be approved for otherwise. Then student loan holders say “you only have to pay this amount per month” and in truth that amount is barely the interest portion so people can literally pay on these loans for YEARS and never even get close to paying off the balance. I don’t care what anyone says 18 year olds aren’t capable of completely understanding the repercussions of borrowing these sums of money. Not to mention student loans don’t go away when declaring bankruptcy. The system is inherently broken.

I paid my student loans off long ago... from a private university but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t want someone else to have the good fortune to have some loan forgiveness. Just because I didn’t get something doesn’t mean someone else shouldn’t."


The really awesome part was that people actually did try to have conversations and learn!


Another family friend commented and said:

"Rhonda": “I’d just like to make a comment and I’m a non-confrontational person. My question is: Did your parents talk to you about the costs of college and did they recommend a college that was affordable and best for your financial future? When our daughter was accepted at several colleges, we talked about which one would give her the education she wanted and which one was most affordable. She went to private university with a full ride except for books. She could’ve gone to other non and private colleges and she would’ve had some debt. No administrator would have talked her into taking out loans because she knew she didn’t want to worry about that debt latter. She lived on campus, ate campus food, etc. I don’t know the situations you all were in and am not assuming that you lived in apartments, used loans for cars and other things but I know a lot of students did.

I do believe that some parents, school administrators, counselors, etc. push kids into a 4 year school when it isn’t necessary and that's wrong. We need electricians, welders, plumbers, etc. and those jobs are no less important than those obtained with a 4 year degree. I have a nephew who went his first two years at a community college and his last two years at a major university. Of course, we take information from counselors and schools even churches but ultimately I believe it’s the parents responsibility to guide their student in the right direction and the student should have respect enough to listen to their parents and come to a conclusion together.

As far as canceling debt, I just can’t agree with that. Some would have their debt relieved while others who either paid off their debt (maybe parents helping, I don’t know) or those who worked very hard for scholarships would seem to be penalized. Then, of course, they’re are many whom didn’t go to college at all because they and their families thought they couldn’t afford it even though they wanted to attend. How is it fair to those people? If they knew their college debt would be canceled many more would have gone to college.

I do think it’s ridiculous that colleges charge so much tuition and it is going up and up and for what? So many people also think that if they go to the more “popular” colleges whose tuition is ridiculous that they’ll have a better chance of getting a more exceptional job or career and that’s not simply the case. College or University is to educate you to land yourself in the job/career you want and I’ll go out on a limb to say you can pretty much go to any college to get that, with the exception of those wanting to be physicians, lawyers, etc.

I am a BOOMER but my husband and I counseled our daughter to help her make her decisions. Matter of fact, our family struggled I mean really struggled for years by paying into a college fund that would allow her to go to any public university. When she was awarded her scholarships we took that money and bought her a car and saved the rest for any future needs she might have. We are not wealthy people in any sense but felt college was important and guided our daughter in the direction that was best for her. Not putting anyone down at all but did your parents help you in making decisions, taking out loans, etc. Did you listen to them. No judgement, I’m just asking. Thanks!”


Some awesome dialogue and kindness came from this post ^^^


Highschool classmate: (she was older than me so I liked her unlike most everyone in my actual grade LOL)

“What’s crazy is I STILL owed quite a bit for undergrad and had scholarships. What’s even crazier is I owed every penny for graduate school because I made too much money to receive any type of help. But yet I had to make what I did in order to pay my bills. Then, you get your degrees and go through countless job interviews only to be told you either don’t have the experience needed or they couldn’t meet your expected salary, which I was always low balling it too. I’m glad you posted this because it is absolutely heart-wrenching for people to say we all gained student debt on our own because WE CHOSE to borrow it. Some of us HAD TO borrow it and we did so for good reasons. To receive good degrees to land jobs that we have potential to grow in, and jobs that offer benefits and health care. I’m grateful and blessed that I finally found an amazing job and you know what, they happened to take a chance on me and I’m still here. Took a few years but I’m here, still have student loan debt like crazy, and probably will till I die, but I finally landed a job where my degrees are NOT useless”


Aunt's bff's daughter: (and IBT fan :) !!! )

“I just want to add to the conversation here to add some perspective for those who might not understand because they aren’t/weren’t indebted like some of us on this thread. I received the second highest scholarship from the university. I worked two jobs the majority of the time I was in college as well as worked a third one semester to help pay for things like books and day to day expenses. I graduated in 3.5 years and still accrued $20,000 in debt without ANY frills.

I made minimum payments based off of my income upon graduating for four years. When my husband and I began to pay off our debt in 2019 and I logged in and looked at the balance, I was sickened. I then owed around $24,000! How could that be?! I had paid the minimums, never missing a payment once.

The way interest accrues is never fully explained. No one at school takes the time to educate students on what they are truly signing for.

We have an unchecked system. In no reality would an 18 year old be given that amount of money to borrow FOR ANYTHING! Parent plus loans can destroy relationships. It’s extremely predatory. There is so much propaganda telling students to go to college from sources that students trust (parents, counselors, etc.). But college has changed a great deal since my mother attended. The cost of college has inflated like no other good or service in our nation. Look it up.

Anyways, there is a student loan crisis out there. Truly. “Borrowed Future” is an amazing podcast that has statistics that will blow your mind about student debt.

I would like to also mention that while I ended up with about $24,000 in debt and my husband has about $7,000 in debt from school, we are very fortunate and have worked extremely hard to be disciplined to pay them off and became student loan debt free June 2020. It can be done, but it takes an incredible amount of discipline. But, for those who struggle to find jobs in their field or struggle to find well-paying jobs, it can be such a catch 22.

I would also like to mention that $31,000+ in student loans for both of us is below the national average (for one person) the last time I checked.

Student loans plague our generation. Look at statistics. The average millennial with debt IS putting off purchasing a home or having children like never before.

Something has to be done. I don’t have the answers at all. But I do have some suggestions.”


Wow. I mean this all just goes to show how difficult things are right now, and that the people who say crappy things are really disconnected from the reality of the situation.


Now here is where I get into research:


So we can compare against other consumer items, which have increased in cost an average of 120%- but colleges grew nearly 260%. Significantly more costly in comparison to the cost of all other consumer goods.


And keep in mind- college tuition rates are constantly increasing, and is it even justifiable? For the 2020-2021 school year, average tuition was $41,000 at private colleges, $11,000 for in state public tuition, and $27,000 for out of state public school students. Just tuition.


In 1980, the average cost for tuition, room and board, and fees was 9,500. I calculated the difference in terms of inflation, and I want to be honest that this total is roughly similar to costs today- but again, this is for tuition, housing, food, fees, everything. The prices that I gave you for the 2020-2021 school year were averages for just tuition, no other fees included. So that is something to think about.


And for those who say- well I got a job on the weekends to get through. In 1980 minimum wage was $3.10. Adjusted for inflation, in 2021 that equals $10.53. “Oh so that proves my point, because it’s not that different from today’s minimum wage!” some of these assholes might say. No, that does not, because as we just discussed college costs have increased significantly EVEN when adjusted for inflation.


Plus, even with a GRADUATE degree it can be difficult to find a job in your field that offers much more than minimum wage, depending on your degree and your *experience* - you know, that thing barely anyone is willing to give you? So imagine trying to pay off all of this debt that we are told we need to incur to be able to provide for ourselves, on not much more than minimum wage.


Furthermore- in 1980, US enrollment in colleges, university, nursing school, and technical schools was 53%. In 2012 it was at 94%. While these statistics obviously include technical schools and all that, the point is made. It is a STARK contrast, and no wonder that there is such a significant amount of loans being taken out. More students going to tertiary schools, prices increasing significantly, AND state and federal governments are spending less money per student. This places the entire burden of education on students and their families- whereas in the 80s, for example, state and federal governments DID relieve pressure on students by subsidizing their educational costs.


Plus, now we have SIGNIFICANTLY more educated people in our population- which is INCREDIBLE, I am very much pro education- but the issue is that the job market is now over saturated with qualified employees, and the businesses aren’t willing to pay what we are worth! They aren’t willing to pay us for how much we have invested in ourselves.


AND TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE- At the end of 2020, there were 10 million FEWER JOBS in the US than before the pandemic. That’s insane. I graduated with a masters at the beginning of all of this- and that was a degree that I got because someone I trusted told me I would be unable to get a job in the field I was interested in without another degree. While I was getting my masters, I found out that was untrue- but might as well just keep going ya know? Anyway, that’s why I’ve been absolutely unable to find a job- companies aren’t willing to pay what I’m worth, or aren’t willing to give experience to recent grads. But how else do you expect us to get some damn experience?


2020 is also the year that student debt in the US surpassed 1.7 TRILLION DOLLARS. ARE YOU KIDDING. That is a 4% increase from 2019… but we actually see the difference when we compare student debt over the decades ok?

In Q3 of 2020 it was 1.7 trillion like I said. In Q3 of 2010 it was 845 billion. It has increased by about 102% over a decade.


The average student loan debt as of 2019 is around $30,000. The average payment is right at $400 a month. That’s a car payment, that’s a chunk of rent or a house payment. No wonder so many of us are struggling.


BUT!!!!!!! You want to hear something WILD!?


As of 2019, there were 8.2 million borrowers under age 24, totalling around 121.2 billion. Age 35-49?????????????????? THERE ARE 14.1 MILLION BORROWERS OWING 575.5 BILLION DOLLARS. So you want to talk some more about how millennials are the idiots?





Sources:





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