Thursday, June 10, 2010

College Bubble Hitting Mainstream

Carmen Gardiner, College Graduate

Psychology degree from Louisiana state and all I got was $80,000 in debt.

The MSM seems to picking up on the college bubble. It's nothing really new, though: College Bubble.

2010-06-10: My future is gone
Carmen Gardiner, 25, a 2007 graduate of Louisiana State University, is weighed down by her private student loans. Her debt is now about $80,000, and her monthly payments are more than $600. Gardiner's undergraduate degree is in psychology. She lives with her husband, who is still in college, and earns $13 an hour at a call center in Atlanta. They have a 6-month-old daughter.

She hasn't defaulted on her student loan. But she doesn't see much hope. Bankruptcy would not discharge her debt.

"I'm completely sour about the whole idea of going to college," she says. "My future is gone before I have a chance to make one. But if I could discharge this using bankruptcy, it would be better than winning the lottery."

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Mo' Munna!

Ms. Cortney Munna,
College Debtor

Hey, at least she acknowledges the poor return on investment.

2010-06-01: More on Cortney Munna’s Student Loan Tale

First and foremost, I openly acknowledge my responsibility for my current situation, as well as the naïveté in my estimation of the return on investment of a “high quality” education and a liberal arts degree. My only explanation is that once I was in school, I didn’t think much about tuition beyond filling out the paperwork, and I did what I always had done: focused on my education.
In retrospect, it’s absolutely clear to me that I should have thought more about the cost of the education versus career prospects. I didn’t think of it as a purchase. It was always just the next step to take: Get into good school. Get decent scholarship. Work hard.

And have it all pay off in the end.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

College Shame Edition: Ms. Cortney Munna

Ms. Cortney Munna, College Debtor

This gal could possibly be the College Bubble Poster Child.

A college degree, alone, is not a key to success. Obtaining a useful, practical degree that justifies the cost is imperative. And a "higher education" for the purely intrinsic value is reserved for the truly wealthy.

What does $97,000 in college loan debt buy you?
How about an interdisciplinary degree in religious and women's studies. WTF!!!

2010-06-01: Buried in Debt
Today, however, Ms. Munna, a 26-year-old graduate of New York University, has nearly $100,000 in student loan debt from her four years in college, and affording the full monthly payments would be a struggle. For much of the time since her 2005 graduation, she's been enrolled in night school, which allows her to defer loan payments.
How many people are like her? According to the College Board's Trends in Student Aid study, 10 percent of people who graduated in 2007-8 with student loans had borrowed $40,000 or more. The median debt for bachelor's degree recipients who borrowed while attending private, nonprofit colleges was $22,380.
Cortney could move someplace cheaper than her current home city of San Francisco, but she worries about her job prospects, even with her N.Y.U. diploma.

She recently received a raise and now makes $22 an hour working for a photographer. It's the highest salary she's earned since graduating with an interdisciplinary degree in religious and women's studies. After taxes, she takes home about $2,300 a month. Rent runs $750, and the full monthly payments on her student loans would be about $700 if they weren't being deferred, which would not leave a lot left over.