kitchen table math, the sequel: Unemployed and $87,000 in student debt . . .

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Unemployed and $87,000 in student debt . . .

Maybe he should be occupying his university in addition to Wall Street.


Read more at Cost of College.

15 comments:

Luke said...

That is a very good insight. Thinking about this, I attended a private Christian University, and thinking back to my bills, I'm not sure how this guy racked up that much in student loans. I mean, I realize people do... but if you can't afford even, say 10% of your college tuition, perhaps you should consider a different school.

So, sure, college tuition prices are crazy high. But I know there are some local schools that don't cost nearly that. In other words: Perhaps he should have occupied a different school for college.

~Luke

Bostonian said...

Is the taxpayer responsible for feeding not just the poor but the pets of the poor?

lgm said...

I'd like to know how much of that went to his living expenses...i.e. did he stay in the dorms all four years with a fab meal plan or did he move out to an apt with 3 roommates and cook. Was part of that $$ used for a vehicle?

Grace said...

Yeah, Bostonian, that was news to me. I'm trying to be sympathetic towards people with pets, but really?

Grace said...

I just saw there's a counter group to the "99 percent" called the "53 percent", as in the 53% who pay federal income taxes.

Here's one entry:

as a single mom i worked two jobs and raised two children without any help from the government. my parents and grandparents taught me that the world owes me nothing, that i could be anything i wanted to be if i worked hard and never gave up.I have done without so my children could have what they needed and worked low paying jobs until i could do better and i eventually did but i never thought that just because someone else had money that they owed me part of it. this country is great because we have opportunity and anything worth having is worth working for.I am thankful to God for what i have and i am one of the 53%.

http://the53.tumblr.com/

SteveH said...

Occupy (fill in the blank) needs to hone it's message, if there is one. In Providence, RI, about 100 parents, students, and others (including Occupy Providence) protested against a new charter school to be set up by Achievement First. This charter school says the following about curriculum:


"At Achievement First, state standards are the floor, not the ceiling. From this base, we work to build our rigorous standards and curricula, which are backwards-mapped against end-of-year standards and vertically aligned to advanced college-readiness standards."

If you are an urban parent, how does it feel to be owned by those who presume to know what's best for you. Individual initiative, individual opportunity, and smart work are not to be rewarded.


The balance of capitalism, hard work, smart work, and opportunity is an interesting topic, but I don't think Occupy "X" will advance the discussion. There are many legitimate questions about job creation, and pushing college for all doesn't create jobs. But coming out of college with few job prospects and huge loans is nothing new.

The problem is when people want to work hard and there few or no jobs that will allow them to get ahead. You can't just point to the success of those in the top of the drive and initiative department. The word "soft" is now being thrown around concerning America, but I see lots of people working very hard. The country can't guarantee success for hard work, but it can strive for better opportunities, not just a better job count.

Jen said...

Steve H -- I'm not getting your comment, I don't think. What's the link to the charter school?

As a parent in an urban district subjected to 6 long years of reform, that sort of description like you quote makes me very nervous.

We've heard all the great words about high expectations and floors and no ceilings and huge gains and rigor and...

All I've seen (and I've had one or more kids in the district since 1996) is gutting of everything that used to be good about the district -- all done under the cover of "reform" and "improvement."

We have moved from a family who vigorously supported our public schools to a family whose last child will likely leave the public schools -- and lose 40K in funding for college in the process. For a public school loving, cheapskate family, you can imagine how bad it has to be now.

SteveH said...

Occupy "X" is already being co-opted as a vehicle to be used for whatever purposes (social justice?) deemed important by those in charge. In Providence, RI, this means arguing against charter schools. This is not an argument based on an evaluation of the effectiveness of Achievement First.

"We've heard all the great words about high expectations and floors and no ceilings and huge gains and rigor and... "


... offered by the regular public schools over and over and over. Is Achievement First different? Maybe not, but that's not the argument here. The argument is about whether parents have any say in the education of their kids; whether initiative and smart work matter. The solution has to be all or none, even if they have no clue what that solution is. It's No Child's money Gets Away.

The argument in our (non-urban) town is that the regular public schools lose tuition money to the charter schools. However, the town's cost per student never, ever goes down, and actually, charter tuition is a separate line item in the town budget. The school committee claims that since our schools do well on state tests, no kids should be allowed to go to charter schools. Never mind that state proficiency levels are very low.

It's all about money and control. Schools don't argue against affluent parents sending their kids to private schools, although one teacher did make a snarky comment to us when we sent our son to a private school in first grade. She wondered whether he would have any time to play. I felt like telling her that the purpose was to have him do something other than just play at school. However, many private and charter schools suffer the same pedagogical problems as public schools. So, by 6th grade, our son was back in our regular public school and we continued to fix problems at home - besides saving $16000+ a year.


"We have moved from a family who vigorously supported our public schools to a family whose last child will likely leave the public schools --"

I don't understand this blind ethic of public school support. Charter schools are public schools, so what's the problem? At least parents get to make the final decision on effectiveness. The goal, apparently, is to solve poverty on a statistical basis, not provide individual educational opportunity where initiative and smart work pay off.

Anonymous said...

Steve-"the town's cost per student never, ever goes down"

The cost per student will not go down when a child, or 30 children, move to a charter school to a charter school. Unless all 30 are from a single grade and a teacher can be reduced. And even in that case, the school is still spreading the cost of the other items (Art & Gym teacher, cost of heat or electricity) over fewer students after receiving less money because the charter school student's subsidy followed them to the charter school.

~mish

SteveH said...

I've never seen our school budget go down even when they eliminated teaching positions due to fewer students (unrelated to charter schools). Also, charter school students are a separate line item in our budget. They are not subtracted from the school budget.

In general, it's a phony reason. Over time, school systems can and do adjust to fluctuations in enrollment. Small discontinuities in the cost function have little effect.

Catherine Johnson said...

Perhaps he should have occupied a different school for college.

Public universities cost an arm and a leg now.

I teach in a college where nearly everyone is on loans -- nondischargeable loans -- and students come in with middle school-level skills, if that.

Students from low-income families are taking out loans to be taught high school content (and with no guarantees whatsoever they'll learn it at the college, either).

That's where we are today.

I'm completely off the boat for the entire system. Get rid of the public school monopoly; get rid of credentialism.

Define a body of knowledge people need in order to qualify for a position and let everyone "CLEP out" of high school, college, and law school and everything else.

The whole, massive edifice is one big boondoggle (I'm not that cynical) and it is a disaster for students now that we are in a minor depression.

Catherine Johnson said...

I support Walter Russell Mead's proposal for a "national bac" degree "that students could earn by demonstrating competence and knowledge."

Catherine Johnson said...

By setting open standards for the national bac, and by allowing anybody to offer the service of preparing students to take the exams, Congress could break the guilds' monopoly on education. A century ago higher education was still a luxury, and it scarcely mattered that it was offered only by arcane guilds in a system that took shape in the Middle Ages. But today many people of very modest means need a BA-equivalent degree to succeed in the workplace.

The power of the guilds in the goods-producing industries had to be broken before the factory system could provide the cheaper goods of the industrial revolution. The service and information revolutions require the breakup of the knowledge guilds...

Catherine Johnson said...

All I've seen (and I've had one or more kids in the district since 1996) is gutting of everything that used to be good about the district -- all done under the cover of "reform" and "improvement."

We have moved from a family who vigorously supported our public schools to a family whose last child will likely leave the public schools -- and lose 40K in funding for college in the process. For a public school loving, cheapskate family, you can imagine how bad it has to be now.


WOW

Do you have time to fill us in on what happened?

Catherine Johnson said...

(The italicized passage above comes from Mead's article--)