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Election 2020 Issues: College Debt

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Leon On July 20, 2019




San Diego, California
#1New Post! May 06, 2019 @ 16:38:58
If you were President, and had the House and a supermajority of the Senate on your side, how would you tackle the rising cost of higher education and the resulting student loan debt crisis, and, if increased government funding is involved, how would you pay for it?

If you need a summary of the issue, read below...

The need for a bachelor’s degree for ensured career success has grown significantly over the decades. Not only has the number of blue collar jobs declined from 30% of the workforce in 1970 to 13% of the workforce today, but the average pay has stagnated for those without at least a bachelor’s degree since then while doubling for those with at least a bachelor’s degree. Today, those without at least a bachelor’s degree earn half of what those with at least a bachelor’s degree earn, on average. Furthermore, the unemployment rate among those without at least a bachelor’s degree is two and a half times the unemployment rate among those with at least a bachelor’s degree.

Despite this, the cost of getting that degree has been increasing much faster than the rate of inflation over the decades. Average yearly tuition today in public institutions have tripled in 30 years and doubled in private institutions, in inflation-adjusted dollars.

As a result, 70% of students are graduating with a student loan debt today, compared to below 50% thirty years ago. The average student debt amount for those 70% today is $28,000 upon graduation. Currently, students and graduates in the United States owe a total of $1.4 trillion dollars in student loan debt. 38% of that is owned by those under 30 years old, and 65% of that is owned by those under 40 years old. 40% of all individuals aged 18-29 have student debt, quadrupling over the past 15 years, while salary earnings and other types of debt (credit card, auto, and home loan) have remained the same for that age group over that time span. 60% of all individuals aged 18-39 have student debt. Student loan delinquency, which is just above 10%, is higher than the delinquency rates of all other types of debt and is the only type that hasn’t declined since the recession.
mrmhead On about 8 hours ago




NE, Ohio
#2New Post! May 06, 2019 @ 17:42:23
What is it about a "4 year degree" that it is a make-or-break deal for hiring or promotions?

Understandable when the degree is in the specific field, but I think a lot of companies just jump on the bandwagon as a first cut of candidates.
Students / prospective employees latch on to this need and the universities (I feel) are taking advantage of it. Sky-rocketing tuition to build shiny new buildings so they can attract more students and charge more.

I also agree / think that 4 years at "University" does instill some level of maturity in many of the students, and as a means of thinning the herd.

But the 4-year degree "Need" is dysfunctional and needs some kind of overhaul.

Maybe an alternative option could be: 2 years of "How to be a human being", and 2 years of technical career training.

"How to be Human" could include military / civil service, and technical training could be sponsored by industry (more so).


"Back in the day", although a 4 year degree may have been "preferred", you could get your foot in the door with a CNE, MCSE, or CCNA, (but all of that could be trumped with EXPERIENCE)


... Of course this is generalized and not meant for specific sectors such as medical, engineering, etc.

The point is, the gov't isn't here to pay for you to get a 4-year degree in "something" just so you can decide 5 years later that, "Well, I guess I'll just teach 'something' " (and then ask the gov't help you get the add'l certs for teaching)
Leon On July 20, 2019




San Diego, California
#3New Post! May 06, 2019 @ 17:59:29
@mrmhead Said

What is it about a "4 year degree" that it is a make-or-break deal for hiring or promotions?

Understandable when the degree is in the specific field, but I think a lot of companies just jump on the bandwagon as a first cut of candidates.
Students / prospective employees latch on to this need and the universities (I feel) are taking advantage of it. Sky-rocketing tuition to build shiny new buildings so they can attract more students and charge more.

I also agree / think that 4 years at "University" does instill some level of maturity in many of the students, and as a means of thinning the herd.

But the 4-year degree "Need" is dysfunctional and needs some kind of overhaul.

Maybe an alternative option could be: 2 years of "How to be a human being", and 2 years of technical career training.

"How to be Human" could include military / civil service, and technical training could be sponsored by industry (more so).


"Back in the day", although a 4 year degree may have been "preferred", you could get your foot in the door with a CNE, MCSE, or CCNA, (but all of that could be trumped with EXPERIENCE)


... Of course this is generalized and not meant for specific sectors such as medical, engineering, etc.

The point is, the gov't isn't here to pay for you to get a 4-year degree in "something" just so you can decide 5 years later that, "Well, I guess I'll just teach 'something' " (and then ask the gov't help you get the add'l certs for teaching)


I do agree that there is very little relation between what people learn towards a 4 year degree than what is applied in the workforce these days. Unfortunately, this hasn’t translated into a correction in hiring, at least based on what we see in the statistics, but maybe that will change. Furthermore, a 4 year degree is usually a prerequisite for wanting to get further training that is more career specific, such as in certifications or masters degrees, as well as management training.

Trade schools seem to be one viable alternative, as it cuts out all the crap required for 4 year degrees and focuses on the training and knowledge that employers want. Students would be less informed overall of course, which is part of what a 4 year degree serves.

Many students, too, don’t know what they want to do at 18. Given the current state, I see 4 year degrees as today’s version of a high school diploma. It gives you basic tools and a well rounded overview of knowledge, gives you a standard level of success that employers want in an individual, and helps guide you towards that which is what you do afterwards, whether or not this is in further, more specific training, or simply on-the-job training, that sets you on your career path.

It’s just much more damn expensive is all.
Jennifer1984 On about 6 hours ago
Remoaner and proud





Penzance, United Kingdom
#4New Post! May 06, 2019 @ 18:39:58
Degree courses here became a cash cow for the financial institutions in the 1990's and early 2K's after the government gave university status to the former Polytechnic Colleges in 1992.

All of a sudden the education system became flooded with all these new Baccalaureate courses, some of which were, frankly, ridiculous. It was possible to get a formally accredited language degree in Klingon..!!

Young people were graduating from universities with useless qualifications that didn't enable them in the workplace at all, let alone provide them with a career worth squat.

Things have settled down a lot now, but the new difficulty to hit the universities here now is...... yep..... you guessed it..... Brexit. Overseas applications, which are essential for our institutions are falling. fewer overseas students want to come here because of 'you-know-what'.

Struggling UK Universities

Generally speaking though, if a student does qualify with a good grade in a desirable discipline (that isn't oversubscribed to hell and back - another problem)then there are plenty of opportunities in the English heartlands. Less so in remoter areas.

Law, computer sciences, and leisure industries are overflowing with graduates. Engineering and medical professions are crying out for graduates as EU specialists are leaving the country. The doctor and nursing drain in the NHS is approaching a critical state.

When we were both working we had two good graduate incomes coming in we were able to set ourselves up comfortably and even get some savings behind us for this time, that we knew would be coming when we started our family.

We've been able to live off Amanda's income while I've been a full time mum.... and I was the bigger earner of the two of us when I worked..!!

There is a debate in UK at the moment about technical colleges and apprenticeships, but a university degree is still the most popular form of higher education. An apprenticeship as a rail track layer will make you a very good at laying rail track, but that will be the only thing you're good at.

If the demand for laying rail track declines, where do you go from there...? A university degree is a wider based course that develops the whole student and makes them much more versatile and adaptable..... hence me being able to pursue a career change now that opportunities in my profession are greatly diminished(see goals and aims thread).

In UK it is still good to have a baccalaureate provided it is in an essential subject. Employers really want them. The key to success here is to choose a course that will qualify you for an 'in demand' occupation.
Leon On July 20, 2019




San Diego, California
#5New Post! May 07, 2019 @ 20:19:20
So with our 10 trillion dollar government debt as it currently is, I think I would probably put this on the back burner for now. That is not dismissing it as a problem. It is a problem. But we have to get our house in order, financially, before we can start pumping money into this to try and fix it, and if we are going to spend to fix problems, there are more urgent things to take care of right now.

There is some talk about reparation pay for descendants of slaves among some candidates, which I don’t’ necessarily agree with, but, if we are going to do that, then I think free tuition is probably the best avenue to do that, as I cannot think of any other feasible way to do it really.

As far as ways to address the issue without spending government money, we could probably do more to include life skills in the high school curriculum, such as how to manage your finances, how to do your taxes, how to invest, how to fix things, how things work, how to take care of your car, how to network, the basics of technology, etc. Art, music, and physical fitness should make a comeback as well. So that stuff doesn’t all have to be learned while attending a university. Then maybe it will be more enticing for students, programs, and employers to accept more specific training at trade schools, technical colleges, and apprenticeships, thus reducing the debt that tuition can rack up over several semesters. Or at least give a more competitive option, in addition to online universities, to help reduce prices.
DiscordTiger On about 5 hours ago
The Queen of Random

Administrator




Emerald City, United States (g
#6New Post! May 07, 2019 @ 22:57:47
Raising tuition is a problem. I see it both in the sense that it costs more to buy things (like journal subscriptions) so we need a bigger budget, that money has to come from somewhere, and we only get so much from the state. I also see a tremendous amount of waste and misuse from some departments -- football, I'm talking to you. Seriously, when indictments are involved it is hard to say they need more money.

I do think though the student debt issue is also a minimum wage issue. You used to be able to work full time (or a little more) and save enough to cover tuition and then drop to part time to cover things like food.

you can't do that now. It's not possible in a 24hour day.
Not only that many students are prevented from working more than a certain number of hours by their school when classes are in session (usually between 20 and 28) and that means any work needed after to eat or pay rent, they may need two jobs, which once you factor in commuting you run into the not enough hours in the day situation.

Students are hungry, many struggle to eat, an most need roommates in tiny places to afford housing. Ramen for most of the month is real.
Especially people that dont have parents able to support them.

Im all for trade schools that is good options fr many, a 4 year degree does not need to be required for all jobs, but even for those that do its still a struggle that I think, really comes down to fair compensation for work and taking account for inflation.
mrmhead On about 8 hours ago




NE, Ohio
#7New Post! May 08, 2019 @ 00:42:56
@Leon Said

There is some talk about reparation pay for descendants of slaves among some candidates, which I don’t’ necessarily agree with, but, if we are going to do that, then I think free tuition is probably the best avenue to do that, as I cannot think of any other feasible way to do it really.



Interesting thought ...

And it sparked one in the other direction:
Gov't jobs to employ grads with student debt ...!?
.. or gov't subsidized jobs ...details TBD
Leon On July 20, 2019




San Diego, California
#8New Post! May 08, 2019 @ 01:40:13
@mrmhead Said

Interesting thought ...

And it sparked one in the other direction:
Gov't jobs to employ grads with student debt ...!?
.. or gov't subsidized jobs ...details TBD


Not a bad idea, kind of like the GI Bill in reverse, and with other types of public service instead of just military service. I look forward to your details.
Leon On July 20, 2019




San Diego, California
#9New Post! May 08, 2019 @ 01:44:24
@DiscordTiger Said

Raising tuition is a problem. I see it both in the sense that it costs more to buy things (like journal subscriptions) so we need a bigger budget, that money has to come from somewhere, and we only get so much from the state. I also see a tremendous amount of waste and misuse from some departments -- football, I'm talking to you. Seriously, when indictments are involved it is hard to say they need more money.

I do think though the student debt issue is also a minimum wage issue. You used to be able to work full time (or a little more) and save enough to cover tuition and then drop to part time to cover things like food.

you can't do that now. It's not possible in a 24hour day.
Not only that many students are prevented from working more than a certain number of hours by their school when classes are in session (usually between 20 and 28) and that means any work needed after to eat or pay rent, they may need two jobs, which once you factor in commuting you run into the not enough hours in the day situation.

Students are hungry, many struggle to eat, an most need roommates in tiny places to afford housing. Ramen for most of the month is real.
Especially people that dont have parents able to support them.

Im all for trade schools that is good options fr many, a 4 year degree does not need to be required for all jobs, but even for those that do its still a struggle that I think, really comes down to fair compensation for work and taking account for inflation.


Not dismissing any of your other points, and overall message here, all of which I agree with, but I wonder if the football program pays for itself or even turns a profit for universities, with the ticket sales, merchandising, and television contracts. It certainly does for the NFL and they have to pay athletic salaries.
mrmhead On about 8 hours ago




NE, Ohio
#10New Post! May 08, 2019 @ 01:50:47
@DiscordTiger Said

Raising tuition is a problem.


Same situation with healthcare - but that will be another thread in this series, I'm sure. (Thanks Leon!!)

Other than that .. Yeah!! What she said!

On a re-read: Yeah, that "book" scam they got going!!

They re-arrange chapters, or update a few paragraphs and it's suddenly a "New Version Required" from year to year so 1 - No used books available for on the cheap and 2 - You can't resell your book for decent dollars because it's "out of date"

Like 1 + 1 = 2 changes from year to year!
mrmhead On about 8 hours ago




NE, Ohio
#11New Post! May 08, 2019 @ 01:54:23
@Leon Said

Not dismissing any of your other points, and overall message here, all of which I agree with, but I wonder if the football program pays for itself or even turns a profit for the university, with the ticket sales, merchandising, and television contracts. It certainly does for the NFL and they have to pay athletic salaries.


As I've heard, if you make it to the bowls, the sponsorship payouts cover a lot. That's why it's almost become a business and college players are starting to complain that the NCAA prevents them from getting paid.

... I think I'm agreeing with you (?)
Leon On July 20, 2019




San Diego, California
#12New Post! May 08, 2019 @ 02:01:41
@mrmhead Said

Same situation with healthcare - but that will be another thread in this series, I'm sure. (Thanks Leon!!)

Other than that .. Yeah!! What she said!


Yes, I have about 10 issues lined up, and of course the health care crisis, the number one issue on polled voters’ minds, will be one of them.
Leon On July 20, 2019




San Diego, California
#13New Post! May 08, 2019 @ 02:03:24
@mrmhead Said

As I've heard, if you make it to the bowls, the sponsorship payouts cover a lot. That's why it's almost become a business and college players are starting to complain that the NCAA prevents them from getting paid.

... I think I'm agreeing with you (?)


It would be interesting to see how profitable it is or if anyone in Division I loses money on football. I may research that later.
Leon On July 20, 2019




San Diego, California
#14New Post! May 08, 2019 @ 06:42:55
@Leon Said

It would be interesting to see how profitable it is or if anyone in Division I loses money on football. I may research that later.


Did a little research and this is what I found. A study was done in 2016, where Division I schools were asked to volunteer financial data of their sports programs. About half did (65 out of approximately 130).

98% turned a profit in their football programs. 83% turned a profit in their men’s basketball programs. However, it got a lot worse after that. A lot of the profits were used to cover losses in other sports, especially women’s sports, where the losses were huge. In fact, only 8 universities broke even or above in their overall athletic programs.
restoreone On July 17, 2019




, Ohio
#15New Post! May 08, 2019 @ 09:26:45
Part of the problem is it is no longer cool or honorable to get your hands dirty. My brothers work in the building trades all bring home 6 figure incomes. They are having problems getting young people to come into the trades. You start out making about 16 to 17 an hour but at the end of 8 years you are making 90 to 120 grand a year and you owe nothing. My nephew went to California for a vacation. He stop to see a friend of his from the union trade school.The guy took him to a job site. The boss on the job found out he was a union welder offer him a job right there. Every where in the country the trades are begging for workers. Yet these postions go unfilled. Better to wear a suit and make 50g a year owing 80g in tuition than get your hands dirty for a 100 grand a year and owe nothing.
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