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I have been working for the past five years to return fundamental consumer protections like bankruptcy to student loans. our argument is unassailable. But for the corruption in our federal government, this problem would have been fixed years ago. Finally there is (again) legislation to return standard bankruptcy protections to private loans, but it could well end up a net loss of ground to the Banks if the public does not speak out loudly for its own interest, and if Congress/universities/lenders and their lobbyists behave as they have in the past.  It is quite distressing the the courage does not exist to address ALL student loans, federally guaranteed or not.   If ever college presidents were needed to show an ounce of concern for the financial well being of their students, and the country generally, now would be the time.

If you have private student loans, I hope you will read this, and also visit http://studentloanjustice.org  Your energy, passion, and activism is definitely important, and after being defeated by the blue dogs in 2007. I can guarantee you that your inaction guarantees untold years of living under a predatory debt situation.

Unfortunately, it is almost inarguable at this point that the federal student loan system has become fundamentally predatory due to the Congressional removal of standard consumer protections, combined with congressionally sanctioned collection powers that are stronger than those associated with all other loan instruments in our nation’s history. These actions by Congress have created an inherently predatory, state-sponsored lending and collection system where the motivations of the various functional elements of the system are fatally misdirected. The system that has resulted promotes inefficiency in administration, unchecked inflation, bureaucratic malaise and conflicted oversight. Moreover, the resulting system promotes needless and expensive complexity and redundancies, fails to encourage academic excellence, and ultimately, promotes delinquency and default.

While this system has been extremely lucrative for student loan companies, universities, and even the federal government (who are MAKING, not LOSING tons of money on defaulted student loans), it causes massive harm not only to borrowers and their families, but also to non-borrowing students and their families, due to the dramatic inflation that the system promotes. The nation suffers a massive cost due to the large amount of wealth trapped in this system, the quality of the education received by the citizens, and the public’s opportunity cost associated with the materialistic career paths that citizens are forced into at the expense of public interest work, and entrepreneurship.

And no, I am not exaggerating in any way when I say that the federal government makes money on defaulted loans.  According to the Wall Street Journal (John Hechinger, 2004), and also a more recent article by Finaid.org, the "recovery rate for defaulted student loans by the federal government is between 120-123 percent!!  That is, for every dollar paid our in default claims on loans, one dollar and twenty three cents are recovered from the borrowers,  A typical recovery rate for unsecured credit cards, by contrast, is less than fifty percent of the outstanding balance...far less!  

Imagine a credit card customer who racked up 50 grand in charges and interest, suffered a significant and negative financial setback.  Now, imagine that somehow, VISA found a way to get $60,000 back...and not just from this one borrower, but from EVERY BORROWER in the same situation!  This is what is going on with federally guaranteed student loans, and something similar is undoubtedley happening with private loans, although that data is not publicly accessible.  

This has nothing to do with the debt or the borrower, and everything to do with the consumer protections behind the debt.  I hear lending proponents self righteously characterizing defaulted borrowers as drains  on the taxpayers.  In actual fact, the reverse is true.  Imagine a business where you harass, embarrass, and threaten misfortunate citizens all day long, and as a result receive large amounts of their wealth, unearned.  I frankly cannot imagine who could and would do such a job, but I suspect that those who insult defaulted borrowers, and those who extort unearned wealth from them are the same people.

Also, the government, lenders, and universities have been egregiously misleading the public for years and years by claiming that the "default rate" was low, and getting lower, at around 4-7 percent. This is really the biggest lie. In actual fact, I estimate that ultimately about 1 in 3 borrowers are defaulting on their loans. 33 percent.

Even throwing out for-profit schools points to a default rate of about 29 percent.  This is higher than the default rate of any other loans I am aware of subprime ninja loans included!

This comes from a 2003 IG estimate made based on real data. This report has been completely buried by the propaganda over the years, and but for the luck of an intrepid reporter doing real Investigative journalism  (Nick Perry at the Seattle Times), would probably never have seen the light of day.

Importantly: this problem exists across both Direct Loan (DL), and Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Programs. People are led to believe that under the new system, the middlemen are cut out. This is completely false. Sallie Mae and others will still be both servicing, and collecting on student loans in the same conflicted and predatory manner as before.

In the public interest, the consumer protections that were removed by Congress must be restored by Congress at the earliest opportunity. By returning these consumer protections, the motivations of the system’s functional elements will be reoriented such that most, if not all of the deficiencies mentioned above will go away over time.

Come to studentloanjustice.org

Originally posted to studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 04:49 AM PDT.

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  •  Tip Jar (153+ / 0-)
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    Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

    by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 04:49:27 AM PDT

    •  My daughter can't get (35+ / 0-)

      an itemized print out of her student loan origination and payment history after asking over and over again.

      Is this normal?

      Does someone have the paper?

      Seems similar to the paperless mortgages that were originated.

    •  Now student loans are all from the government (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cardinal96, JanL, yella dawg, Argyrios

      That means that allowing people to discharge loans via bankruptcy screws all of us, not the banks.

      Why not make loans more dependent on students' majors, schools, and grades?  That way students who probably will not be able to repay based on what and where they are studying and how they are performing will not be able to borrow.

      •  Come on (5+ / 0-)

        $100k is a perfectly reasonable price to borrow for an interdisciplinary double major in religious and women's studies.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:11:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ah yes - (19+ / 0-)

          because we should have abolished universities a long time ago, and replaced them with trade schools.  

          It's so sad to me that what a university education is for has been lost in the debate.  It's not supposed to be primarily "job preparation."  It's supposed to be a place where you develop your mind - that is its purpose.  Discouraging students from following their intellectual interests because its economically prohibitive defeats the point of having a university to begin with.  

          •  Re (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SingleVoter, elwior

            Discouraging students from following their intellectual interests because its economically prohibitive defeats the point of having a university to begin with.

            Who is discouraged? I am interested in World War II. I can and have bought about $100 worth of books to support my interest. Should I have spent $20,000?

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:26:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Your choice may be best for you, unless perhaps (9+ / 0-)

              you wished to learn how to research and write history, how to discern the best writers, most authoritative sources, best researchers, and have a front seat tutorial access to those who do this professionally.  On the other hand, you can just take the word of whomever wrote those $100 worth of books.  

              It's certainly your choice as to how much education you pursue and from what sources and how to value it.  However, your valuing the worth for others of university training seems pretentious and without supporting evidence.  I'm just pointing out there is a disciplined professional society behind the production of historical reference works, and it's your choice to pay what it takes to gain the benefit of their instruction or to go your self taught route.  Some people have done well self-taught but millions more know they benefit from the class instruction and the rigor of university level academics.  However, do consider that if you haven't had university level training, you might not be the best person to determine it's value.  Open your mind a bit.  Consider enrolling in one two university courses as a special student or audit.  You might discover your $100 worth of books were not the optimal selection or best sources for WW II history...or that you lucked out.

              When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

              by antirove on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:07:17 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, but... (6+ / 0-)

                ...borrowing $100k for an undergraduate degree is folly.

                At most institutions, even the most prestigious ones, the undergraduates virtually never have contact with the "best writers, most authoritative sources, best researchers", etc.  They're herded into 500-person survey courses for their first two years, with discussion sections taught by undergraduates.  If they're lucky, one of the super-luminaries might deign to teach an upperclassman course in their major.

                It makes sense to follow the "best writers" and "best researchers" as a graduate student--then you really will have contact with them, though I still would balk if there weren't substantial fellowships and/or teaching assistantships involved.

                On top of that, at least in my field (English literature), a lot of the truly stellar scholars are teaching at public institutions, which are substantially cheaper than their private counterparts.  In some fields, they're stronger than their private counterparts (no matter what U.S. News & World Report says every year).

                •  this part I agree with (0+ / 0-)

                  I imagine that $100K in debt for an undergraduate degree is going to pose a very poor return on investment for 99% of the people in that situation. You could probably say the same thing for $50K in debt. On the standard 10-year repayment plan monthly debt service on $100K must be well over $1000.

                  That said, Direct Loans have at least one plan with payments that are income contingent. You pay somewhere around 15% of your income. If it doesn’t cover principal + interest the interest is capitalized. The maximum repayment term, I believe, is 25 years – so pay what you can for 25 years and you’re done.

                  There is one important catch though – any loan balance waived is treated as taxable income. Imagine if you never earned enough to make the $1000 payment and had to pay taxes on the original $100K plus 25 years of capitalized interest payments. Let’s see...$100K, maybe 5% interest compounded monthly, 25 years, maybe your income covered 50% of the interest...and you would owe taxes on maybe $200,000. Then you could set up a payment plan with the IRS.

                  Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

                  by Joe Bob on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 02:17:10 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  not here (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Joe Bob

                    There are actually a pretty lengthy list of risks, and downsides to both IBR and ICR, but that really is another discussion.  Suffice to say that neither of these earned benefits are a substitute for the return of standard consumer protections like bankruptcy.

                    Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

                    by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 03:37:33 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  don't get me wrong (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Sparhawk

                      I agree with your general premise. My point was that if you get deep in the hole, e.g.: $100K deep, there really is no way out, ever. Well, aside from a 6-figure income. You could put off the day of reckoning for 25 years - and then face a $50,000 tax liabilty. And the IRS isn't going to give you a 25-year payment plan.

                      I would imagine that some of the risks to IBR/ICR could be very personal. For example: Hey honey, let's get married. I hope you don't mind if 15% of your income goes to my student loans for the next 25 years! How's that for a marriage penalty?

                      Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

                      by Joe Bob on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 04:39:28 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  One key difference between a state college and (0+ / 0-)

                  many of the good private liberal arts colleges is class size and access to the Ph.D. staff.  A number of the better liberal art universities/colleges are under 1:20 for access to Ph.D. level staff, and some are even at 1:12 ratio or lower, even for freshman classes. At both the state schools and private ones you should find access improves even more and class size drops as one attains junior and senior year status.  

                  I don't expect this to persuade anyone to lay down $100,000 for a 4 year degree in history.  I'm just saying that a dismissive attitude is ill-informed and reflects an unfamiliarity with what the better liberal arts colleges and universities offer and also the types of students they attract.  There are great schools where the average student attending is from the top 2% or top 10 graduates of high schools having good AP class programs. Many of these students will attend with grants and scholarships covering a sizeable chunk of the tuition, often making the net annual cost not that much more than the state level university.  Pushing through a syllabus offered at a school with low admissions standards will be a much different experience than the intense experience these concentrations of intellect, resources, and contact time can offer.  If you're answering multiple choice questions on a couple exams per course, and not reading widely and writing research papers, and debating points or pursuing latest research results with Ph.D. level staff, it's just not the same experience or preparation.  If you don't need that sort of intense preparation, no one is holding a gun to your head to pursue it.

                  That said, I realize tuition and housing costs at most schools have soared in relation to real family income since the 1960's and 1970's.  It used to be possible to fund a large portion of one's college expenses with a good summer job and perhaps a work-study job.  Right now the summer job opportunities and offered wages for H.S. grads and college students are truly dismal.  The cost/income differential between the amount of real family income now and 30 years ago is appalling and paying for college has become many times harder in the recent decades.  I indeed appreciate the reasons for questioning the value differential in our current economic climate.  And for many, delaying a college education is simply a financial must.  But it may be a long term mistake to rule it out of hand for one's lifetime.  I'm just arguing that there is indeed an intrinsic value to pursuing this sort of education and learning to assess, think, and reason clearly in advanced subjects.  Whether there's a job waiting at the end of it as soon as one graduates seems urgent financial concern in light of the rapacious private bank loan terms, but overall, it's been true for generations that someone well-educated will do far better economically over the long term than someone without that educational benefit.

                  When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

                  by antirove on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 03:04:59 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I have to respond to this part: (0+ / 0-)

                    I don't expect this to persuade anyone to lay down $100,000 for a 4 year degree in history.  I'm just saying that a dismissive attitude is ill-informed and reflects an unfamiliarity with what the better liberal arts colleges and universities offer and also the types of students they attract.  There are great schools where the average student attending is from the top 2% or top 10 graduates of high schools having good AP class programs. Many of these students will attend with grants and scholarships covering a sizeable chunk of the tuition, often making the net annual cost not that much more than the state level university.  Pushing through a syllabus offered at a school with low admissions standards will be a much different experience than the intense experience these concentrations of intellect, resources, and contact time can offer.  If you're answering multiple choice questions on a couple exams per course, and not reading widely and writing research papers, and debating points or pursuing latest research results with Ph.D. level staff, it's just not the same experience or preparation.  If you don't need that sort of intense preparation, no one is holding a gun to your head to pursue it.

                    This last part smacks of both elitism and ignorance.

                    At both the community college and the university I teach at, students are expected to write research papers as incoming freshmen.  It's a core requirement of the freshmen composition classes I teach, in fact, at both institutions, even at the community college with its "low admissions standards".

                    Furthermore, I cannot think of very many serious scholars in my field who's teaching at a liberal arts college/university, outside of Columbia University and Duke University.  Most of truly serious scholars in my field teach for the UCalifornia-Irvine (Jacques Derrida lectured there annually before he died a few years ago), UCalifornia-San Diego (Judith Halberstam comes to mind), UCalifornia-Santa Cruz (Donna Haraway), UMinnesota-Minneapolis, UMaryland-College Park, Arizona State University, the City University of New York (Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick before her death a few years back), etc.  You certainly won't be "pursuing the latest research results", at least in my field, at a liberal arts college/university with a library under one million print volumes and fewer than 25,000 serials subscriptions, and a faculty no one outside the department has ever heard of.

                    •  I did not know Derrida had passed. (0+ / 0-)

                      I only got to go to one of his lectures, but his impact was pretty much everywhere I went as an undergrad. Oddly enough a student of Chomsky contacted me a few days ago, and offered his place for me to crash at in Chicago this weekend, which 5 or 10 years ago would have made me the coolest kid on the block for a short time!!  But I digress...

                      Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

                      by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 05:05:04 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Not at all intending to offend you. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      bruh1

                      I don't care to go further into a long winded debate.

                      My aim was to defend the value of liberal arts education and it appears I digressed where perhaps unnecessary.  I'm happy to see educators willing to stick up for value of their institutions and faculty wherever they are.  My intent was to argue that being self taught from $100 worth of books isn't close to being equivalent to getting college or university training and exposure to the high quality research and publication processes and resources.  I assume we are in agreement on that point.

                      The interests of Democratic Party are to enable more people to participate in college and university experience and level some of the 'elitism' which concerns you.  Cuts in state funding for many state university are hurting them.  In the emerging vacuum, schools with large endowments and generous alumni will be able to compete for the best students and to attract the best professors and their associated research programs.  I would certainly advocate for more federal programs to help the hurting state universities and ease the tuition costs to all those seeking higher learning.  I have one kid at a Big 10 state university and another admitted to what you might call an private elitist school on scholarship. The fit seems right for each kid and their choice.

                      When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

                      by antirove on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:35:39 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Don't know where you went but many schools do (0+ / 0-)

                  use top professors to teach many of the classes, even first and second year classes. And I know of no courses taught by undergrads. Grad students are sometimes superior to eminent professors! I know. I had a world famous mathematician teaching Calculus I and while the lectures were works of beauty I still couldn't understand what to do. Later I retook the course and a graduate student was assigned my section and he made it simple and clear.

                  The most authoritative sources are frequently original documents which many courses use.

                  Of course it could be different in an inferior state school where the school is starved for funds by the legislature.  But even then there can be departments the are excellent.

                  A big problem is the low level of preparation of most students in high schools. I know about that too. I barely survived going from a Southern school where I didn't even know how bad it was; only that I was bored out of my mind and I despised several fields because the teaching was so lousy. I went to what was a high prestige school and was amazed what the other kids had in high school.

                  Of the two most despised high school subjects I wound up getting a degree in one and eventually got enough credits to qualify for a major in the other. That was because able professors who were turned on by their own research and loved sharing as well as original readings

                  My first year English course was sheer hell. Professor & I had a few conflicts. He thought I had a real flare for writing so he gave me Ds and Fs to make me work harder, he said.  That wasn't too successful.  But I guess he would qualify as a budding  "best writers;" you may have heard of Philip Roth. Saul Bellow taught undergraduates too.

                  There are some excellent although unheralded, little known teachers at community colleges. Those are good places to go for your first two years. You get individual attention at a low cost there. Then transfer to a 4 year college where you can get just what you want at the advanced level. That is basically what Obama did.

                  What is the biggest rip off is the private for profit "universities" that take on everyone because they are willing and can sign up for a student loan. Some students are real happy with their education until they can't get jobs with their meaningless degrees.

                  See College, Inc. on PBS's Frontline.

                  "You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it." - Rabbi Tarfon

                  by samddobermann on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 04:55:44 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks - (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jazzence

                I knew the response Sparhawk gave was coming; I'm glad you beat me to the punch because I would have been much less eloquent.

          •  "and replaced them with trade schools" (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JanL, dirkster42, Noor B

            Amen.

            Unfortunately (and I still believe trade schools offer hope), the string pullers and deal makers have all but decided that Americans should not do manual labor, that we should work for wal-mart and mcdonalds instead.   Hence our government's continued subsidies to corporations offshoring factory jobs, and doing everything possible to ease restrictions of cheap labor to help corps lower payrolls for trade work.

            Sunshine on my shoulder...

            by pkbarbiedoll on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:34:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I don't think it's the "job prep" part... (5+ / 0-)

            ...it's the borrowing $100k part.

            There was another recent story about a young man--23, I think--who had $275k in loans because he chose to go to NYU when Penn State offered him a full-ride scholarship.

            I'm in academia.  Unless you're at Harvard, Yale, or Oxford, where you get your undergraduate degree isn't nearly important as simply having one.

            Borrowing $275k to get a degree one could get for free, from an institution that's essentially the same for all intents and purposes, is just sheer folly.

            •  True dat - (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Lasgalen Lothir

              there was the underlying religious studies and women's studies aren't profitable/marketable idea, with the implication that someone shouldn't take a risk when following up on the desire to study them, that got my hackles up.  

              •  Yeah, that's just stupid. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dirkster42, DudleyMason

                If she goes on to graduate school in either field, particularly religious studies, she's likely to get a deferment on the student loans until she finishes, and those fields are rare enough that, provided she finishes, she should be able to find a job teaching, and make a substantial amount.

                Still, $100k for the undergraduate degree...  that's a lot of dough for a B.A.

                •  Well, as someone looking at the religious studies (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Lasgalen Lothir

                  job market right now (almost armed with a Ph.D. in theology), it's actually pretty dismal.

                •  Just sayin... (0+ / 0-)

                  Its a new world down there for the undergrads...or a fools paradise more accurately.  They still rarely blush at the amounts being strapped onto their backs.  If these students represented a handful of peers at each school, I would maybe join in some fingerpointing, but I think it's far more widespread than that, guys...like they are serving kool aid in the registration /financial aid lines or something!

                  The point is that it is not helpful or useful to simply busy ourselves attaching blame.  I've been thumbing my nose, saying "I told you so" for, like, three years now, and it does nothing to solve the problem that I can tell.

                  It certainly doesn't make the threat on the property/equity  owned by student's parents any less real.  It certainly doesn't do anything to shake the lenders hard, and compel them to simply stop lending.  It doesn't provide the needed reality dose to the universities and their trustees who ( I predict) will likely raise tuition and fees at nearly the same record levels as last year if they think the lenders will support it.

                  I submit that as an intelligent and able bodied observer, it is highly unethical to simply observe this trainwreck develop without making a serious effort to head it off if there is any opportunity to do so.  As a non academic I see the most appropriate systemic solution that this article is about.  As academics, I would be riduculing the gross negligence of the financial aid administrators, and the top brass of the administration, and scoffing at every lame claim that all is well.

                  I would also be talking to every borrowing student, fuck the dirty looks and stones thrown.  Who cares what anybody thinks?  The data speaks for itself.

                  But that's just me!

                  Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

                  by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:06:52 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  I wish I could rec this 1000 times. (8+ / 0-)

            The craze for functional, high-level vo-tech education in the universities drives me nuts.  It is part and parcel of the over-specialization of our working culture.  You could develop all the technical know-how in the world, but if you do not also develop the mental flexibility, the intellectual tools to ask the necessary questions for each and every new situation, learn the habits of mind that make you a lifelong learner and gives you the nimblest brain you can possibly have -- then you will not be able to adapt to the changing work world.  A classical liberal arts education definitely gives you that exact preparation.

            Stanley Fish had a stalwart defense of the classical liberal arts educationon the Opinionator section of the NY Times op-ed page.  The article also serves as a thorough review of recent books by Leigh Bortins, Martha Nussbaum, and Diane Ravitch (who has come to repudiate NCLB in its entirety).  It was outstanding, and I recommend it to everyone here.  While it addresses largely elementary and secondary education, the same principles apply to higher ed, particularly at the undergraduate level.  

            The formula is simple:

            The purpose of an education is to train the brain to work at its highest capacity.  It is not to turn human beings into flesh-and-blood cogs for the corporate machines.  Valorizing the latter at the full expense of the former risks hollowing out our culture, society and politics, even to the point of intellectual bankruptcy.

            There's my philosophy of what education at all levels is supposed to achieve and avoid.  Lather.  Rinse.  Repeat.

            Rant off.

            "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, vol. 3, no. 18 (-8.50, -7.23) Need steady work, Maryland Eastern Shore.

            by Noor B on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:18:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Robert Bellah (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Noor B

              also has some recent thoughts on the value of a liberal education in The Robert Bellah Reader.

            •  and it's no guarantee of anything (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Noor B

              When I was in grad school in the ‘90s all the talk was about the fabulous riches waiting to be made in IT with a computer science/electrical engineering degree. Between the dot com bust and the more recent offshoring/outsourcing trend, computer sci isn’t looking so fabulous anymore. Then what? You went through college doing something you weren’t passionate about

              The danger to taking a vocational approach to college is that you come to depend on employment trends for your success. Not unlike how difficult it is to time the stock market, how many people get "marketable" degrees and get aboard the trend too late?

              Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

              by Joe Bob on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 02:49:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Re (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Dismalest Scientist

                The danger to taking a vocational approach to college is that you come to depend on employment trends for your success.

                This is certainly a risk, but the alternative is taking classes that have little economic value whether vocational trends go your way or don't go your way.

                This may sound elitist, but a good engineer's skill set is not quite but almost a superset of the liberal arts major's skill set. While the liberal arts major perhaps has a somewhat superior ability to read, interpret, and write, there are vast swaths of physics, math, etc that are utterly closed off to them. The typical engineer's ability to read is far greater than the typical liberal arts major's ability to do math.

                (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                by Sparhawk on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:56:40 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  disagree (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Noor B

                  they teach different things. I have both a liberal arts degree and a science degree. I think actually a combo is important rom my perspective because I can adapt to different situations more readily than most.

            •  Well, if that's so then liberal arts degrees (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sparhawk

              will get high salaries and they people who get them will pay back their loans more than engineers do so banks will preferentially give loans for these majors.

              What's the problem?

          •  Agreed, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dirkster42

            I agree completely. You touch upon an issue that is much larger, btw.  The commoditization by governments and corporations have placed monetary value on much in our society that does not really fit well within those boundaries, and the ensuing squabbling  (like this debate) effectively sweeps away all that was important, but not monetarily valuable.  It will be a rough going to reestablish that, and wrest those things from fiscal oblivion.

            I cannot really go there in the context of this article, though, but do completely agree, and see great and immediate need to examine how this has affected governments, culture, and most importantly, the citizens and their right to pursue happiness among other things.

            Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

            by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 12:02:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Frankly, even for an engineering degree (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sparhawk

            borrowing $100k is probably not a good life choice.

            You'd be better off as a plumber, for certain.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 02:56:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  If you're asking me to pay for it (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sparhawk

            then you should damned well be studying something that will earn enough income to pay me back.

            If you want to develop your mind use your own money.

            Discouraging students from following their intellectual interests because its economically prohibitive defeats the point of having a university to begin with.  

            Because the point of having a university is to produce double majors in religion and women's studies?

            I actually thought the reason we encouraged people to attend university was to give them a chance at highly paid jobs that benefit them and benefit our economy.

            It will certainly be interesting to see how well our economy compete's with China's if we're producing ouble majors in religion and women's studies while they shortsightedly focus on the university as a trade school and produce engineers.

            But never fear - I'm sure we'll have plenty of monographs on the role of women in early Zoroastrianism while those money grubbing Chinese are designing televisions and computers.

            •  the point is you are guessing as to what (0+ / 0-)

              swill produce value. The guy who starts the next big company may be a religous studies major. My business that I have been developing right now is coming out of having a multi  dispclinary back ground that allows me to connect the dots in my field towards an innovation that most could not see without my background. These are things that are not as simple as you say. I wish they were.

              •  Well, then no problem... if we grant loans (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sparhawk

                based on repayment history of people with similar schools, majors, and grades then if multi-disciplinary backgrounds produce people able to pay back their loans then those people will get loans.

                •  the point is that these things are not predictabl (0+ / 0-)

                  especially in a global economy. Your argument is very Economic Libertarian in that it assumes perfect knowledge by consumers. Maybe you don't intend that. maybe you are saying that someone can judge, but then the questionb ecomes how does one make the proper pick? You seem to think you know. I don't know considering I can tell you a couple of years ago before I had my epiphany that I could not tell you what I was going to do with half the crap I studied.

                  •  Well, as a general rule, practical (0+ / 0-)

                    subjects pay more.

                    Back about five years after I graduated from college I was back in the neighborhood in Boston and went to Pizzeria Uno's.

                    My waiter was a guy I knew from my college dorm who had majored in philosophy.

                    Embarrassing, but certainly educational.

                  •  They are not predictable at the individual (0+ / 0-)

                    level but at the group level they definitely are.

                    http://www.forbes.com/...

                    Some of the lowest starting salaries were listed for those holding liberal arts majors; English majors fetch an average $34,704, and sociology $33,280. The highest wages by far are awarded to graduates with engineering degrees, with petroleum engineers leading the way at $83,121, followed by chemical engineers at $64,902.

                    But history and psychology majors alike can take hope in another study released by PayScale, Inc., which surveyed 1.2 million people across the U.S. It shows that while engineering graduates may benefit from the highest starting salaries, in general wage prospects even out after 10 to 15 years of work experience.

                    "For starting salaries, engineering and things like nursing are pretty strong," says Dr. Al Lee, director of quantitative analysis at PayScale. "But the list reorders further into people's careers. Music doesn't pay very well, however the top 10% earns more than the average accountant. If you looked at the pay of people 15 years out, philosophy is actually in the top 10%."

                    Together, these studies stress the importance of a major in landing a first job, but suggest that a degree does not determine pay down the line. Engineers largely do not benefit from the top-earner salaries of an economics or music major, degrees that can lead to lucrative leadership positions in their respective fields.

                    For the purposes of loan repayment key question is what percentage of students won't be able to pay back and it seems clear that the relatively predicable salaries of technical majors are safer.

            •  You haven't a clue (0+ / 0-)

              about what fields pay and what fields don't and which university majors make money and which don't

              There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

              by upstate NY on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 01:29:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Ha ha ha ha ha (0+ / 0-)

            Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

            Since when? Even when I was actually first applying to colleges, in 1978, this wasn't true. My parents told me I could expect no help if I studied music and archaeology, for the reason that I couldn't make a living at them. My mother put me into a teaching program. I dropped out. I ttried to go back to qualify for a nursing program under the aegis of the state DVR, which would only pay for it if there were a clear path to a remunerative job, but discovered that I really want to study pre-med so I can go to med school and become a family physician, and that's too long-trem for the DVR. And that arcghaeology may be my first scientific love, but it's strong to this day, and I'd give my eyeteeth to be able to get a degree in it...but can't afford it.

            Living kidney donor needed; type B, O, or incompatible (with paired donation). Drop me a note (see profile).

            by Kitsap River on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 10:11:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for the strawman (0+ / 0-)

          Can you do better than that next time?

          There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

          by upstate NY on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 01:28:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  sorry (14+ / 0-)

        Sorry, but the fact that the government is lending the money does not give license to subjugate large numbers of citizens in predatory and corrupted situations and extract huge unearned sums of wealth from them.

        IF the government wants to be in the lending business, it must afford borrowers all fundamental consumer protections that they receive for all other types of loans, federally guaranteed loans and not!

        Not to mention the argument I make in the article above, which is what I was hoping to be attacked on.

        Not talked past by people assuming the patriarchal Father knows best, just don't make him defend his argument role.

        Thats just not good debate, sorry.

        Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

        by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:35:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  so more and more people (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        thethinveil

        won't go into public service, such as teaching

        Why not make loans more dependent on students' majors, schools, and grades?

        Let's remember that we should care about people even after they're born. - A. Grayson

        by IL JimP on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:22:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why not? Teachers make good money (0+ / 0-)

          And if they don't make enough to pay for the necessary classes then they should get raises.

          If school districts can't hire college grads to teach then they will raise wages.

          •  what will happen is they will be dependent (0+ / 0-)

            on making enough money to pay back loans which means careers that generally make less; teachers and other public servants, won't get the best and the brightest which is what we need.

            Let's remember that we should care about people even after they're born. - A. Grayson

            by IL JimP on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 09:24:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  There is incentive to go into (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dismalest Scientist

              public service with student loans.

              You get reduced payments and after 10 years your outstanding principal is forgiven.

              There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

              by upstate NY on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 01:27:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I was offended, but now...Im becoming impressed.. (0+ / 0-)

                You really have no standing in these comments.  You failed to meaningfully address the point of the article I wrote, and are instead using this space to push your own pet agenda  You would have license to do this if you even came close to refuting the point of my article, but you didn't even attempt to, Instead, you blatantly ignored my argument, and went straignt into a hustle...jibing that you defeated my argument and further, uncovered fraud on my part!

                This is too much.  LOL.   Im pointing some friends I respect to this string.  Your antics will be exposed widely as a result.  I really would love to know your real name.  You deserve some kind of a handshake, or a pat on the back or something...to be thoroughly manhandled in a debate...and then proclaim victory is distasteful.  To hand around afterwards, and squat like you actually earned ground, though is beyond audacious...Its oddly impressive, actually...in a pitiful, shameless way it really is a sign of something strong...a strong stomach maybe...I'll have to give this some thought...

                Im trying to think of a real world analogy...a cheap car salesman who sneaks onto the competitions lot, and tries to talk customers across the street, perhaps.  It would have to be something a ittle less dignified than that, though...

                Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

                by studentloanjustice on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 01:53:33 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You don't like facts. (0+ / 0-)

                  That much is clear.

                  If I have student loans, I should not be dissuaded from public service.

                  Why should I?

                  They are discharged after 10 years, and I pay an amount that is quite reasonable relative to my AGI. There's no reason NOT to take a public service job if public service is your goal.

                  You battle facts with ad hominem attacks. But that's not surprising coming from a shill who turned their personal story into an attack on Obama and higher education.

                  There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                  by upstate NY on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 02:05:36 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Laugh... Reminds me of junior high (0+ / 0-)

                  Im pointing some friends I respect to this string.  Your antics will be exposed widely as a result.  

                  Had kids with Italian names who were always claiming that they or their families were "connected" any time they got into a fight or something.

              •  I actually disagree with this (0+ / 0-)

                Why should effective compensation for people who need college loans be higher than for those who do not?

                This funnels children of the poor into fields like teaching while children of the rich go into more lucrative professions.  I don't think that's good or liberal.

                Instead, let school districts compete for teachers on the open market - add the amount of loan forgiveness to salaries instead.  

                Costwise it would make no difference but it would make costs clearer and it would avoid this kind of negative incentive.

      •  Not quite. What the gov't did is cut out the (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SingleVoter, elwior, thethinveil

        middleman on federal student loans.

        There will still be private student loans (because there are people who don't qualify/need extra loans, etc.).

      •  WTF? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BentLiberal, jazzence

        "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

        by elwior on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:06:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Right-o.Let's make sure we stop (0+ / 0-)

        poor kids from getting ideas above their station,certain subjects are just for those who can afford them.Let the state decide what the proles can study...because they might,might,not pay back their debt.

        "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

        by tardis10 on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 02:45:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That works for me (0+ / 0-)

          Let rich dilettantes study English and philosophy while the poor learn useful skills like Mech E, Comp Sci, EE, Chem E, law, and medicine.

          •  Stupid (0+ / 0-)

            English and philosophy are two of the higher paying majors, according to payscale.com, higher than business for instance.

            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

            by upstate NY on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 01:28:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Most undergraduate business degrees (0+ / 0-)

              are really secretarial degrees.  I knew a few people who took them.

              I would be more interested in seeing English vs. Engineering... so I checked.

              http://www.forbes.com/...

              Some of the lowest starting salaries were listed for those holding liberal arts majors; English majors fetch an average $34,704, and sociology $33,280. The highest wages by far are awarded to graduates with engineering degrees, with petroleum engineers leading the way at $83,121, followed by chemical engineers at $64,902.

              But history and psychology majors alike can take hope in another study released by PayScale, Inc., which surveyed 1.2 million people across the U.S. It shows that while engineering graduates may benefit from the highest starting salaries, in general wage prospects even out after 10 to 15 years of work experience.

              "For starting salaries, engineering and things like nursing are pretty strong," says Dr. Al Lee, director of quantitative analysis at PayScale. "But the list reorders further into people's careers. Music doesn't pay very well, however the top 10% earns more than the average accountant. If you looked at the pay of people 15 years out, philosophy is actually in the top 10%."

              Together, these studies stress the importance of a major in landing a first job, but suggest that a degree does not determine pay down the line. Engineers largely do not benefit from the top-earner salaries of an economics or music major, degrees that can lead to lucrative leadership positions in their respective fields.

              I'd like to know how Payscale gets its numbers and to what extent it is self reported since I've seen many such surveys.

              •  Good questions about payscale (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Dismalest Scientist

                But look at midcareer and final career for English, things even out. I was surprised to find both English and Philosophy on the upper half of majors.

                Mind you, a lot of Eng and Phil go on for graduate and professional degrees which skews my rankings.

                There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                by upstate NY on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 03:55:44 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well, that's according to Payscale (0+ / 0-)

                  which is why I'd like to see their methodology.

                  I will happily agree that some philosophy and English majors end up as very high paid lawyers.  But a lot of them don't - there aren't as many high paid lawyers as there are English and philosophy majors.

                  •  Youd be surprised about what goes on (0+ / 0-)

                    Our best English students stick to their research classes (while a good chunk drop and look for something else). They learn research methodologies that are much in demand. In journalism, they learn how to Google. We teach them pretty sophisticated ways to access databases and present that information.

                    Apparently, this is a skill that's much in demand in corporate America. Companies need information fast, solid information, and they need it presented in easy to digest ways. Believe it or not, an English major can train you in accessing information, and presenting it. The pay is very good.

                    Some students come back and report to me that they are heading teams of client website designers, really good computer engineers who are capable of bringing their systems to the web to be accessed by clients, but their writing, design and most importantly, their aesthetic capabilities are wanting. Students with no computer knowledge at all are named project managers over engineers.

                    There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                    by upstate NY on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 06:08:44 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Everything happens sometimes (0+ / 0-)

                      That said, it's rare.

                      When I worked at Oracle the typical English major who didn't have an MBA worked as an Admin (in other words as a secretary) or in Marketing.

                      Their salaries were definitely lower than programmer salaries.

                      We had some product managers who were English majors, but not any development managers or project managers who I ever knew of.

                      •  Maybe Oracle is higher up than the places (0+ / 0-)

                        I know.

                        The kids I'm referring to worked for people laying the pipe, all the way from BBN to Qwest when it was still around to eventually McKesson, others at GTE, Verizon and Genuity. These are just a few.

                        There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                        by upstate NY on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 06:37:14 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Did those guys do web site design? (0+ / 0-)

                          Some students come back and report to me that they are heading teams of client website designers, really good computer engineers who are capable of bringing their systems to the web to be accessed by clients, but their writing, design and most importantly, their aesthetic capabilities are wanting.

                          The kids I'm referring to worked for people laying the pipe, all the way from BBN to Qwest when it was still around to eventually McKesson, others at GTE, Verizon and Genuity.

                          •  Yes, for client sites (0+ / 0-)

                            They were project managers.

                            But they had no expertise in computers or even in the web. One of them went on to do an MFA in creative writing prior to getting that job. He was initially hired as a copywriter/editor, and within a few years, he was managing website design projects.

                            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                            by upstate NY on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 06:17:10 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Maybe I should have been clearer (0+ / 0-)

                            I was talking about designing their own sites, not web design for other companies.

                            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                            by upstate NY on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 06:18:11 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  In other words, a marketing function (0+ / 0-)
                          •  No, not at all. It's not marketing. (0+ / 0-)

                            This is where actual existing clients, some of them paying hundreds of millions for service, actually intersected with the company and accessed databases. There were real backroom network services provided through the website. It was more of an interface than anything else.

                            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                            by upstate NY on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 11:31:58 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  As someone who has worked on these (0+ / 0-)

                            I can tell you that a corporate web site is a marketing tool.

                            Systems that are used to provide back office services are called "provisioning systems" and similar terms.  For big companies they are usually highly customized COTS products or custom developed systems with interfaces to back end systems.  Implementation costs are in the 7 to 8 digits range (occasionally nine) and implementing them is a job for professional project managers with engineering degrees and usually project management certifications.

                            In journalism, they learn how to Google. We teach them pretty sophisticated ways to access databases and present that information.

                            You don't hand a US$20 million project to someone whose project management skills are clear writing, Google, and Lexis Nexis.  (The database skills you need for these systems are things like understanding ER models, ETL issues and concerns, VLDB and high reliability planning, etc., not how to access research DBs.)

                          •  OK (0+ / 0-)

                            He was a project manager of one aspect then. You think I'm making this up?

                            Of course he wasn't in charge of the back office stuff. I know that.

                            You asked if it was a marketing website. My answer: No, it wasn't. BBN had no one to market to. They were a huge company laying down a lot of pipe, and they were involved in billion dollar servicing to a few clients. That's what the website was for. No, he wasn't in charge of back offices, AND I think you misunderstood what I wrote earlier. I didn't say I was in journalism. I didn't say we taught Google and Lexis/Nexis.

                            Besides, the kids who excelled at researching were not the ones involved in these websites. The guy who was project manager overseeing the interface of web design between his design team and the team doing the back office stuff was simply a creative writing guy. Not even a researcher.

                            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                            by upstate NY on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 08:16:40 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well, if PM of just one part (0+ / 0-)

                            then quite possible.

    •  Thanks so myuch for your efforts, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Noor B, West Michigan Dem

      and for this diary.

        Our current system of going into massive debt to get an education borders on criminal!

      "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

      by elwior on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:05:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  action items? (13+ / 0-)

    please don't send us somewhere else. Put them in the diary. Our youth (and adult learners) are the new sharecroppers.

    It's not a fake orgasm; it's a real yawn.

    by sayitaintso on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 04:54:43 AM PDT

    •  Action Items: Become an Activist (20+ / 0-)

      The goal is to convince Congress to return full bankruptcy protections to student loans with no repayment period requirements, and no exemptions for non-profit lenders.  This isn't really a point and click campaign, unfortunately.

      We need borrowers to, literally, lobby Congress in whatever way they are strongest.  We need intelligent activists taking leadership roles, standing up and speaking out, changing the dialogue.

      We also need people to convince reporters to start reporting factually relevant and correct stories about the truth behind student loans.

      I can give a link for donations, but we would really rather diligent effort. To move Congress via direct conversations, and also via good, honest, hardhitting media.

      http://www.studentloanjustice.org/...

      I hope this helps.

      Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

      by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 05:37:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's a hard case to make, though. (6+ / 0-)

        A loan you don't have to pay back is called a grant.

        This machine makes fascists feel bad. (Meteor Blades-approved version)

        by Rich in PA on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:55:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The issue is the high penalties associated (20+ / 0-)

          with the loans when students get behind. Attempts to get back on track are being side-tracked by more and more penalties.

          Unapologetically pro-citizen. Not anti-corporation just very pro-citizen.

          by CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:02:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The grant situation is (17+ / 0-)

          deliberately restricted. For instance, my husband and I are trying to put two grandsons through community college (if they wish to transfer after two years to university, they may get scholarship and work-study help). So we have been trying to negotiate the Pell maze with them. The CC has their tuition and fees situation geared to be covered 100% by the basic Pell (we'd still have to buy books, provide full living support and transportation).

          One grandson has lived with us all his life, along with his mother (our daughter). We struggled for ten years to get her through college bit by bit, total debt for student loans $3000, which isn't that bad. Her first job in her field - theatre tech - was at another college with facilities that should have been condemned 30 years ago. She got electrocuted by a badly wired light board, developed epilepsy and can no longer work in that field. And cannot find another job in this economy. So she lives with us and earns nothing, will never pay the interest and penalties on those loans though she's already paid back more than she borrowed. Pell won't even take an application on zero income.

          Other grandson's Mom and husband made too much last year, their return puts them over the income limit. But this year they declared bankruptcy and lost the house, both are out of work and moving west to look, grandson's here now. Our son (his father) died when grandson was two. A good many grandparents are raising grandchildren these days, the feds completely and 100% refuse to consider grandparents unless they legally have adopted the grandchild (these boys are both 20, have living Moms). Hell, if we could afford that we could just pay for community college. The new financial situation won't be on tax records until next year, nobody wants to hear details because they simply don't have any way to work with reality since grandparents are excluded from consideration.

          It's the most ridiculous mess I've ever encountered, positively designed to either prevent less-than rich kids from going to college, or force them into serious debt they'll never be able to repay.

          Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

          by Joieau on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:54:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  indeed (7+ / 0-)

            positively designed to either prevent less-than rich kids from going to college, or force them into serious debt they'll never be able to repay.

            QFT

          •  agreed (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JanL, dirkster42, elwior, princss6, Joieau

            Ridiculous, and completely unjust.

            Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

            by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:36:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I guess the PTB (6+ / 0-)

              [Powers That Be] learned their lesson from us Boomers, whose WW-2 era parents did well enough to send so many of us to college. Where we caused too much trouble to be allowed. Even if we went to college, most of us didn't do as well as our parents financially, and our kids aren't doing so well in Great Depression-2 either. Since there's no jobs for us or our kids, our grandchildren are in even worse shape per hopes for a future.

              The debt situation - which has 'officially' extended childhood to age 24 - is designed to ensure the incoming class of workers are sufficiently in debt to keep them in line all their lives. You can join the Army and go fight a war when you're 18 without parental consent. You can vote and your parents don't get to tell you how to vote. You can have sex, get married, start a family, get a job (if you can find one), etc., etc. Hell, you can drink yourself to death at age 21, the government doesn't care. But if you want to go to college you're a minor until you're 24 unless you're married or emancipated (which requires going to court - you can't just be living on your own or be homeless or a throw-away or even living with your grandparents or other relatives). Unless you're a vet, in which case you get GI Bill instead.

              I can see allowing parents/guardians (even grandparents) who do provide food, clothing, shelter, transportation and some college money to students being able to claim that student as a dependent until 24. The student IS a dependent and in school. What I do NOT see is why that should apply to the student him/herself, since the for-tax purposes extension on dependent status for college students shouldn't affect their own maturity status. A 20-year old is NOT a "minor" in most states, for most all legal purposes apart from drinking (which is set by the feds - I could drink and get married at 18 back in the olden days but couldn't vote until 21).

              So for financial aid purposes, it should be the student's ACTUAL circumstances that count, and we shouldn't have to even think about having to legally adopt our 20-year old grandsons just so they can go to college (and we're not rich). That's incredibly absurd! Especially in an economy like this where there are no jobs. Our county hosts an 'official' unemployment rate of over 20%, unofficially it's at least half. We have two semi-sons (inherited but never adopted) fighting Bush's wars right now, don't care at all to sacrifice either of our grandsons to that cause and they've no desire for it. They just want to go to college, even a small degree that will let them earn a living.

              Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

              by Joieau on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:04:29 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Joieau, you just put your finger on it. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jsquared, seefleur, asterkitty, Joieau

            If the children of the non-elite get to well-educated -- i.e., anything beyond basic literacy and a vo-tech skill -- they might start to question the entire system and act to change it.

            I know that sounds like CT.  But I have been thinking about a great many things recently, and the pattern I see leads to that interpretation.  If we are stupidly content, we can't be a threat.  But if we're as sharply critical as our intellectual gifts allow us to be, then we are capable of changing our economy, society and culture dramatically.

            "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, vol. 3, no. 18 (-8.50, -7.23) Need steady work, Maryland Eastern Shore.

            by Noor B on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:28:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The insanity of this (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jsquared, Noor B, West Michigan Dem

              crazy situation is that for GRANT purposes, the student is considered a minor until age 24. For LOAN purposes, the student is considered an adult at age 18. IOW, a loan shark (and yes, the government IS a loan shark on this because the student will never be able to discharge the debt on personal inability to pay) can keep adding fees and interest forever no matter what the actual situation is, not even bankruptcy counts.

              The grant deal won't take into consideration anything other than parent[s] income because the student's been turned back into a baby, yet the parents are not responsible for paying anything back no matter what happens anyway, since it's a grant! Catch-22, just another front in the class war.

              Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

              by Joieau on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:44:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  What about...? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joieau

            I'm sorry to hear about your daughter's situation.  That sounds awful.

            It sounds like you've got things fairly well off with the one grandson, really.  You might not think so now, but 100% tuition and fees is a great deal.  Books are expensive, yeah, but there are online resources for that.  The bookstore thing is a racket anyway--even Amazon.com's marketplace is cheaper than a campus bookstore (and there are even cheaper sources, though they change every semester, so I don't know who's cheap right now.  I just tell my students to talk to each other about that).

            I teach at both a local community college and the local university.  A lot of my community college students--even the 20 year olds--work full time, and I have to say, most of them are better students for it.  They tend to take their education much more seriously and, even if they have some time-management problems now and then, they tend to be more honest and less flaky.

            Out here in California, community college tuition is $26/unit.  For a full load of 16 units, we're talking about $400 and change for tuition for a semester.  Of course, various fees and books will add to that, but still, it's pretty low: $100/mo, basically.

            If push comes to shove, your other grandson could defer going to college a year and then his parents' taxes would show the bankruptcy, making him eligible for grants.  It's not ideal, but again, based on my 10 years of experience teaching, my better students are the ones who are coming in a little "late".

        •  Re (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SingleVoter

          It depends on what model you want to use. If you want the "everyone can study whatever they want and get into college on almost any merit" model, then non-dischargeable loans make sense.

          If you give the lender the power to make or not make a loan based on the student's major and/or grades, it makes more sense to allow bankruptcy since the lender will be incentivized to make loans only on people likely to pay the money back in the future.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:01:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  "settlement" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joieau

          or when a judge terminates a loan in a bankruptcy proceeding it's called a "settlement"

          •  No it isn't (0+ / 0-)

            Debts don't get terminated in bankruptcy and a "settlement" is a court-approved negotiated agreement between the parties that ends a legal dispute.

            "But your majesty, you cannot die an old maid." "I have no intention to, Chancellor. I shall die a bachelor!" (Queen Christina)

            by VetGrl on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 03:53:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry.. If we allow bankruptcies on student loans (6+ / 0-)

        everyone would be declaring bankruptcy..  In your 20's? out of work?  can't pay your loan?  declare you are bankrupt!  Problem solved!  Young people don't give a rat's ass what it does to their credit ratings.

        No thanks..  they need to be held accountable for those loans.. for as many years as it takes to pay them off.

        I paid mine off.. took many years.. my daughter's loans took 10 years before she paid them off.

        And.. you fail to mention the existence of deferments and forbearances available to borrowers if they can prove hardship.

        "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

        by Skeptical Bastard on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:18:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  support your argument (16+ / 0-)

          You have no rational basis for saying this.

          At this point, I risk repeating myself, which I will not do.  

          I suggest you do your homework, and come back with an argument instead of conjecture where you impose your own ill will and bad faith upon students who have illustrated the opposite based on all available data.

          Your remarks are eerily similar to a commenter n the USA Today board earlier.  His name was....let me check....Skeptica.

          Any relation?

          Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

          by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:37:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No relation.. maybe common sense runs in the (5+ / 0-)

            family.

            Conjecture?  Naah.. just common sense.

            No one will loan unsecured money to an underage, unemployed person who runs a very high risk of defaulting on a loan were laws changed to make that easier.

            It's just stupid.

            "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

            by Skeptical Bastard on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:18:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  SB, I think there is more to this issue (9+ / 0-)

              than you are aware of.  I'm not the informed enough to do it, but my memory is good enough to know that I have recently been disgusted to read of several of the common practices of these lenders, including being caught running kickback schemes.  I don't think common sense is enough to understand the underhanded manipulations involved here.  I know my "common sense" is regularly surprised by the selfish, anti-social behavior of people.

              If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking... is freedom. -Eisenhower

              by geomoo on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:25:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  "common sense" == uninformed conjecture (10+ / 0-)

              Usually, that's just what "common sense" means.  See the people who think it's "common sense" that gay couples shouldn't be parents.

              You seem to be trying to be an example of this sort of "common sense".  I suggest doing some research rather than using your "common sense" to ignore evidence.

              -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

              by neroden on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:38:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  why are such loans necessary in the first place? (8+ / 0-)

              that's also common sense.

            •  Talking, but not proving or defending. (11+ / 0-)

              So then how do you explain the fact that less than one percent of student loans were discharged in bankruptcy when they were indistinguishable from all other debt wrt bankruptcty protections?

              YOu have no basis to make that claim, as I've said.

              There simply is not justification for removing bankruptcy protections from student loans that is defensible.  The predatory lending and collection environment that results, the inflation, corruption, etc that is enabled inevitably sews the seeds of the systems destruction.

              You can make the argument that the government should cease making loans if bankruptcy must be included, and I would say that if you demand the first, then I agree.

              Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

              by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:47:29 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not a high risk of discharge. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jsquared

                I believe there were restrictions on discharging student loans in Bankruptcy before.  IIRC, you had to wait seven years and make a good faith effort to pay.  You couldn't just declare BK on the day after graduation and get your loans discharged.

                There is no more corrupt part of our law than the Bankruptcy Code.  If you read it you can tell which sections were bought and paid for and by whom.

                "I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat." - Will Rogers

                by wayward on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:53:11 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  I think you just made the poster's point (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Argyrios
              No one will loan unsecured money to an underage, unemployed person who runs a very high risk of defaulting on a loan were laws changed to make that easier.

              It's just stupid.

              You are making the poster's point. These loans shouldn't be happening. Period. Its absolute lunacy to loan college students huge amounts of money and expect them all to be able to pay it back.

              There should either be A. Caps on how much someone can take as a loan based upon REAL earning potential of the average person graduating with the degree, or B. These loans shouldn't exist.

              And I know exactly what I am proposing. You may call it class warfare, I call it a common sense way to control tuition. There is a direct link between Universities raising their tuition and the fountain of free government backed money that has been flowing all these years. Stop the flow and you will see how much Uni's raise their tuition when no one can pay it.

              What is wrong with making a hard cap on loans = four years at a community college? Even that would probably be too much.

          •  He's right. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VetGrl, elfling

            We're not talking about credit card levels of debt here, where they start people on unsecured cards amounting to about $500 or $750 and go up from there, based on a person's history.

            We're talking mortgage-level debt, between $30,000 and $300,000, and there's no collateral.  As your diary already suggests, the default rate is quite high, meaning the risk to the lender is fairly high.

            It's not like students can give back the education.  Once they have it, they have it.  It's not like a car or a house--it can't be repossessed, and it can't be sold off to satisfy outstanding debts.

            There would be nothing to prevent a student from filing bankruptcy a month after graduation.  In fact, I imagine financial advisers would begin advising graduating students to do just that, to "get on their feet".

            In terms of loans, student loans are generally a great deal.  The interest rate is lower than virtually any other loan rate and students can defer repayment as long as they're in school.

            The real solution to this issue is adequate mathematics education and truly neutral student loan counseling in high school, so that students fully understand and appreciate the consequences before borrowing $150k for college.  Too many students decide on which college to go to based entirely upon purely emotional bases, such as a school's supposed rankings or its "reputation".

            •  Yea...unfortunatelyl counseling isnt;;;;; (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bruh1

              Counseling is of limited value unfortunately.  Peer pressure, university advice, and well executed lender marketing techniques (often slipped into "counseling sessions performed by the lenders!!!), currently, are easily enough to rev the student up to that euphoric state of submission, trust, and acquiescence when dealing with a kid who made a choice months prior to go to the college of his choice.

              This is weaker mojo at technical and community colleges, but any school with a couple of famous alumni, shiny and new capital projects, etc will typically guarantee that at most, "tough love counseling succeeds only in planting the seeds of insecurity, remorse, etc, and these will not solve the problem after the fact, and may only succeed in causing a self fullfilling cloud of angst that tells the kid to drop out after the majority of the undergrad loans have been disbursed, so then the horrible decision between walking away with no degree and 60k of painful, dispiriting, and embarassing debt...OR...sticking it out to limp across the finish line with a degree, and over 100k in much more debt is made...

              This is a horrible thing to impose upon a student.  This is not nice.  This is cruel.  Regardless of the decision, the kid will come out the other end either a disheveled lump, or a frightened "deer in the headlight" individual, probably inclined to do ruthless, morally questionable deeds to make it go away.

              There is a lot of conjecture, and opinion here, I know, and I'm open to different outlooks, but I kind ot doubt that you will compel me to change my attitude about counseling's effectiveness or utility.

              Ideally, students should not be put in such a fiscal pressure cooker to begin with.  I don't know how to directly make that happen.

              I do know, however, that the student will be far more confident, releazed, and optimistic about his future with the knowledge that as long as he tries his best, the system is there to support him, not prey upon his mistakes.  Knowing that the lenders want you to succeed, aren't targeting you, using sophisticated methods to induce default, etc.  This will go along way.

              This will only happen if bankruptcy protections, at a minimum, are returned.

              I won't repeat the historical data regarding borrower bankruptcy filings when bankruptcy was completely allowable under the law. I won't even repeat why I believe strongly that fewer recent graduates will file upon graduation today then they did way back when, even with far higher debt loads.

              This is one redeeming feature of IBR and ICR, btw.  Most all students, given the choice, will choose a friendly sounding repayment plan every time over BK.

              Don't b so quick to adopt the fear mongering, cynical outlook that the banks use to turn against the students.  Its fun to play the patriarch, and cast insults and judgements upon the students from that position, but it doesn't enlighten the true facts of the matter, and frankly only opens up what typically becomes an antagonism that suits a lazy thinker really well.  Its really just knee jerk rhetoric.

              Nothing personal.  Just my analysis after a long time observing this dialectic in many, many different forums.

              Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

              by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:19:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  and that applies only to students? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          neroden

          That age group is particularly hard hit by unemployment.

        •  oye... (13+ / 0-)

          Is this another one of those "i did it, why can't everyone else do the same thing I did?" arguments?

          I encourage you to open your mind to the situation of others, the possibility that less than honorable educational facilities exist, and that anywhere that there is a lot of money, there are a lot of colluding forces to squeeze out those that aren't organized.

          Not the mention the fact that we still haven't figured out how to reach full employment in our society which means at any given point in time somebody somewhere is getting screwed.

          •  So, because the economy turns, you get (5+ / 2-)
            Recommended by:
            pletzs, elfling, Lasgalen Lothir, Argyrios, Darmok
            Hidden by:
            Noor B, elwior

            to just not pay the loans you agreed to pay?

            That's fucking stupid..

            I think you should be able to put a loan on hold until you do get employment, but not be forgiven... which I believe is an option available to all recipients of student loans.

            "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

            by Skeptical Bastard on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:21:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Medical debts (14+ / 0-)

              mortgages and unsecured debt can be discharged through bankruptcy, so what makes student loans so special? Discharging debt through bankruptcy isn't some kind of free lunch. Everyone takes their lumps in a bankruptcy. The filer has to deal with ruined credit and limited opportunity for seven years or longer. Bankruptcy is no joke. I don't know where you got this idea that everyone is going to file bankruptcy just because of their student loan debt.

              I don't know what's gonna happen, man, but I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames. -Jim Morrison "All Hail The American Night"

              by James Kresnik on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:03:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think what makes student loans special (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                upstate NY, elfling

                is that right out of college, everybody is bankrupt. Or at least most people.

                Right out of college, you have youth and earning potential, but no assets and no job. That's a predictably common situation.

                •  True, but (0+ / 0-)

                  True, but almost no recent grad would consider filing BK seriously, almost regardless of the amount of debt they were facing.

                  Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

                  by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 03:42:53 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It only takes a few (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    upstate NY, Argyrios
                    Not all would do it, but enough will to turn it into enough of a scandal that the laws will get changed. It's a "this is why we can't have nice things" moment. That's what happened in the 70s.

                    There's really no way anyone is going to support having unsecured debt like student loans dischargable into bankruptcy as easily as, say, credit card debt.

                    These ideas need to go hand-in-hand with consumer protections as well as direct participation by the government in capping the maximum amount of student loan debt someone can assume. In the meantime, IBR serves as "effective bankruptcy," as you know, discharging the debt after a certain amount of time spent making good faith efforts at paying it off.

                    •  IBR can also be seen as incentive (0+ / 0-)

                      for public service, wealth distribution, egalitarian sharing, etc. not only effective bankruptcy.

                      I agree with what you're saying.

                      I think we need reform that allows bankruptcy later on for life circumstances. The idea that people can't get employed because of student loan debacles is also ludicrous.

                      Too many people here are attacking universities and student loans in general. Obama has made very important changes, and IBR has been important too. Things are improving. Too many are throwing out the baby with the bathwater and making a hyperbolic argument.

                      There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                      by upstate NY on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 01:32:59 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Wealth distribution? (0+ / 0-)

                        IBR can also be seen as incentive
                        for public service, wealth distribution

                        I disagree with the wealth-distribution part... it's actually anti-distributive in some cases, if students end up passing up higher-paying professions in order to work in public-service IBR-type jobs. There is the risk that it could exacerbate wealth inequalities by basically telling those without parents who could pay their full tuition that they must go into public service rather than pursue higher-paying careers, leaving the higher paying jobs for (ironically) those who can afford it.

                        •  I can't see how that could ever be the case (0+ / 0-)

                          unless the debt load was astronomical.

                          I mean, someone earning $10k more (or more) can wipe away a reasonable amount of debt ($15k to $25k) in a faster time than the public worker can get their debt forgiven.

                          I was just trying to emphasize that if you had your heart set on a public profession, such as teaching, then student debt load should not dissuade you because of IBR.

                          There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                          by upstate NY on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 08:47:33 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

            •  You can put your loans on hold... (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              elfling, Noor B, elwior, Joieau

              while unemployed....the problem is that interest stills accrues while the loan is on hold.  It is a spiral downward from there.

              •  Fine.. stop interest accrual.. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                elfling, yella dawg, debaterdanny

                but you cannot simply forgive the loan.  

                People with student loans have a whole lifetime of earning to make it up.  Simply put it on hold iwth no additional interest until the person finds work.

                "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

                by Skeptical Bastard on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:51:50 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  But they don't.... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  elwior, Mike08, Joieau

                  student loans have terms...they want them paid off in 10 to 15 years.  I agree the interest accrual is predatory.  But unfortunately, students aren't given a lifetime to pay off the loan.  And it defeats your point because a longer term means more interst.

                  I am for income-sensitive repayment and a lifetime to pay-off the loans.  You can get a 30 year mortgage but not a 30 year student loan repayment plan.  

            •  about agreements (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SingleVoter, elwior, princss6

              the agreement when i was a freshman was that I would pay for an education that would increase my earning power.

              My earning power did not increase, should I still have to pay?

              the "loan on hold" until you do get employment comes at a cost of the government subsidizing your interest. And it does run out. (mine did two months ago).

              My personal idea is that colleges should be co-signers to the loan and have to pay back %50 percent of the cost if they don't do their part to make sure the education is worthwhile.

              •  lol.. thanks for the laugh.. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Lasgalen Lothir

                The University should take 1/2 the risk you might, even in a strong job market, not find a job that suits you.
                Oh yeah.. that'll work..

                "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

                by Skeptical Bastard on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:53:29 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  no it wasn't (3+ / 0-)

                your agreement was to get a sum of money and for you to pay it back.  Your hope that the education you received would increase your earning power was your risk - not the banks.

                You chose to take on the risk of financial debt with the upside of higher wages.  Many people decide not to attend college to not take on that risk. Others attend cheaper community colleges for 2 years to avoid paying two years of higher tuition.  These are all the choices people make.

                Why is the college responsible for making your education worthwhile?  What you do with your education is your business. (Not to single you out) but what about the people who slack off in college? Is that the college's responsibility too?  

                Under your system, if your earning power did increase, should you then have to pay more?   Seems like a logical conclusion.

                The interrelated issues of student loans and cost of education are connected but should also be discussed distinctly.  I'm all for making higher education less expensive.  I do think it's a public good the state should subsidize since we all benefit from a more educated populace.

              •  How can colleges make sure you're learning? (0+ / 0-)

                Should they prevent you from drinking on a Friday night and lock you in a room with books?

                There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                by upstate NY on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 01:34:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Fucking stupid, Gracie? (0+ / 0-)

              "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

              by elwior on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:13:02 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  You're being extremely rude. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              yella dawg

              I'll concede that there is reason to want people to make a full-faith effort to repay, provided the system is not rigged against the borrower.  But it is rigged.  That has to be fixed.

              But conceding that and ignoring the derogatory and condescending tone of this precise comment of yours is not the same.  I am reminded of a saying my grnadmother was very fond of using:  "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."  

              "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, vol. 3, no. 18 (-8.50, -7.23) Need steady work, Maryland Eastern Shore.

              by Noor B on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:39:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Rec'd to counter HRs (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              elfling

              I'm not seeing any reason for hiding this comment.  If it's the language, that would be ironic given the front page diary about the President's use of the word "ass."  And differences of opinion aren't appropriate for an HR, either.

              So, until there is a valid explanation, I'm reccing the comment to offset.

        •  You are indeed a Bastard! (0+ / 0-)

          "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

          by elwior on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:10:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The whole idea of student loans is bad!!!!!!!!!!! (25+ / 0-)

    Tuition should be low enough for students not to have to take on debt. Colleges have criminally failed in this area since their costs have risen at roughly 5 times the rate of inflation for the last 25 years. Tuition costs are a massive fiasco that have many causes.

    The solution is not to borrow so much by drastically lowering tuition costs.

    However, once loans have been made, how does a lender require payment from a "judgement proof" ex-student. With no tangible assets, what is to stop debtors from simply declaring bankruptcy? It costs them nothing except damaged credit for some number of years. Personally, I would not lend money to someone who can refuse to pay me back with so little legal penalty.

    I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

    by shann on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 05:21:53 AM PDT

    •  College tuition (15+ / 0-)

      If you lower college tuition, who pays the University employees? I've been at several universities, and all of them have seen budget cuts of 10-15% a year for the last 2-3 years. My friends at UC Davis were told that they could either not get paid for national holidays, or just not get paid for 3 days a month. Other places have just had to lay people off.

      No one WANTS to raise tuition; however, the costs of providing higher education have gone up just like everything else.

      •  And it's the real challenge with State (24+ / 0-)

        schools.  Obviously, budgets are being trimmed regularly because the State lessens its support, which sends the college costs up.

        Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way. Booker T. Washington

        by conlakappa on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 05:46:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thats the real source of the problem (46+ / 0-)

          public funding for education has gone down. They make up for it by selling what is left of their publicly provided resources to corporations. Letting corporation dictate the direction of research and study in exchange for money. Meanwhile, it seems that the administrative wages have sky rocketed in an attempt to attract "talent" who see it as their obligation to grow their endowments by also putting pressure on students and their parents. THe growth of Student loans has led to a parasitic industry that puts further pressure on government to defund education.

          Neo-liberals and their corporate funders are privatizing our universities for their own profit.  

          "What is the robbing of a Bank compared to the FOUNDING of a Bank?" Bertolt Brecht

          by thethinveil on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 05:56:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I thought that the federal government (6+ / 0-)

            was funding a lot of R&D and corporations doing less yet holding the patents on innovations and discoveries.  But maybe they're taking the money and funneling it through schools, which makes it feel like students and their parents are being taxed twice.

            Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way. Booker T. Washington

            by conlakappa on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:03:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  There is some funding (10+ / 0-)

              I don't have the exact numbers on federal funding. And considering Reagan, G.H.W, Clinton and W were BIG believers in the "free market" I doubt that education funding has matched inflation or the costs of education.

              But what comment brings to mind is DOPRA, an arm of the Defense Department, that funds diverse research projects that can have military applications. It also has some good side effects like Arpnet which eventually became the Internet.

              But this program is small by comparison to the amount of power corporations wield in our University system.

              Maybe you are referring to the research funds included in the stimulus. 17 Trillion apparently went to Science and Technology, however I am not sure how much of this were loans or how much will fall into private hands.

              It is not to hard to image a cure for cancer being invented in the University whose patent is given over to a corporation to sell selectively for profit. Leaving people to die who don't have the right insurance or enough money.

              There is a new philosophy emerging that employs tax payer money in the service of corporate research, which a corporation will profit from, not the university or even public who funds it.  This is supposedly is okay even though it violates free market ideology. Because corporations get their profit/power, which is all that matters. Whether this is best way to help people or not is beside the point.

              "What is the robbing of a Bank compared to the FOUNDING of a Bank?" Bertolt Brecht

              by thethinveil on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:34:10 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Nah. I used to work in education lobbying, (6+ / 0-)

                specifically for increasing the numbers of the underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and math.  We also talked about "doubling in a decade" federal support for science funding.  I can remember a figure about R&D funding moving from something like 70:30 corporate:federal to 30:70.  I think the government was hoodwinked in the post-Sputnik age because it became about national interest versus just corporate profit.  IIRC, that's when the scales started tipping.

                Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way. Booker T. Washington

                by conlakappa on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:48:49 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Undergrads don't do much R&D. (7+ / 0-)

              So very little of that money goes to them.  If you're a grad student in a technical field, you often can get funded, depending on what you're doing.

              I had to take out loans as an undergrad (Fortunately, parents were able to pay them off before I graduated), but as a grad student in computational biology, I managed to get funding every semester either from industry fellowships or as a paid research assistant, either through my own or my advisor's NIH grants.  Currently a postdoc, also on a faculty member's NIH grant.

              I'd really like to see more funds go to undergrads in general, particularly education majors (There are a lot of low paying jobs requiring college degrees, of course, education is just one case that really sticks out to me), but not at the cost of reducing research funding.

              •  There is money out there, including (5+ / 0-)

                for education undergrads who commit to certain areas/majors, but there hasn't been a good system in place for having the information available.  And I was referring to grad/postgrad research when it comes to the R&D dollars.

                Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way. Booker T. Washington

                by conlakappa on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:06:41 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  There's quite a bit of money for education majors (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Flying Goat

                Both my brother and my sister-in-law (not his wife--my other brother's wife) are teachers.

                She just got a really good deal for graduate work that will pay off completely as long as she's employed as a teacher in the state of Nebraska for the next five years.  Considering she's already teaching in Nebraska, it's kind of a no-brainer.

                There are a lot of things like that, even for undergraduate education majors.  It's just a matter of finding them.

              •  But, R&D does much for undergrads (0+ / 0-)

                since 1/2 of all that money goes into the general fund and that funds undergraduate education.

                There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                by upstate NY on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 01:35:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  One Source of the Problem (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jsquared, SingleVoter

            But the gradual drift in our culture of things we "want" into things we "need" is another source.

            We now "need" cell phones, even the vast majority of cell phone use is frivolous. Likewise, colleges now "need" multi-million dollar student centers, dorms with cable TV, and state-of-the-art exercise facilities.

            Then there's college administration becoming more and more bloated with large salaries for upper management and the expansion of middle-management, ala corporate culture.

            We've become a bloated culture living beyond its means. Our colleges reflect that.

            •  In any university budget, the costs of these (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              James Kresnik, thethinveil

              living centers are relegated to the room&board charges, which are flat with expenses. So that cost is passed onto you in terms of R&B. Tuition is not impacted.

              Student centers are different, since tuition, tax subsidy, research grants and endowment cover that.

              There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

              by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:39:14 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I would not overstate the student loan (5+ / 0-)

            problem though.

            25 years ago the max I could take out on subsidized loans was $3k, and now it's $5.2, so the max has not risen all that much. But Pell Grants have gone from $1.5k to $6k.

            That's significant.

            I would never encourage a student to take on an unsubsidized loan, but if a student has access to $20k of subsidized loan, $20k of Pell Grant, and say $30k from work over a 4 year period (not hard to do), then we're talking about $70k in resources for your education, and you come out owing $20k. Tuition in my state is also $20k over those 4 years, so essentially, given the Pell Grant subsidy, your tuition was totally free, and the loans you took etc., were purely there to pay for your living costs.

            If you're poor or lower middle class, and you go to a state school, you're getting a good deal. Your education is being massively subsidized. I really don't see room for complaint.

            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

            by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:36:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I am not thinking about the relative (4+ / 0-)

              economic cost of privatized externally controlled state schools vs. a private schools with regard to just parents, and students. But sure, costs are relatively lower in State school. I want them eliminated entirely as they are the basis for class discrimination - the middle class in particular has fallen through the cracks.  

              I am also concerned about academic freedom, and the reliance on external private institutions to direct education that is meant to benefit the whole of society in addition to meeting the needs of individual students.  

              But I do appreciate your posts, the numbers you provide are great.

              "What is the robbing of a Bank compared to the FOUNDING of a Bank?" Bertolt Brecht

              by thethinveil on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:56:11 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  by comparison (0+ / 0-)

              Assuming you're correct when you say that tuition in your state is $20K/4 years, I find that amazing. Public university in-state tuition and fees where I am, Minnesota, is now $11,500/year for a 4-year cost of $46,000. Add in living expenses and you're at about $20,000/year cost of attendance.

              Also, many students (i.e.: their families) will not be eligible for the maximum Pell grant. You likely won't be getting a $6K Pell grant unless your family income is less than around $30K. A median-income family can probably expect $3K or less per year in Pell grant money.

              Using your figures in Minnesota, $80K total cost - $12K Pell - $30K work = $38,000 needed in loans or family contribution. I should also point out that the $5.2K (actually now $5.5K) only applies for third and fourth year undergrads. First-years get $3.5K and Seconds get $4.5K. Ergo, the maximum subsidized loan amount is $19,000. Oh, and the subsidized loans are means-tested, so not everyone qualifies for the full amount.

              Meanwhile, the total Direct Loans available, subsidized and not, are $27K over 4 years. So, the typical Minnesota undergrad is looking for at least $11K in the private student loan market or from their family.

              Whether someone's student loan debt is $20K, $27K or $38K I don't see being saddled with any of those figures as 'no room to complain.' Is a college education a public good or a commodity?

              If it's the former, why is it hunky-dory to send a 21-year-old out into the world with a financial handicap equal to a down-payment on a house? Is it any wonder why adolescence now lasts until the mid-20s? Young people can't afford to be grown-ups until their early 30s when their student loans are paid off.

              Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

              by Joe Bob on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 04:30:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm in my 40s and my student loans aren't anywher (0+ / 0-)

                anywhere near paid off.

                I'm not an adolescent obviously.

                I'm in NY state where SUNY charges 4.9k for tuition.

                Living expenses? You should back out what you would otherwise pay for shelter and food, which you would pay regardless. I know R&B costs are higher than if you were living in an apartment, cooking your own food, but backing out at least some of the money makes sense. So, let's assume no pell grant, and that brings total resources to $50k. Tuition is $46k. So Minnesotans have to figure out how to make up actual living expenses. That's a tough one.

                Of course, I wrote elsewhere that some universities are at a dangerous tipping point, and many of the Big10 schools qualify. I might say, however, that given the cost per student at B10 schools--notoriously high--that the choice is to go to a cheaper state school if you don't want to pay for what are considered the best public schools in the nation. That sounds harsh but really Minnesota and the midwest states need to have a two-tiered system for public education. Michigan does pretty well with EMich, CMich, NMich, WMich, which are far cheaper than Michigan. That's smart thinking because at michigan, the costs per student are sky high.

                There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                by upstate NY on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 01:42:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Much like public education.... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            thethinveil

            it is being privatized so fast, it is insane...from K - 12.

      •  Public schools are PUBLIC, their state (15+ / 0-)

        government should control costs at the school while simultaneously providing enough state support to keep tuition to the rate of inflation.

        Large student loans are not the answer.

        I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

        by shann on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 05:54:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't see why you can't have a two-tiered syste (5+ / 0-)

          system. I think a two-tiered system is good since it encourages our state universities to partake in top research. We shouldn't leave this to private institutions. So, you can have state schools that are not doing high caliber work, schools that are in effect much cheaper, and also schools that consume more resources. If you change this, then effectively only the kids that go to private school would be undertaking that sort of research.

          In my state, the top public schools are somewhat more expensive than the satellite schools, but they are still affordable.

          I don't see anything wrong with the cost of public tuition at most of our state schools. Some schools are at the tipping point, like Penn State and Michigan, but most are still well below $10k.

          There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

          by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:42:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  em (12+ / 0-)

        I have not seen the UC president, the board of regents, coaches, or other highly paid administrative staff taking any significant paycuts.  That's a great place to start.

        Bankruptcy protection is a root enabling cause of the rampant inflation we have seen in both tuition and fees.

        Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

        by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 05:59:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How so? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          neroden, Argyrios

          How does bankruptcy protection raise fees?

          As someone who graduated in 1990 and is still paying student loans, I have to say I would look dubiously upon people with jobs declaring bankruptcy.

          What's the incentive for paying back loans at that point? Am I the only numbskull? Should I have gone through bankruptcy when I had little to my name?

          There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

          by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:30:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Your comments. (10+ / 0-)

            The ABSENCE of bankruptcy protections enables a financial incentive to raise prices ...not the presence of them.

            Everyone looks dubiously upon people filing for bankruptcy.  That's why no one wants to file, least of all college graduates, according to public record.

            What's the incentive for repaying loans?  Are you seriously asking that question? Economic principles are still  in existence in this Brave New World where borrowers have at least some of the same rights that all other borrowers enjoy, everywhere, for all other types of loans, federally guaranteed and not.

            From your remarks, I would say that you betray either a unrealistically cynical and negative view of the good faith, ambition, and creditworthiness of recent graduates, or perhaps lack of confidence in the value of your academic institution.  In any event I think that the relative worthiness of the students has probably only increased since bankruptcy protections were not removed, so I refer back to that data, which I will not repeat.

            Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

            by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:57:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You've gone off the map (5+ / 0-)

              I can't understand your final paragraph's speculations at all.

              Your bankruptcy has an impact on you for about 3 years. You can instantly get credit cards again. You can get a mortgage in 3 years at normal rates. In 10 years, it's wiped off your record.

              I'm not against bankruptcy for student loans, but if you're giving that opportunity to people who have just graduated or are within their first few years out into the workforce, then yes, there is incentive to default with little real penalty. This threatens the good faith of other payers and also the system for future students.

              Those who are jobless and have low pay still have access to deferments, hardship and now there's IBR and the like, and those going into public service can get their loans forgiven after years of lowpay.

              Look, I don't want to come down hard, but since you're making this personal, I find that you have severely misrepresented the options in this diary. You have stated that student loans dissuade people from going into public service.

              It's just the opposite. A student with loans has every incentive to take a public job, where a $30k salary with $40k in loans will result in that student paying $170 a month for 10 years. And then the loan is entirely forgiven.

              They will have paid $30k TOTAL including interest on a $40k loan.

              http://www.ibrinfo.org/...

              There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

              by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:11:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  well (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                conchita, neroden, JanL, princss6

                I understand your point very well, but there is no data to support it.  In fact, the data we have, although old, suggests exactly the opposite, and indisputably so.  I submit that the attitudes of younger, recent graduates is as hopeful, positive, and as unattracted to the prospect of bankruptcy as ever...and in the presence of various repayment programs, I claim that they would be even less likely still to take such a damaging step.

                Those who do will probably be good examples of people who the banks would not have lent to if they had done proper underwriting in the first place.

                There is a good paper by John Pottow on the history of bankruptcy and student loans...you can easily google it.

                Remember:  The banks found a way to survive and thrive in the presence of bankruptcy protections on private loans as recently as 2005.  There is no reason that they cannot go back to those economics.  If you prefer to cede ground to the banks by making accommodations that there is no basis for other beyond paternalistic concern, then I would say that such comments show an unhealthy concern for the welfare of banks over the need for students to get good educations at a minimal cost/loan burden, and in an unpredatory lending and collection environment.  

                But you can speak for yourself.  

                Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

                by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:57:40 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  As I said I'm not against the idea (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  conchita, yella dawg

                  of bankruptcy for student loans with certain limitations.

                  It's been so long since this was possible however that I think the studies are dated.

                  We are living in a new era of credit availability.

                  There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                  by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:08:45 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  mkay. right. (6+ / 0-)

                    There are no limitations on the bankruptcy protections for any other type of loan.  

                    You are now towing the line of the banks, and repeating their fear inspiring rhetoric.

                    If banks do not wish to lend to students given fundamental consumer protections, then they should not lend to them.  I have no problem with a market correction that forces realism into the system by way of meaningful underwriting.  If special restrictions are required, then the loan should not be made.  This is how prices are set, as opposed to artificially inflated, and if this is not satisfactory, then all players should admit that, and find a subsidy, because there simply is no defense for a predatory, state sanctioned lending system, the corruption it causes, and the disastrous consequences it has on the entire system.

                    If you were a college president, and learned that slave labor was being used on campus.  Your first priority, if you were a decent and ethical president, would be to liberate these people from their bondage, and deal with the absence of whatever they contributed to campus only after the first injustice were stopped.  That is how the integrity of this countries constitution is revitalized generally.

                    If you fail to act in view of blatant violations of citizens rights for any reason, you do a grave injustice to all concerned.  I don't need to be lecturing here.  This is common sense, and the examples I give are completely analogous.

                    Why do I find myself at odds with anyone on this board?  I appreciate rational, reasoned debate, but quite frankly, I expected that the conversation would have moved well beyond my argument, and bankinesque attempts to pick it apart, and onto more productive avenues of discussion, such as how to move congress to return these critical protections quickly and efficiently in the interest of good government, not big government, or predatory government.

                    Allowing the perpetuation of a grave, and hugely damaging injustice out of a distaste for "rocking the boat" is equally harmful and indefensible.  What I a hearing on this board from you and skeptica is:

                    You have to remain a slave, toby, because if we set you free, who would tend to the master's crops?

                    I laid the facts out for Ralph Nader and his staff.  They got it in about 3 seconds.  Jesse Jackson: same thing.  It is only the elitist academics with financial self interests , and of course, the banks who always stop short of recognizing this obvious failure for what it is.

                    Yet to a man, they strongly disclaim at the outset that they would never let self interest guide their reasoning on a topic such as this.

                    Laughs!

                    Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

                    by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:51:36 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You present yourself as a person of reason (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      yella dawg

                      and yet you engage in ad hominem attacks and deliberately respresent the reality of the situation.

                      Where in your diary did you mention IBR AT ALL?

                      Instead you deliberately misrepresented the plight of public service workers.

                      I suggest you step back and reassess.

                      Basically, you're against student loans. You said so yourself in your latest. You don't want students to take out loans for college. That's evident.

                      You think it's silly for someone to take out a loan to pay for their education.

                      When I showed you that universities are NOT wasteful, your response was to basically put your hands over your ears and say, "I'll pretend I didn't hear that."

                      Take responsibility for your arguments and stop being a shill.

                      There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                      by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:01:35 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  ok... (4+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        bruh1, jsquared, princss6, Joieau

                        You mean "misrepresent", I think.

                        If my attacks offend, its because typically I am battling PR professional who for years have quashed this conversation with tactics designed not to further the debate, but rather to intimidate, insult, and silence rather than engage, inform,and progress.

                        I have no reason to discuss IBR.  It is a cheap distraction designed to give borrowers the impression that the loans are safe.  In fact, it is by no means safe, and as a practical matter has been used as a cheap distraction from the fact that all consumer protections have been removed from federal loans.  Did you know that beyond bankruptcy, statutes of limitations are non existent for these loans?  So are Truth in lending requirements, Fair Debt Collection Practices ( for governmenta and non profit entities), and refinancing rights also were removed by Congress.  Not to mention the fact that once consolidated, the borrower can never leave the lender without a full payoff.  Student loans are also specifically and by name exempted from coverage under state usury laws.

                        I haven't even begun to discuss the extraordinary powers that the lenders have on the collection side, and the fees that they attach to defaulted loans that typically turn an unmanageable debt into an hugely damaging one.

                        All of these special powers, all massively harmful and exploitive...and we are to simply look at IBR, and say all is well?

                        Im not going to let an earned benefit of questionable worth (and of zero worth for people whose loans have already tripled, quadrupled, or worse with arbitrary fees slapped on) be used to hide or devalue the predation and destruction of millions of american families under a corrupted and conflicted oversight agency so full of predator-creditors that one can't tell where Sallie Mae begins and the government ends!

                        I "Misrepresent the plight of public service workers"?

                        Do you mean pointing out the proven corruption within the Department of Education, and insulting the former Sallie Mae and NCHELP executives who were brought in, and now largely run the Federal loan program?  The former sallie mae "workers" received bonuses from the company if they were only average, of about seven hundred thousand dollars in a three year period in addition to their wage prior to becoming "public service workers". I suspect these particular "workers" did significantly better than average.  One such "worker", Matteo Fontana, gave the green light to student loan companies to oberbill the department by billions of dollars, and also owned stock in one of the companies he was charged with overseeing.  I would never minimize his plight...and boy did we work it.  He hung around collecting his six plus figure salary for almost two years after his stock holding were discovered, although I don't think he actually did any real working, unless working the system for personal benefit counts as work.

                        Workers!!! They probably bristle at your characterization themselves.

                        To say I'm against student loans is nonsensical.  Loans are currently a reality.  I will not stand for loans that lack fundamental protections, under a system designed to exploit those very absences for institutional and corporate gain, and at the expense of student success, reasonable cost, and quality.

                        As such, I counsel all students and their parents to avoid borrowing as a first priority.
                         
                        I think its "silly" to take out a loan to pay for college?  No.  I think it's a very serious matter under the current predatory conditions.  Gien the individuals, families, and cosignors I have seen ruined by this predatory system, I think I have good reason for my belief, and you would to if you spent 2 minutes at our website reading peoples honest accounts.

                        YOu did not "show" me that colleges were cost efficient, you told me there were studies showing that they were.  I heard you fine, and acknowledge as much...but having spent 8 years at a pretty prestigious school, and three at an unquestionably great school, I think I can tell you about as well as you can tell me how cost efficient they are, but I refuse to go there, because as I said, I believe schools should be allowed to charge as much as they wish.

                        I would say that I alone take responsibility for my argument, whereas I have yet to attract anyone with a name, a face,and a reputation they are willing to put out there to engage my argument.  I took my argument, my name, and my face onto national television before a really large audience, and took full responsibiity for it.  The student loan company that was invited to answer these serious points refused to show up to be interviewed.  Since then I have been hounded by "shills" on nearly every board, and my members have been similarly harassed instead of debated.  

                        So you calling me a shill...nevermind  I think we're done here.

                        But if you can formulate any reasonable argument for why bankruptcy protections should continue to be absent from student loans, I am happy to engage.

                        Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

                        by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:44:04 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I'm just correcting what are misrepresentations (0+ / 0-)

                          I am not debating bankruptcy in general. I mentioned it in specific in relation to subsidized loans. I have no qualms with it for unsubsidized loans, and would even mostly think it's a good idea for subsidized loans but not in all cases.

                          I feel you've misrepresented the benefit of programs for public workers (IBR is not a distraction, that's ludicrous), the role of waste or inefficiency at universities in driving up costs, and when you basically made the case that all loans for poor students should be eliminated, I took up the argument. I was also surprised that you dismissed Obama's changes by eliding the fact that loan interest rates are do to drop very low, that new loans will not originate with banks, and that everyone has the opportunity to reconsolidate their loans with the federal gov't. I'm at Sallie Mae right now, and they've given me a 5.25% rate through incentives (consolidating with them, direct deposit, not missing a payment, etc.) but when I switch to IBR in a month, my rate jumps to the original agreed on rate of 6.25% (i.e. the gov't charges me more than Sallie Mae). But this will not be the case in the future when the federal gov't will charge a very low interest rate.

                          In this latest post again I find misrepresentations.

                          "Not to mention the fact that once consolidated, the borrower can never leave the lender without a full payoff."

                          I have consolidated my loans already with Sallie Mae. They are moving to a new lender, the federal gov't. I added no new loans (I've been out of school for a while) so they took on my consolidated loans, no questions asked.

                          "Student loans are also specifically and by name exempted from coverage under state usury laws."

                          Subsidized student loans would not fall afoul of usury laws.

                          Do you mean pointing out the proven corruption within the Department of Education, and insulting the former Sallie Mae and NCHELP executives who were brought in, and now largely run the Federal loan program?  The former sallie mae "workers" received bonuses from the company if they were only average, of about seven hundred thousand dollars in a three year period in addition to their wage prior to becoming "public service workers".

                          No, you know what I meant since I spelled it out precisely. Having your loan payment reduced substantially and totally forgiven after 10 years is an INCENTIVE for people to go into public service. You wrote that having a loan was a disincentive for public service. IBR creates a huge incentive. Dismissing IBR lets you continue to push forth with such misrepresentations.

                          "I suspect these particular "workers" did significantly better than average.  One such "worker", Matteo Fontana, gave the green light to student loan companies to oberbill the department by billions of dollars, and also owned stock in one of the companies he was charged with overseeing.  I would never minimize his plight...and boy did we work it.  He hung around collecting his six plus figure salary for almost two years after his stock holding were discovered, although I don't think he actually did any real working, unless working the system for personal benefit counts as work.

                          Workers!!! They probably bristle at your characterization themselves."

                          Public service workers are like Fontana? Eh? Not real workers?

                          Now we see the truth coming out?

                          Who employs you anyway? What is Student Loan Justice a front for anyway?

                          First you tell me you're against student loans TOTALLY, and now you dismiss my characterization of public employees as workers.

                          The fact that you're on a liberal site has probably slipped your mind as you ply your talking points.

                          To say I'm against student loans is nonsensical.

                          Do you want me to quote where you said that?

                          YOu did not "show" me that colleges were cost efficient, you told me there were studies showing that they were.  I heard you fine, and acknowledge as much...but having spent 8 years at a pretty prestigious school, and three at an unquestionably great school, I think I can tell you about as well as you can tell me how cost efficient they are, but I refuse to go there, because as I said, I believe schools should be allowed to charge as much as they wish.

                          I showed you the studies, what more could I do? That study was conducted during a Republican witchhunt, and they were looking for scalps at universities. There was a great fervor against universities that lead to that study, and I can provide you with all the invective in the lead up to the congressional bill that paid for and authorized that study in the first place. When the facts came back, a congress chomping at the bit to hack at universities suddenly became silent and demure. The fact is, schools have cut back so much that we're going into the dysfunctional stage at this point.

                          There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                          by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:14:02 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  So... (0+ / 0-)

                            And that contributes to our discussion about the need for the return of bankruptcy protections how?

                            Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

                            by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 03:45:08 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  By being factual. (0+ / 0-)

                            When someone misrepresents the facts, they should not take umbrage when people correct them.

                            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                            by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:01:49 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Your analysis is not a rebuttal to his thesis (0+ / 0-)

                            its a separate point that's a good one, but not a rebuttal to the systemic issues he's trying to address. Bankruptcy laws are meant to incentives both creditors and debtors to more rational thinking in debt management. Your argument is what happens after bad choices are already made.

                          •  Not really since I agreed with most of what he (0+ / 0-)

                            he/she wrote about bankruptcy.

                            I agreed with it numerous times.

                            The diarist took umbrage with my questioning inaccuracies and preceded to try to browbeat me on things i had already agreed to.

                            Do I believe we need some initial protections against bankruptcy filing early on?

                            Yes.

                            Beyond that, they should be treated as regular loans.

                            I also looked up the PAC the diarist represents and it's run by a person who ran up quite a bit in loans over their 4 years of school, far beyond the cap on subsidized loans at the time. So, I have nothing against bankruptcy for unsubsidized loans. Sub'd loans though can only go to $20k now over 4 years.

                            There is so much I take issue with beyond even the points I raised as elsewhere the person blames the increase in tuition on the inflation of loans, but increases in tuition have far outpaced the increases in loans which are relatively minor. In the 1980s, the loan cap was already at $2.5k. 30 years later it should not be a surprise to see them at $5k. That's not much of an increase.

                            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                            by upstate NY on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 07:34:15 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I am only interested in whether (0+ / 0-)

                            bankruptcy is a valid point or not. It is, and thus, that's the only thing your analysis should focus on. I don't care what you think of the writer or his site or background. Its irrelevant to the policy question.

                          •  Well, so what? (0+ / 0-)

                            That's nice.

                            I still like the facts! If you're going to purposely mangle the facts to get your agenda across, you're going to get called on it.

                            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                            by upstate NY on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 10:48:15 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You apparently don't like relevant facts (0+ / 0-)

                            to the argument being made. Rather than being a smart ass with me why don't you try to understand the point: None of the things you bring up go to the thesis of whether his argument over bankruptcy is right or not. That's the relevant piece of information. This, by the way, is how politicians of both parties manipulate so many voters. They are easily distracted from the question at hand.

                          •  What relevant facts? (0+ / 0-)

                            I'm the one dealing in facts, and have repeatedly shown them.

                            Everything I have argued is totally relevant.

                            The diarist attacks a variety of things which are totally untrue in order to make his case.

                            In putting forth bankruptcy, he dismisses the suggestion that allowing bankruptcies early after graduation will potentially harm the student loan market.

                            The diarist is against student loans PERIOD.

                            You don't think we should talk about that? NO? Just ignore the fact that millions of students can't go to college all because the diarist feels they are bad? That's not relevant information?

                            It's not relevant that the diarist attacks academia as one predatory source, and then he makes hyperbolic statements about it, such as, tuition inflation is the consequence of student loan inflation? Just ignore that?

                            Bullshit.

                            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                            by upstate NY on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 01:16:58 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  "Elite academics" (6+ / 0-)

                      This is so true. When I was in college not that long ago, it was the department head who lectured us in class about the need to complete our education at all costs, because it would inevitably pay us back many times. At the time I thought this was ridiculous, as the averages I had seen were skewed by atypical starting and lifetime income that was highly unlikely to be earned by anyone in those classes. The "average income of a starting graduate" given was 3 times the median income for a resident of the state.

                      Not to mention that the majority of students in many of those classes were middle aged women who were there because they were suffering the effects of long-term unemployment. That's a double whammy.

                      As a non-traditional student, I found it impossible to plan far enough in advance to get loans. The costs of living during the time you are in college seem not to be considered in the formulas I have seen. So besides your "share" of payments to be made to the college, which they consider that you should be working for right now, rather than sitting on your ass and studying, you would have to work an extra full-time job just to pay for rent, food, and normal expenses. It is a formula for academic failure.

                      When I was a kid, I used to read about widows who worked 3 menial jobs, made sacrifices, and put all their kids through college. It used to happen. Kids would work through the summer while living at home and pay their tuition. It happened all the time. It is the past generation of collusion between financial agencies, banks, and colleges that has resulted in the goal of all of these to transfer all a student's and their family's wealth to the institution and still demand more, and convince people that borrowing unlimited amounts of money on bad terms is the right thing to do.

                      As bad as the credit card companies are, and as horrible as they were saying it was to pay your college expenses on a credit card, the fact that I ended up doing so despite the cries of "irresponsible borrowing" means I am still managing to pay it off.

                      "Too big to fail" is not too big to jail.

                      by Angela Quattrano on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:21:30 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Wrong (0+ / 0-)

                      There are no limitations on the bankruptcy protections for any other type of loan.

                      Check section 523(a). Debts incurred by fraud? Not dischargeable. Recent tax debt? Not dischargeable. Debts for luxury goods purchased on the eve of bankruptcy, certain fines and restitution orders, child support and alimony? Not dischargeable.

                      "But your majesty, you cannot die an old maid." "I have no intention to, Chancellor. I shall die a bachelor!" (Queen Christina)

                      by VetGrl on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 04:23:29 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  This is the opposite of everything I have read (4+ / 0-)

                It's just the opposite. A student with loans has every incentive to take a public job, where a $30k salary with $40k in loans will result in that student paying $170 a month for 10 years. And then the loan is entirely forgiven.

                I have never heard of a student getting their loan written down or excused for getting a public job. Are you thinking of some very narrow type of employment that hardly anyone can get and very specific types of loans? I certainly haven't heard of borrowers getting loans forgiven because they were unable to get a job that paid enough to pay it down. I have, however, heard of horror story loans that ballooned so badly that the student could not legally work again.

                Most students are required to take out bank loans as part of the agreement.

                "Too big to fail" is not too big to jail.

                by Angela Quattrano on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:02:43 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I provided the link at the bottom of my post (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  yella dawg

                  Check out the IBR program

                  There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                  by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:52:44 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Also, Obama changed the rules (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  yella dawg

                  Bank loans? Nope. Not anymore.

                  There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                  by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:54:41 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Doesn't address existing private loans. n/t (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    princss6, thethinveil, Joieau

                    I don't know what's gonna happen, man, but I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames. -Jim Morrison "All Hail The American Night"

                    by James Kresnik on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:08:15 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Those are unsubsidized (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      yella dawg

                      and they are very very bad ideas, and should be subject to bankruptcy without limitation.

                      But the averages show that students graduate with about $20k in debt (which would mean it's under the subsidization threshold). Anything over that likely means students went on to a private school (about 15% of the college population) and took out private loans.

                      There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                      by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:11:15 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

      •  Here's a thought... (10+ / 0-)

        At the time of hiring, have companies pay the government a one-time training fee based on the degree.  For example, they might pay x percent of the starting wage for a bachelors, 2x percent for a masters, 3x percent for a PhD.  The money would go into a public account from which students would receive funds for their college education.  This would accomplish three desirable goals:

        1. It would put part of the burden of worker training back on the industries that benefit from worker training.  At one time, employers provided in-house training and apprenticeship programs. But industry has cleverly displaced that responsibility onto workers and the government and taxpayers, and colleges (that use part of their endowments to provide scholarships).  Some industries do fund scholarships and partly subsidize education, but those are not provided, across the board, for all workers.  Companies that provide training would be a corresponding reduction in fees.
        1.  It would discourage inflation of educational requirements for jobs.  Employers in many industries demand advanced degrees just because there's a glut of candidates, forcing all candidates to go back to school for advanced degrees. This creates a burden on workers, the government and the educational system - everyone except the employers who created the situation.  If an employer must pay more for an advanced degree, they will require it because they see a real advantage in it.
        1.  It would reduce job turnover and offshoring of jobs.  Companies that have high turnover would pay more in training fees.  Companies that offshore jobs would have to pay fees for those, too, and would have less incentive, therefore, to offshore them in the first place.

        Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne. - James Russell Lowell

        by Deep Harm on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:02:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  hmmmm (5+ / 0-)

          Yea, Ive seen such voluntary servitude models proposed in the past.  Its a bit troubling, but I suspect there may be something there...but I currently cannot see past this blatant injustice, and there are real people whose lives are being shattered as we speak, so when that is fixed, I'd be in a better position to come up with a better system.

          Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

          by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:02:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Voluntary servitude? (0+ / 0-)

            Workers are bound by no commitment in the model.  Employers have to count on keeping workers through good wages and working conditions...i.e., reducing turnover.

            Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne. - James Russell Lowell

            by Deep Harm on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:09:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  We need a disincentive to hiring right now? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Brooke In Seattle

              I'm all for corporations paying their fair share but I don't think this would fly.  

              Most remaining skilled/educated professions would be gradually offshored.  

              Corporate headquarters could move out of the U.S., so good luck getting them to pay into a U.S. fund for the education of their foreign workers working outside the U.S.

              We would be left with only low wage/low skill jobs that can't be sent elsewhere, i.e. stocking shelves, ringing up purchases.  Though I don't know who would be buying.

              •  Off-shoring can be regulated. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                thethinveil

                Given the labor cost for a typical manufactured is around 10 percent, requiring businesses selling products here to pay for working training is perfectly reasonable.

                I don't know what's gonna happen, man, but I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames. -Jim Morrison "All Hail The American Night"

                by James Kresnik on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:13:18 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Protectionism (0+ / 0-)

                  is perilous. Call it whatever you want, it's an across-the-board import tariff. We do that and our trading partners will instantly reciprocate.

                  •  Why are tarrifs so perilous (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    bruh1

                    and unrestricted trade so necessary? Unrestricted trade has a questionable track record for developed economies and somebody has to foot the bill for all that corporate training. How do you suggest paying for it, raising taxes for corporations and the wealthy or taxing an already over-extended working class?

                    I don't know what's gonna happen, man, but I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames. -Jim Morrison "All Hail The American Night"

                    by James Kresnik on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 03:20:02 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  we are not just taking away barriers (0+ / 0-)

                    but also providing incentives to off shore.

        •  Wow, that will really (0+ / 0-)

          make employers want to hire people and not outsource offshore at all.

      •  really now. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        conchita, JanL, thethinveil, Joieau

        tuition has risen at double the rate of inflation for decades running.  I see no compelling reason for this to continue.

        if you insist that it must be so, then I believe you to be hugely selfish in view of the real economy, but I'm not going to go there, because It is unrelated to my argument and the strength of my argument.

        There simply is no rational excuse, justification, or argument for removing the standard protections that were removed.  This becomes a civil rights issue if you attempt to go where you are going, and anyone with regard for everything the universities are supposed to stand for, the principles of equality that this nation was built upon, in fact,  would be ashamed of himself for making such an argument.  

        As a footnote:  Even wealthy citizens have to pay for their children's college educations, and the astonishing price of college is certainly not lost on them, so there is another group who should agree with me that monkeying around with free market mechanisms like bankruptcy is a bad thing under all conditions, and must be returned.  No matter the sideways swipes or disingenuous sneak attacks one might mount.

        Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

        by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:28:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If tuition increases are the concern (0+ / 0-)

          then we would probably be better off eliminating private loans.  It is supply and demand.  More money available for school means more people pursuing a college education.  

          If fewer people were attending college due to the loss of these loans (less demand) then colleges would have to pare down their price until the supply (number of institutions) balanced out with demand (number of students).

          IMO, college isn't for everyone, and college shouldn't be necessary for financial survival.  Of course that would mean ramping up K-12 education where I favor a system that lets students choose to stick with college prep the last two years, or pursue a real trade on the state's dime (plumbing, electrical, mechanic, beautician, culinary, medical assistance, etc.)

        •  It is an argument based on (5+ / 0-)

          emotion, not facts and logic. The unstated premise is that lower class, working class, and even middle class students are lazy leeches who need to be forced to work multiple jobs while in school and take on unlimited predatory loans in order to deserve their degree.  

          "Too big to fail" is not too big to jail.

          by Angela Quattrano on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:36:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  In the CIVILIZED world, the government funds (8+ / 0-)

        education.  That's how it works in France and Germany and the UK.

        That's how they used to do it in California and other State University systems too....

        -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

        by neroden on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:39:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Get rid of the fucking sports fetishism (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brooke In Seattle, JanL

        That oughtta cut the costs a bit.

        You may not be able to change the world, but at least you can embarrass the guilty.
        - Jessica Mitford

        by Swampfoot on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:58:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, it won't. (0+ / 0-)

          The big name sports are almost always quite profitable for the university.

          •  No they're not (0+ / 0-)

            Most schools bleed easily $20 million a year.

            Sports are not profitable.

            USAToday has a database where you can see the internals, and athletic departments only balance the books through tens of millions in student fees and direct support.

            Even the best program in the nation (Texas) bleeds red.

            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

            by upstate NY on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 01:45:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe they should stop paying trhe Chancellor (0+ / 0-)

        (quite a title) $300,000+ per year, not to mention the outrageous perks.
          How come the wealthy are so good at taking care of each other, but working class people have to sweat over every penny?

        "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

        by elwior on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:17:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  When the UC system was set up, (19+ / 0-)

      They intended for University attendance to be free eventually. Now, they can pay anywhere from 15,000 or higher per year. College should be completely free.

      Ending class discrimination in our universities is a first step in creating a free and healthy society.

      "What is the robbing of a Bank compared to the FOUNDING of a Bank?" Bertolt Brecht

      by thethinveil on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 05:47:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  $15k in tuition? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joieau

        I thought it was still under $10k.

        There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

        by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:42:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was including the full cost of college, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          conchita, neroden

          including living expenses. Tuition at Berkeley is 7,500 a year, and over 10k after you add other addition fees. Then you add living expenses 500 dollars per month in Berkeley and you are either living out of your car or you dumpster diving.

          Lets look at the budget estimate of UC San Diego which is 28,000.

          And it can get worse, when California is looking at a budget crisis.

          "What is the robbing of a Bank compared to the FOUNDING of a Bank?" Bertolt Brecht

          by thethinveil on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:19:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Gotcha (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SingleVoter

            Some of those living costs though should be adjusted by whatever costs parents would pay to house and feed you or whatever you'd be paying if you weren't living on campus, etc.

            I mean, you still have to eat, etc. even if you're not in college.

            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

            by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:23:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  except you wouldn't be incurring (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jsquared

              a huge extra cost on top of that. As  I wrote below,t he problemw ith your argument is that you want us to look at info in isolation.  Its the death by a thousand cuts that gets the middle class. Too much for health care, too much for education and on and on and on. Yet, you seem to think "well its just this much for education" Education is higher than average inflation in an economy where people's wages have been stagnant since the 70s. The reason why we have bankruptcy laws is precisely because of economies like this one where someone can become too sick, and then their run out of health insurance, and oh , yeah, by the way, they have a lot of student loan debt that's not dischargeable even if they address the other debt. And that's not even getting into a discussion of how risk has been shifted in the last 3 decades. I just don't see your argument as valid in terms of the big picture.

              •  I can't find anything specific (0+ / 0-)

                you're responding to.

                I wrote about living expenses.

                What are you saying?

                The costs of Higher Ed. keep rising for two reasons: 1. gov't support has dropped. Some schools get 5% of their money from their state. That's it. 2. Schools have responded by jacking tuition so they can meet their 35% peg for redistribution of funds (i.e. financial aid).

                If you get into a school and you go into severe debt (a lot more than $20k which is the cap on subbed loans) that's of course a bad idea. But if you want a reduction in tuition and the way student loans are run, you are in effect making it more difficult for lower and middle class kids to go to college. If you apply to an expensive school and it doesn't give you enough financial aid, it's a sign that the school does not want you there badly enough. It should be heeded.

                There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                by upstate NY on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 01:49:35 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe, but does that mean... (9+ / 0-)

      ...that there should be no consumer protections at all? I don't think that's right. No one said that we should make students "judgement proof." Perhaps the federal government should be doing the loaning, as they could recover from non-payers via the IRS in the worst case scenario?

      Personally, I don't see the non-payment problem as being that huge, especially given the figures cited. Ideally, I'd love to see college costs easily affordable. The multiplier effect would be huge on our economy as people of all ages returned to schools (colleges, trade schools, etc.).

      Disclaimer: I have about $30K in student loans and I would not have been able to return to college in my 40's without them.

      "Ridicule may lawfully be employed where reason has no hope of success." -7.75/-6.05

      by QuestionAuthority on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 05:59:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There have been studies of universities (9+ / 0-)

      that actually found little waste, and in the final analysis, they are highly efficient enterprises.

      The reason tuition costs are rising is because of hugely decreased gov't support and the concomitant will of schools to continue providing 35% aid with tuition revenue. If only schools decided to get rid of financial aid, tuitions would instantly drop by 35%.

      I'm not counseling that, by the way.

      I also think tuitions are pretty low at the majority of state universities. My state university is still below 5k for an entire year. Most are below 10k.

      There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

      by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:27:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Would've been useful two years ago (9+ / 0-)

    when I spent a year unemployed after graduating from law school and ran up $15K on the credit cards because recently graduated students aren't eligible for unemployment.

    •  Most people wouldnt, but... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden, JanL, ilex, Lujane, JesseCW

      I think had you sat down and seriously considered your options, and weighed the negative consequences of filing, you would not have done such a thing for wont of 15 grand.  Most people wouldn't, anyway.

      When bankruptcy was the same for student loan debt as all other debt, less than 1 percent was discharged in BK...Far less...

      Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

      by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 05:43:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  $15K in credit card debt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Argyrios

        $90K in law school student loans.  I probably would have for $105K.  Hell I may have even bought myself an LCD before filing...I still have an old school 32 inch.

        It sucks being poor.

        Hope Change comes faster.

        by angry liberaltarian on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:22:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  mkay (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          neroden, JanL, pkbarbiedoll

          Well, you'd be in the minority along with others with no compunctions about welching on their debts.  To each his own.  Most recent grads...about 99 percent by my best guess...do not share your ethics in this regard.

          Remember, students would not be having to borrow so much had the lending interests never fucked around with bankruptcy protections.  This is a critical, free market mechanism for price control that they blew out of the water, stole from under the feet of the borrowers without so much as a warning, thank you, or otherwise.  That they will suffer some losses as a result of returning bankruptcy is really of their own making, and any nominal losses are but a flea on the dog of the massive revenue they have sucked out of the system while the sucking was good.  They can bitch and moan and play little pr games, but they ultimately will walk away grinning from ear to ear at what they pulled off.

          Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

          by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:41:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  This issue justs sends my blood pressure (24+ / 0-)

    thru the roof. It clearly illustrates all that is wrong with our higher education system.

    It's a sham against young people that will reverberate for the next 50 years.

    I support a complete amnesty. Fuck all the profiteers.

    After all is said and done, a lot more is said than done.

    by Brahman Colorado on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 05:36:34 AM PDT

    •  It's more the financial system... (10+ / 0-)

      It truly is now designed to prey upon people. Everywhere you turn you’ll find another example. Move move wealth upwards.

    •  It's not a sham. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cardinal96, yella dawg, Rich in PA, MGross

      Come on.

      Public higher education in this country is still highly subsidized.

      What do people want?

      I hope everyone realizes we still lead the world in subsidizing education.

      You think the Swedes aren't taking out more subsidized loans than we are every year? In the USA, the max is $5.2k for undergrad. In Sweden it's $10k.

      There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

      by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:46:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Uh, I don't think we lead the world in that (0+ / 0-)

        Look at the cost of college in, say, the UK, Germany, or France for qualified applicants.

        I think perhaps we lead the world in number of people admitted to college with subsidies, but not in terms of the subisidies for the most qualified.

        -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

        by neroden on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:43:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We do lead the world in subsidy per capita (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MGross

          We subsidize higher ed more than any other country.

          You can compare say the University of Toronto to the top say 25 American public universities. The U of T is a fantastic school, but the cost per student isn't even half of the average cost per student at the top 25 American U's, and yet UT's tuition is on average higher.

          There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

          by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:06:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  What people should do (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bruh1

        is look at how it was before the universal loan-based system was implemented. As I stated upthread, there was a time not all that long ago when poor people could work an extra job and send their kids to college, and it was routine that kids could pay their tuition by working one full-time summer job.

        How we got here from there? It was part of the plan.

        "Too big to fail" is not too big to jail.

        by Angela Quattrano on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:43:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It has nothing to do with loans (0+ / 0-)

          Back when tuition was much cheaper in the 1980s, subbed loans were capped at 3k. Now they are at 5.5k. That's not much of a difference over 30 years.

          I already posted an article on why education costs are up. Lack of state support is the main reason. Things were much cheaper when we had the GI Bill, and the cold war, and huge gov't research outlays.

          We, as a nation, do not care as much about education as we used to. The best universities, though, are carrying on research and to do so, the costs go higher. You are asking them to devolve. I can sympathize with them being cheaper but that would mean also a devolution in the quality of schools.

          But we already have state schools that are cheap and which do not offer the range of programs that the public flagship schools do. Satellite campuses abound.

          There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

          by upstate NY on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 01:52:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Hold on (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JanL, yella dawg

    are you saying that the GOVERNMENT gets the excess collected on defaulted loans?

    If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

    by marykk on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 05:42:07 AM PDT

  •  Any HS students (15+ / 0-)

    or others thinking college - let me just say I wholeheartedly endorse this piece by Brooklynbadboy...

    All told, I went about $35K total in the hoc to attend a glitzy private school because it was supposed to be 'worth it' (and this was more than 15 years ago, when we were talking $20K tuition, not $40K annually).

    Financially, it was a mistake.  I could have quite easily graduated with the same degree and most certainly be in the same position professionally I am now had I simply stayed in state and attended my state's university... graduating with zero debt.

    Don't get me wrong, met some great people - friends I still hold dear to this day, it was a great education, and I also had a lot of wonderful experiences... but in retrospect, especially for a bachelors - it was the dead wrong call.

    Being in a position now where I actually do a bit of hiring and working others who do likewise - I have yet to hear of single instance and certainly it has never entered the equation for me where it came down to BA/BS from private A vs. BA/BS from public B.

    Unless your family is fortunate enough to afford the massive outlay upfront or your private choice offers you a lavish grant and aid package that isn't loan-based - it's not a good investment.

    I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

    by zonk on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 05:47:05 AM PDT

    •  The chance of the massive financial aid package (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling, yella dawg, MKSinSA, tardis10

      is still a reason to apply to a mix of public and private.

      Hoping and praying that the empty chairs and empty tables in Iran when all is said and done are as few as possible.

      by Cassandra Waites on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:24:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pletzs, Cassandra Waites

        Though - applications weren't free (and I imagine they're not now, either).

        I'm just saying that everyone under the sun insisted the calculus of post-aid (and I did get a fair bit of aid in grants from my ultimate private choice) costs made it worthwhile.

        15 years after the fact - I don't see it.

        Among friends who went to the same school, friends from high school who didn't, and professionals I work with -- still don't see it.

        I'm not arguing against the value of higher education in a vacuum - I'm saying I've seen zero evidence personally and around me that the 'brand name markup' is worth it.

        I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

        by zonk on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:30:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  As someone working in higher education, (5+ / 0-)

      I totally agree.

      For a terminal BS or BA degree, the sweet spot is definitely the state school level. Unless you plan to go on to grad school, your BS/BA from Harvard is not going to do anything for you that a BS/BA degree from Colorado or Oregon or Iowa won't do for you.

      Certainly these kids that are going $50-$100k in debt for their undergraduate study are getting very bad advice indeed. There is no way that an undergraduate degree justifies that kind of expense, no matter what your goals are. If you're paying big $$$ to a selective private school as an undergrad, it means you weren't a top-tier student. Even if your goals are grad school, you're better off saving your money, going to your state school, and getting 'A' grades and great recommendation letters there than you are spending $100k for 'B' grades at the high-end private school.

      Save your borrowing for grad school, and even then, be very careful: often the grad school game is a trap. You borrow lots of money to go and get degrees (MA/MS, PhD) that can ultimately make you less employable in a great many fields due to seeming overqualified. Once that happens, you're only really "fit" to be an academic and work inside the higher education system. The problem is that there are only a handful of jobs around the nation available every year in most fields and you and your graduate student loans are competing with hundreds of other recent graduates and their student loans for these jobs, as well as with the top-tier graduates that have no loan debt because they went through the entire system on scholarship—a difference that they are careful to point out on their CVs, in competition with yours.

      Unless you're a late bloomer who didn't qualify for scholarships early on but are now highly competitive and at the top of your game, student loans are a very tricky row to hoe at any level, the only exception being professional degrees (doctor, dentist, nurse, etc.) where the job/career path is clear, likely to work out, and lucrative enough that there is some minimal likelihood of actually being able to pay the loans back.

      -9.63, 0.00
      I am not a purity troll. I am a purity warrior.

      by nobody at all on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:21:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And even better (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        yella dawg

        if you're on a tight budget, is to live at home and go to your local community college for the first 2 yrs. Work with the advisers there and at the 4 yr school you want to attend for the last 2 yrs to make sure your courses transfer the way you want. If you're going to stay in your state system, chances are very good there's a program at the community college that will transfer entirely.

        WAY cheaper, lots more help (and more easily available), and that BA/BS still says the same thing as those who went there the entire time.

        Hell, you can even transfer to that big fancy school, and you might even get more financial help. There are transfer scholarships, honors scholarships, and you're more likely to get accepted than you might have been right out of HS.

  •  As someone who went thru a bankruptcy (27+ / 0-)

    in the early '00s, I've lived through this.

    Not only was my student loan not included, it kept get bigger with larger monthly payments. They only offered periods of no payment, but they then took all the interest from those periods and added it to the principle.

    I've been unable to work for a few years now and I can't get them to respond to requests for hardship consideration, either.

    I finally gave up. The paperwork comes and the numbers get bigger and there is nothing I can do.

    It weighs on me quite heavily. Especially since it will impact my daughter's ability to get student loans later.

    THe whole thing is a travesty.

    •  Yep (8+ / 0-)

      This is what they do.  It is predatory, it is cruel, it is unjust, and it corrupts the entire system.

      Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

      by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 05:51:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You have an option now (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alumbrados, askew, martini, yella dawg, Losty

      Look into IBR.

      They will reduce your payments and in some cases forgive your loans after 10 years.

      The culture of student loans is now 100x better than when I graduated in 1990.

      Obama and some congressman have done a helluva lot.

      There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

      by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:47:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What is IBR??? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        martini

        If anything could help my situation (similar to UnaSpenser's), I would like to look into it.

        •  See below (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          martini
        •  Check this out (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          martini, yella dawg, Focusmarker

          http://www.ibrinfo.org

          Here's a calculator to see if it would help you.

          http://www.ibrinfo.org/...

          It reduces your monthly payment, and if you work in public service, all loans are forgiven after 10 years.

          The only hitch with this program at this point is for married people that file jointly, who both work. There's a glitch there. It has caused many married people to start filing taxes separately to take advantage of the cost reductions.

          There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

          by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:17:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Here's the info (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          neroden, martini, MKinTN, Focusmarker, Joieau

          "Income-Based Repayment (IBR) is a new payment option for federal student loans. It can help borrowers keep their loan payments affordable with payment caps based on their income and family size. For most eligible borrowers, IBR loan payments will be less than 10 percent of their income - and even smaller for borrowers with low earnings. IBR will also forgive remaining debt, if any, after 25 years of qualifying payments."

          Note that after 25 years the debt is forgiven, but according to the research , IRS will tax the forgiven debt.

          •  Bruh, that tax for forgiven debt (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Alumbrados, neroden, martini, Focusmarker

            was recently wiped out in new laws that have been approved by congress, but not yet signed.

            As well, that tax was only applicable when a person had significant assets.

            If you have a mortgage, for instance, that's more than your loan forgiveness amount after 10 years, that tax is not applicable.

            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

            by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:21:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Okay, that I didn't know. thanks. (0+ / 0-)

              Do you know if that's applicable to new borrowers or existing borrowers?

              •  Well, the IBR program is just coming (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                bruh1, neroden, martini

                on line now, July 1st for many.

                So, new borrowers and existing borrowers alike are in the same boat since it takes AT LEAST 10 years for loans to be forgiven.

                This means that in 10 years, people will not have tax bills to pay for amount of forgiven loans.

                I have to say though that the program needs to be watched closely because there are so many new updates, generally improvements. I got a letter this month telling me there would be a new interest rate reset, and that I should wait for the July reset to begin my program, or I could instead write a letter and ask them to begin immediately if the reset would have no effect on my loan. If I spent less time writing on DailyKos I could actually write that letter and save myself say $100 by beginning the loan program a month earlier.

                There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:06:56 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Respectfully... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bruh1, neroden

              What law?  I saw a ruling that is as easy to wipe out as bankruptcy protections were to steal, but I've seen no law.

              Please cite the bill/amendment.

              Attempting to present these earned benefits as appropriate substitutes for consumer protections is Also a hugely harmful thing to do for the public interest.  These programs do nothing to correct the completely perverted and anti-student motivations of the corrupted system as it exists today, and quite frankly, I would appreciate you not dancing all over this post if you cannot challenge the argument that I put forth directly.  I have had hundreds of sophisticated banking apologists, and pawns of the Department maneuver similarly.  Not in the interest of meaningful debate, but rather in a thuglike attempt to stop debate.

              Do you have an argument for why standard bankruptcy protections should not be returned.  If so, let's hear it.  If not, then why not spend your time and energy on a post  that you wish to engage directly?

              Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

              by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:08:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Your ad hom attacks are tiring (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                yella dawg
                1. You totally misrepresented the plight of public service workers with low pay. Public workers are protected.
                1. You don't know basic laws on tax forgiveness, apparently, which state that in case of insolvency (i.e. having more debt than net assets, or having net assets below a certain limit) you re not responsible for tax on debt forgiveness. You act as if I'm making this up.

                Read here: http://www.irs.gov/...

                I can only guess you're responding like so because I'm pointing out facts.

                You attack universities, and I point out studies which contradict you.

                I don't know what more I can do. Each time you ask for facts, I provide them. I've linked to the IBR program, I've linked to the commission on higher education, now I'm linking to the IRS tax code.

                You can just go on pretending I haven't already responded to you with sources in my other posts. This latest of yours is yet another clear and deliberate attempt to pretend I haven't already responded to you.

                There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:56:02 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  His tone while bad does make (0+ / 0-)

                  a good point, which is that the programs like IBR does not address the systemic issues that are involved in incurring the debt in the debt in the first place. If schools do not cost so much- then students would not need IBR to cover up what is at base a cost problem. that's my perception at least.

                  •  I am in partial agreement (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    yella dawg

                    But I have been pointing out that I'm in favor of subsidized loans (which are presently capped at 5.2k a year) and also public education (with its low tuition between 4k and 10k).

                    This means college is still very affordable, especially when you take into account $6k in Pell Grants a year.

                    Taking unsubsidized loans out for private school tuition is crazy, IMO.

                    But the diarist is against subsidized loans. Why?

                    Public schools are heavily subsidized, more than anywhere else in the entire world, still, even after a decade of huge cutbacks. Public schools are an fantastic bargain.

                    There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                    by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:09:57 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I disagree with your figures (0+ / 0-)

                      The average debt of most under grads is 20k, and with a grad degree it rises to 60-80k.

                      This is in an environment where wages are stagnant.

                      4k to 10k per year is only "low" if you ignore the greater financial context. This is a little  like the discussion of how people thought the American middle class could afford health insurance above the subsidies cut off. To understand why the number is a problem is to understand the middle class squeeze and how it works.

                      No debt is too great if you got the money for it. Any debt is too great if you don't.

                      And your statement about public universes being subsidize more than the rest of the world is factually false.

                      •  What figures do you disagree with? (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        yella dawg

                        I'm talking about undergraduate education.

                        Graduate education is a whole separate thing. The only way someone's grad degree costs that much is if they went into the professions, law and medicine, etc. In the Humanities and Sciences, grad degrees are free.

                        Education degrees are usually undertaken at publics.

                        Let's say the tuition is 7.5k on average. A middle class student has 5.2k in subsidized loans, they can also 8k in working low hours (10 during school year and 30 in summer). That's 15k while tuition is 7.5k.

                        I guarantee you that American state universities are subsizided more than any other country in the world. And it's not even close. Give me a country and we'll do the comparison. Cost per student at U. Toronto is 12k and tuition is around 9k. Look at American state universities and you'll find the same range in tuition but cost per student is double if not triple. Sweden it's just like Toronto, and this is the country that outstrips every other country in terms of social spending. Swedish students take out $10k in loans, but the cost per student is still around $11k.

                        American public universities--through taxpayer subsidy, endowment, research grant--cost 2 to 3x per student over tuition. And that subsidy is by far the highest in the entire world.

                        There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                        by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:40:23 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I provided the basis of my my disagreement (0+ / 0-)

                          elow. Median income in the US is 45 to 50 k, and stagnant. You have to use these figures in the context of all other things that the middle class is expected to pay for that have been increasing over the years as well as whether education costs have been increasing- which tuition cost inflation is covered here:

                          http://www.finaid.org/...

                          One can not have a realistic discussion of education without including the cost of grad education for most professional positions.

                          •  Most professional positions? (0+ / 0-)

                            When I used the word "professional" I'm using it in a limited sense. I use it in terms of training for specific professions which is not at al what the majority of grad work is all about. Yes, MBAs and doctors and lawyers pay through the nose. But the vast majority of grad students are not doctors and lawyers and MBAs.

                            I don't know what the answer is for lawyers and doctors that don't find high-paying jobs.

                            I do know though that the people that go on for humanities or science grad work have their education covered with the exception of education.

                            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                            by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:49:42 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I am looking at the broad swath of jobs that (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            thethinveil

                            pay a living wage.

                            Also, my numbers on education cost inflation is a bit deceiving because its actually worse than I describe:

                            http://www.nytimes.com/...

                          •  Are we still talking about grad school? (0+ / 0-)

                            Because the vast majority of grad students have their education paid for with assistantships. They go on to wide swath of jobs.

                            The professional schools (law, medicine, business) do not provide that assistance.

                            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                            by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:57:18 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  we are discussing the entire education (0+ / 0-)

                            system. You are parsing it into under grad and grad. My thesis is that overall, even when looking at just undergrad, and just public, our system is more expensive for students. There is just no way around that. Or that the inflation we are facing is higher because its been in part occuring longer for students in th eUS. There's a reason that people are thinking of going to countries like Canada to get their education.

                            Listen I woould love to conintue this, but I got to do my real work now. See you later.

                          •  Canada costs more (0+ / 0-)

                            Seriously, look at U. Toronto tuition, and the costs per student are much lower.

                            I'm not parsing anything, I just know that the majority of grad students do not go into loan debt because they're education is paid for. Law, medical, business do go into debt.

                            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                            by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:08:56 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Trying to understand this (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          jsquared

                          I guarantee you that American state universities are subsizided more than any other country in the world. And it's not even close.

                          So what you are saying is that in most countries, where tuition is a small fraction of what US students pay (or even free), that the government is not subsidizing them to any great extent.

                          That says to me not that we are paying great subsidies, but that the cost of education is hugely inflated in the US due to a generation of the influence of predatory student lending, which is the main difference between their systems and ours.

                          "Too big to fail" is not too big to jail.

                          by Angela Quattrano on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:55:44 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Errr, no. They have different systems than we do. (0+ / 0-)

                            They have fewer classes. They don't conduct nearly the same amount of research. They have 3x as many students to faculty.

                            When our costs per student are doubled to theirs, that's at least a $10k difference in subsidy, and likely more than that.

                            Whereas our tuition costs are between 4k and 10k at public schools. Some Euros are in the 1k or 2k range while others are above even the American public average. The difference between say, an average tuition bill of $8k and 1 or 2k is smaller than the difference in subsidized cost per student.

                            European schools do not do have half the research resources of American schools.

                            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                            by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:00:46 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Actually, if you look at the for-profit education (0+ / 0-)

                            sector - U. of Phoenix, Devry, etc. - their costs are very high given the amenities and lack of research.  The huge growth of that sector has indeed been fueled by student lending, much of it highly irresponsible.

                    •  Here's some data that I google (0+ / 0-)

                      quickly to illustrate the point about cost and funding by the government abroad and in the US

                      http://hubpages.com/...

                      like in this country, there's a neo-liberal assault that's just begining in the EU, but the idea that they are worse off in terms of funding is false:

                      http://www.time.com/...

                      They are still facing rising costs, but like with health care, not as much as the US.

                      As I have said, comparing the relative costs to the middle class in key areas like health, education , retirement, housing, etc are things that interest me as I think this is the central problem of the US right now.

                      •  First off, I'm not talking about private (0+ / 0-)

                        schools. 85% of American college students attend public schools, so let's focus on the publics since those are the only ones that are gov't subsidized and also most other countries don't even have a significant presence in private schools.

                        You're looking at low tuition at some European schools, but you're not taking into account costs per student. In the USA, we spend more on cost per student than any other country, and that's precisely why we have the best Higher Ed system in the world, with more schools ranked higher than anywhere else, even though Europe had a great head start, since we didn't get going on Higher Ed until the GI Bill.

                        I was at the U. of Padova one year and they maintain low costs with infrequent class meetings, massive lectures, a LOT less research. European schools don't have anywhere near the research capabilities on average as American schools. This means the cost per student is much lower than the US. This is why we subsidize education MORE here even though our public tuitions tend to be higher (for the most part, as in some countries they are actually higher than ours).

                        There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                        by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:46:58 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  The inflation is also occuring at public schools (0+ / 0-)

                          "The cost of public college has tripled since 1980.  The average annual increase is 6.5%.  "

                          http://www.freeby50.com/...  

                          this is still much higher than average inflation

                          I will get into the cost per student later and issues of subsidies which are actually per student not as high. There is just no way your argument is valid in terms of what the data says.

                  •  IBR doesn't yet exist (0+ / 0-)

                    He has been writing the whole thread as though this were a program that has been in place for the whole time that students should have been making use of.

                    "Too big to fail" is not too big to jail.

                    by Angela Quattrano on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:51:00 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  OH (0+ / 0-)

                  OH...you mean to say I belittle the plight of borrowers who may qualify for PSLF.

                  No, on the contrary, I think its a worthwhile program for a relatively small number of students with large debt and low pay, and the tenacity, and planning skills to stick in a job, and not fall out of the program no matter what.

                  That in no way serves as a basis for discounting the urgent and critical need for the immediate return of full bankruptcy protections to student loans.  It distracts, and deflects, but it does not do more than that.  So why would I waste time talking about it, let alont "belittling" borrowers who are tiptoeing upon a mountain of extremely dangerous debt.  I more than anyone, empathize with their plight. That is all I have to say on that subject.  I've written a number of essays on IBR, but I did not come here to discuss it.

                  On tax forgiveness, I'm not sure that code you mention was the basis for the claim that the forgiven amount would not bne taxable income...I would have to go back aways to myold notes to see, but I do know that the people who designed IBR were concerned enough to seek a  ruling on the matter, and have yet to get anything signed into law that I am aware of.  A ruling is just that.  Laws can be changed, bureaucracies can find cracks where the previous administration saw none...nevermind.  My only point is that IBR is absolutely no stand in for bankruptcy and other protections,and never will be.

                  See my post above regarding universities.

                  "What more you can do for me":

                  You can start by either refuting my argument that full bankruptcy protections must be returned, claiming that IBR and whatever else is a satisfactory alternative to bankruptcy protections, or otherwise proving that my argument is not a good one.

                  OR...you can agree with the argument, and we can go forward with figuring out how to get Congress to act to restore bankruptcy protections for both private and federal loans as an obvious first step to restoring functionality to the lending system, and fairness, relief, hope, etc to the students and former students.

                  I would like to understand what this elitist attitude is, though coming from people claiming to be all kinds of liberal.  Not meaning this personally, just stating what I am seeing, and wondering how a progressive liberal could ever reconcile a state sponsored, predatory lending racket such as this, and fight economic slavery and extortion of workers around the globe at the same time.  

                  Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

                  by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:13:17 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Here we go again (0+ / 0-)

                    OH...you mean to say I belittle the plight of borrowers who may qualify for PSLF.

                    No, on the contrary, I think its a worthwhile program for a relatively small number of students with large debt and low pay, and the tenacity, and planning skills to stick in a job, and not fall out of the program no matter what.

                    Just use the IBR calculator. It applies to a lot of people. It isn't for lowpay unless you mean that people making $50k are lowpay. Put in the GAI of someone making 50k and then an onerous loan amount and you'll see a substantial reduction.

                    That in no way serves as a basis for discounting the urgent and critical need for the immediate return of full bankruptcy protections to student loans.  It distracts, and deflects, but it does not do more than that.  

                    You keep diminishing IBR as a distraction, and it's just bull. It is substantial and helps a lot of people out, especially gov't workers.

                    I've written a number of essays on IBR, but I did not come here to discuss it.

                    You should be discussing it because you wrote that loans are a disincentive against taking up public service when the obvious is the case. How can you make such claims when IBR exists? You say you don't want to discuss IBR but IBR directly contradicts what you wrote about public workers.

                    On tax forgiveness, I'm not sure that code you mention was the basis for the claim that the forgiven amount would not bne taxable income...I would have to go back aways to myold notes to see, but I do know that the people who designed IBR were concerned enough to seek a  ruling on the matter, and have yet to get anything signed into law that I am aware of.  A ruling is just that.

                     

                    I provided the IRS page on the Debt Forgiveness Act, what more would you need?

                    You can start by either refuting my argument that full bankruptcy protections must be returned, claiming that IBR and whatever else is a satisfactory alternative to bankruptcy protections, or otherwise proving that my argument is not a good one.

                    Here you go again making stuff up, and putting words in my mouth. Never said any of what you wrote.

                    I would like to understand what this elitist attitude is, though coming from people claiming to be all kinds of liberal.

                    I would like to understand a lot of things about life, but usually when I really want to understand, I don't label someone in order to come to an understanding.

                    yes, I'm an elitist!! Indeed!

                    There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                    by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:22:36 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  cmon now. (0+ / 0-)

                      Lets be clear:

                      I wrote this article making my argument. I would like to argue this argument.  That is why I wrote the article!

                      You make unsupportable claims that doing what I argue for would be bad.  I ask you to support your claim that students would run out and file, and you cannot.

                      Then, you start emphasizing IBR.  You don't say its a viable alternative, you just kind of keep pointing tot it  That is being distractive, not engaging, and its a little insulting.

                      I've told you my thoughts on IBR, but you haven't even claimed anything about it that I can tell, so you;'ve effectively derailed the conversation, as if that was your intention all along.  

                      That would be like me saying me saying Ronald Reagan was a great president, and you saying yea, but Elvis had a cooler haircut!

                      I have no interest in arguing with myself.  It is your floor to show how IBR is a good substitute for bankruptcy protections, or whatever you are trying to say.  To continue prancing around its going to earn you the title of shill.

                      Anyways, I think I'm nearly done here, but I do appreciate the interchange.

                      Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

                      by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 12:26:55 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Go on putting forth (0+ / 0-)

                        misinformation about universities, public service workers, etc., consolidating loans, without expecting to be called on it.

                        I prefer a fact based community.

                        There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                        by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 12:36:46 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  ok pal (0+ / 0-)

                          I prefer fact based community, and actual exchanges where the one party responds to the others points instead or embarassing themselves with insults that belie the lack of an argument.

                          Seriously man I suspect you are not a hack, but are just picking where you think it might catch.  You gain yourself nothing by defending universities against a phenomenon that they can either recognize as inevitable, embrace, and claim as their own, and deal with, or ignore for another year or so until all borrowers, literally, simply lose confidence in the lending system en masse.  I think there would be a bit more egg on the face of academia in thelatter case than in the former, but if you insist on legitimizing and defending the obvious excesses in university budgets (simply look at the salary trends of Presidents and Trustees over the past two decades compared to CPI, inflation, or any other measure and my point is proven), then I am happy to walk away, shaking my head, and laughing at your peculiar reaction.

                          Its funny how some people simply will never admit you are right until forced to.  The next time they will say you were lucky the first time, and assert even more strongly that you are wrong.  The third time...They usually distance themselves from you before the third time happens.  Another odd human trait that seems to enjoy the environs of college campuses!

                          But if you seriously believe I have misrepresented exaggerated, or failed to acknowledge fact in favor of falsity to suit my argument anywhere at all on this board, as you intimate above, then put something credible behind it, like your real name at a minimum.   Otherwise you fall the way of all the other student loan industry goons who are happy to stop truth with bullshit if that's what it takes, and I would hate to have that sort of an opinion about you.  Stubborness can be a positive if there is a realistic probability that your adversary will give up.  Otherwise it gains you little.

                          Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

                          by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 04:09:22 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Salaries of Trustees, eh? (0+ / 0-)

                            Show me.

                            The article I gave you already discussed President's fees.

                            It made the case that, since gov'ts stopped funding higher ed, schools have appointed figurehead/fund-raising presidents. If a President doesn't get 50x his weight in beating the bushes for contributions, he gets fired. It didn't used to be this way. Presidents used to do the job that the Provost now does, which is overseeing the university. This is why at many schools the presidents aren't even academics but business people.

                            Insults? That's pretty laughable that you wrote that after the way you conduct yourself in this thread, every post is littered with strawmen and ad hominem attacks.

                            Put my real name behind it?

                            First time that has ever been the bottom line on DailyKos.

                            You have an incredibly inflated opinion of your self worth.

                            It's laughable.

                            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                            by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:07:04 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  ok (0+ / 0-)

                            Peace Bro.

                            Nothing personal, but we're done here.

                            Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

                            by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:41:05 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

              •  You make a good point that (0+ / 0-)

                these programs do nothing to provide an incentive credits and/or schools to negotiate in good faith with students if the student is having repayment problems and/or to create an incentive to address rising costs. That's the value of a bankruptcy approach or some creditor inclusive approach to debt. IBR, like other financing schemes, create the illusion of having addressed the underlying cause. Thus, in that sense, you are right that it's not doing that.

                •  exactly (0+ / 0-)

                  That is my point exactly.  As a student, I would rather have the universities, lenders, guarantors, etc interested in seeing me succeed scholastically, prosper professionally and swiftly repay my sltudent loan debt rather than waiting in the weeds for the perfect time to really sink the hooks in.

                  I really do not think that is too much to ask.

                  Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

                  by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 04:12:32 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Your description of IBR is incorrect (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        martini, MKinTN, Focusmarker, Joieau

        For anyone who is interested, I did a google search and found it within seconds:

        http://www.ibrinfo.org/...

        http://www.google.com/...

        Obama started a good idea, but the idea doesn't go far enough,a nd it is not applicable to present loan holders.

    •  If you're talking about government loans (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden

      the debt can be excused through "total and permanent disability".  It requires not working for three years and documentation from your doctor.  Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is allowed.  During the three year wait period those torturous collection calls stop.  I know this is possible because I did it and succeeded. Now I have been helping a friend to do the same thing.  

      Call the Department of Ed to request an application.  There is an Office of Total and Permanent Disability that ends up handling your case and they are very good on the phone.  As I said it does mean not working for three years but in my case it was worth it.

      •  Forgot to mention... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        neroden

        During the three years not only do the calls stop but the debt stops growing.  In the end I even got back a tax payment that the IRS had taken after I applied.

        •  What if you haven't worked for three years (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joieau

          but you aren't disabled -- or have no medical documentation to prove it?

          Are there any relief programs for that?

          "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

          by Brooke In Seattle on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:47:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You need a doctor to state (0+ / 0-)

            that you are "totally and permanently" disabled.

          •  Nope. (0+ / 0-)

            My daughter was electrocuted by bad wiring at her first theater tech job after graduating with that BA degree (when she was 32, a single mother non-trad student), developed epilepsy. The college where it happened was so worried she'd report it and get their buildings inspected (they would all have failed) they fired her and refused to pay her medical bills. I very calmly said I'd sue the shit out of them, they paid those emergency medical bills. She cannot work in the field anymore (no bright, flashing lights, no catwalks, no tall ladders, etc.). She has had short retail jobs here and there but nothing this year. High unemployment area, they're not going to hire a 40-year old epileptic over twenty other younger, healthier applicants for a low-wage dead-end job. Her degree means nothing.

            She has no insurance, lives here at home and we're glad to have her. But we can't afford the series of specialists and very expensive tests necessary to even apply for disability. She tried to get Medicaid, but there's a 2-year waiting list and so far she's managed to get some wage work here and there for short periods which knocks her to the bottom of the list again. If she can work 20-30 hours a week selling art and craft supplies (what she did in her last minimum wage, no-benefit job), she's not disabled and not in need of medical care. A third of her salary was taken for the loans, just interest and charges have more than quadrupled the original debt. Now she makes nothing at all, the interest and fees just keep on piling up.

            She can work low-stress retail, but those jobs are diminishing instead of growing. And don't pay enough to live on or pay off what was originally just $3000 worth of student loan for her senior year (we'd paid the rest plus she had Pell and a work-study grant). Being behind on that loan, even those shit jobs are unavailable if tied to credit rating. Going to college got her crippled and impoverished for life. Definitely not worth it, which is just how it's designed to be.

            Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

            by Joieau on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:38:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Industrial Age. Information Age. Loan Shark Age. (7+ / 0-)

    A good lesson for the young wise guys that the world's economy is now based on playing consumers for suckers. As Elvis Costello said, "Welcome To The Working Week".

  •  Return of bankruptcy protection? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, marykk, MGross

    Student loans weren't dischargable in bankruptcy in the 1980s, and haven't been since then.  Were they ever?  Don't think I'm wrong on this.  And loan bill passed in spring does cut out the middleman, allowing schools to loan directly.  Son will be starting college in fall, and unlike when I was in school, we have not dealt with a bank at all, or signed anything involving a bank -- just the school.

  •  Two points (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GN1927, SingleVoter, martini, Rich in PA

    a) Consumer protection and low cost services to the middle class is how I frame these discussions since that's how I see each of these issues whether it is health care, education or retirement.

    I think some kind of modified bankruptcy should be allowed for student  loans, but with a higher standard for normal bankruptcy when the debt is backed by the government. The standard should be the same as all other loans when the debt is based by the private sector.

    b) The real problem with education is cost. Not financing. Ultimately, all the reforms to financing system in the world will not address the crisis in out of control cost of education, which like health care, has been increasing a rates that is much greater than inflation. Like with health care, people tend to focus on the financing (Health insurance in health care and student loans in education), but that's tweaking at the edges of the real problem.

    Wages are stagnant and not growing, and thus, while costs are going up at higher than inflation, this means that an increasing number of people will be able to afford the debt they either have or will be expected to incur.

    That in a nutshell is the middle class predicament in America that needs to addressed. Financing, while important, is not the ultimate solution since going into debt is what Americans have been doing since neo-liberalism took over our society under Reagan.

    •  Good points, but.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StateofEuphoria, evilhoodedcrow

      I agree that cost is the driving problem, but due to the predatory lending and collection system, all entities...including the oversight entity (Dept. of Ed and the guarantors), have financial interests in the cost going UP, not DOWN!!!

      If the Department of Education were actually losing money when students defaulted, they would be compelled to actually do their job, and encourage high quality, low cost, and ultimately a low default rate due to student success.

      Because they are not losing money, but rather are realizing a net profit on defaulted loans, they really are just sitting back, going through the motions, wringing their hands, collecting their salaries, and saying they did what they could. If Secretary Duncan and others in the Department actually wanted prices to go down, quality to go up, etc, they would flex their muscle, and the effect on cost would be significant.  I would thrown in some risk sharing by the universities as well so that their interests, too, were aigned with the success of the student.  This is how you keep prices realistic.  Until these interests are made right, it will never happen.

      I disagree that there should be restrictions on bankruptcy protections for federal student loans.  There are no restrictions on any other federally guaranteed loan, and there is a clear public benefit associated with our citizens getting educated.  If anything, bankruptcy should be Easier to do then for private loans with no associated public benefit...not harder!

      Remember also that the bankruptcy laws have been strengthened considerably to prevent fraud, abuse, etc.  Most people with gainful employment will ultimately pay a significant portion of the debt back...likely what was borrowed, and perhaps some interest.  They will NOT be strongarmed into repaying triple, quadruple, or even more than what was originally borrowers, however.  This is what is happening currently.

      Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

      by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:17:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I believe there can be (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Alumbrados

        reasonable restrictions that protect tax payers while also not completely closing the route off to students as consumers. Private student loans should be subject, of course, to no such restrictions, but the issue really is one of tax payer cost. I do agree with you that the changes in bankruptcy laws are already providing a frame work. What I think of as additional elements is to require perhaps a portion be repaid over a longer period o time rather than complete liquidation of the debt. Something like the other approach the president started this year, but if a student truly can not repay, to allow yet a third level- that is bankruptcy, and then finally maybe even a 4th tier where completely liquidation is allowed. THat way a process is created that will recover as much as possible without creating financial hardship for the middle class.

        •  The taxpayers are already protected (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bruh1

          The taxpayers are already protected.  They are making money, and alot of it, on defaulted loans,  They are free to continue to employ their strongarm tactics, and will likely retain much of their earnings, ill begotten as it is.  Also, the bankruptcy laws have already been designed to prevent fraud and abuse.

          The taxpayer needs no further protections.  Remember, this is a commodity that brings with it a huge public benefit.  In decades past, local and federal governments were quite willing to pay for this.  They should be willing...no....these loans should have at least the same level of consumer protections built in as credit cards, payday loans, and the like.  In fact, they should have far more.

          Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

          by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:22:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Another level of the problem - a significant (6+ / 0-)

    part of these student loans are taken out in the first place in order to pay off credit cards :(

    "Hector, why are you bowing before this 'Furkan Dogan' and calling him your better? I don't understand?" ~ Achilles

    by JesseCW on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:00:50 AM PDT

    •  actually (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Losty, evilhoodedcrow

      Actually, it is far more intelligent to do the exact opposite, given that you can get a reasonable rate on your credit card.  The lenders have no incentive to provide even laughably adequate customer service.  They would rather you defaulted, so they feel free to tack on every fee...and pyramid them ad infinitem, etc, etc...

      Did you know, for example, that Sallie Mae quickly paid over three million dollars in 2000 to settle a case where they were found to have defaulted many, many loans without even attempting to collect on the debt?  I think it was in the thousands, and I am quite certain that this was not an isolated event.  Many other lenders have been similarly sacntioned....how f'd up is that?  What does that tell you about their motivations?

      At least with credit cards there are Banruptcy protections, statutes of limitations, truth in lending requirements, etc.  Not so for student loans...and the credit card folks will work with you to avoid default or worse.

      Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

      by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:33:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Reasonable rate on credit card? (4+ / 0-)

        My loans are at 5.25%.

        In the future, loans will be at 3%.

        I don't want to reveal how my credit cards were raised laughably even though I have a great credit score, but in biblical times, my creditor would be in jail.

        There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

        by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:48:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Just make sure its retroactive. (7+ / 0-)

    I've been in what is considered default for almost 20 years now.

    I've been lucky, in that I've been making monthly payments (nowhere near the amount they want, but payments nonetheless) and that appears to have staved off wage garnishment/income tax seizure. (**knock on wood**)

    Id declare bankruptcy in a heartbeat to get rid of these stupid loans, so when we win this fight we need to make sure that it covers all existing loans. These loans were the worst mistake I ever made, and I warn everyone I can against them.

    Freedom of speech does not mean the freedom to lie without consequence; unless, apparently if you're a right wing talk-radio host.

    by Whimsical on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:01:38 AM PDT

  •  A Few Major Quibbles (7+ / 0-)

    First, if you make loans available to bankruptcy protection then good luck getting one anymore if you are majoring in say women's studies or french literature.

    Second,  speaking of those above mentioned programs, a big part of the problem with costs at state universities is the duplication of smaller/more specialized programs across the state system.  Those kinds of majors should be offered only at one branch of the state system in order to gain economies of scale and dramatically save costs.

    •  good point. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thethinveil, evilhoodedcrow

      I would agree if the system was privatized, but you still have a valid point assuming that federal loans are not sufficient to foot the bill.

      This is likely to be a fairly nasty process of determining how and who needs to cough up grant aid to allow these important fields to be studied by those students who want and deserve to be in those fields.

      Either the universities will lower their prices for these majors, shift resources to subsidize them, or the state local or federal government will need to subsidize these areas...like they did pre 1972.

      You raise a valid point, but this is in no way an argument for the continued absence of fundamental consumer protections from these loans.  Please see our website to understand the width and breadth of the economic destruction that is being perpetrated against our citizens as a result of this corrupted system.

      I frankly would like to see a return to local, state, and federal direct funding of the institutions rather than this messy, loan program slapped over the top.  The benefits of an educated citizenry is that important, I suspect.  There is little reason for the smoke and mirrors, and profiteering that comes with any loan program.

      Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

      by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:27:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Regulation rather than bankruptcy protection (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bruh1, thethinveil

    I prefer price controls (e.g., tuition, fees, books), interest caps, term and lifetime debt limits tied to ed credit loads. Student grants for board and food can be earned through work. School grants can be earned through compliance and grad rates.

    Keep it simple - schools should not be profit centers nor should students be enslaved to education or encumbered by debt.  

    A federal guarantee and cap of 2% for the lifetime of the loan including any fees is appropriate - only for tuition and books with term and lifetime min and max limits on school credits. Then community and state schools should cap tuition, fees, and books to cost. Private schools that receive aid or any assistance should follow the same schedule. Any increased school costs should be handled in other ways (e.g., projects, out of state or foreign students, endowments, r&d, corporate donations). Any increased student costs are the student's cost of living and not connected to school or debt.

  •  How about half way (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bruh1, Rich in PA, Cassandra Waites

    Make the first $50K as federally subsidized, everything after that has to come from private sources that are taking the risk of default.

    It will put pressure on schools to keep tuition costs down, and stop the predatory practices of certain for-profit colleges.  People who are getting educations that will actually enhance their opportunities in the work force will still be able to get loans (med students) above the $50K.

    Will it hamper some students from lower income famililes from persuing graduate degrees?  Yes, but the truth is if it's a degree that won't make them significantly more valuable at the end, why should tax payers pay for it?

    If there is anything I have learned from Scooby Doo, it is that the only thing to fear is crooked real estate developers.

    by JakeC on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:47:03 AM PDT

  •  Coupled with this.. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MKinTN, Rich in PA, thethinveil

    Something needs to be done to reign in the for-profit college businesses relying heavily on student loans by recruiting people not suited for college studies and loading them up with debt.

    From Business Week:

    Federal aid to students at for-profit colleges jumped from $4.6 billion in 2000 to $26.5 billion in 2009. Publicly traded higher education companies derive three-fourths of their revenue from federal funds, with Phoenix at 86%, up from just 48% in 2001 and approaching the 90% limit set by federal law.

    The Homeless at College

    "When people pee free. We've nothing to fear", Urinetown: The Musical

    by DemInGeorgia on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:53:08 AM PDT

  •  Part of the issue, though... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sparhawk, elfling, Cardinal96, virginwoolf

    ...is that bankruptcy is already disproportionately attractive to younger people so it's not illegitimate for lenders to fear the consequences of any encouragement to bankruptcy.  

    I agree, in general, with the commenters who want to look more at the cost structure of higher education.  Higher Ed spending is relative efficient in nominal terms but students and society are paying for a lot of peer-institution-driven stuff that is only "necessary" in a hot-house competitive sense that doesn't align with true excellence in teaching or research.  The physical conditions of campus life at higher-cost institutions are far too spiffy, and if the reason is that College X needs to compete with Colleges Y and Z, that's something we need to address rather than just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic of student financial distress and eventual bankruptcy.

    This machine makes fascists feel bad. (Meteor Blades-approved version)

    by Rich in PA on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:54:55 AM PDT

  •  The main problem is (6+ / 0-)

    the rampant inflation of tuition and fees at both private and public schools.  In 1979 when I enrolled at a public university, the resident tuition was $18.50 per semester credit.  Now it is $200 at the same school.  Now, that is still not in the territory of most schools, but a 1400% increase?!  Has there really been that kind of inflation in the last 30 years in anything else (except health care)?

    FAFSA guidelines are that the family is "expected" to foot most of the costs of education until age 24, unless the family really is impoverished.  It is not surprising then that the amount of tuition cost financed by loans has skyrocketed.  Nor is it surprising that an industry has sprung up to not only profit, but try to make a killing, on the lending, given that is the MO of the lending industry in every other sector.  Lack of bankruptcy protection has only given the industry more incentive to do this.

    As a matter of policy, it is incomprehensible to me that we have essentially destroyed the affordability of education in this country at the same time that we tout advanced eduation as the solution to the offshoring problem.  That is, unless most globalization proponents (read republican corporatists) are just talking out of their ass.  

  •  Worthless College Degrees (8+ / 0-)

    I agree we need better laws concerning student loans to protect the consumers of them.

    However I think there needs to be sort of a major push in order to sort of weed out people who shouldn't have them in the first place.

    As far as people getting out and not being able to pay them.

    I know two kids who went full time for 10 years and one finally snagged a degree in art and one has STILL never graduated. Meanwhile they use the loans to live on refusing to work. Also they have bought lots of consumer goods that have nothing to do with their education with the money.

    I think some people just don't want to work or don't know what to do after HS graduation and loans are easy to get and they just use college to delay getting into the real world.

    But that delay will cost them dearly in the long run.

    Also with free trade and the global economy a lot of degrees will not guarantee you a good job that you can pay back that loan with.

    While I am all for education for educations sake, I think if you are going to borrow money to get an education some counseling should be required to sort of let people know that it's not a good idea to change your major every time you get to the hard parts or get some degree that is super easy but will not help you get a job.

    I think even more distressing than the sketchy loans is the %age of kids who go to college, take out loans that are significant and then never graduate.

    Somebody maybe should tell them they'd for instance be better off in the long run if they lived at home, had a job and saved up that money for a downpayment on a house or invested it rather than wasting it by dropping out or getting some easy but worthless degree.

    •  That plan is not consistent with today's (4+ / 0-)

      globalized economy.  You will never compete with 50 cent per hour wages paid for labor overseas.  You can stay at home and save up all you want, but that is likely to lead to a dead end job and a permanent place in your mom's basement.  

      Unless we stop offshoring jobs by requiring companies that want to do business here to pay the full cost of their decision to operate mostly overseas (such as by paying the actual cost of the carbon used in transporation of goods), then we need to have a very highly educated workforce so as to remain competitive.  Now, I have my doubts that everyone is suited to such careers, or that people should be forced into them to escape poverty, but that is the course we are on.  If we are going to get there, then we need to find ways to motivate people to get education, and help them to be successful.  Encouraging them to work at Wal-Mart and live with mom and dad is not going to do that.  

  •  Living the Dream!!!!? (19+ / 0-)

    I am an attorney who had a rough five years preceeding my first decent position with a law firm. By the time I landed my first real job making a reasonable salary (70k), my 80k in debt had almost doubled.  Two years later my son was diagnosed with autism and my wife had to quit her job.  After exhausting my forbearance I now owe in the neighborhood of 220k. My debt has dictated everything in my life including where I can live in the country to what jobs I must toil in.  There is no "following my bliss." I have been stuck in a job transferring money between big corporations' bank accounts.  Is is truly disilussioning.
    I always say I came from a poor family and pursued the American dream, but now I am living the American nightmare.  I pay almost 1500.00 a month for loans and that basically address the interest only.  I will die in heaps of debt because of this shitty law that protects the cash flow of creepy corporate thugs. Where is my bailout?

    When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross - Sinclair Lewis

    by Chilipalmer on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:04:27 AM PDT

    •  You hopefully have a future (0+ / 0-)

      where you can make more money.

      I think I read that others have resigned themselves to just letting the creditors take the maximum (?) of 15% that can be garnished.

      [I'm not a lawyer and am not sure of this.]

      You are paying about 27% of your income in loan payments.

    •  I'm understand (4+ / 0-)

      Currently out of work with a 91,000 in debt. I expect at my current age of 50 I will have this debt till the day I die.
      It almost makes more sense to live in poverty than let the bastards take all that I earn.

      When the most virulent extremism attacks our country, it won't be shrouded in Islamic fatwas -- it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.

      by Kairos on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:31:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  thanks. (5+ / 0-)

      Thanks for injecting some reality into the discussion.  There's a little creepiness on this comment board, I would say.  Some of these people are simply determined to address the problem with sophisticated schemes, rather than simply returning the standard consumer protections that should never have been removed.

      I guess its fun to be a progressive liberal, until someone points out that you are underpaying your illegal domestic help!

      laughs

      Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

      by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:12:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I went to college in the late 1970s (0+ / 0-)

        I left with a $1,500 7% bank-based student loan and $3,500 in 3% federal loans.

        I paid them off on schedule because they were due.

        Even if I wasn't an honest citizen, the desire to buy and own a house would have ensured repayment.

        One is hardly going to voluntarily dump say $20K in student loans and wind up delaying homeownership seven years at a cost of say $70,000.

    •  but it was your choice (0+ / 0-)

      One problem I have with this entire discussion is the lack of personal responsibility for the loans that you took out.  It was certainly your choice to attend law school and to take out loans.  At the time that you applied for the loan it was bargained at arms length - no one forced you to take it.  I doubt you were calling them creepy corporate thugs when they gave you checks for huge amounts of money to attend school.

      The upside was huge as an attorney but there was risk with taking on that much debt. You could have made the decision that taking on that much debt did not make sense and then you would not be paying the $1500 in interest each month.

      It's completely analogous to the housing crisis.  When Countrywide was handing out money to anyone with a pulse they were a vaunted company.  Now that the borrowers can't pay the money they were evil to give out the money.  A (albeit small) proportion of the country who decided that a million dollar 5 year ARM loan didn't make sense for them continued to rent. We need to encourage more people to make smart money decisions and I don't think the suggested policy action does that.

      I empathize with your situation - it sounds horrific and truly horrible.  I do think that there should be a system in place to deal with extraordinary situations - however, discharging the loan does not seem like the right answer.

      •  that dog wen't play (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cassandra Waites

        For every student loan diva you take pleasure in skolding, I can introduce you personally to 20 average citizens who took on moderate debts to pursue reasonable sounding degrees at decent schools.

        Many of these people;'s loans were mishandled to the point of capitulation, where hidden fees, in appropriate fees, and completely fraudulent and unwarranted fees were tacked onto the debt,pyramided, etc...to the point where the borrower simply refused to write another check until the loan servicer did what they verbally promised, took away their error, etc...which suited the lenders fine.

        Others were unemployed, and attempted to file for a deferement or forebearance, only to be told they were nver received, etc...or worse, to be told nothing...and assuming that all was well when in fact the loan was defaulted.

        Still others were never even contacted after graduation, and literally did not know who they had borrowed from...the first they did hear was from a collection company demanding payment of all the loans, plus interest in full....PLUS a twenty five percent penalty.

        These people were railroaded unfairly into default, and because there is NO PROCESS IN PLACE for appealing default decisions, that was the beginning of a decades long, hugely expensive, and hugely damaging journey.

        Here's one from a guy who is still years away from his undergrad degree.  How much more responsibility should he have taken??  see below...

        Tell me also, Hoe many people need to be defaulted on their loans before you start to come around to the notion that possibly...just perhaps....the lenders may br more than a little to blame for the default rate?  We are already at about 1 in 3,,,Would a fifty percent default rate convince you that this principle of personal responsibility is being used as camoflage for horrible lendng and predatory servicing collecting?

        Anyhow, I.m a little tired of that angle. That dog no longer hunts.

        To: <justice@studentloanjustice.org>; <justice@studentloanjustice.org>
        >> Sent: Saturday, May 29, 2010 5:13 PM
        >> Subject: Form Submission
        >>
        >>
        >> First_Name2: Joshua
        >> State2: PA
        >>
        >> yes2: yes
        >> textarea: MY STORY MUST BE TOLD.  I graduated High School in 2007 at age
        >> 17,
        >> #4 in my class.  I was accepted to Drexel University College of
        >> Engineering.
        >> At that time I didn't know how my college was going to be paid for and
        >> being the young person I was, I just assumed it had to happen and didn't
        >> ask
        >> because, hey, you HAVE to go to college right?
        >> My mother took out the loan needed to cover the rest of my tuition, then
        >>
        >> something like $25,000.  Again, I didn't have much understanding of how
        >> or
        >> why it had to be done through loans.  I was very much taken with the
        >> whole
        >> life changing transition from High School to college to care.
        >> The next year I felt incredibly swindled into the whole system because
        >> my
        >> mother decided that I should "be a man" and start taking out my own
        >> loans.
        >> I did so without much fight because, again, I JUST HAD TO DO IT.
        >> Later when the economic crisis struck, we found out that I there was a
        >> hold
        >> on my enrollment because I was $4,000 short of meeting the tuition
        >> requirements.  I applied for this small amount and was DENIED, putting
        >> my
        >> academics on hold, leading to a cascading detriment on my course
        >> progression
        >> We finally sorting this out with help from my grandmother (a process
        >> which
        >> was INCREDIBLY stressful and tedious).
        >> During that second year, I did a lot of things to try and boost my
        >> credit
        >> (opening up a bank account, making regular deposits, etc.) but when the
        >> next
        >> Spring and Summer came around, I was denied yet again.  It was at this
        >> time
        >> that I began to question this whole student loan system.  If I had know
        >> that
        >> I would encounter all these problems, I would not have even considered
        >> going
        >> to this institution.
        >> Again, with much sacrifice and stress (my mother had to cash in her life
        >>
        >> insurance policy and my grandmother had to give my mother a lot of money
        >> so
        >> that she could be accepted) we were accepted.
        >> Here I am now and I am not happy.  I am thoroughly dissatisfied with the
        >>
        >> education I'm receiving and I feel absolutely jaded for being swindled
        >> into
        >> this mess.  My entire social circle including my closest loved ones has
        >> been
        >> tainted by the economic ties that I am now obligated to.
        >> I hate my Life and many times I just wish I would die.
        >> Right now the current debt I currently owe is around $90,000 including
        >> what
        >> I owe my parents.  If I choose to continue to the 4th out of 5 years
        >> that
        >> amount would increase to $130,000 and this is just unacceptable.
        >> I feel like I am mostly to blame for my childhood foolishness and
        >> indiscretion.  I feel like I was fooled into going here because of the
        >> big
        >> name attached to the college.  I'm completely depressed and I really
        >> needed
        >> to tell this.

        Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

        by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 12:50:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't discount your examples (0+ / 0-)

          First, in cases of fraud there does not need to be bankruptcy reform.  Rather than going to bankruptcy court the borrower can file a fraud claim.  As long as they are going to court anyway there is no reason they can't pursue a fraud case if fees were hidden or fraudulent:

          Many of these people;'s loans were mishandled to the point of capitulation, where hidden fees, in appropriate [sic] fees, and completely fraudulent and unwarranted fees were tacked onto the debt,pyramided, etc..

          Inappropriate and unwarranted fees are much more subjective - what's inappropriate or unwarranted would have to be evaluated.  Is it inappropriate to charge a late fee? That would probably not be basis for a fraud claim.

          Second,

          until the loan servicer did what they verbally promised

          You're kidding right? No financial transaction operates on verbal promises.  If a borrower does not have something in writing it might as well not exist.  

          Third, under your view , what responsibility does the borrower have?  It seems to me that you are saying the borrower has no responsibility to:

          1. understand the loan documents they sign

          and literally did not know who they had borrowed from..

          1. know when payments start or where to send them

          Still others were never even contacted after graduation

          1. know if their loan was cancelled

          Others were unemployed, and attempted to file for a deferement or forebearance [sic], only to be told they were nver [sic] received, etc...or worse, to be told nothing...and assuming that all was well when in fact the loan was defaulted.

          So if I just stop paying my mortgage it's reasonable to assume it was deferred or in forbearance?  Give me a break.  Either way, apparently it's not my responsibility to know if it was deferred or in forbearance. I just send in a letter asking for one and I can assume it's taken care of by the lender.

          Fourth, This

          These people were railroaded unfairly into default, and because there is NO PROCESS IN PLACE for appealing default decisions, that was the beginning of a decades long, hugely expensive, and hugely damaging journey.

          is something I would fully support. This is not allowing student loans to be discharged in bankruptcy.

          Fifth, the problem does not seem to be with student loans but ill-informed consumers:

          If I had know
          >> that
          >> I would encounter all these problems, I would not have even considered
          >> going
          >> to this institution.

          Reforming the bankruptcy process does nothing to alleviate this cause of the problem.  Yes, a person who doesn't know what he/she is doing will have problems in their life.

          Sixth, where is the swindle?

          I am thoroughly dissatisfied with the
          >>
          >> education I'm receiving and I feel absolutely jaded for being swindled
          >> into
          >> this mess.

          he chose to go to college, chose to get the loans.  I'm sorry if he made bad decisions about where to go to school and how much he could afford.   What responsibility does he have in this "swindle" or it is just the banks fault for giving him money?

          Seventh, apparently, he understands that this is his responsibility:

          I feel like I am mostly to blame for my childhood foolishness and
          >> indiscretion.  I feel like I was fooled into going here because of the
          >> big
          >> name attached to the college.

          no one fooled him in attending - it was his choice. With choices come consequences.  And who knows - maybe that degree from the big name college will help him land a good job later in life to pay back those loans.

          Finally, yes, the situation is a horrible situation.  What responsibility does the borrower have, in your mind? any?  It is OK for people to receive tremendous amounts of money and have little to no responsibility to pay it back?

          •  Not to put the heavy down, here, but.... (0+ / 0-)

            If you had told me that suicidally depressed students who were not even in their senior year yet were going to be submitting stories to my site 5 years ago, I would have thanked you for your strong feelings, but begged you not to overdramatize reality.  Well.  Here we are.  I am getting almost as many submissions from current undergraduate students as graduates.  Its unheard of, and blows the significance of impending reality way past fingerpointing.

            I think it was foolish to allow lenders with profit motives onto campus.  At this point, there will be some very large concessions either willingly given up by those who were "at the party" all these years, or forceably stripped from them in one form or another.  

            My hope is that a few key college presidents will simply man up, stop whining, spread the pain, have a laugh, break and reform lender relationships using different staff, and keep them at a healthy distance if they are needed on campus at all.

            I have heard all the cries of pain from academia, but to date, only one college president has volunteered a pay cut of any significance (5 percent is not significant).  The sad thing is that the one president who did volunteer a cut is at the second tier state college in Washington State (WSU), and his salary went from something like 800k to something like 700k  ....This is for the president of the B-School????  3 quarters of a million dollars.  Do I need to say more?

            Show me the unforced sacrifice from the academic leaders, and I will show respect for academia.

            Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

            by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 04:26:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  The time for belittling the students has... (0+ / 0-)

            long since passed.  And in this case, there really are no grounds in my view.

            Yes, but an individual borrower has NEVER successfully proved fraud of this kind to my knowledge (although I do not see all)...Remember, there is no appeals process for challenging default decisions...the likely small fraction of false claims violations that have been proven were, I suspect, the result of a whistleblower type situation where the goods fell into the lap of a US attorney.  A borrower cannot prove he was never contacted, and servicers can very easily fabricate documents that indicate they did attempt to contact the borrower...so theoretically, you are on sound gooting, but this is not an ideal situation.  This is a seedy, sweaty, dirty business where the truth means very little as long as there is no culpable employee so stupid as to admit fraudulent behavior or forgery.

            Cmon now.  We are talking about a 20 year old who still had stars in his eyes not 6 months ago.  You know full well the decision process for these kids.  The decision to do whatever the school suggested was made long ago...perhaps even before he stepped foot on campus.  I have interchanged with, probably, thousands of intelligent, diligent, well intentioned, and assertive students...To date, I have not met, or even heard of ONE...NOT ONE who looked at the loan package that was being pushed, and decided to forego attending the college of his.her choice simply becuase the amount was too daunting. I think students would sooner runaway from their own wedding!

            Let's please stop this orgy of criticism, and think about constructive serious, and effective approaches to forcing rationality back into this system.  I can think of only one rational starting point for this, and that is with the immediate return of bankruptcy protections.

            Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

            by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:25:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  so no responsibility then? (0+ / 0-)

              just to be clear - "justice" in the student loan industry requires the borrower to have no responsibility in the process except, I guess, to be able to cash the check.

              in two responses you've yet to address that so I guess you agree.

  •  You need to do more if you want better traction. (7+ / 0-)

    I went to your site and found the information and corroboration I wanted. I did because I was motivated by the fact that me daughter has a fair amount of student loans on her way to a PhD but most people won't make the same effort.

    You have so much great information on the site that you could make this a series laying out the issue in detail with specific action items.

    btw. Thank you for your effort and keep up the fight. It's important.

    Unapologetically pro-citizen. Not anti-corporation just very pro-citizen.

    by CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:08:37 AM PDT

  •  The banks saw the crash was coming, and that's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bnasley, evilhoodedcrow

    why they started pressing for bankruptcy "reform" back in the mid-1990's.

    The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

    by lysias on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:37:29 AM PDT

  •  "Debt peonage" is what Max Keiser calls it (5+ / 0-)

    on his show on RT television.

    Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine was a prophetic book.

    The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

    by lysias on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:38:56 AM PDT

  •  In theory (0+ / 0-)

    it would be possible to emigrate and declare bankruptcy in your new country.

    You would not be able to make money or have assets in the US, since the foreign bankruptcy would not be recognized in the US.

  •  For those fearing a shortchanging (0+ / 0-)

    of the federal government by student loan bankruptcy, the federal government could lend money to schools [instead of students] based on the amount of income tax paid by graduates[so schools get federal money based on graduate earning ability] and let the schools take the risk.

    Schools would not lend money to students in majors unlikely to escape a repayment plan.

    •  so what would happen to such majors (0+ / 0-)

      What majors are you thinking about?

      There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

      by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:14:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The school would either (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MGross

        finance using its own funds, ask the students to get an outside job for a year and prepay, ask the students to work at the school or associated employer, talk the students into a financially better major, stop offering majors in oversaturated fields, etc.

        The major "international relations" comes to mind, but I'm sure a college catalog would reveal others.

        •  Yeah, because more ignorant Americans, people (0+ / 0-)

          who have no idea of what goes on beyond this country's borders, is exactly what we need.  We are suffering from a real "oversaturation" of knowledge of the world around us here in the grand old USA.

          Excuse me while I go puke.

          Fuck, we should be subsidizing kids to major in international relations, not cutting the puny programs that already exist.

          Between excessive citizen activism and excessive trust or passivity, the former is far preferable to the latter. - Glenn Greenwald

          by An Affirming Flame on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:48:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You clearly don't understand how important it is (0+ / 0-)

          to have an educated society.  You act like being educated should be a privilege.  You don't get it.

          •  That's precisely why I asked him that (0+ / 0-)

            question.

            So much of this is about an aversion to education.

            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

            by upstate NY on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 01:18:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Important issue, outstanding prose. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Boston to Salem, thethinveil

    It is a pleasure to read such concise, information-rich prose.

    Like so many things today, when you really see what is going on, it is appalling.  Yet more proof that not every locally profitable strategy deserves to be employed.

    If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking... is freedom. -Eisenhower

    by geomoo on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:20:02 AM PDT

  •  Goddammit! (10+ / 0-)

    Why the fuck do so many people in this diary ASSUME that student loans means people supported by parents, or younger than 20?

    I'm 50 fucking years old and STILL struggling with student loans. All of you against bankruptcy protection, go fuck yourself. I've paid my debt to my lenders many times over.

    The current economic crisis has once again put me behind. OH great its deferred, but you that interest accrues pretty quickly over the course of a year.

    There are a lot of assumptions made about the motives of the borrowers. Pretty fucking stupid assumptions at that. I've paid my loans, and if I had the chance I'd file bankruptcy tomorrow.

    These bastards are blood thirsty sharks and don't deserve another nickel. So why don't you clueless morons go find another big bank cause to rally around.

    And I'm not sorry for being offensive. This is one topic that I've been dealing with for YEARS, while trying to be responsible and pay it off.

    When the most virulent extremism attacks our country, it won't be shrouded in Islamic fatwas -- it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.

    by Kairos on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:22:22 AM PDT

    •  Totally agree (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cassandra Waites, Kairos, jazzence

      I was unable to manage to get loans during my last educational stint (that almost got me a degree I knew was not going to increase my earning potential, but I accept that). The college was working overtime to make it hard for non-traditional students to make ends meet, based on formulas that say you should be working to support yourself and pay large fees and tuition for the privilege of doing work study for minimum wage.

      Older students go back to school because they're having trouble finding employment that pays a living wage. Expecting them to hold 3 jobs in order to go to school full time is ridiculous if you are looking at helping them. But they're not. They view us as a resource to be mined and discarded.

      I am so glad I ended up putting the cost of my education on credit cards, though at the time everyone said, oh no, you can't do that. Thanks to it, I am paying off my debt, in spite of my marginal imcome.

      "Too big to fail" is not too big to jail.

      by Angela Quattrano on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:18:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well said (4+ / 0-)

      Harsh but true. The Student Loan system is a scam. I have recently watched while, when I was unemployed (laid off from my job of 6 years), one of my consolidated federal loans went from $17k to $25k. Got the letter the other day and thought, well, I could've bought a car with that $8k.

      The private loans are even worse, and coming from a lower middle class family I had little choice but to take those out if I wanted to go. Some of those have actually doubled.

  •  Thanks for writing this article (3+ / 0-)

    I work with a population that is heavily targeted by for profit and private universities and witness the "predatory" lending aspect all too often.  Fortunately, we have developed some methods to better educate our clients to help them make better decisions in choosing school or training programs.

    Even though public and nonprofit schools and universities are susceptible to similar financial hardships as any other through the loan process, there is good reason to persuade/educate folks to opt for non-profit and public over the other for profit and private schools (although there are some reputable exceptions of the latter, just not a lot).  Word of advice- utilize community colleges!  They tend to be cheaper than these other schools (at least in MN) and their credits are TRANSFERABLE.

    If you really like a private and/or for profit school- make sure the school is regionally (not nationally) accredited.  Some of these for profit and private schools use a less than universal accreditation system.  This is especially important if one plans to develop a longer career path.  For instance, let's say someone  receives their LPN from one of those for profit/private schools.  And a couple years later decides to enroll in an RN program at a public/nonprofit.  They will sadly discover that all the credits and money they spent on their LPN cannot and will not count toward their RN- meaning they've got to start from scratch.

    "Can you help me get my head on straight just a half an inch so I can muddle on through" - Assembly of Dust

    by Stannie Hinn on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:29:04 AM PDT

    •  LPN never sounded like a good deal (0+ / 0-)

      You can easily pay $20000 for a job that doesn't pay really that much (though has good job security likely).

      Meanwhile you could pay $20000 (over an extra two years) at an in-state public university and become an RN.

      •  most states LPN is like 18 months and (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eean

        you can become an associate's degree RN in 2-2.5 yrs and make signficantly more money.  I think the extra 6 months to a year is worth doing.

        Let's remember that we should care about people even after they're born. - A. Grayson

        by IL JimP on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:19:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The important part is the accreditation. (0+ / 0-)

      Regional accreditation is higher than national accreditation.

      you can find regional accreditations across the country here

      Let's remember that we should care about people even after they're born. - A. Grayson

      by IL JimP on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:05:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The issue is that many of these programs are (0+ / 0-)

        designed not to be portable. Even within the same university system, an LPN takes lower level classes than RN's. That way they always have to repeat many classes.

        "Too big to fail" is not too big to jail.

        by Angela Quattrano on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:25:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So LPN and RN is a bad example- sorry (0+ / 0-)

          But the point is that some of these schools are focused on making a buck and have no incentive to provide a rigorous or strong education- and there is no regulation to hold these schools accountable.

          For example, one of our clients signed up for a medical assistant program at a private and for profit institution (The school had called her at her home to recruit her).   She enrolled in 10 month program and signed off on a student loan administered by the school($12,000).  She did not even have her H.S. diploma or GED at the time.  The school said they would wait up to 3 months for her to obtain it. If not she would still be responsible for the loan.

          Thankfully she did obtain it, but sheesh- they were really aggresive in their selling pitch if you ask me.

          "Can you help me get my head on straight just a half an inch so I can muddle on through" - Assembly of Dust

          by Stannie Hinn on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:49:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  No wonder the politicians protect banks (4+ / 0-)

    the gov't is cashing in on predatory lending too.

  •  Schools could educate (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    martini, bnasley, Cassandra Waites

    and take a percentage of graduate income above the high school graduate average earnings as repayment.

    This percentage might be 3% for a two-year degree and 6% for four-year degree.

    Instead of investing their endowment on Wall Street, the schools should be investing in their faculty and students.

  •  some loans take advantage of students (4+ / 0-)

    who can't afford college on their own.  i have one loan from citibank where the total amount of interest i have paid on it over the last 7 years is more than the total amount of the loan; and i have only paid off $2K of that loan.  

    some people seem to think that, if this is the case, i never should have gone to college.  my parents were poor, i could not get a full-ride scholarship to the state university, and the town where it is happens to be small enough there are no jobs for needy college students.  of course, i would not have gotten my master's degree or have a job that pays well enough i can afford a living wage if that were the case. otherwise i'd still be stuck in my tiny home town, driving 2 hours to reach a minimum wage job that would barely cover rent and gas.

    it's not that we should not have student loans.  it's that student loans need to be fair.  

  •  I think the following needs to happen (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SingleVoter

    Bankruptcy protection restored to student loans originated in the future. (With existing loans, everyone knew what they were getting into when they made/accepted the loan).

    Allow/encourage lenders to give loans or not give loans based on the major of the student. With bankruptcy a possibility now, lenders will have an incentive to make loans that they think will be paid back and not make loans that will not be paid back. A bonus is that people will be protected from running up $100k in college debt for "religious and women's studies" degrees.

    Curtailed federal government involvement in the loan/grant process except for extreme aid and/or merit considerations. Student loan availability drives up the price of college, since who has $50k cash per year to send their kid to BU? Nobody, so curtailed student loans would drop the price of BU.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:57:28 AM PDT

    •  Not everyone realized what they were getting into (3+ / 0-)

      If the university provided data that said say only 6% of film studies graduates were employed in the movie industry ten years after graduation that would be different.

      Colleges and others are taking advantage of sheltered, immature young people who have often told they are wonderful and have the grades to show for it.

      •  This is true (2+ / 0-)

        I did not know what I was getting into at 18, and my parents, lower middle class and no education beyond high school, certainly didn't either. And forget the school guidance counselor, I received 0 guidance from him.

        The problem is that most people don't know what they're going to do at 18, 19, 20 or even later. Many don't know the predatory nature of student loans. Many are told that the only way to get ahead is to go to college. Many are told that this is "good debt." It's not. It is the absolute worst debt imaginable.

        If I had been told, sign here, this is a debt that you can never discharge, a debt that will, quite possibly, double or triple before you pay it off, a debt that will require a very large amount of any income you will earn, I would have thought twice, at least. Still being that young and naive I hope I would have said thanks but no thanks.

        And as far as people having known what they were getting into, private student loan debt was dischargeable as recently as 2005. Federal, after a 7 year waiting period, was prior to 1998.

      •  Add to that the lies that law schools tell about (0+ / 0-)

        employment rates.  It would practically take a degree to know that they play with the numbers to attract people into over priced programs with not enough good paying jobs in the market.

    •  What does knowing what you were getting (0+ / 0-)

      into have to do with needed protection when something unforeseen happens?  You must not see how fundamentally unfair these loan schemes are. Were it not for student loans I would have no college degree. Is that really the choice that people should have in this country? No degree or horrible loans? And if something devastating happens where I can't pay it back your answer is that I knew what I was getting myself into? That's fucked up and you know it.

    •  Women's studies degrees? (0+ / 0-)

      Women's studies is an interdisciplinary program

      People always assume that so many useless majors are not making much money, but then you go to payscale.com and you see philosophy majors making more than business majors, you see Humanities programs as NET PROFITABLE while engineering programs are negative in terms of profits.

      So many assumptions people make about useless majors are flat out wrong.

      Some majors are low-paying, like education and social work, and they suffer more default. So let's get rid o them! No social workers or accredited teachers. Hooray!

      There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

      by upstate NY on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 01:21:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Do you realize that subsidized loans (0+ / 0-)

      are capped at $5k a year?

      Loans are not driving up the price of BU. It's a canard.

      The families taking on more loans than that have to pay right away, and there is a co-signer involved, a parent. These are not subsidized loans.

      There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

      by upstate NY on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 01:22:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Stunning Bullshit on a progressive site (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SnyperKitty, debaterdanny

    Fundamentally, this is a conservative attack on education. The conservatives want the end of gov't financed student loans, precisely because it feeds higher ed. With Obama's new rules ex-ing out the middleman for new borrowers, student loans a=have lost a reason for being for the private sector. yes, existing loans can still be serviced by the private sector, but this is usually at lower rates than the gov't is currently providing. In the future, this will not be the case, as the gov't is dropping rates considerably, and it will totally undercut Sallie Mae and the like.

    Ultimately, the diarist made clear in a response to me that she's against student loans. Getting rid of student loans would end access to Higher Ed for many. People are apparently not aware that gov't is slashing Higher Ed. If you eliminate student loans--as the diarist has suggested--then what? You think the gov't is going to totally subsidize public Higher Ed? What makes you think that?

    The anti-university attacks on DKos take my breath away sometimes, as its obvious universities are one of the progressive pillars of American society. I can see why the right has organized to attack them.

    I do my best to provide some resources and links in the diary.

    I agreed that unsubsidized loans are deadly, that bankruptcy should be used --but, for me, only with limitations-- and I offered IBR as a possible solution for low-paid workers and public workers (something the diarist misrepresented and didn't address at all), and also pointed out studies on why costs are rising in higher ed (in other words, do not expect a decrease in college costs since the budget slashing of the last decade has left few options for cutting, and this year for the first time colleges employ more part-time faculty earning less than 3k per class than full-time faculty).

    Obama's changes and IBR are an excellent move for Higher Ed. in America. We could use a little more. But rest assured, the banks have been moved out of the way.

    Do people here even realize that in the short future subsidized loans will be given at 3%? That public workers can pay only a $100 or so a month in loans and be forgiven debt totally after 10 years? That all workers can have their loans tied to a reasonable % of their AGI and forgiven after 20 years?

    There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

    by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:26:01 AM PDT

    •  I read the IBR link (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pletzs

      Looks great until you realize it applies to hardly anyone who is not poor or lucky enough to be able to find certain government jobs.

      "Anti-university", lol. So it's come down to the idea that opposing our institutions behaving like predatory lenders is being "anti-university".

      Well, okay. So you support our universities getting kickbacks from banks and credit card lenders, lying to students about the income potential they are likely to get from their degree, encouraging students to borrow more money just so there will be more warm bodies in those seats, yeah. Just as long as you're honest about it.

      "Too big to fail" is not too big to jail.

      by Angela Quattrano on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:36:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I just want people to behave like grown-ups (0+ / 0-)

        You're wrong about IBR. I make a substantial salary and have benefited from it. And it's not "certain" gov't jobs.

        It's ANYONE employed by the gov't, including teachers.

        Schools lying to students about income potential? I've been around schools for quite awhile and have never even heard of any such thing. Can you tell me what you're talking about?

        I still believe in a university system that is NOT about churning out good little workers for corporations (where the big money is, I guess). Education should be about something else.

        Students should not take out unsubsidized loans. Those are out of the hands of universities and are undertaken privately. Schools do validate subsidized loans which are capped at $5.2k. For me, taking out a $5k loan was worth it, and yes I would encourage students to do it since an undergrad education is certainly worth more than the $20k they will go into debt.

        There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

        by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:50:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Amazing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pletzs

          You've never seen one of those posters they put all over campus that shows the average income for college grads is $100+K per year? Don't think that's maybe skewed by those who are making hundreds of millions on Wall Street?

          It is easy for you to say that students should not take out unsubsidized loans. The financial aid packages presented to most students require them. Literally. $5.2K is a joke. It doesn't even cover the cost of full-time tuition at a public school, let alone fees, books, and living expenses.

          You are required to work full-time to pay your living expenses. It's not optional. And then you have to cough up the remainder. And a big part of the "financial aid" package is doing work study at minimum wage.

          None of this leaves you any time to study.

          By the way, going to school part time in order to fall under that $5.2K limit means you probably won't get any aid at all.

          "Too big to fail" is not too big to jail.

          by Angela Quattrano on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 01:10:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No I've been on campus for decades and never (0+ / 0-)

            saw a poster like that put up by the colleges.

            Why?

            Because you could sue the college for lying and colleges aren't that dumb.

            Tuition at the State University of New York is 4.9k. For the year. $6k in Pell grant + $5.2k in loans + $8k from working (all you need to do is earn that while working 10 hours a week and summers) is more than enough. That's $19.2k. Living expenses? What, you're going to die otherwise? Of course you need living expenses, whether or not you're in college.

            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

            by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:00:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Conservative attack. (0+ / 0-)

      Its funny, but at root, it is simply a citizens attack stemming from a visceral reaction to obvious and harmful oppression being carried out by sneaky people with selfish motives,and undue political influence.

      Just because I sound like I'm attacking the current administration doesn't mean anything.  I'm not a spin doctor, and will point out bad government wherever I see it. Some people view it as good, accurate, usable info, others see it as a threat.

      Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

      by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:41:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not accurate at all (0+ / 0-)

        It's inaccurate, as I've pointed out multiple times.

        Pres. Obama removed the banks from the equation, is now going to subsidize student loans at 3%, instituted IBR to match loans to your income. And he jacked up Pell Grants.

        If that's what you call bad gov't, I can only assume you don't have honest intentions.

        Then you make the case that student loans should be eliminated, and when I referred to gov't employees as "workers" you took umbrage at that characterizatiohn.

        You show all the signs of being a shill on a site like this.

        There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

        by upstate NY on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:11:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  okbye. (0+ / 0-)

          Our discourse has no credible value.  Sorry, but you failed on this one.

          Sorry.

          Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

          by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:33:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I looked into your PAC (0+ / 0-)

            and read a couple of your interviews.

            You ma have your heart in the right place but I encourage you to be a lot more careful with your arguments. on the face of it, so much of what you say is just not supported by facts. I read one claim that the increase in loans has fueled the increase in tuition, and yet we see subsidized loans from the 1980s capped at 2.5k and now they're up to $5k. That's not much of an increase. 30 years and 100%??

            Tuition has risen a lot faster than that... for many reasons that have nothing to do with loans.

            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

            by upstate NY on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 07:36:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  THANK YOU (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Boston to Salem, thethinveil

    for all your work.  If I ever get out of debt, I will give you lots of money, as opposed to the measly scraps I've been able to send your way now and again.

    You're on my blogroll, so hopefully you've gotten a few hits and donations from lurkers that way.

  •  I'm not really employed at the (7+ / 0-)

    moment and have been sporadically employed the last few years. Before that I had a brief unemployment spell in 2004 when I had to give up my job of--get this--organizing against PREDATORY LENDING. If I didn't quit that issue, I would have had a nervous breakdown. I was hired to do that job because I was angry but not for myself, I was angry about the people losing their homes. I hadn't given one thought to the predatory student loan that was ruining me, I was just focusing on the mortgage problem and trying my best to keep those payments up. Eventually, the anger consumed me because nobody was listening. I sat and listened to so many awful stories, I just broke one day. I knew that was only the surface of the problem because there were predatory car loans, payday loans (we were starting to take that up as an issue), and in the back of my mind, student loans.

    The original loan was only $3,000 and it was to pay for a year of married/parent student housing and I had about $1300 left over. I used it to buy housewares and furniture that I didn't have because I was just moving from my mother's house with my 3 year old son and I couldn't live like all the other freshmen. I was 22 years old and in no mood to party. Now I owe about $15,000???? WTF? Fuck them. I stopped paying them after 2004 because frankly, I just don't have the money and I'm still many credits from a college degree. I can't go back and finish because I can't pay for it and I'm obviously in default and can't get grants. Do they even give grants to 37 year olds? My 3 year old is turning 18 this year and going to college in 2011. Ironically, he won't be getting any grants, either. His father makes a little bit too much money. Aint that a hoot!

    My son or daughter will never sign anything, even if they fix the situation. Thankfully, their father is not as in debt as I am and he makes decent money. I learned my lesson about "interest". I haven't swiped a credit card since 1996 and I don't plan to ever again. If it can't use a debit or a gift card, to hell with it. I'm not even in as much debt as most people. $15,000 is nothing but it's enough to keep me "down" so to speak because I'm at the low end of the income scale. Imagine that multiplied by millions of people. No wonder this economy is screwed.

  •  Haven't signed on to DK in 3 months (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bruh1, Boston to Salem, tonyahky, jazzence

    But did so to recommend this diary, and leave a tip for the author.  

    Sunshine on my shoulder...

    by pkbarbiedoll on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:30:06 AM PDT

  •  Medical School and Law School (0+ / 0-)

    Should graduates of Medical School and Law School be able to use Bankrupcy Protection to fink out on their tuition?  I don't think so.

  •  I'm going to take this time to... (3+ / 0-)

    ...pitch for our community colleges and state-funded universities.

    At least here in California, the community colleges are a great deal for students.  I know people were complaining about it, but $26 per credit hour is a steal--that's $104 for one 4-hour course.  Sixteen units comes to $416 for a semester.

    I paid more than that per semester 20 years ago at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for 12 units a semester.

    Students can get their general education requirements out of the way for substantially less than they'd pay at a Cal State or a UCal.

    Furthermore, the Bachelor's is issued by whatever institution the student transfers to, so there's no "loss of prestige", as some students imagine.

    With the exception of the Ivy League schools, most state universities are equal to or better than their private equivalents.  They tend to have more resources, both in terms of library resources (for those of us in the humanities) and research facilities and laboratories (for those in the sciences), than their private counterparts, all for about 1/4 of the price (or even less, depending).

    If you're a student and you want to avoid this massive student loan debt, think carefully about the institution you want to go to.  Think carefully about whether a degree from Grinnell is four times more valuable than a degree from the University of Iowa.

    •  I agree with this, but... (0+ / 0-)

      People have to remember that not everywhere is like California.  People in California have no idea how fortunate they are.  Not only do they have outstanding public institutions, but also affordable ones.  Most states do not offer the same level of quality, or affordability.

      I was at a [fantastic] community college in Nevada, but when it was time to transfer my options were limited to UNR and UNLV.  Neither school is terrible, but for my program, computer science, they are not good options at all.  I ended up transferring to a private out of state, which I am struggling to afford.  But, in theory, it will pay dividends, because I will have more career opportunities now than if I had stayed in Nevada.  (Plus, Jim Gibbons completely destroyed higher education in that state.)

      With the exception of the Ivy League schools, most state universities are equal to or better than their private equivalents.

      I would love to see some evidence of this being true for places outside of California and New York.

      •  I went to UNebraska-Lincoln for undergrad. (0+ / 0-)

        Nothing wrong with any of the state institutions.  Arizona State University, for example, is a powerhouse in critical theory.  The University of Iowa has one of the most significant creative writing programs in the country.  The University of Minnesota-Minneapolis is one of the strongest in English literature in the midwest.

        However, really, where you get your Bachelor's is insignificant.  Potential employers aren't going to care.  If it's not an Ivy League institution, they're not likely to be terribly impressed.

        Neither will graduate programs: they're looking at things like letters of recommendation, transcripts, and samples of your work.

        My partner's in IT, which a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, also not exactly known for CompSci.  He was hired virtually on the spot when we moved to Cali.

        •  UNR (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lasgalen Lothir

          The UNR CS program is notoriously antiquated.  They don't even teach object oriented programming.  All of their CS classes are taught using procedural c++.  Employers know that UNR grads need to spend months being retrained.

          When did you move to CA?  Had he just graduated, or did he have other work experience?

          When I was researching entry level CS jobs, before deciding where to transfer, nearly every job I saw expressly stated that you had to come from a tier 1 school to even be considered.

  •  I find it disgusting the amount of comments (0+ / 0-)

    (on a progressive site) suggesting students will renege if bankruptcy protections are returned. Take that bullshit to redstate or bootstraps.com. I don't give a flying fuck if you paid off your debts, borrowers should have consumer protections, period.

    tipped + recc'd

    "It strikes me as gruesome and comical that in our culture we have an expectation that a man can always solve his problems" - Kurt Vonnegut

    by jazzence on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:31:18 AM PDT

  •  Bankruptcy Protection for Private Loans only (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elfling, bruh1

    everyone should be clear on what is actually on the table; bankruptcy protections for federal and private loans are different.

    HR.5043 (Private Student Loan Bankruptcy Fairness Act) and S. 3219 (Fairness for Struggling Students Act of 2010) would allow for dischargeability of private student loans through bankruptcy. One would return the bankruptcy code to the mid-90s, when the code was changed to incorporate private loans in the same category as federal loans.

    The differences between the two versions are significant. Either would be a far cry better for certain consumers. But nothing on the table is seriously considering offering dischargeability of federal student loans. It's simply not going to happen.

    As with any consumer protection provisions, there will be those that abuse the system and walk away from their debts. Just know that the lenders will raise interest rates to absorb the added risk.

    Regarding the conversion to Direct Loans only, it is true that the lending middleman has been removed, but that major institutions like SLMA, Nelnet and AES/PHEAA will be originating and servicing loans via government contract, just like ACS has done since the inception of the Direct Loan Program in 1992. This takes the profit associated with margin away from the lenders, but still leaves a fee-based profit incentive for the originators and servicers.

    There were some good small and mid-sized companies that were destroyed as a result of the recent changes. Believe it or not, some of those companies entered the market because they saw the titans like SLMA and Citibank were predating on unwarry consumers because there was little to no competition in the market. With those companies now gone (and thousands out of work, mind you) guess who's back in the driver's seat?

    I've been working in the student loan industry for about 12 years. I've seen a lot of good and bad things happen and I know too many fine, principled people whose lives have been upended. Demonizing everyone who works in this industry is inappropriate.

    If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague

    by SnyperKitty on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:31:50 AM PDT

    •  I don't think that's occuring (0+ / 0-)

      I'm steering away from responding to engagements not related to the argument for bankruptcy protections for student loans, but would be happy to chat elsewhere on any of the other points you raise.

      That said, I do want to point out that as a part of my argument, I claim that both federal and private lending systems are systemically predatory due to the removal of bankruptcy and other protections.  This is not demonizing individuals, although we do expose those individuals most responsible (as best as we can tell) for the removal of these protections.  

      The current aim is to ensure that the resulting legislation is, for once, something that is actually meaningful.  Thus, there can be no repayment period requirement, and frankly, there should be n exemptions for non profits, who already enjoy many tax and other benefits due to their status.  It would be wrong and would run counter to the intent of this legislation if rubber stamp non profits crept into the mix serving only to exempt otherwise non exempt loans.  

      So these are the two critical issues as I see them, and frankly am hoping that the industry has recognized that allowing bankruptcy for private loans initially, and ultimately for federal loans, will not be the cataclysm some would have us believe it would be.

      Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

      by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 01:27:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fair enough (0+ / 0-)

        I personally disagree with your point that the Direct Loan program is "systemically predatory" but I understand why you see it that way. I can't argue with you on that point because I don't have enough information. Faced with the alternatives, fighting for stronger consumer protections is, in principle, where I would default.

        I also agree that changing the BK requirements for both private and federal loans would not be the cataclysm some anticipate. Private loans, in particular, carry high percentages of co-borrowers. These co-borrowers would have to go through their own BK.

        And, yes, the non-profit exception is utter bullshit, and is entirely the result of lobbying efforts. There is no reasonable argument for why loans funded by non-profits are any different than loans funded by for-profits.

        I appreciate the effort you are making and wish you luck. Thanks for the thoughtful response.

        If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague

        by SnyperKitty on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 02:50:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank YOU for listening!!! (0+ / 0-)

          Here's a letter I wrote to Secretary Duncan on this point that breaks it down pretty clearly.  

          http://studentloanjustice.org/...

          If you still disagree, I probably can't convince you without boring you to tears with the data I have collected over the years. To date, however, no one has successfully challenged my basis for the argument or its validity.  IF you dislodge rats from their PC's, and force them to use Macs, they will still behave like rats, and...nevermind.

          The point is that there is absolutely no reason to believe that Sallie Mae, Nelnet, and the other bad actors will do anything but what they have historically done to maximize revenue...

          I'm actually a fan and friend of Bob Shireman, and at the last minute came out in favor of DL over the old program (I loved it all along, but didn't want to get into that stupid fight).  I also think IBR is a critically important safety valve, and my fingers are really crossed that it will perform as advertised.

          What I resent deeply, however, is how the national conversation conveniently neglected bankruptcy...easily the most harmful blow to middle and lower class american consumer protections since segregation-, in favor of IBR, which will not, and was never meant to address the systemic, "bad government" issues that simply cannot be allowed to persist.

          I would love to have completed this project years ago.  If justice happened tomorrow, I would probably never speak of this dismal subject again.  But here we are, so please forgive me if I come across as irritated.  

          Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

          by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 04:56:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  some IBR info (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elfling

    Under IBR, your monthly payment amount will be less than the amount you would be required to pay under a 10-year standard repayment plan, and may be less than under other repayment plans. Although lower monthly payments may be of great benefit to a borrower, these lower payments may result in a longer repayment period and additional interest.

    INTEREST PAYMENT BENEFIT - If your monthly IBR payment does not cover the monthly interest that accrues on the loans, the government will pay your unpaid interest on Subsidized Stafford Loans (either Direct Loan or FFEL) for up to three consecutive years from when you first enter IBR repayment. After three years, and for all the other types of loans, interest that accrues will be capitalized (added to the loan principal on which future interest is calculated) when the borrower no longer is eligible for an IBR repayment amount.)

    25-YEAR CANCELLATION - If you repay under the IBR plan for 25 years and meet certain other requirements, any remaining balance will be cancelled.

    10-YEAR PUBLIC SERVICE LOAN FORGIVENESS If you work in public service and have reduced loan payments through IBR, your remaining balance after ten years in a public service job could be cancelled if you made loan payments for each month of those ten years. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is available only if you have Direct Loans and you make 120 monthly payments under the Direct Loan Program.

    http://studentaid.ed.gov/...

  •  government IBR examples (0+ / 0-)

    Example 1 - Based upon the IBR repayment formula a borrower with a family size of one and an AGI of $30,000 would have an IBR calculated payment amount of $172 per month. If this borrower had total student loan debt of $25,000, the calculated monthly repayment amount under a 10-year standard plan with an interest rate of 6.8 percent would be $288. Since the $172 IBR calculated amount is less than the 10-year plan amount of $288, the borrower would be eligible to repay under IBR at a monthly amount of $172. However, if this borrowers total educational loan debt was only $10,000 the 10-year calculated amount would be $115 per month, which is less than the IBR amount of $172. Thus, the borrower would not be eligible for IBR.

    Example 2 - A borrower with a family size of four and income of $50,000 would have an IBR calculated monthly payment amount of $212. If this borrower had total student loan debt of $20,000 the calculated monthly repayment amount under a 10-year standard plan with an interest rate of 6.8 percent would be $230. Since the $212 IBR calculated amount is less than the 10-year plan amount of $230, the borrower would be eligible to repay under IBR at a monthly amount of $212. But, if this borrowers total educational debt was $15,000, the 10-year calculated amount would be $173 per month which is less than the IBR amount of $212. This borrower would not be eligible for IBR.

    [link given above]

  •  more IBR info (0+ / 0-)

    To qualify for IBR, you must have a "partial financial hardship." You have a partial financial hardship if the monthly amount you would be required to pay on your IBR-eligible loans (see Q&A #6) under a Standard Repayment Plan with a 10-year repayment period (based on the amount you owed on those loans when they initially entered repayment) is higher than the monthly amount you would be required to repay under IBR.

    http://studentaid.ed.gov/...

  •  more IBR info (0+ / 0-)

    Q6 Which Direct Loan or FFEL loan types can be repaid under IBR?
    A6 All Direct Loan and FFEL loan types except PLUS loans made to parents, consolidation loans that
    repaid PLUS loans made to parents, or defaulted loans may be repaid under IBR. [January 5, 2010]
    Q7 Are private loans taken into account when determining eligibility for IBR, and can private loans be paid under IBR?
    A7 Only non-defaulted federal loans made through the FFEL Program or the Direct Loan Program
    (excluding PLUS loans made to parent borrowers or consolidation loans that repaid parent PLUS loans)
    are used to determine eligibility for IBR and only those types of federal loans may be repaid under IBR.
    [January 5, 2010]
    Q8 I consolidated my Stafford loans together with parent PLUS loans that I took out to pay for my
    child’s education. I know that parent PLUS loans may not be repaid under IBR, but am I eligible
    for IBR on the portion of the consolidation loan that repaid my Stafford loans?
    A8 A consolidation loan that repaid a parent PLUS loan may not be repaid under IBR even if the
    consolidation loan also repaid one or more Stafford Loans. [January 5, 2010]
    Q9 I consolidated my eligible federal student loans with a private lender into a private consolidation
    loan. Are those loans still considered eligible loans for purposes of determining my eligibility
    for IBR?
    A9 Eligible federal student loans that have been consolidated with a private lender are no longer federal loans and therefore are not considered when determining your eligibility for IBR, and may not be paid under IBR. [January 5, 2010]
    Q10 If my loan is in default, can I repay it under IBR?
    A10 Defaulted loans are not eligible for repayment under IBR. [January 5, 2010]

    http://studentaid.ed.gov/...

    •  IBR DISTRACTION GRAFITTI NOT APPRECIATED (0+ / 0-)

      You wouldn't be spamming my diary with IBR propoganda for that purpose, I hope.

      I would hope not. This diary is abour bankruptcy, not IBR, so I have to ask.

      Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

      by studentloanjustice on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 12:55:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do you think DailyKos is your personal playground (0+ / 0-)

        so that people can't respond to you however they wish?

        There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

        by upstate NY on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 01:25:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think I am serious, and that you are a clown. (0+ / 0-)
          Get an argument before posting on my articles, clown.

          Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

          by studentloanjustice on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 01:59:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm still posting (0+ / 0-)

            What are you going to do about it?

            I provided facts and showed you to be a lazy, soppy, hyperbolic shill, because you go on the attack without any backup.

            You haven't refuted a single one of my points.

            What you counsel is essentially a neo-conservative attack on Higher Ed in America.

            Almost everyone here--even those with qualms on early after-college bankruptcy--agrees that bankruptcy should be an option, but your attack on student loans (you are against them), on universities (after I showed you they are quite efficient), and politicians (Obama) are highly questionable and should be questioned.

            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

            by upstate NY on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 02:08:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And excaserbating your future embarassment... (0+ / 0-)

              ;you can run around with scissors too, if it satisfies your darker side.  Your still a disgraced , intellectually dishonest clown who has contributed nothing meaningful or engaging to this debate.

              Please support the StudentLoanJustice.Org PAC

              by studentloanjustice on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 11:19:55 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Simple solution (0+ / 0-)

    Give people a year after they graduate to establish themselves, then take it out of the paycheck like a tax once their income reaches a reasonable level.  If they are working gainfully they pay, if not they don't.  When they die it all discharges.  No deferments, no forbearances, not hassle.

  •  This is GREAT! Support Senate bill S.3219 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    evilhoodedcrow

    This is so great!
    Thank you so much for this amazing piece.

    Please support this bill:

    http://www.opencongress.org/...

    Call and write every week to support this bill and do what is right for our nation's future and economic health!

    www.congress.org

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