Letters to the Editor

Forgive loans

October 11, 2011


To the editor:

I am a sophomore at the University of Kansas. I have already incurred thousands of dollars of debt pursuing what I think is a sensible, safe degree that will hopefully result in a stable job. However, I know from looking at my parents and reading other people’s experiences online that I will most likely spend the next 20 years or more trying to pay off my student loans. I am afraid to continue my education because I am afraid that as a result of the extreme debt I will incur, I will one day be jobless and maybe homeless, unable to marry someone I love or unable to raise children.

Recently I learned that there is a movement to encourage institutions to forgive student loan debt. Everyone should be aware of this movement and understand what a good idea it is. For one thing, students go to universities not just for their own entertainment but to gain a valuable education to build our roads and write our laws and design and construct the clothing we wear and the furniture we sit on, and many other important things. It should not be so ridiculously expensive to attend a university that intelligent people cannot afford to get the education they want and need.

Furthermore, millions of Americans who are struggling under the weight of college debt are being forced to put off buying homes, marrying, having children, and — this one is important to all of us — starting businesses.

We bailed out the financial industry. It is time for them to do something for us in return.


Benjamin Roberts 6 years, 8 months ago

"I am afraid to continue my education because I am afraid that as a result of the extreme debt I will incur, I will one day be jobless and maybe homeless, unable to marry someone I love or unable to raise children."

Although it is very unwise to incur extreme debt, the debt itself should serve as a motivator to not be jobless. In fact, debt will not prevent you from securing a job. What is most likely to prevent you from being hired is your own self-defeating attitude.

"It should not be so ridiculously expensive to attend a university that intelligent people cannot afford to get the education they want and need."

Agreed - it should not be so expensive. However, that is not the fault of a lending institution that made a good-faith loan to you. Rather, why don't you ask the University to reimburse you for the overcharges on your education?

"...intelligent people cannot afford to get the education they want and need."

Not sure what that statement says about those who choose college versus those who do not. Makes you scratch your chin and go, "hmmm."

mustrun80 6 years, 8 months ago

Wow - thankfully Merrill is the only one on here who agrees with this little thief. (telling)

I was really worried I'd get on here after breakfast this morning and see a bunch of people agreeing with her.

Maybe our country isn't as bad off as I feared. - at least now, just wait until all the little lillians are in charge or a major part of our economy.... scary, scary stuff.

emaw 6 years, 8 months ago

Mustrun......the "little lillians" surely can't do any worse than the previous generation that has wrecked this country!

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

"It should not be so ridiculously expensive to attend a university"

Isn't it a lot cheaper to attend college in your home state? I know it sure was when I was going to college. That was a major influence on my choice of where to go. I couldn't go to the out of state university that I wanted to in Greeley, Colorado because the out of state tuition was so high.

It was an unfortunate fact that if I had gone to that university, I would have been attending a university in Greeley, a city that I really liked, and I had spent two years of my high school life there. My parents had moved back to Kansas for my senior year in high school, so I wasn't eligible for in state tuition there anymore.

The in state university that I did attend at first was in Hays, a city that I had only visited once, five years before.

To move to and live in a city where you know no one except for a few people from high school is quite a shock to a 17 year old. I didn't deal with it very well.

gl0ck0wn3r 6 years, 8 months ago

You hired the money, didn't you? You understood the terms of those loans and signed the papers. That was the risk you took. Why should the people who made those loans take the hit because you didn't plan effectively?

madameX 6 years, 8 months ago

When was that and how much did it cost? Seriously. One of the results of the increase of the cost of higher education is that it's getting pretty difficult to earn enough to pay as you go through college on your own.

madameX 6 years, 8 months ago

That's actually exactly what I meant: how much was your tuition relative to what you earned? No need to get all angry. I'm not necessarily siding with the letter writer, but it does seem like there was a time when you could work all summer and save up enough to cover the next year's tuition (although maybe that a myth, cause that time would have been well before I was born), and I can't think of a summer job you could get now that would pay enough to cover a year's tuition.

And just because you were so nice in your response, I'll tell you that I'm in school too, and in order to avoid debt I'm only taking however many hours I can save up for the semester before. So I'm not actually taking and "handouts" either, but I am taking f-o-r-e-v-e-r to finish my degree.

jafs 6 years, 8 months ago

I think tuition has risen pretty severely relative to other costs, wages, etc.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 8 months ago

The government forgives crooked Wall Street Bankers,mismanaged auto industries that which fund large CEO salaries and a large number of shareholders,mismanaged military spending etc etc etc etc.

Forgiving student loans would very likely put a lot of spending money directly into local economies = job creation. http://www.forgivestudentloandebt.com/ http://studentloansblog.nextstudent.com/2011/09/20/petition-to-forgive-debt-from-student-loans-nears-signatures-goal/

After all the Bush/Cheney government and it's fraudulent home loan activity killed the economy and put millions out work. Not to mention effectively killing job opportunities for millions of new grads.

Considering the Bush/Cheney government killed the job market and put millions out of work it is practical to forgive loans or at least reduce them by at least 75%. I say this student loan program became a victim of Bush/Cheney banking economics. Student loans should be 0% interest.

tomatogrower 6 years, 8 months ago

Yes, Merrill, but college students don't have enough money to buy politicians, so the rich will find ways of not paying back.

Dan Eyler 6 years, 8 months ago

If this girl is our future I fear for what is to come. You picked the school, you signed the loan. If your concerned drop out of school, find a cheaper school, change your major cut your expenses. Work your butt off so you are not paying so much in loans. ME, ME, ME, ME this is your life and it sickens me to see young Americans so afraid. It isn't about the loan it about not having what you want when you want it. KU is the most expensive school in the state so why did you pick it? Because your friends are there? To ask me to pay your debt is a sign of mental illness and I am seeing it in lots of young Americans who want something for nothing. Your asking families raising their children to also raise you. They now have to pay for their own children's education and yours. You want me to pay for your education? Based on your comments and lack of common sense and hard work clearly makes you a high risk investment and one that I am not willing to take. When you fear your future and blame others before you even experience it isn't American. Your loan is denied.

tomatogrower 6 years, 8 months ago

Yet, the corporations have taken all the factory jobs out of the country. It used to be you could make a decent living with just a high school degree. Now you have to have more and more education. Yet, the corporations who are demanding more and more education don't want to pay for an educated populace.

Brock Masters 6 years, 8 months ago

Lillian, ignore all the previous posters who ridicule you for expecting something for nothing. They know not of what they speak - push on, but don't just stop with not paying back your loan. Not only do you deserve to break your contract, you also deserve all A's regardless of your actually grades.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 8 months ago

If you've gotten yourself $100K in debt getting an MA in Elbowian butt trumpet, you may not have chosen wisely.

gl0ck0wn3r 6 years, 8 months ago

No way: she's an out of state student in Slavic languages and literature. I'm sure that decision will pay off.

Fossick 6 years, 8 months ago

Close, she's from Alabama and is a visual arts major.

gl0ck0wn3r 6 years, 8 months ago

I saw that but the KU website seems to disagree with her. Maybe she is double majoring so she can be twice as poor.

Fossick 6 years, 8 months ago

Gotcha. Of course, continually changing majors is another strategy for finishing college quickly and inexpensively.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

If you're going to double major, the ones to pick are computer science and nursing. Then when you're done with that, follow it with an MBA.

Then you're almost sure to end up in hospital administration right away, and the salaries paid to hospital administrators are unbelievable.

That pays almost as much as being a physician! But it's not nearly as stressful, and you are rarely bothered by calls when you're not at work, which is very unlike the very difficult life of a physician.

designdiva 6 years, 8 months ago

I work with many physicians who only wish they were paid half as well as CEO Gene Meyers!

What a fallacy. Physicians today make way less and with the insurance company changes set for 2012, many will close their doors, or join hospitals. Then, next time you are sick, you can go sit in an ER waiting room for 6-8 hours to be triaged and eventually seen. Gone are the days of private practice primary care physicians, you'll get whichever "hospitalist" is on duty.

jafs 6 years, 8 months ago

TARP 1 was money given, with no strings attached, as I understand it, and not a loan.

Fossick 6 years, 8 months ago

You misunderstand TARP. It was a terrible idea, but it was not "money given, with no strings attached" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troubled_Asset_Relief_Program

jafs 6 years, 8 months ago

Yes, I looked it up.

But, we purchased a bunch of lousy, risky assets - it was an "investment" of sorts.

There was no requirement that the banks, etc. buy those back - many of them seem to have chosen to do that, probably because they didn't want the government as an investor.

It's sort of interesting, and odd, that institutions on the verge of failure are able, within a few years during a recession, to do well enough to buy those assets back, some at a higher price than they sold them for, don't you think?

Did they really need the help in the first place?

Fossick 6 years, 8 months ago

"Did they really need the help in the first place?"

I don't think so, but even if they did need the help they should not have gotten it. Investors reap the gains of our system, they need to take the losses.

Through TARP we taught the banks that they can act however they wish and the government will be there to make them whole if it does not work out, just like through Fannie we taught housing investors that the government will cover their losses no matter how foolish their lending or extreme their leverage. There's no better lesson we could give to insure a future repeat of the problem, IMO.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

I have an idea! Spend some time in the military - then paying for college won't be a problem!

Abdu Omar 6 years, 8 months ago

Lets be real, young lady. If you made that loan to someone who said they needed it, would you be so quick to cancel it and forgo any repayment? Of course not.

I spent a long time in college and grad school to gain what I wanted. I came out of it with a high degree and absolutely no debt. Why? Because I wasn't afraid to work while I went to college and my parents had 4 other children and I didn't use any of their money. I couldn't ask them to sacrifice while raising my siblings. Yes, I worked cleaning dishes in a college cafeteria, and then I got a job working with a carpenter as his assistant, then I cleaned a restaurant every morning (that's 7 days a week) getting up at 3:00AM to complete the job, and I did this all at the same time for four years. In the restaurant, I got a week off every year but before I left, I had to find my replacement. Can you imagine asking someone to get up that early, mop and polish a restaurant for me for a week?

I didn't go to a cheap school nor did I get bad grades. I worked very hard and made every sacrifice I could to get that hallowed degree. I was the first in my family to graduate from college, get a masters degree and gain special awards doing it. Yes, it took a little more time, and I enlisted in the Army in the middle of it. But I made it and so can you!!!

Your generation is weak, foolish and certainly ignorant of what it takes to make it. You come from a generation that got trophies for "participating" in a sport, not just for winning. They didn't want to hurt your feelings. That teaches you to expect to be rewarded for no effort on your part. They saved your embarassment, but they taught you nothing.

Pay your bills, create a good credit rating and in the end you will be happy you did.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

"But I made it and so can you!!!"

I would not bet on that.

parrothead8 6 years, 8 months ago

To call someone, at age 19, "weak, foolish, and certainly ignorant of what it takes to make it" isn't the way to teach them how to make it. Perhaps if she were 50 and had never tried to do anything, that might be a proper sentiment, but she's 19, in college, and worried, so get over your condescending moralizing.

I mean, we all get that your generation knew how to make it: The average American makes the same as he/she did 30 years ago, while the holdings of the richest 1% have doubled in that time.

Thanks for doing such a bang-up job of "making it." I hope you enjoy it. We'll all be "scraping it" for a generation to dig out of the hole you left us in.

gl0ck0wn3r 6 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

jaywalker 6 years, 8 months ago

"... I will one day be jobless and maybe homeless, unable to marry someone I love or unable to raise children."

Whew! That's not what I call looking on the bright side! First of all, stop the doomsday scenario playing through your head; you're attending college, not addicted to meth. I feel confident in saying the above doesn't usually happen BECAUSE you got a higher education.

Secondly, there's oodles of financial aid, gift aid, etc. out there going unused. It's a pain in the rump roast dealing with the paperwork to be sure, but cuttin' a couple thou per semester would be worth the headache.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

Now that I've thought about some, it seems to me that Lillian is jumping the gun a bit to suggest that she should not be required to pay back loans that she hasn't even taken out yet.

It certainly does takes a great deal of panache on her part to bring up this subject when she's still got over two years of college remaining. It appears that she is planning to finance the rest of her education by borrowing even more money that she is hoping she won't have to repay.

It would be interesting to know what her major is. Accounting, maybe?

Danielle Brunin 6 years, 8 months ago

Business with a concentration in banking industry science. :D

gl0ck0wn3r 6 years, 8 months ago

Slavic languages and literature or visual arts. Sources differ.

Fossick 6 years, 8 months ago

She'll be the best cartoonist Belarus has ever seen.

thebigspoon 6 years, 8 months ago

If this "forgiveness" should happen, this country will go down in flames. No one is owed a college education. Remember, we need ditch diggers also honey. So get your thoughts straight and find a career that you must some how invest in and get to it.

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 8 months ago

Aren't the "new loans" made from money that has been repaid? Sounds like a good idea on paper, but in reality...Sorry Lillian, welcome to adulthood.

think_about_it 6 years, 8 months ago

Who wants to guess who Lilllian supported in the last Presidential Election?

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

The Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, and Green political parties need some competition. I should start campaigning to form a new political party that would quite likely attract quite a few voters:

The Free Money Party! The official political platform will be to print enough money for everyone to buy anything they want.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

Not that long ago I read about a couple of very wise students on this very forum. But, there's a problem, these plans won't work anymore.

One student realized that the interest that he could collect by depositing money in a savings account was significantly higher than the interest that he would have to pay on student loans. So, he took out as much money in student loans as he possibly could, and deposited every dime of it in a savings account. Meanwhile, he lived very modestly, and worked his way through college.

There is a forbearance period that can be granted repeatedly without penalty, and so he repeatedly applied for forbearances on his student loans as long as he possibly could.

When he finally had to start paying his student loans back, he asked for the payoff amount, withdrew what was needed, and paid off his loans in full.

His savings account had nothing in it except his student loan money, but after he paid off his student loans, there was a lot of money left!

I'm sure he did quite well after that.

And, another student did the same thing, he took out as much in student loan money as he possibly could and saved it all, except this student waited until his loans went into collection. Again, this won't work anymore, because now there is a 25% or 30% penalty applied when a collection agency takes over the loans.

When the collection agency called demanding payment, he negotiated a partial payment, and that would pay off the loans in full. He got that agreement in writing before he paid them a dime.

He did even better!

But very few students are able to leave money untouched in a savings account, because for some reason, they seem to have been taught that money is for spending instead of saving and investing.

hurlingchunks 6 years, 8 months ago

I thought the farrytail posting was on another page......

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

I looked on google for that posting, but I couldn't find it. Maybe I read it somewhere else. But, I did find this:

mloburgio 6 years, 8 months ago

GOP Budget Proposal Cuts Pell Grants For 1 Million Students, 10 Percent Of Those Eligible | House Republicans unveiled their draft budget proposal for labor, health, and human services last week, which includes major cuts to education, women’s health, and job training, among other things. The GOP particularly takes aim at low-income and working students with their proposal to severely restrict eligibility for Pell Grants, barring grants to students who attend college less than half time. Terry W. Hartle, senior vice president of the American Council on Education, estimated that the bill would eliminate Pell grants for about 1 million students, or roughly 10 percent of those now eligible. Many public colleges and universities have already raised tuition costs, which means middle and low-income families now face the prospect of paying more with less student aid. http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/10/04/335590/gop-pell-one-million/

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

"Many public colleges and universities have already raised tuition costs,"

They have been raising tuition costs and student fees for years, and what makes it possible is that it is so easy for students to acquire money for college. It has now become a self perpetuating cycle - the students can easily get money, and so the colleges and universities keep on finding new ways to spend more and more of it in various ways.

If colleges and universities had to compete in a realistic way with each other for students that had modest means, we would not see the cost of attending rising so much more quickly than inflation. Go take a look at the newly remodeled student union - it was remodeled when I was a student not that long ago, and they spent a lot of money then!

They are spending more and more money on general student activities (but not studying, though), for supporting student media (to let the students know what to do besides study), student organizations (but not study groups), and for intercollegiate or intramural sports (a lot of which is not necessary for studies).

Fossick 6 years, 8 months ago

Not simply government-controlled education, but government subsidized education.

It never fails: as soon as the government starts subsidizing something, the price starts to rise. In housing, Fannie and Freddie loans "helped" the market by making housing more expensive*. In education, Sallie and Pell do precisely the same. You'd think it was economic law or something.

Not to worry. As the housing market bubble popped, driving house prices down in spite of all government efforts to support them, the education bubble will follow soon enough. Unfortunately for many of those whose parents are currently 'upside down' in a mortgage, they will find themselves upside down in an education.

  • Of course, they don't call it that. They call it 'a good investment.' They call anything that results in more people paying more interest a good investment. Which it is. For those who collect interest.

madameX 6 years, 8 months ago

Because private schools are so affordable?

voevoda 6 years, 8 months ago

At $100, you get what you pay for. The semblance, but not the reality, of content.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

And, potential employers would have no respect for that education. If you want a real education, you can do it on your own.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 6 years, 8 months ago

Education rates have been reported to be upwards of 4X those of the medical industry. Why is there no outcry about this?

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

Because the students can get plenty of loan money.

skinny 6 years, 8 months ago

If you want to go to school you have to pay for it just everyone else. Nothing is free! Suck it up and start paying us back bucko!

Amy Albright 6 years, 8 months ago

Comparing 1960 tuitions with today's and adjusting for C.O.L. shows a hugely disproportionate rise in the cost of higher education. Not sure why people are against government helping to bring the cost down for kids to go to school while we pay millions is subsidies to oil companies every year. Priorities are all screwed up in this country.

Peacemaker452 6 years, 8 months ago

Any proof of the millions we pay to oil companies? I would love to see a verifiable source that shows the government paid money directly to these companies.

Peacemaker452 6 years, 8 months ago

Nora, Do you understand what the word “proof” means? The Center for American Progress, staffed almost exclusively with ex-Clinton and Obama workers, is hardly an unbiased source.

Ignoring that, you do realize that all of the items listed in the article that you cited as proof of money being paid to oil companies are actually various tax code deductions and credits that the companies can take. Just like the various credits and deductions that other companies and individuals take on their taxes. None of these “pay millions in subsidies to oil companies every year.

Feel free to provide proof of money the government pays to the oil companies as subsidies. I will gladly admit that I am wrong if you can provide it.

Danielle Brunin 6 years, 8 months ago

Lillian, if you work in public service after graduation and make 120 payments or the equivalent thereof, you can get your loans forgiven. It may not be glamorous, but it's better than being in student loan debt hell until you die. There's also Americorp, Teach for America, etc. that offer varying degrees of loan forgiveness, but you have to work for them.

http://www.finaid.org/loans/publicservice.phtml http://studentaid.ed.gov/students/attachments/siteresources/LoanForgivenessv4.pdf

If I could do it over, I would work full time and then take as many hours as I could, not the opposite. If student loan debt bothers you, that might be something that you should consider for your final four semesters. It could make a big difference in your final debt load.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

There is another way to get out of repaying your student loans, and that is to die. Federal student loans are forgiven if you die, they do not come out of your estate.

If you have one.

jlzack 6 years, 8 months ago

I've worked in the student loan industry for over 25 years, (Sallie Mae, Dept of Education & an Independent Bank) This country doesn't owe you an education. You borrowed the money, YOU need to pay it back. Not the American taxpayers. I see kids going into debt 60K to 100K, unless you consolidate through dept of ed, you only have 10 years to repay. If you consolidate you can get up to 30 years. The default rate has increased to an all time high. Kids are to lazy to apply for grants & scholarships (yes there are plenty out there, but you have to dig for them) instead they just borrow. Alot of them have no intention of paying the loans back. But what they don't realize is, the gov't is going to garnish wages & tax returns to get their money back..... & this is after the student has already ruined their credit. I cannot file a claim to default a student loan until they are over 275 days delinquent. More than enough time to make arrangements. Student loans also have the luxury of deferments & forbearance, income sensitive repayment etc..... But student's would rather ignore their lender in hopes that it goes away..... it will, but at a cost....

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

"the gov't is going to garnish wages"

Some employers automatically fire employees when they get an order for garnishment. That's too much paperwork, and the pile of applications for the job is too high.

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 8 months ago

And some jobs are not available at all to those with over $10,000 in debt.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

"Under the Consumer Credit Protection Act, your employer cannot fire you for having a single debt garnished from your wages. However, the Act does not prevent the employer from firing you after two or more debts are garnished separately." From: http://credit.about.com/od/debtcollection/a/wagegarnishment.htm

But, I am sure that is a moot point anyway. If an employer wants to get rid of you, a way will be found to do it. That's a for sure!

jafs 6 years, 8 months ago

In states like KS, you can be fired without any cause given at all.

ignatius_j_reilly 6 years, 8 months ago

This letter pisses me off.

I think higher education reform (and public edu. reform) should be our nation's #1 priority to compete with the Chinas, Brazils and Indias of the future.

And student debt has quintupled (yes, QUINTUPLED) in the last 11 years, so obviously we as a nation need to address the outrageous costs of tuition and the paradox of public institutions being for-profit. (Ballooning student debt has ramifications for non-students too. Imagine the job-killing, economy-deflating mess when millions of students can't pay back loans.)


But Lillian -- and I'm speaking as someone who just graduated from KU, with no financial assistance whatsoever other than federal loans -- you can't just get handouts. That's what's wrong with this country, and our generation. Entitlement.

You know what? The federal government (and the American taxpayers) gave me a loan to cover the hefty KU pricetag, and I plan on paying it back in full. To me, that's the American dream and I thank God everyday that I was born in this country to have this opportunity. Yes, it will be a difficult road. (My degree doesn't put me in a high-paying field.) But it's a hell of a lot better than what would be happening to us in Africa.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

That would be only a start. After that, she should read Warren Buffett so she would know what to do after she had a positive net worth.

pizzapete 6 years, 8 months ago

Education should be free in America for anyone who qualifies. It's a scam that only the rich can afford to educate their kids in this country. We'd all be a lot better off if we invested more in public education, especially at the college level. Other countries are leaving us in their dust. No wonder some many doctors here in the US have English as their second language.

Fossick 6 years, 8 months ago

"Education should be free in America for anyone who qualifies."

All you've got to do is convince those greedy professors to work for nothing and you're half way there!

gudpoynt 6 years, 8 months ago

or convince the American people that its a worthwhile investment in the human capital of our nation?

Fossick 6 years, 8 months ago

It's still not free, Amigo, it's just being charged to others. The only way to make it free is convince those who have it to give it away for free.

ignatius_j_reilly 6 years, 8 months ago

You're thinking too small. The U.S. Postal service has been bleeding money for years. The question is what do we, as a society, want to pay for?

If that's going all-in on public/higher education, meaning free school for all (or something more realistic, like heavily subsidizing our education system rather than sending our money back in time with the postal service, so that students only have to pay 50% of tuition, and we actually have a qualified and talented workforce without piles of debt) -- count me in.

The short answer is, don't give me that "there is no such thing as a free lunch" crap. As a taxpayer, I'm willing to pitch in for lunch.

Fossick 6 years, 8 months ago

"As a taxpayer, I'm willing to pitch in for lunch."

Fair enough. I'm sure if you contact Ms. Kopaska-Merkel directly, she would not mind taking your check to be applied directly to her education.

I won't hold my breath for that, though. I suspect that what you're really willing to do is have everyone else pitch in, whether they would like to or not.

ignatius_j_reilly 6 years, 8 months ago

Ahh, you suspect I am the bleeding heart liberal, where everyone's paychecks are equally divided among us all, working or not.

Nope. I believe in hard work. Doctors get paid more than me, but they worked a hell of a lot harder than I did in school. I'm in a low-paying field, but that's a choice I made and I like my work.

I'm more a believer in small-government than my comments and feelings on this particular topic make it seem. I just don't understand why America sends its money in boatloads to fight a war in Iraq and Afghanistan, to pay for an ineffective postal service, to bail out banks which have earned failure -- when we cut spending and cut spending and cut spending on education.

Wake up -- America's getting dumber. If we don't fix this immediately, soon the smarter countries will have to send us boatloads of money for aid. Investing in education, unlike wars or foreign aid, has a DIRECT return-on-investment.

Imagine a country where education is subsidized so that it can be attained by all -- and much stricter requirements are in place for people to get it, so its not welfare in the form of education. America might actually have a smart, able, world-premiere working class without all the accompanying student debt. That sounds like a formula for a productive and profitable country to me.

Fossick 6 years, 8 months ago

"I just don't understand why America sends its money ... to pay for an ineffective postal service, to bail out banks which have earned failure -- when we cut spending and cut spending and cut spending on education."

You see no pattern? America dumps money into an ineffective postal service, yes. I would argue that it is ineffective (or better, inefficient) precisely because America dumps money into it. We bail out banks which have earned failure, with the result that we will all get more and more failure going forward, and it will be even more expensive.

And you cannot understand why some do not wish to 'help' education the same way?

So many here are complaining that a college education no longer commands a good job. They do not realize that it is the ubiquity of college degrees that makes them individually worth less, while at the same time it is the underwriting of their cost that ultimately makes them more cost more. We spend more total money than ever before on education, and yet for each dollar we get less and less value. Why?

I do not suspect that you are the bleeding heart. I merely suspect that you have not thought all the way through yet why it might not be a good idea to build an educational system on the model of the post office.

ignatius_j_reilly 6 years, 8 months ago

You make very good points. I've reconsidered, to a degree.

Here's what I think would be best: --Find some way (and this small-gov't. guy thinks maybe gov't. regulation is the way to go here) to reduce and regulate the rapid pace of tuition inflation outpacing general inflation. Public universities need to have the whip cracked. --At times when the rates are spiking, introduce government subsidization (much like the Fed adjusting rates or pushing money into/out of the economy) to even things out, guaranteeing decent rates no matter what year you go to school. --Sort of unrelated, I've always thought this, but it goes along well with everyone having a degree: the re-emergence of the 2-year college as an acceptable way to train workers for certain fields. I believe I didn't learn much getting my four-year degree in a less-challenging field, and could have done the main, trade-specific stuff easily in two, not to mention incurring less debt meanwhile. But, as is, no way to get a decent job without the four-year diploma.

Regardless, education (both public and higher) should be a grade-A-number-one-top priority. To me, creation of jobs and creation of decent workers is one and the same. And free college is a much better idea of squandering money than the postal service, and the latest round of wars -- it certainly returns more money to the taxpayers' pockets.

ResQd 6 years, 8 months ago

"It's a scam that only the rich can afford to educate their kids in this country"

Not necessarily true, the very poor have pell grants, and other government grants, plus scholarships and state aid to attend college. It's the middle class that can no longer afford for their children to attend college and pay for it.

jonas_opines 6 years, 8 months ago

Let's wave the magic wand of forgiveness, and those little numbers will just mystically re-adjust themselves on the balance sheets, ya'know.

I don't think you've put much thought into this, Lillian.

WiseOne 6 years, 8 months ago

I am 55 yrs old but if you can go to college by borrowing money and then not have to pay it back Well then sign me up. I could use a free college education. Get real.

jayhawklawrence 6 years, 8 months ago

I wonder if this kid ever volunteered to wash dishes, mow the yard, clean his own laundry or pay for his own car and gas.

By the time I was 18 years old, I had held about 15 different jobs. I worked 3 jobs at one time during a summer. I had also bought and sold about 6 cars by then and repaired them myself.

I remember my sister paying for college by saving quarters in a jar she earned while waitressing. She became a Doctor and has probably saved many lives.

If you have everything given to you you will have learned nothing.

fan4kufootball 6 years, 8 months ago

Hey Lillian - I want to know how much of your student aid and loans where refunded to you because they were greater than the tuition and housing expenses. How much of those loans was used by you to buy things that were not necessary (aka - like parties - hey I was a college student once).

Hey Lillian - there are millions of people who have borrowed money to go to school and spent 10-15 years paying off their loans including myself. Yes - I was scrimping by those years but I paid back 100%. - considering it was an invesment in my future!

Hey Lillian - sounds like you need to get your priorities straight and start taking care of yourself and quit relying on others (aka - taxpayers - you know the ones that paid back their student loans) to take of you!

jlzack 6 years, 8 months ago

You hit that nail on the head!!!! I see this everyday. Kids brag about how much money they are getting refunded. I try to explain to them that the school calculates their award package, (eligible amount) - tuition = refund (you are borrowing this money, it's not free) you would be amazed at how many student's think the refund is free money..... HELLO....

afred 6 years, 8 months ago

Don't worry Lillian. It's an uphill battle for college grads these days, but it's not impossible.

Couple things to help keep your chin up. For one, even with the debt, you're much better with a college education than you are without. If college is for you that is. There are some individuals who just don't do college well, and thus, shouldn't be spending their money on it. But for a vast majority of people, a college education drastically increases your future prospects. Study after study has shown this, so don't believe anyone who tells you otherwise.

The other thing is that there are more and more people in your situation. This leads to both an increased awareness of the growing disparity between the cost of education and income in the U.S. as well as wider spread acceptance of lenient repayment terms.

So it's true, you'll probably be paying back your student loans for a long, long time. But so will all of your coworkers and very likely your bosses too.

But I would not at all recommend giving up on your education. I incurred $20K for my education, and several years later, have barely made a dent in the principle. However, it was the smartest investment I ever made. It was a quintessential cushion for me during the economic downturn. I've been laid off twice since then by dying companies and I give all credit for a speedy turnaround to my educaiton.

designdiva 6 years, 8 months ago

Student loans, pell grants and scholarships afforded me the opportunity to obtain a college degree without placing the financial burden on my parents, who had 4 other children. My parents had prepared financially for the cost of our college education, but would have been hard pressed to cover all the incidentals associated with a college education. I graduated from college the first time, several years ago mind you, with nearly $20,000 in student loans. Ten years later, and the good fortune that comes with picking the right field and a good job, my student loans were paid off. Just in time for me to change careers and do it all over again. Repeat again. I now find myself, at well over 40 years of age, obtaining a third degree in the field I should have pursued the first two times. I am using student loans, scholarships, and grants (as available) and when I graduate I will be $120,000 or so in debt. The difference this time is that I have the money available, earning interest, to pay my loans back immediately. In the event I am unable to locate a job in my new field, I have two others to choose from, both of which pay well.
College educations have provided me with the means to improve my financial situation, invest in my future, as well as the future of my children. I did this while working full time, and later in life, with small(ish) children at home. Pull up your big girl panties and get to work!

irvan moore 6 years, 8 months ago

we all make choices, some good, some not so good. deal with it.

George Lippencott 6 years, 8 months ago

Is this for real? To forgive these loans the banks would be spending the depositors or investors money. I doubt most of these are in that loathed 1%. Most banks have little money of their own.

Or perhaps the fed should pay them off to the tune of a trillion dollars. That would be about the one hundredth role for the $500 billion we might get if we tax that 1% appropriately.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 8 months ago

RINO Bush/Cheney banking economics = lots of money loaned out without collateral = college tuition rising like no tomorrow = still plenty of money loaned without collateral = another major banking scam with universities jumping in = only my speculation.

Reckless management = RINO Fiscal Policy

How in the world did it become okay to approve loans of $20,000 - $150,000 without collateral at the same time USA blue collar and white collar jobs are going abroad?

Forgive The Loans because it is appropriate!

Flap Doodle 6 years, 8 months ago

RINO sighting! Everyone has to chug whatever drink they're holding!

gphawk89 6 years, 8 months ago

Dear Bank,

I recently purchased a house for several $100K. I will likely spend the next 25 years or so paying for it. I knew what I was getting myself into when I took out the loan to purchase the house, but now I don't think it's fair that I should be burdened with the payments for the next two decades. Please forgive my home loan.

Same goes for the two new cars sitting in my driveway and the powerboat docked down at the lake. Could you forgive those loans as well?

Thank you for your consideration, gphawk89

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

Dear gphawk89,

We will consider your request.

In the meantime we will garnish every dime you have in the bank, collect 25% of your takehome pay, garnish any real estate you might own, and if you ever have more than one car paid for, we will garnish it also.

It is bank policy to inform all three credit bureaus of your request, and it will be considered to be a default on your loans. This has already been done.

We will inform you of our decision as soon as possible, but due to the large number of similar inquiries, our backlog for reviewing loan forgiveness is approximately 30 years.

Very Sincerely,

imastinker 6 years, 8 months ago


My wife and I graduated five years ago. We're 29 now, started from scratch when we got married. We both had student loans. They were paid off two years ago. We don't have credit card debt. My cars are paid off and my house is halfway there (mainly because we bought a foreclosure and did a lot of elbow grease to it). Both of us are making average salaries with our degrees, and have average middle class household incomes.

If you can't do the same you're a slacker or you don't want to bad enough. Don't project your problems on me. We are paying our share and then some. You can too if you'd spend your energy working for a living instead of whining and voting for whiners that want to make my success harder.

BTW, none of this is really that hard. Don't buy a McMansion the instant you graduate and a new car. Don't run up a bunch of debt and buy silly stuff you don't really need. Live within your means and spend less than you make. When you graduate you'll already be one of the top 25% of earners in the country. If you can't make it without our help you're a disgrace.

ignatius_j_reilly 6 years, 8 months ago

"If you can't do the same you're a slacker or you don't want to bad enough."

I'm with you on the big picture, but what a silly thing to say. If I can't do what you did, I'm not trying? Does that mean you're the stupidest, least-able person alive? Have you considered your own talents and your luck (even with good foresight)?

Not everyone who's qualified gets the job. Not everyone can have a mate willing to share financial burdens. Not every foreclosed home goes as smoothly as yours did. These are hard times. Be sensitive to that.

By the way, Mario Chalmers called. He wants to know why you haven't hit a three to save a championship game for KU yet. Freakin' slacker. He says you don't want it enough. ;)

imastinker 6 years, 8 months ago

I didn't mean to imply that her goals hould be the same as mine. I also didn't mean to imply that things have gone perfect for me. I have three kids in daycare, lost a ton of money on my first house, and the engine in my car started knocking the other day.

My point is that she will never accomplish hers until she bucks up and does it! No amount of pawning her debts off on others will help with this.

Not having a job is temporary. She will get one. Maybe she has to move back in with mom and dad and work in a gas station in the meantime, but that's by no means the end of the world.

ignatius_j_reilly 6 years, 8 months ago

You're right. I took one sentence from your post and blew it out of proportion. Like I said, I agree with you big picture.

BTW, good luck with the car. I don't have have children and haven't bought a house yet, so my biggest stress is always cars. Hate 'em.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

Buy a brand new Honda on a 60 month note at a great interest rate, and then drive it for 15 years. After you have made those 60 monthly payments, start putting the same payment amount in a savings account so you can buy a brand new Honda for cash when that 15 years is up.

And, buy your new Honda at the year end sale. It will happen very soon. Buy last year's brand new car.

That's the best car buying advice you are ever going to get.

OK, OK, OK, a Toyota might be all right too. But I like Hondas.

madameX 6 years, 8 months ago

"When you graduate you'll already be one of the top 25% of earners in the country."

Assuming she can find a job, which I'm told is by no means a given. I guess in your eyes having the bad luck not to would make her a slacker.

designdiva 6 years, 8 months ago

imastinker (and Lillian), Great advice! As I mentioned above, I am well over 40 and very proud to say I have never purchased or owned a new car in my life, let alone had a car payment! And not because I didn't have the money to purchase one, just "why would you?" I have been known to drive some pretty awful (but paid for cars). At this point in my life, I drive a pretty nice German make car that is less than 3 year old car that I paid cash for. My husband and I bought our first house when I was 23 and have been a homeowners since. We paid cash for our most recent house of 7 years. We have 5 children and 4 grandchildren. Save your money and spend it wisely. The burden of student loans is but a fly on the pile of potential income a college education can provide you.

georgeofwesternkansas 6 years, 8 months ago

What a looser. I want the education but I really wish someone else would pay for it. What a looser.

Hey chickie maybe you could get the bank to give the money back to those of us that paid off our student loans years ago, while we were starting a family, and buying a home, and starting a business.

Stop acting like you just invented the world. It has always been hard and expensive to get an education.

John Spencer 6 years, 8 months ago

You should demand your money back George! They apparently did not teach you the difference between "loser" and "looser".

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

Losers are looser. But, that could depend upon your choice of careers.

ignatius_j_reilly 6 years, 8 months ago

"It has always been hard and expensive to get an education."

It's never been this hard. Never even close. You're out of touch.

ignatius_j_reilly 6 years, 8 months ago

This year. May. How about you?






I don't care how you slice it. For every year for many decades, you could say "This year is the hardest year it's ever been to go to college," and you'd be right. The inflation of college tuition rates have always outpaced the general inflation rates. The further back you go, the easier, proportionately, it was for you to attend school.

Pastor_Bedtime 6 years, 8 months ago

With this kind of entitlement mentality she should go join the paid protesters, Trustifarians and suburban anarchists in their ongoing Occupation. Bet she wabts us to pay off her credit cards as well.

monkey_c 6 years, 8 months ago

It has always been hard and expensive to get an education, but a graduate used to be able to look forward to, and plan for a good job...one that could pay those sizeable debts, thereby making the education a good investment. That is no longer the case. These loans are backed by the Federal Government, the program is now run by the federal government, and it is the same federal government that sent American jobs overseas. So, maybe it's not all black and white "I paid mine, now you pay yours!!!" Economic times have changed. Perhaps when the genius politicians were selling out the American way they should have also discouraged young people from taking on tremendous debt in order to be qualified for jobs that would no longer be available. At least this young person is carefully and realistically considering her situation, in a responsible manner, wondering whether her invesdtment is a valuable one or not, rather than borrowing now and defaulting later, without any concern...lots of student are on that ride without so much as a second thought....for now.

voevoda 6 years, 8 months ago

Ms. Kopasta-Merkel, Please don't take to heart the mean-spirited comments made by so many of the posters here. It's not you. They call names because they don't have the facts or logic to argue convincingly against you. They lack empathy for anybody facing financial difficulty. Blaming the person in narrow financial straits just their way of justifying their own selfishness. I do wish that the government would restore the National Defense Student Loan program. It provided funding for education with a favorable interest rate 3%. It permitted borrowers to consolidate all their loans together, beginning repayment 9 months after the completion of the last degree. Loans were forgiven when borrowers took employment in certain public-sector jobs, such as inner-city schoolteachers. Repayment could be stretched over many years, at a rate of $365 per year. Legislation passed two years ago was intended to reestablish a Federal student loan program, but I don't know that it will ever be implemented, given the climate in Washington. The countries that are surpassing us in education think that investing in the higher education of their citizens pays off for their country. They're right. While a part-time job might help you to reduce the amount you need to borrow, it won't suffice to pay your tuition and all your expenses. You could go to a cheaper school, but then you wouldn't get as good an education. For many young people in your situation, ROTC is a good option. It will pay towards your education now, and guarantee you employment when you come out.
Good luck, Lillian!

Fossick 6 years, 8 months ago

"They lack empathy for anybody facing financial difficulty."

Except that she's not facing financial difficulty, she is planning to get into it and then ask the taxpayers to pay her debts on her behalf. There's a subtle difference.

As for those who "fear for the future of our country" or some such because of her sense of entitlement, don't. We were all young and foolish once. Of course college students feel entitled. Worry about it if 5 years into the real world her attitudes haven't changed and she's running for office.

Those people who are telling her to wake up and grow up ought to be thanked rather than dismissed. I suspect that many of those know first hand where that road leads. Rather than saving her self-esteem, if she listens to them they just might save her future.

voevoda 6 years, 8 months ago

It is quite possible to give good advice without being nasty about it. Lillian doesn't sound as if she feels "entitled" to anything. She doesn't sound "foolish." She shouldn't be expected to "thank" people who called her "a little thief," "a moocher," "pathetic," "[showing] signs of mental illness," "getting an MA in Elbowian butt trumpet," "complainer," "narcissitic," "weak, foolish, and certainly ignorant," "slacker," "looser [sic!]," not to mention the condescending "honey" and "chickie." Those posters to remember first and foremost to be civil. If they can't voice their opinions without calling names or misrepresenting others' stance, they ought to take their own advice: "time to grow up." "suck it up." "deal with it."

Fossick 6 years, 8 months ago

I'm not sure what "It is time for them to do something for us in return" is, if not entitlement. I doubt she and her fellow Russian language scholars personally bailed out the financial industry.

I agree with you that 'looser' is way out of line, though. Anyone with a college degree who consistently uses that word as a noun ought to be asking their alma mater for a refund.

voevoda 6 years, 8 months ago

Russian scholars ended the Cold War and earned us the "peace dividend." If Ms. Kopasta-Merkel is majoring in Russian, good for her! The US needs a lot more specialists with a command of Russian. Americans in general bailed out Wall Street, and yes, all of us, including Ms. Kopasta-Merkel, are justified in expecting to be repaid, with interest. Those corporations depend upon workers who received college educations and upon customers who have college educations. Instead of giving their failed executives huge bonuses, those companies could have donated that money to educational institutions for scholarships. Or provided scholarships directly. Or any other charity. The fact that they did not opens them up for reasonable criticism.
When you (and other posters) are snide in your comments, Fossick, you make yourself sound unreasonable. Why would anyone take seriously the content of remarks that are voiced in a gratuitously nasty way?

Fossick 6 years, 8 months ago

"Americans in general bailed out Wall Street, and yes, all of us, including Ms. Kopasta-Merkel, are justified in expecting to be repaid, with interest."

First of all, if one takes the word of the present administration, we have been repaid, with interest. I argued both at the time and now that the financial system never should have been bailed out in the first place. I lost that fight, I'm over it.

However, Ms. Kopasta-Merkel is not asking to be bailed out as an American, but as a student. What has the TARP bailout have to do with her student loans? If she wished to follow precedent (bank and housing idiocy rewarded by the govt), then it's a bad precedent that none of us should allow. If she's saying that because taxpayers bailed out the banks, the banks ought to pony up for loans she has not even taken out yet, then she is simply a moocher. Putting lipstick on it does doesn't cover the smell of bacon.

One of the ironies of this conversation is that I bought Treasuries during early '09, which means that unlike the average college sophomore, I actually put up money for the banks. Even so I do not expect that banks have incurred some kind of perpetual debt to me that can be drawn from any time I make a stupid financial decision. When they have paid their debt to me, in actual dollars and cents, they are free to go.

designdiva 6 years, 8 months ago

While I happen to agree that "Americans" may be due some sort of recompense for the "bail out" of the banking and auto industries, I believe that as long as we, as individuals and collectively, have this "owe me" mentality, success will be but a pipe dream. That is my argument. We cannot and should not sit back waiting for the golden goose egg to be laid. Additionally, we need to understand that when the egg is laid, the goose dies. It is up to the individual who is mentally and physically able to make his own way instead of depending on a fairy tale.

madameX 6 years, 8 months ago

Wow, so much nastiness directed at a girl who is probably 20 at most, and probably panicking at each piece of negative news about the job market and the economy. Maybe she's overacting a bit; many people do actually manage to make it work with student loans, but attacking her for her "sense of entitlement" is uncalled for.

Apparently all the other posters are unaware of the employment catch 22 in this country: if you want a good job you need a degree (and I take issue with that, but it's the reality we're dealing with) but in order to get the degree many kids have to dig a debt hole before you've had the chance to earn anything significant. Can you blame her for feeling overwhelmed that she'll likely be five figures in the hole before she even tries to start a career?

beatrice 6 years, 8 months ago

"We bailed out the financial industry. It is time for them to do something for us in return."

The financial industry was given a loan, which, for the most part, they have paid back. It was a sweet deal at a time of great need that most of us will never be offered a similar loan, but it was a loan that has been paid back.

I have to disagree with the idea of the letter. People need to be responsible for paying their student loans. If someone didn't go to college and just went into the work force, should that person be forgiven of their car loan needed to buy a vehicle to get to and from work?

Work if you need to while going to school, seek every possible financial aid that will lower your tuition, only get loans to pay for the essentials, and don't go to college if you know that ultimately the career you seek won't pay for the money you have borrowed.

madameX 6 years, 8 months ago

It seems like pretty much any career requires you to have a degree now, though. Whether that degree is actually necessary and relevant or not. Lots of employers just want to know that you graduated from somewhere. So the idea of skipping college because the career you want doesn't require it is becoming less and less feasible since pretty much every career seems to require it.

jafs 6 years, 8 months ago

4 people on that list.

Most people will not be those folks, and without a college degree, they'll find their options severely limited.

Also, it takes more than hard work - many people work hard their whole lives, and never attain that sort of success.

madameX 6 years, 8 months ago

Really, dude? Really? Are you capable of posting anything without getting all name-cally and obnoxious? Are you this nasty to your friends and family?

Not everyone can be Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, et al. Not everyone is an tech prodigy. And although it's true that these men have had incredible success without going to college, they are the exception, not the rule. What do you think the likelihood of getting hired at Microsoft or Apple without a degree is?

I am familiar with the concept of "work." I even do it for eight hours a day five days a week. And have done since I was 19 or so. But once I got bored with changing oil and slinging espresso and decided to look for some other way to support myself. And I discovered that it's pretty hard to get your foot in the door for the jobs that I wanted without getting that stupid piece of paper first. I'm not defending that fact; I actually take serious issue with it. But in many fields, the reality is that hard "work" will only get you so much. (Which is why I now "work" and go to school.)

voevoda 6 years, 8 months ago

rockchalk1977, Why do you assume that liberals are not at least as hard-working as conservatives?
Interestingly, the tech giants you name all seem to have liberal proclivities.

jafs 6 years, 8 months ago

Actually, TARP was a government purchase of risky, lousy assets that nobody else wanted to buy.

Banks, etc. that were in that program were not required to buy them back, or anything else.

They have mostly chosen to do so, which I suspect is because they didn't want the government as an investor.

And, I have to question how much "need" there was if they've been able in a few years to buy back those assets, during a recession no less.

I agree with the rest, but I also sympathize with young folks who are wondering how useful their college degree will be, and how much debt they'll wind up with, given the current economic climate.

Fossick 6 years, 8 months ago

I sympathize as well, and think it's an outrage that state colleges will sell a naive young person a degree in wimmin studies or psychology or some equally useless degree in exchange for a six-figure debt. That's your government at work, the same one many here want to give even more money to work with.

However, that does not mean the student and her parents are excused from running the numbers in advance. They should not 'wonder' how useful the college degree should be, they should know that (within reason) before they agree to buy it. Like anything else in this world, if it ain't worth the price, you're better off buying something else or shopping somewhere else.

jafs 6 years, 8 months ago

Determining how useful a college degree will be in 4 years from now is not an easy task, given the economy and the political landscape.

And, I don't know how you get to a 6-figure debt unless you're paying for all of your expenses with student loans, and have no other source of that at all, at a state school.

Also, the idea that a school is "selling" a degree is a bit odd - they're providing an education, which is a bit different from selling a piece of paper.

Fossick 6 years, 8 months ago

"Determining how useful a college degree will be in 4 years from now is not an easy task"

Agreed, but that makes the attempt all the more necessary.

"And, I don't know how you get to a 6-figure debt ..."

It's not easy, but it can be done:

Today, however, Ms. Munna, a 26-year-old graduate of New York University, has nearly $100,000 in student loan debt from her four years in college, and affording the full monthly payments would be a struggle. ... She recently received a raise and now makes $22 an hour working for a photographer. It’s the highest salary she’s earned since graduating with an interdisciplinary degree in religious and women’s studies. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/29/your-money/student-loans/29money.html

Most students, of course, owe far less, but well into 5 figures not unusual. Same link: "How many people are like her? According to the College Board’s Trends in Student Aid study, 10 percent of people who graduated in 2007-8 with student loans had borrowed $40,000 or more."

"the idea that a school is 'selling' a degree is a bit odd..."

A rhetorical exaggeration on my part to be sure. However, I have corrected enough term papers done by last-term history majors to know that if an education is supposed to include the ability to write in coherent English, too many are not getting an education. And if you ask the students whether their goal is an education or a degree, I think the answer will bear my rhetoric out.

jafs 6 years, 8 months ago

That means that 90% borrow less than $40,000.

Which seems much more reasonable to me, for a state university.

Is NYU a state school? If so, I imagine that costs are higher there than in other states, since everything costs more in NYC :-)

It is extremely disturbing that people are graduating from college without knowing how to use the language correctly - in fact, they shouldn't graduate from high school without knowing that, in my view.

But, the problem of "buying" a degree stems from our society's extreme emphasis on material wealth. Instead of praising education, we sell the idea that a college degree will "pay off" over time in the form of increased wages.

voevoda 6 years, 8 months ago

It's women's studies, Fossick. A legitimate field of study, and employable, too. Denigrating it is an insult to women. Why should anyone take your opinion seriously when you make gratuitously nasty remarks that malign 50% of the human race?

Fossick 6 years, 8 months ago

"It's women's studies, Fossick"

Sometimes it is and sometimes it ain't:

Melody Nelson is a Wimmin's Studies Major at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. A native of Los Angeles, California, Melody divides most of hir time in Las Vegas between school and developing new ways to facilitate discussion around reproductive issues with her group... http://www.choiceusa.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=80&Itemid=116

Whether something is employable I'll leave to the recruiters to decide, noting only that I have seen a few more job openings seeking nursing grads and civil engineers than for any of the various stripes of "studies." But I was not maligning 50% of the population. I'm a much more careful commenter than that.

As for whether it's a legitimate area of study, well, I hope that those who decide to pass up an education to get such a degree don't overpay for their error.

voevoda 6 years, 8 months ago

Do you seriously present a Facebook page riddled with text-message speak as evidence that it is acceptable to use the term "wimmins studies"? But the comments at the end of your posting ("pass up an education" "overpay for their error") reveals that you actually do hold the subject in disdain. Clearly, you would benefit from taking some women's studies courses, so that you would be educated enough to speak about their value.

Fossick 6 years, 8 months ago

If you don't like that link, how about one from UNC? "College was UNC Chapel Hill. I picked up a major in psychology and another in wimmin's studies. I'm a feminist, in case "wimmin" didn't clue you in. I don't shave. The artwork of Susi Medusa Gottardi played a considerable part in my decision to stop shaving. My wimmin's studies classes took care of the rest." http://www.unc.edu/~kjacobs/aboutme.html

I hold all "studies" subjects in equal disdain - there is nothing specific to that "50% of the human race" about it.

Though I'll receive my fourth degree in May, I freely admit I have studiously avoided that brand of "study." When I read on a hallway poster for a Women's Studies club that "Of the world's nearly one million illiterate adults, nearly 2/3 are women" I figured math might be a more worthwhile subject. Plus, I shave.

Daniel_Jackson 6 years, 8 months ago

What a self-absorbed entitled little twit. What are they teaching at KU these days?

Kawatchi 6 years, 8 months ago

They are so cute at this age. What an ignorant kid.

voevoda 6 years, 8 months ago

Daniel_Jackson, Kawatchi, I am sure, Daniel_Jackson, that you would not like it if someone called you a "twit." I am sure, Kawatchi, that you would not like it if someone called you an "ignorant kid." Do unto others, as Jesus said. When you call names, you just demonstrate that you have no evidence or logic to invoke. It's a way of admitting that you have lost the argument.

Peacemaker452 6 years, 8 months ago

It is almost as bad a dismissing other peoples opinions as faulty when you don’t have any evidence or logic to back up your own.

voevoda 6 years, 8 months ago

Not to worry, Peacemaker452; I do have evidence. It's just not available through internet links.

Fossick 6 years, 8 months ago

There, you had to go and bring Jesus into it, didn't you?

"Which of you, desiring to put up a tower, does not first give much thought to the price, if he will have enough to make it complete? For fear that if he makes a start and is not able to go on with it to the end, all who see it will be laughing at him, and saying, 'This man made a start at building and is not able to make it complete.'" -- Luke 14:28-30, BBE

I wonder if he was talking about ivory towers?

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

I think a house built upon a foundation of sand was mentioned somewhere.

voevoda 6 years, 8 months ago

You omitted the end of the passage you cited from Luke (14:32): "So also, if you are not prepared to leave all your possessions behind, you cannot be my disciples."

Fossick 6 years, 8 months ago

I also omitted Luke 12:56: "Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time?"

After all, if Jesus calls people names, how can we take his arguments seriously, right?

Satirical 6 years, 8 months ago

She is completely correct. We should reward effort in this country not results. Everyone should get a trophy for participating, not just those who do something society determines to be valuable.

The 7 years I took to get my degree in philosophy should guarantee me a job where i can pay off my $120,000 in debt; just like my friend who spent 4 years to get his degree in computer science.

Any world where risk doesn't always turn into a reward is not a world I want to live in. Let's go march on Wall Street!! Who is with me!?

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

That's a good point about cheaper schools, toe. I'm sure the in state tuition in Alabama at a local community college is a small fraction of KU's out of state tuition.

That would be an excellent option for the first two years in many fields of study.

Katara 6 years, 8 months ago


Ignore all the older folks here who will preach how awesomely bootstrappy they were in their youth and tell you that you are a entitled little brat. They don't understand that the world is a different place than it was when they were your age. Back in their day, you could get a high school diploma and find a job that would support your family, allow you to own your own home and raise a few children with one parent staying home.

That world does not exist anymore and they are unable to understand that you don't have the options they enjoyed. They are also much more content with calling you names rather than offer good advice or help provide you some direction in making your goals. Listening to those people will get you nowhere.

My father was able to pay for his tuition and books by working in the dorm cafeteria. It was not the same for me. It helped pay for some of my expenses but it did not cover all as it did in his day. We both were paid the same ( the going rate for minimum wage at the time) and we both the same number of hours (you are limited as to how many hours you can work with this type of employment).

I ended up having to take time off to earn the money needed to pay for all my college expenses. It took 7 years to get my degree but I have no student loan debt. Don't rely on credit cards for living expenses during this time either. One of my college roommates kicks herself to this day about doing that and how long it took her to pay it all off.

Don't worry about the time it takes to get your degree. It just matters that you finished it.

If you really are a Slavic studies major, I would also suggest studying abroad. Finland's university system is free even to Americans. There are also many other countries and some colleges in the U.S. that offer a free education http://tinyurl.com/5t99s8v

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

There is always the "Rich Husband" option. If she qualifies.

common_man 6 years, 8 months ago

Lillian, Congratulations on your self-assessed/teacher and family reinforced "intelligence." Intelligent adults make rational life decisions such as incurring debt for a product of value. Welcome to adulthood.

Robert Marble 6 years, 8 months ago

soooooo.....you use coporate bailouts as an excuse to plead that your also deserve something for nothing? Well, Ms. Lillian hyphenated-whoever you should re evaluate that crap. A lot of time and effort goes into providing that education for you; many people earn their paychecks providing it for you. Your irrepsonsibility, laziness, and personal greed seems to overshadow that concern however since you believe it should just be handed to you at no charge. You need to pull your own weight and pay your own bills. Too many deadbeats around already so please don't add more to the list. Get a job and pay your own bills.

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