School loans

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School loans

#1 Postby CrispyQ » Wed Nov 30, 2005 6:21 pm

In a recent Business Week the feature article was about school loans. I WAS STUNNED!!! They featured 4-5 students, one was a couple. Most were graduating from 4 year college with $40k-$60k in debt, some much more. The couple was going to graduate from grad school with a combined school loan debt off $112k. Gasp! :!:

Then in the current issue someone wrote in to the LTTE section & said they would be getting their PhD but had $180k in debt. Heilige Scheisse! I didn't pay that much for my house! Even if you score a $75k-$100k a year job, how do you recover from a $100k+ debt? Mentally that would overwhelm me.

I went to CU & paid in-state tuition. If I recall, I paid approx $1000 per semester & that included room & board at the dorm. I was fortunate to have parents that helped out, so no loans.

I'm curious how many of you are carrying a school loan & if you care to divulge, how much? Do you think it's worth it? How concerned are you with the current trend of outsourcing? How long do you think it will take you to pay it off? Will you have to put off other life choices -- marriage, kids, buying a house -- to take care of your school loans?

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#2 Postby willpeavy » Wed Nov 30, 2005 6:54 pm

I'm a grad student, and between me and my wife we owe over $40K in loans. I hope to get a PhD one day too and so will likely end up owing a lot more. I think it's worth it because I like studying, learning, researching, earning degrees and credentials, etc. I'm not really worried about it repaying the loan either. If you're low income you can defer or apply to reduce payments on loans.

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Re: School loans

#3 Postby Jay » Wed Nov 30, 2005 7:25 pm

CrispyQ wrote:I'm curious how many of you are carrying a school loan & if you care to divulge, how much? Do you think it's worth it? How concerned are you with the current trend of outsourcing? How long do you think it will take you to pay it off? Will you have to put off other life choices -- marriage, kids, buying a house -- to take care of your school loans?

-28k or 350/month
-Right now it looks like no as despite a BS, MS, ABD in mech. eng. I don't have a job or good prospects thanks to my last boss being nuts.
-I work in an extremely small field where outsourcing isn't a personal concern. I do think the US economy is going to crash soon.
-If by some luck I do find a job then I can have it paid off within two years easily.
-I certainly haven't put marriage off. You save money by being married.
-Kids are off until I someday find a permanent job. In science you just get one year appointments over and over again and now I don't even have that.
-We mistakenly already bought a house because for some strange reason my boss decided to lie to me and tell it was a great idea for me to buy a house. We live in the most expensive county in the US according to a yahoo article from just yesterday. And the house payment is $1450, so the loan was nothing in comparison. (That's a cheap house here.) I guess if I had a job in some place poor like WV then the payment would be a bigger issue.

It is ridiculous to have such huge college loans when you take into account that it doesn't necessarily guarantee getting a job. I purposely chose mech. eng. (even though I don't like it) back in 1996 because I thought there would surely always be a big demand for such people. Actually it's not like that at all. BS engineers are collossally shit on because they aren't in demand and when going to MS and above the experience starts getting very specialized thus greatly reducing the job prospects.

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#4 Postby veggymeggy » Wed Nov 30, 2005 8:56 pm

In just school loans I'm about 6500 in right now, with almost 2 years of school left. I'm waiting on a 7k loan right now, hoping to have that next month, so then i'll be at 13,500. Next year I'll need at least another 5k, probably more.
For my bachelor's, I hope to come in under 25,000.
Of course, that doesn't even begin to cover my masters, which I hope to start work on ASAP after the bachelor's.

At that - I've been very fortunate. My parents actually pay my tuition and books, the rest of it has just been to afford living down here. Freshman year on campus, this year off campus, it's all very expensive down here. My best friend doesn't get any help, and she's got 14k in loans so far this year, and needs more. And that's for IN STATE PUBLIC university. I've got friends with bachelor's that ran WELL over 100 grand.

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#5 Postby Michelle » Wed Nov 30, 2005 10:08 pm

I would not be happy with a large amount of student debt, or any kind of debt, for that matter.

My student loans are all paid off, but that's only because after three or four semesters, when the total started to approach $15,000 (this was in 1994, and that only included tuition & books) I sat down to do some math, and realized that in the city where I was living at the time, a BS or BA from the school I was attending wasn't likely to earn me very much. Definitely not enough to pay off a big pile of student loans while supporting my family. The expense simply didn't justify the benefits. For that reason I chose to postpone my education until the someday when the debt was caught up and I could attend a more affordable school.

It actually turned out to be a very good decision, because I taught myself computers & networking, and ended up doing reasonably well in that field. (Well, until I burned out on IT.) Now, I'm attending a community college, where the tuition is just under $50/credit for in-district students. It's just unbelievably cheap! I'm only taking a couple classes at a time, so I just pay the tuition in cash each semester. The university here isn't very expensive either, but enough so I'll have to take some loans when I get that far.

The current trend of outsourcing does worry me. I wonder how people in highly outsourced jobs like programming are managing their educational debt, with so many of the jobs gone to other countries or just not paying like they used to. I'm not in any direct danger of losing my current job to outsourcing (let's see them perform a massage remotely from India! HA!) but it does affect me indirectly. If enough of my clients are unemployed or have reduced income due to outsourcing, my income goes down, too.

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#6 Postby FormicaLinoleum » Wed Nov 30, 2005 10:48 pm

I owe somewhere around $7-8K at the moment. I borrowed for undergrad. I got through grad school (for my PhD) without borrowing a penny, and I am very glad for that. I went to a state school and was a teaching assistant which gave me tuition remission and a stipend and I additionally worked part time.

My girlfriend has no debt from undergrad. She went to a state school (the same one I went to for grad) and worked part time in a job that gave her at least partial tuition remission. Then she got an MA at a private school and had to borrow $18K for her one-year program.

So I highly recommend state schools!
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