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Ian McColgin
04-23-2007, 07:07 AM
A couple of threads can come from this:

This Administration’s penchant for corruption through privatization, from Iraq to college;

The wicked anti-democratic process to make college less attainable for the poor and to make graduates more debt encumbered, and therefore more dependent upon employment.

One more big thing to fix.


Saturday, April 21, 2007
PRIVATIZING AND PROFITEERING

by Robert Kuttner

The Deepening college loan scandal is a classic case of what can happen when government uses private companies as middlemen to carry out public goals. Lately, investigations by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, US Senator Edward Kennedy, and others have revealed a number of problems:

Bribes paid by loan companies to colleges and universities. For example, Drexel University in Philadelphia was promised $250,000 in exchange for designating Education Finance Partners as its sole “preferred lender.” Since 2005, according to Cuomo’s office, Drexel has steered more than $16 million in loans to the company, costing students more than available alternatives.

Personal conflicts of interests by some college student aid officials. At Columbia University, an associate dean owned substantial stock in a “preferred lender.” At Johns Hopkins, a financial aid officer got consulting fees and had her graduate school tuition paid by Student Loan Xpress, one of the worst offenders.

Self-dealing by US Department of Education officials. Matteo Fontana, a senior department official held at least $100,000 in stock of one loan company he was overseeing. Several other Bush officials in charge of student aid come from the industry.

Exorbitant profiteering in this industry, which is subsidized by taxpayers. The biggest private student loan company, Sallie Mae, is being sold for $25 billion. Its former chairman, Albert L. Lord, got $228 million in salary and stock options in 2005, according to The New York Times.In response, Cuomo is promoting a code of conduct, and Kennedy has proposed legislation that would prohibit bribes, conflicts of interest, and kindred abuses. But, as Kennedy points out, the problems go much deeper.The private student loan industry exists side-by-side with a more efficient and corruption-free direct loan program run by the federal government. This program, whose origins date back to 1958, passes along the government’s own low borrowing rate. Congress added the subsidized private loan program as an alternative in 1965.


The oddity of having two programs side by side has been repeatedly criticized by the Government Accountability Office. The proliferation of private student loan programs adds complexity as well as cost. Filling out student loan applications is literally more complex than doing your taxes — in this case the complexity is brought to you by the private sector.

The private lending industry adds nothing of value and takes no real risk, since loan repayment is guaranteed by the government. It simply skims off exorbitant profit at taxpayer expense — and then adds further costs of marketing and bribing college officials. According to government figures tabulated by US News & World Report, the direct loan program does better than break even, while the private loan program costs taxpayers $12.80 for every $100 borrowed. Most of those extra costs go for company profits. If all reduced-rate loans had been made through the direct loan program, Kennedy reports, we would have saved $30 billion since 1994, the year Congress revised and expanded the federal program.

Over time, the private student lending industry has become a major lobbying force, using political connections and campaign contributions to hobble its more efficient direct government competitor and block limits on its own profits. The industry succeeded in rigging the rules so that the more efficient public program is losing market share. One provision rammed through the Republican Congress prohibits the public program from marketing itself. Another kept Congress from reducing the maximum interest rates private lenders could charge.

In the 2004 and 2006 election cycles, Sallie Mae donated at least $877,000 to the election campaigns of President Bush and Republican candidates; $122,470 went to the PAC of Representative John Boehner , then head of the House education committee, according to the group Campaign for America’s Future. To add insult to industry, the Republican Congress and the Bush administration have cut funding for Pell grants, so that students and parents are more reliant on the tender mercies of private lenders.

The private student loan industry adds nothing of value. The policy of subsidizing private lenders to serve public purposes (and to corrupt our colleges and universities) should be scrapped in favor of the direct federal loan program.

If this saga sounds familiar, it exactly parallels the privatized Medicare drug program and the efforts by the insurance industry to turn the rest of Medicare into a taxpayer subsidy for private industry. Though three decades of government-bashing have left many politicians reluctant to draw the obvious conclusion, it is often more efficient and less corrupting for government to do the public’s business directly.

Robert Kuttner is co-editor of The American Prospect and a senior fellow at Demos. His column appears regularly in the Globe.

© Copyright 2007 The Boston Globe

JBreeze
04-23-2007, 06:33 PM
Ah, the universities are an issue that frosts me as I grow older...

Have any of them controlled their tuitions costs to match the inflation increases over the past 10-20 years? From my perspective they haven't. But they have lobbied hard to shift growing costs onto society through loan programs, tax-free savings accounts, etc. Meanwhile, the elite colleges are making 20% tax-free on their endowments by using unregulated hedge funds, etc. I think their motto is "socialize the costs; privatize the profits"

I imagine the total student costs per year at a private college now exceed $40K. Many people can't afford this, even with loans/partial scholarships, etc.

I struggled financially to get through three 2nd tier schools in the 1970's - two state universities and Boston University even though I was a moderately successful student (*** laude x 2 and magna *** laude x1). Perhaps I would have done better if I wasn't working 20/hrs. per week during the academic year and full time in the summers.

Frankly, academia seems to be nothing more than a large, tax exempt behemoth with a massive lobbying apparatus. It protects a lot of people with limited talent from having to deal with the real world. And for the talented student with limited funds, I always strongly recommend large state universities for undergraduate studies...you can prove that you are a cut above, have access to a few talented professors in juinor-senior year, and can get into any grad school in the nation if you have talent.

The most interesting category is the private, 3rd tier schools. These seem to exist for rich kids who aren't allowed to mix with the public school kids (and probably aren't talented enough to be accepted into the state schools anyway). Lots and lots of these schools exist.

The faculties of the 2nd tier universities are very interesting....they have three responsibilites: teaching, mentoring grad students and scholarship. Of course, when pressed about any one of these areas, their excuse is always that they've been too busy with the other two. The bottom line is that you have some good researchers that can't teach in an undergraduate classroom. Or great teachers that never get tenure because they fail to publish and therefore perish. Or many tenured facilty that have given up after they've achieved guaranteed life-time employment at age 30.

Don't forget their paid one-year sabbatical vacation every 7 years! The best one I remember was an older prof. who did a presentation about his sabbatical year, complete with slide show. I went, thinking it was about statistical quantum mechanics or thermodynamics as that is what he taught. Nope, it was a slide show of sites in Europe and Scandanavia that correspond with locations mentioned by Shakespeare. Lots of pretty pictures of castles.

I'll quit this and not mention my lack of understanding of why sports exceeds academic emphasis at many schools, or some of the ridiculous majors and courses being offered. The bottom line for me is that universities won't be included in my estate plans.

Have at it!;)

JBreeze
04-23-2007, 06:41 PM
Neat! This board rejects some latin! Let's try this: veni, vidi, vinci - from Caeser and the Marlboro package

bamamick
04-23-2007, 06:54 PM
an average of 15% a year over the last three or four years. They did this for the same reasons that all universities everywhere raise tuition. Improve physical plant. Improve the quality of the education. Increase the budget for research, etc. And it has worked. Everything is better in Tuscaloosa these days, from the labs to the dorms to the sidewalks on campus. Only one problem: they are leaving the kids from Alabama behind. The average Alabamian has received a 3.5% cost of living increase over the same period of time. Dr.Witt (whom I admire for what he has done for the school) says 'but when you look at regional education costs we are still a bargain', but the bottom line is that Alabama kids are being left behind, and enrollment increases are for the most part being made up with strong recruiting in places like Texas and Florida.

Oh well, my kids are almost through school, and they were lucky and good enough to get scholarships to pay for the bulk of their college work. But a lot of good kids are not going to be able to attend the University of Alabama any more. Good Alabama kids. Makes me a wee bit sad.

As far as student loans go, I know a little about that. My wife and I are paying about $700 per month right now in Parent Plus loans because of our household income. My eldest finishes in four days, already has a good paying job lined up, and hopefully will assume her own indebtedness. I wll continue helping her with whatever she can't pay for as long as it takes. My middle kid has taken care of her own school with just a minimum of contribution from the parents. My youngest has scholarships that pay for the vast majority of her schooling. Right now I am paying about $200 per month and she is halfway through with her B.S.. After that it is going to be about $300K for law school, assuming she can get in. She'll either pay her own loans once she gets into the legal profession, or my wife and I will flee to some tax haven where they can't find us :).

A good education was one of the things that I felt that I 'owed' my kids. I have tried. And education is very expensive these days. I hate the idea of my kids starting life with a very large amount of indebtedness, but the way things have fallen out it is almost like taxes. If you want it you have to pay for it, and most of us can't pay for it out of pocket. Scool loans are just one of the facts of life these days.

Mickey Lake

Ian McColgin
04-23-2007, 06:57 PM
Well, one can argue with the priorities that "educators" like John Silber of BU have managed to make most common.

My point was really a simple one at the other end. I've no problem with educational insititutions that are private, either for profit or non-profid, and however they may loot affluent families. But I deeply believe that anyone of academic competance should be able to go as far as fits without ending up indebted.

I want folk to have the advantages I had in the '60's. I was accepted at a couple of places that cost beaucoup bucks but I also had and chose the option of the State University of New York at Stony Brook where a combination of Regents' scholarships, a bit of other scholarship, work-study in the school year, and fishing in the summer got me through debt free.

No one should have less than I had.

What we have here is intolerable corruption on top of a quarter century of financing higher education wrongly.

George Roberts
04-23-2007, 07:07 PM
I suspect that most colleges do a reasonable job at providing financial aid/loan information to students. But it is and always has been the student's duty to determine what is the best deal.

---

We have all heard that over a lifetime the average college graduate earns $1 million dollars (or some other sum) more than the average high school graduate. It sure is tempting to say college is worth the expense.

But there is too much variation between reasonable assumptions.

For some assumptions it makes best sense to invest the college tuition and find a job.

For others the college investment is much better.

Certainly taking on $160k in debt to flip burgers is a poor choice.

JBreeze
04-23-2007, 07:13 PM
And I don't disagree.....a solution could be institutions that TEACH on the undergraduate level, and skip the attempted big-time sports and so-called research. The only thing I can think of that even comes close are the community colleges, and even those are getting expensive.

How much can the middle class take? I feel for "bamamick" with all the kids in college and a job with increasing responsibility and pressure.

But I do have to laugh at the untalented private college graduates who feel entitled to a signifiant position with the state department or a "non-profit" foundation after graduation. What, not accepted for the embassy position in Paris? :D

Ian McColgin
04-23-2007, 07:20 PM
George and I could not more profoundly disagree about the value of education. There are professional and vocational education options from machinest to physician to sea captain where perhaps the argument could be made that a loan is justified by future return. There are many other endeavors, a mechanic building wells in Africa, a physician in Appelachia or a sailor building the artisianly fishery along Brasil's north coast, where the monatary rewards are slight enogh that an indebted person could not do the job.

This does not even include the liberal arts, from which spring all our better citizens from ministers to involved citizens to farmers who recite Yeats to their cows. This is not the education that leads to money but if we are to have a righteous society we must make it freely available to those able and disposed.

For me, higher education is like high school but not mandatory. People who want it shoud be able to get it on merit without cost to themselves.

George Jung
04-23-2007, 07:33 PM
It's been mentioned this is essentially a Republican ploy; I'm curious if we can count on the Democrats to right these wrongs when they get in, come 2008?
I have two kids in college now; and even with scholarships, it's incredibly expensive! And that is at a state University. I managed college and two post-baccalaureate programs, and owed a relatively small amount (I think less than one year is costing me for the girls now). Something smells; I'd be interested in some constructive remarks (ie, how do we fix this thing?).

JBreeze
04-23-2007, 08:32 PM
I'm an very slow and poor typist, so reponse #7 was a reply to #5.

I don't disagree at all with Ian's notion of merit. That is why I have such a hard time with firms that only take applications from those with degrees from certain schools. Don't get me started on legacy children, offspring of faculty, and those who can buy their way in to certain schools.

George, I don't think either administration will do anything significant. My only idea is to squeeze the schools themselves, so that they support programs with potential, and sacrifice some of the weird stuff (and faculty). Maybe the athletic stuff, too, which is only income generating for the very highest rated sports schools. This seems to be happening in healthcare, at least along the densely populated East and West Coast. For instance, I needed an out of the ordinary C4-T5 ant/post fusion, and the place to go for this orthopedic operation in New England is N.E. Baptist Hosp. in Boston.

If I recall correctly, medical and dentals schools used to get a grant for each student enrolled under some federal program to increase the number of doctors and dentists in the US. I think this may have stopped in the 1980's. So what happened? Fairleigh Dickinson (Fairly Ridiculous) U in NJ shut down its dental school, and another (Georgetown?) closed, too.

Locally, there was a funny story about how the govenor of Massachusetts (Dukakis at the time) had to do his token appearance at UMass on the other side of the state. Govenors hate making this trip because they are treated badly by the students. They took the Gov. through the Polymer Science building and introduced him to a couple of students in the labs. He asked one girl where she had gone as an undergrad. She replied "MIT". He asked why she was at UMass. Her reply is that UMass is where you go if you are serious about graduate work in Polymer Science in the US. Sometimes it is suprising where the best programs reside (guess you can tell I use epoxy on boats, eh?).

So maybe downsizing and only supporting the programs that the school does well can mitigate the continued increase in costs.

Ian, as much as Silber is hated, his response to title IX was to cut athletic programs. BU Men's NCAA football - Undefeated since 1997! :D And the school survived.

George Jung
04-23-2007, 09:05 PM
I didn't see this article carried in any of the midwest papers I check; wonder what would happen if I was to forward it to my elected US senators....

JBreeze
04-23-2007, 09:13 PM
George Jung,

Here is an AP link through MSNBC...it might be perceived as more neutral than the Boston Globe (owned by the New York Times) and it doesn't mention Kennedy:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18040824/

Mrleft8
04-23-2007, 09:21 PM
Far as I know, some of the best colleges don't even have athletic teams.
And aren't most major universitie's teams not only self supporting, but actually income producers in general?

Cuyahoga Chuck
04-23-2007, 10:18 PM
Far as I know, some of the best colleges don't even have athletic teams.
And aren't most major universitie's teams not only self supporting, but actually income producers in general?

I would certainly like to see an unbiased analysis of this. I heard a lot of claims but usually from a stakeholder.
If these programs were really self supporting they be paying for the construction and maintainence of the sports complexes they require. Major sports programs would fold if they even had to pay the interest on the bonds that were required to build an 80,000 seat stadium.
Expanding campuses and adding new buildings at state schools is a political winner but all that new stuff has to be maintained which usually isn't included in the original appropriation. So, they sock it to the students.

George Roberts
04-23-2007, 10:55 PM
"For me, higher education is like high school but not mandatory. People who want it shoud be able to get it on merit without cost to themselves."

Any National Merit Scholar (smart kids) can go to any Oklahoma public University for free - no charge for tuition, books, or on campus room and board.

Yale has a tuition free program. I forget the details.

---

Higher education is a lot like high school. Kids don't do their work and they fail.

Ian McColgin
04-24-2007, 05:43 AM
Of the 1.4 million students who try for the National Merit, about 15,000 are finalists and final winners are apportioned geographically, so no matter how many geniuses Oklahoma raises in a year, the number of Merit Scholarships the Oklahoma system will match up is limited.

According to the OSU web sites, resident tuition and fees average about $25,400 per year. Oklahoma National Merit students get $50,300 over their four years. The other half of T&F plus books, living, etc comes from the student and family first, need based loans second.

National Merit is an important scholarship that recognizes the very elite of our entering college students. Most Merit kids will get enough financial aid that their families will be only semi-pauperized. There are other programs that also make education possible for a very few of the very brightest.

But such scholarships are not what I’m writing about. My position is quite simple: Our nation should invest in higher education such that any kid of merit to stay in school with an acceptable GPA can do it without debt. Hard work. Scramble. State college. But no debt.

When I was of that age, Gov. Rockafeller made that commitment. California made that commitment. Others did as well. In the four decades since, we have reneged on that.

More to the point of the C&P, not only have we moved to a saddle-em-with-debt-beggar-the-families system, but it's mind-boggeling profitable and corrupt. That has nothing to do with excess college expenses. The way we pay them, excessive or not, is corrupt.

George Roberts
04-24-2007, 08:48 AM
"Our nation should invest in higher education such that any kid of merit to stay in school with an acceptable GPA can do it without debt."

What you propose to do is set up a system where all parties - school, teachers, and students, profit by gaming the system.The only loser is the government, the tax payers, which is required to poor money into the system.

---

It is much better for all involved for the tax payer to stay away.

Tristan
04-24-2007, 09:43 AM
I went to a private university between 1951-1955. Paid half my tuition by summer jobs. My dad paid the other half. As I recall, a semester's tuition was around $400. This was probably about 8% of my dad's $5,000/yr salary. Same university today, a semester's tuition would be more than 20 % of a salary of $75,000/year.

TimH
04-24-2007, 11:50 AM
That Raise Might Take 4 Years to Earn as Well

Those with bachelor's degrees are finding their incomes stagnate despite a growing economy.
By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Times Staff Writer
July 24, 2006


WASHINGTON — The economy has been steadily growing, with unemployment low and corporate profits at historic highs.

So why can't David Lewis get a decent raise?

Lewis worked his way up through a string of technology companies around San Jose, finally landing a $77,000-a-year Web design position. But in five years in that job, he received only a single 5% pay increase.

That was troubling for someone facing the rising costs of rent, food and raising a newborn daughter. But Lewis, 36, found it especially troubling because he had done what had traditionally helped Americans share in the benefits of a growing economy: He had earned a four-year college degree.

Wage stagnation, long the bane of blue-collar workers, is now hitting people with bachelor's degrees for the first time in 30 years. Earnings for workers with four-year degrees fell 5.2% from 2000 to 2004 when adjusted for inflation, according to White House economists.

It is a remarkable setback for workers who thought they were well-positioned to win some of the benefits of the nation's economic growth, and it may help explain why surveys show that many Americans think President Bush has not managed the economy well.

Not since the 1970s have workers with bachelor's degrees seen a prolonged slump in earnings during a time of economic growth. These workers did well during the last period of economic growth, 1995 to 2000, with inflation-adjusted average wages rising 12%, according to an analysis by the liberal-leaning Economic Policy Institute.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-na-wages24jul24,0,2662782.story?coll=la-home-headlines

George Roberts
04-24-2007, 01:20 PM
"So why can't David Lewis get a decent raise?"

There are a lot of people who are not very good...

My youngest daughter skipped 10th grade and went to the Oklahoma Science and Math School a year early for 2 years. She flunked out with a 0 (zero) GPA the first year. They begged her to stay.

She earned a full boat (all expenses paid) at OU because she was a National Merit Scholar. She flunked out with a 0 (zero) GPA.

She went to Silicon Valley and got a job paying 6 figures.

A college degree v. ability. I think ability is more valuable.

JBreeze
04-24-2007, 02:18 PM
The article posted is dated 4/21.....this news has been around for a while....the link I posted was "updated" on 4/10.

The difference in the 4/21 article is that it points the finger at the current administration, and mentions Ian's neighbor in the Senate. I'm really glad that Kennedy is on the alert about this, as well as Barney Frank now leading the charge on unscruplous practices in the subprime industry. But why now? All of this stuff as been self-evident for years to the average parent faced with tuition payments, or anyone seeking a mortgage.

Perhaps Brad from St. Louis can comment on the sub-prime and Alt- A mortgage industry, but it defied reality to see banner ads on the internet or ads in the newspaper touting mortgages for 2% with no documentation and no down payment. Remember when Easy Al Greenspan commented positively a couple of years ago on variable rate mortgages as a way for some people to enter the housing market, just before he started increasing interest rates? Where was the outcry from Congress way back then about this potential timebomb ?

I've implied that I think both parties are at fault, because they have supported the "college industry" for decades and never called for the schools to review their programs and costs. My guess is that the economy is about to enter a serious period of stagflation, just like the 1970's, and a lot of middle class and lower class people will be hurt. There won't be the resources available for the "entitlement" of a debt-free college education as Ian desires. The debts will be so huge that the government won't be able to bail everyone out.

Bring back Paul Volker!

Cuyahoga Chuck
04-24-2007, 04:08 PM
"For me, higher education is like high school but not mandatory. People who want it shoud be able to get it on merit without cost to themselves."

Any National Merit Scholar (smart kids) can go to any Oklahoma public University for free - no charge for tuition, books, or on campus room and board.

Yale has a tuition free program. I forget the details.

---

Higher education is a lot like high school. Kids don't do their work and they fail.

How many National Merits Scholars does your school district produce, George? How many of these Scholars does the entire state of Oklahoma produce? Why would any kid smart enough to be a National Merit Scholar settle for any university in Oklahoma?

George Roberts
04-24-2007, 04:51 PM
There is a reasonable weather forecasting program.

There is a reasonable oil/gas program.

A launching facility for space craft is being built. I suspect there will be some type of related program available in the future.

---

I don't teach anymore so that might make some go elsewhere. :)

TimH
04-24-2007, 08:14 PM
Anyone related to Goerge is just a born genius, plain and simple.

George Roberts
04-24-2007, 10:23 PM
TimH ---

Hard work is often more important.

Ian McColgin
04-25-2007, 02:49 AM
We have several different topics weaving in this thread:

The C&P deals with corruption of the loan program;

College costs have skyrocketed at least in part due to a sort of enterprenurial privatization of high salaries and corporate donations for research that actually create more expenses than they pay for;

The question of whether college is a good investment from a consumer's cost of education / benefit of better job perspective;

The occasional example of geniuses who don't need college to make beaucoup bucks; and

The ever present question of whether the life of the mind is worth anything in a material world.

Regarding the first: The problem has been growing radically since the Nixon administration really started the shift from grants to loans and inititated in a small way privatizing the loans. While the real explosion in the business began with Bush 43 and that administration's hallmark of incompetance and corruption, it's fair to say the problem has grown, albeit more slowly, under D's and R's alike.

The best times of higher education were from the fifties, as the GI bill really took hold, through the sixties or early seventies. This was an era when nearly anyone of academic merit could put him or herself through college. It was fueled by good but by no means outrageous public (state and federal) support.

All great industrial nations find three benefits from public higher education:

We need people with the education to move the technology beyond their merely academic training - if we didn't need that we could have trade schools rather than colleges;

We need to make access to that leadership power something to which all our citizens can legitimatly aspire - not price them out from jump; and

We need at least a few folk studying philosophy, literature and whatever who make a painintheass of themselves asking critical questions.

There's an interesting way in which students could control higher education. If we get off this beggar-the-future approach, allowing students to be there for their own goals, diverse as those are, the students will effectivly thwart the money pit sub-departments.

Higher ed reform takes many fronts but the primary front is social democratization of the student body through open equal access for those inclined to learn.

George Roberts
04-25-2007, 09:48 AM
While I agree that education is good both for the individual and the country ...

You have yet to produce an argument that a change in pricing is justified.

from http://www.ericdigests.org/2003-3/value.htm (I don't know these people. Their figures must be out of date. I suspect the same conclusion can be drawn even now.):

"While it is clear that investment in a college degree, especially for those students in the lowest income brackets, is a financial burden, the long-term benefits to individuals as well as to society at large, appear to far outweigh the costs."

It is hard to argue that a good economic investment needs to be made better.

TimH
04-25-2007, 11:07 AM
TimH ---

Hard work is often more important.

higher education is hard work

TimH
04-25-2007, 11:09 AM
"So why can't David Lewis get a decent raise?"

There are a lot of people who are not very good...

My youngest daughter skipped 10th grade and went to the Oklahoma Science and Math School a year early for 2 years. She flunked out with a 0 (zero) GPA the first year. They begged her to stay.

She earned a full boat (all expenses paid) at OU because she was a National Merit Scholar. She flunked out with a 0 (zero) GPA.

She went to Silicon Valley and got a job paying 6 figures.

A college degree v. ability. I think ability is more valuable.

one would have to do absolutely nothing to get a 0 GPA.

I dont see why anyone would be so anxious to hire somebody who cant apply themselves to do better than a 0.

George Roberts
04-25-2007, 11:42 AM
"one would have to do absolutely nothing to get a 0 GPA."

Technically one could simply do things unrelated to school. It appears she directed her time toward various applied computing projects. (I used to know what the projects were but my mind is not as good as it needs to be.)

Ian McColgin
04-25-2007, 02:08 PM
The greedy creeps who displaced public funding with private loans to the intense profit of private parties did not ever justify their move. I have, however, especially in the second of my points near the end of post 26. This is just straight John Dewey, with whom all serious about education and democracy should be familiar. The loan programs are pricing many away from higher ed and forcing those who go for it to stay focused on higher ed as a consumable investment for a higher income. Lives of service and independence are shunted aside for people willing to be slaves to the economy.

George Roberts
04-25-2007, 03:55 PM
Ian McColgin ---

Perhaps I lead a sheltered life ...

When I supervised employees, I would pay all educational expenses for the employees and adjust their work schedules to help them out. (I would even hire "poor" people on the condition that they go to school at my expense.)

Several of my wife's clients provide full scholarships for "poor" students. One is funding a vet student at an out of state university.

One professional organization I belong to will fund anyone who has need - $1.5 million in the education fund. All one needs to do is ask by writing a couple hundred words. They are willing to pay full tuition, book, room and board. This organization has to go out and beg people to apply. They are tired of begging.

There are even rich people who have adopted schools with the goal of paying all college expenses.

Several colleges provide free online courses. There is no credit but they do provide an education.

NO LOANS

---

Perhaps you could spend some time looking at public high schools.
Many think the public is not doing well there - And it is free.

Ian McColgin
04-25-2007, 04:11 PM
It's well that there are private charities. They will always be needed for educational endevors at private universities. I benefited from such a charity - a scholarship to Taft established by an executive in the airline my father flew for. I then chose a public university with Merit, Regents and some other stuff. My theology school provided employment and scholarships sufficient to go there, again privately supported.

So I have experience with lots of benefits, public and private, and no loans, which left me economically free to persue a career as a community organizer, not at all well paid but really wonderful.

Kids now-a-days do not get those advantages. That terribly wrong.

We should invest in our younger citizens if we expect them to be citizens and not just money grubbing greed-heads.

Dan McCosh
04-25-2007, 05:06 PM
A year's tuition at a top Michigan public university when i went to college was 240 hours of work at minimum wage. (No taxes). Today, it is 2,500 hours of work at minimum wage. Neither includes books, dorm fees, etc. That reality dwarfs any issues as to how to finance the cost.

George Roberts
04-25-2007, 06:48 PM
3 Very rough 4 year plans for a poor student (30 credits at Michigan State University)

2 terms of 15 credits on campus 20 meal plan: $16K.
Federal grant $4k.
Hard to earn $12K in a summer.

---
1 term of 30 credits on campus 20 meal plan: $12K.
Federal grant $4K.
Easy to save $8K during the second term and the summer with 2 full time jobs.
(I suppose one needs to get special permission for this course load, but it is usually given to those who ask.)

---
2 terms of 15 credits live at home $9K.
Federal grant $4K.
Easy to save $5K/year with a full time job.

---

It took under 1/2 hour to get these numbers together.

paladin
04-25-2007, 07:01 PM
or go into the military, keep grades at 3.0 or higher, everything paid for, you do your own laundry etc and still get 300 bucks a month for incidentals.......if you can carry the load and finish in three years you can go for mor education.........and if you plot and plan correctly, only spend 2 years playing their games, 4 years if you don't.....

Ian McColgin
04-25-2007, 07:42 PM
Yep, there are many ways to get an education paid for, just as there are many kinds of students.

Public universities were built in the first place to provide low cost public education - every one, land grant, aggie, normal schools, universitites. The people who subverted that goal did it for profits that are both obscene and corrupt.

hokiefan
04-25-2007, 08:55 PM
I honestly don't know too much about the college loan situation, although I probably should with 11 and 15 year old kids. What I do know is that I considered myself quite lucky that both my wife and I got out of college with our degrees and no student loan debt. Since we have learned about personal finance and debt management the hard way since then, it was a huge help not to have that burden.

If I can somehow manage to get the kids through school in the same fashion (hopefully with a touch more personal finance knowledge) I will have given them quite a start. That is the goal anyway.

Bobby