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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Smart Enough to Get A Degree; Not Smart Enough to Avoid the Debt

The other day we read that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) who we like and for the most part agree with, has pushed a bill that will allow college students who have student loans the opportunity to re-negotiate so to re-adjust payments and time schedules for such..

Gotta admit.. we were pretty peeved..

The first thing that came to mind was a latin phrase - Caveat Emptor

That means 'buyer beware' as in if you're going to acquire tens of thousands of dollars of debt in a recession-depression when Everyone says a college degree is practically worthless to attend a 'big name' school or go out of state so you can party & figure yourself out..

Well.. Tough Teepees
When the loan payments start becoming due, be a big boy or girl and start paying them...

The vast number of degrees offered at an accredited 4-year University are completely and utterly worthless unless you are very fortunate to get a job in the specific field you studied,..

For example, majoring in Geology is very important if you're ultimately to be hired to work for an oil company to find new places to excavate and you're sure there's jobs available upon graduation.

On the other hand, WalMart, Macys and about a million other businesses don't care if you majored in Geology, Geography or Grilled Cheese sandwich making..
Like the System itself, the whole attending college thingy is totally rigged against the student and it only gets worse..  higher tuition for less quality education and more dependence on computers to replace quality Professors whom schools do not want to tenure..

In the last 5 years, tuition has increased on average by 28% with the highest increases being in Florida and Georgia (66.5% increase!)  and Arizona which leads the nation with a whopping 80.6% tuition increase since 2009!!

So if yours truly was a US Senator, this is the specific legislation I would propose to fix not only the student loan crisis but the University system as well:
1)  Receiving Student Loans As Easy/Difficult As Receiving Any Other Loan

If you do not have a credit history and aren't showing steady income, you do not get approved for any amount of money without a co-signer who will take full financial responsibility for whatever debts the student can not or will not repay later on..

2)  Student Loans For Education Only..  

If approved for student loans, it will pay 100% tuition for in-state public universities and up to 66% for any private school or out-of-state public institution..  

The student would be responsible for the other 33% on his/her own.. In addition, no student loan money is to be used on room and board, books or any other expense other than tuition.
3)  Alteration of College/University Degree Requirements

Any College or University that wishes to receive Federal Student Loans, must alter its academic requirements for graduation from 120 credits down to 75..

12 courses in one's major x 3 credits each equals 36 

10 basic requirement courses x 3 credits each equals 30

A student must take 3 electives..  In total, that's 75 credits..  A degree in 2-3 years tops!

This would dramatically decrease the financial burden upon college students by having those who truly know what they want to pursue as a career path avoid an additional year and a half of schooling and the expense that goes along with it..
4) Scholarships & GPA

Any College or University that wishes to receive Federal Student Loans must offer 2 academic full scholarships for every 1 athletic scholarship it offers a student.

Academic institutions need to be reminded their purpose is to educate, not operate as a minor league for the NFL and NBA

In addition all schools must raise their minimum GPA to 2.4

Irregardless of one's extracurricular activities or ability to dribble a basketball, no student who has a GPA under 2.4 is to be admitted even by way of athletic scholarship.  

Auditors will check every school's entrance applications and high school transcripts to make sure they abide.
5) Extend Time Between Graduation and Repayment

While I as Senator would not allow debtors to be able to renegotiate interest rates or extend the length of repayment beyond 10 years,  I would change the law where the first re-payment wouldn't be due until 18 months after graduation instead of the 6-12 months currently..

For brevity sake, yours truly won't write more on this..

Federal Student Loans are a big business for the US government..  They have currently lent out about $1.1 Trillion to students of all colors and stripes, most who waste away their college years on fraternity/sorority life, attending football/basketball games, drinking, drugging and fucking

Stereotypical..  Maybe?   Also the truth..
And these loans are permanent.. unless the student is permanently 100% disabled or dies..    No bankruptcy discharges a student loan..  

A young adult has a massive amount of debt strapped upon their backs before even being legally allowed to have a margarita and it stays till death (then repaid out of inheritance before anything can be left to next of kin)

Don't just shove your kids into college..  Its a different world..

Look into vocational schools.. Or apprentice in a trade or skill for a year.. Or look into opening up your own business if you have those skills...  Or if you Must go the college route, attend a junior college for the first two years-- you'll save a ton of $$ learning the same English 101 everyone is being taught...
Just think before you go or send your kid off to college..    Really Think..

And Caveat Emptor!