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Old 06-11-2012, 06:39 PM  
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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The next bubble bursting: could be student loans.

I think this piece will prove to be prescient.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinio...iOV_story.html

Subprime college educations
By George F. Will
Published: June 8

Many parents and the children they send to college are paying rapidly rising prices for something of declining quality. This is because “quality” is not synonymous with “value.”

Glenn Harlan Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor, believes that college has become, for many, merely a “status marker,” signaling membership in the educated caste, and a place to meet spouses of similar status — “associative mating.” Since 1961, the time students spend reading, writing and otherwise studying has fallen from 24 hours a week to about 15 — enough for a degree often desired only as an expensive signifier of rudimentary qualities (e.g., the ability to follow instructions). Employers value this signifier as an alternative to aptitude tests when evaluating potential employees because such tests can provoke lawsuits by having a “disparate impact” on this or that racial or ethnic group.

In his “The Higher Education Bubble,” Reynolds writes that this bubble exists for the same reasons the housing bubble did. The government decided that too few people owned homes/went to college, so government money was poured into subsidized and sometimes subprime mortgages/student loans, with the predictable result that housing prices/college tuitions soared and many borrowers went bust. Tuitions and fees have risen more than 440 percent in 30 years as schools happily raised prices — and lowered standards — to siphon up federal money. A recent Wall Street Journal headline: “Student Debt Rises by 8% as College Tuitions Climb.”

Richard Vedder, an Ohio University economist, writes in the Chronicle of Higher Education that as many people — perhaps more — have student loan debts as have college degrees. Have you seen those T-shirts that proclaim “College: The Best Seven Years of My Life”? Twenty-nine percent of borrowers never graduate, and many who do graduate take decades to repay their loans.

In 2010, the New York Times reported on Cortney Munna, then 26, a New York University graduate with almost $100,000 in debt. If her repayments were not then being deferred because she was enrolled in night school, she would have been paying $700 monthly from her $2,300 monthly after-tax income as a photographer’s assistant. She says she is toiling “to pay for an education I got for four years and would happily give back.” Her degree is in religious and women’s studies.

The budgets of California’s universities are being cut, so recently Cal State Northridge students conducted an almost-hunger strike (sustained by a blend of kale, apple and celery juices) to protest, as usual, tuition increases and, unusually and properly, administrators’ salaries. For example, in 2009 the base salary of UC Berkeley’s vice chancellor for equity and inclusion was $194,000, almost four times that of starting assistant professors. And by 2006, academic administrators outnumbered faculty.

The Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald notes that sinecures in academia’s diversity industry are expanding as academic offerings contract. UC San Diego (UCSD), while eliminating master’s programs in electrical and computer engineering and comparative literature, and eliminating courses in French, German, Spanish and English literature, added a diversity requirement for graduation to cultivate “a student’s understanding of her or his identity.” So, rather than study computer science and Cervantes, students can study their identities — themselves. Says Mac Donald, “ ‘Diversity,’ it turns out, is simply a code word for narcissism.”

She reports that UCSD lost three cancer researchers to Rice University, which offered them 40 percent pay increases. But UCSD found money to create a vice chancellorship for equity, diversity and inclusion. UC Davis has a Diversity Trainers Institute under an administrator of diversity education, who presumably coordinates with the Cross-Cultural Center. It also has: a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center; a Sexual Harassment Education Program; a diversity program coordinator; an early resolution discrimination coordinator; a Diversity Education Series that awards Understanding Diversity Certificates in “Unpacking Oppression”; and Cross-Cultural Competency Certificates in “Understanding Diversity and Social Justice.” California’s budget crisis has not prevented UC San Francisco from creating a new vice chancellor for diversity and outreach to supplement its Office of Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity and Diversity, and the Diversity Learning Center (which teaches how to become “a Diversity Change Agent”), and the Center for LGBT Health and Equity, and the Office of Sexual Harassment Prevention & Resolution, and the Chancellor’s Advisory Committees on Diversity, and on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Issues, and on the Status of Women.

So taxpayers should pay more and parents and students should borrow more to fund administrative sprawl in the service of stale political agendas? Perhaps they will, until “pop!” goes the bubble.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:47 AM   #76
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I hate to break it to you, but a degree from KU isn't going to be anywhere near as valuable as a Harvard degree. It's a black mark for your institution that one of their students is even making this comparison. I don't know why you think it matters that you can now get a Corolla for what a Rolls Royce used to cost.

When do you think the federal government got into the student loan business?
The comparison is interesting and valid if you use two different schools in the comparison. Funny... a buddy of mine and I were talking about cars. Yeah, huge difference between a Corolla and a Rolls Royce. But man, a Ford is really starting to catch up to an Acura.

Harvard and KU aren't good examples. But Michigan or UNC vs. Cornell or Dartmouth? Absolutely.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:58 AM   #77
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The comparison is interesting and valid if you use two different schools in the comparison. Funny... a buddy of mine and I were talking about cars. Yeah, huge difference between a Corolla and a Rolls Royce. But man, a Ford is really starting to catch up to an Acura.

Harvard and KU aren't good examples. But Michigan or UNC vs. Cornell or Dartmouth? Absolutely.
There's no comparison you can make to refute the fact that college tuition inflation exceeds general inflation by a huge amount.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:12 AM   #78
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A lot more people are. However few work their way through anymore. I think the loans set up that incentive.
You're missing the point. FEW PEOPLE CAN AFFORD TO WORK THEIR WAY THROUGH COLLEGE. My wife graduated from KU owing 5k in 2003. She applied for any and every scholarship available to her and received almost every single one. There was a time when working your way through school was a viable option, but today that is not the case. Unless you luck out and receive a full ride scholarship, student loans are pretty much your only option. My brother graduates this year and will owe 62k in student loans, and thats while working his way through school paying as he went. The days of getting a good education at a affordable price are are long gone.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:46 AM   #79
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You're missing the point. FEW PEOPLE CAN AFFORD TO WORK THEIR WAY THROUGH COLLEGE. My wife graduated from KU owing 5k in 2003. She applied for any and every scholarship available to her and received almost every single one. There was a time when working your way through school was a viable option, but today that is not the case. Unless you luck out and receive a full ride scholarship, student loans are pretty much your only option. My brother graduates this year and will owe 62k in student loans, and thats while working his way through school paying as he went. The days of getting a good education at a affordable price are are long gone.
It looks like you're the one missing the point. One of the main reasons it's too expensive to work your way though college now is that we've had so much easy money pumped into the college system through student loan programs over the past few decades.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:52 AM   #80
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It looks like you're the one missing the point. One of the main reasons it's too expensive to work your way though college now is that we've had so much easy money pumped into the college system through student loan programs over the past few decades.
It was easier to get money for school years ago than it is today. Before they never pulled your credit , now they do a complete credit check, so I'm not sure where the "easy money" is coming from. The reason why you could work through school is because it was affordable to do so-loans where not always the first option. Now , they are your only option if your parents aren't loaded, or if you don't earn a scholarship.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:15 AM   #81
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It was easier to get money for school years ago than it is today. Before they never pulled your credit , now they do a complete credit check, so I'm not sure where the "easy money" is coming from. The reason why you could work through school is because it was affordable to do so-loans where not always the first option. Now , they are your only option if your parents aren't loaded, or if you don't earn a scholarship.
You're still not getting it.

The people for whom the money is easy are the colleges. I don't know anyone who has ever been denied the ability to borrow money for college. Maybe it happens in a small number of cases, but it can't be very common.

But even if loans are harder to get today than they were a few years ago, or if the loans have worse terms today than they did then, the tuition problem of today comes from the loans of the past few decades, not the loans being made today. The loans of today (and they're still easy to get regardless of what you believe) are simply driving up costs for tomorrow's students.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:34 AM   #82
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You're still not getting it.

The people for whom the money is easy are the colleges. I don't know anyone who has ever been denied the ability to borrow money for college. Maybe it happens in a small number of cases, but it can't be very common.

But even if loans are harder to get today than they were a few years ago, or if the loans have worse terms today than they did then, the tuition problem of today comes from the loans of the past few decades, not the loans being made today. The loans of today (and they're still easy to get regardless of what you believe) are simply driving up costs for tomorrow's students.
When was the last time you applied for a student loan ?
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:53 AM   #83
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If you don't want to pay the cost of going to college don't go to college. The whole, "I ended up owing too much!" is like saying, "I bought a car and now I owe $30,000!" And?
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:13 PM   #84
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You're still not getting it.

The people for whom the money is easy are the colleges. I don't know anyone who has ever been denied the ability to borrow money for college. Maybe it happens in a small number of cases, but it can't be very common.

But even if loans are harder to get today than they were a few years ago, or if the loans have worse terms today than they did then, the tuition problem of today comes from the loans of the past few decades, not the loans being made today. The loans of today (and they're still easy to get regardless of what you believe) are simply driving up costs for tomorrow's students.

It is not access to loans that is driving up the cost of College. It is simple market forces, supple and demand, that are driving up the cost.

The college degree is about as useful as a high school degree forty or even thirty years ago. You are almost required to have a college degree for the most basic of jobs.

Colleges and universities know this, they sell it. Were you told about Community colleges in High School? We tell every single high school graduate to go to college. Because everyone and their parents think you need a degree to do anything (which to an extent you do). Colleges can continue to charge whatever the want. The people will pay it. The Loans you talk about, those are just a means to meet the payment.

You can compare it to a monopoly in a way. College will can charge whatever price they want because there is no check on demand.

I know you want to blame the government for everything, but even without government loans the cost would still be skyrocketing. Colleges have the market cornered, if you want the high paying jobs, you have to get a degree, so you will pay their costs.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:20 PM   #85
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If you don't want to pay the cost of going to college don't go to college. The whole, "I ended up owing too much!" is like saying, "I bought a car and now I owe $30,000!" And?
Cool concept. Good thing 18 year olds are known for making great choices in life. Especially ones that impact them for thirty years. I know every 18 year old has taken finance class in high school and understand compound interest and grasp how long it really takes to pay off a loan. That is why we give so many 18 years house loan and car loans.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:29 PM   #86
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Cool concept. Good thing 18 year olds are known for making great choices in life. Especially ones that impact them for thirty years. I know every 18 year old has taken finance class in high school and understand compound interest and grasp how long it really takes to pay off a loan. That is why we give so many 18 years house loan and car loans.
It's not really rocket science.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:20 PM   #87
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When was the last time you applied for a student loan ?
Last fall. What difference does that make?
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:25 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by Loneiguana View Post
It is not access to loans that is driving up the cost of College. It is simple market forces, supple and demand, that are driving up the cost.

The college degree is about as useful as a high school degree forty or even thirty years ago. You are almost required to have a college degree for the most basic of jobs.

Colleges and universities know this, they sell it. Were you told about Community colleges in High School? We tell every single high school graduate to go to college. Because everyone and their parents think you need a degree to do anything (which to an extent you do). Colleges can continue to charge whatever the want. The people will pay it. The Loans you talk about, those are just a means to meet the payment.

You can compare it to a monopoly in a way. College will can charge whatever price they want because there is no check on demand.

I know you want to blame the government for everything, but even without government loans the cost would still be skyrocketing. Colleges have the market cornered, if you want the high paying jobs, you have to get a degree, so you will pay their costs.
Nope, you're wrong about this. You're focusing on symptoms instead of the underlying problem. All the issues you focus on grew out of the fact that the government flooded the market with easy money. Demand was increased because it was easier to pay for college. People started to think you needed a degree because everyone was getting one since it was easier to pay for it.

Colleges are simply soaking up all that money that's been injected into the system.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:59 PM   #89
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Nope, you're wrong about this. You're focusing on symptoms instead of the underlying problem. All the issues you focus on grew out of the fact that the government flooded the market with easy money. Demand was increased because it was easier to pay for college. People started to think you needed a degree because everyone was getting one since it was easier to pay for it.

Colleges are simply soaking up all that money that's been injected into the system.
Demand has increased despite an crazy increase in cost. At what cost do you think demand will decrease? Or do you believe that government money will only always increase demand no matter the cost? Its not like it is free money, people are still going into debt.

/honest questions.
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:19 PM   #90
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Demand has increased despite an crazy increase in cost. At what cost do you think demand will decrease? Or do you believe that government money will only always increase demand no matter the cost? Its not like it is free money, people are still going into debt.

/honest questions.
I don't know when it will decrease, but as long as we keep finding ways to "make college affordable for all" by pumping taxpayer dollars into the system, demand will remain artificially high just like it is now.
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