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Thread: A college degree is a lousy investment

  1. #1

    A college degree is a lousy investment

    Grads drowning in debt

    What is appropriate amount of debt?

    Discuss.

  2. #2
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    Not the amount that I have, that's for sure.

  3. #3
    A college degree is a great investment. Unless one relishes the thought of living in a trailer and "eating out" at McDonald's.

  4. #4
    Second thought: these articles seem to be everywhere these days. The message should not be "a college degree is a bad investment" because clearly that is untrue. It is a terrible idea, however, to run up a huge amount of debt to go to a school like Temple or Tulane. That's just not sensible.

  5. #5
    Higher Ed costs have skyrocketed in the last 20 years since I went to college and grad school. I said this in the reasons we went to Wake thread a couple of weeks ago. One of the reasons I went to Wake was it was much cheaper than its Northern equivalents. You can't do college and especially grad school without a good idea of where you'll end up these days (well, either that or be on the income contingent repayment plan). Unless you get significant aid, I'd strongly advise considering cost as the most important factor when picking out schools.

  6. #6
    Student loans suck ass

    I will again suggest my idea - the ability to pay student loans with pre-tax income.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by WRS View Post
    Second thought: these articles seem to be everywhere these days. The message should not be "a college degree is a bad investment" because clearly that is untrue. It is a terrible idea, however, to run up a huge amount of debt to go to a school like Temple or Tulane. That's just not sensible.
    Exactly. You're not going to gain much sympathy with the "My parents couldn't afford to help me with college, but I went to a private university anyway." Go to an in-state public school and cut your loans in half if you can't get a scholarship.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by WRS
    Second thought: these articles seem to be everywhere these days. The message should not be "a college degree is a bad investment" because clearly that is untrue. It is a terrible idea, however, to run up a huge amount of debt to go to a school like Temple or Tulane. That's just not sensible.
    Or Wake Forest.

  9. #9
    Right, or even go the CC route for a couple years.

    The only person on that article that can really justify the debt is the first one (the engineering guy, and he should be able to pay it off relatively quickly unless he's got poor money management skills). It's just stupid to put yourself 140k in the hole to get a poli sci degree from Tulane.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by cookoutdeac View Post
    Right, or even go the CC route for a couple years.

    The only person on that article that can really justify the debt is the first one (the engineering guy, and he should be able to pay it off relatively quickly unless he's got poor money management skills). It's just stupid to put yourself 140k in the hole to get a poli sci degree from Tulane.
    A college education is a bad investment when you get a degree that's not going to do anything for you. When you spend that much $ for a Poli Sci degree from a borderline top 50 school, or a psychology (is there a worse degree?) degree from freaking Temple, yeah, you investment won't be worth anything, because you don't have anything that differentiates you from Johnny Psych Major from a different school.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by cookoutdeac View Post
    Right, or even go the CC route for a couple years.

    The only person on that article that can really justify the debt is the first one (the engineering guy, and he should be able to pay it off relatively quickly unless he's got poor money management skills). It's just stupid to put yourself 140k in the hole to get a poli sci degree from Tulane.
    It's borderline criminal that the financial aid office at Tulane aided and abetted her.

    In my opinion, all colleges, but ESPECIALLY expensive private schools, have a moral duty to give their students very blunt advice about how much their major is worth in the real world. At a school like WFU, before you take out loans you should have to read and acknowledge receipt of a written analysis of how long it will take to pay it back at the realistic starting wage for your intended major.

  12. #12
    I couldn't justify telling anybody to go to Wake if they could get into UNC.

  13. #13
    That's one of the really tough things. I got a science degree and work in a science field...but I know plenty of people who got some generic degree and can't find work. Even when they do, they can't pay their loans back because the job they got doesn't pay them enough. "So, you went to Duke...and you're a teacher?" There needs to be better coaching to high school kids before they get to college to help them understand a Communications degree from an Ivy League school isn't a very smart idea.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisL68 View Post
    I couldn't justify telling anybody to go to Wake if they could get into UNC.
    Not at $60k per year.

  15. #15
    The engineering guy is in a shitty situation.... $65k is not enough to put a dent in $185k in debt

  16. #16
    I had a job after my sophomore year of college.

    I stayed in college.

    Said job was not available after college.

    I do not regret finishing school, despite the increased debt and said lack of position.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by buckets View Post
    The engineering guy is in a shitty situation.... $65k is not enough to put a dent in $185k in debt
    Yeah, but he'll make more as the years go by. It'll be gone by 2025, which sucks for him, but he'll be to 6 figures and have his Benz in no-time.

  18. #18
    I have got to say if you cannot afford to go to Wake without loans you absolutely shouldn't go. I spent less going to Western for three years than I would have spent in one semester at wake. Although Wake clearly gives students a better education, it still does not have a better price/quality ratio then any decent state school.

  19. #19
    The problem is that a college degree used to be a symbol of achievement and everybody wanted one and you needed one to make that jump from pretty good job to really great job.

    Then the government decided to help support that dream and made college attainable for those for whom it wasn't previously. Then colleges realized that they could raise tuition and people would keep going and paying because it was so easy to get loan money.

    I've got friends from law school that are 250K in debt right now.

  20. #20
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    Good summary, Cav. The free money pipeline from taxpayers to colleges with students stuck in the middle is the real problem.

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