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Are you concerned about your student debt?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on February 27, 2006

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Photo of Liam Kirby

“Yeah, because I know it’s coming. I know it’s going to be in the back of my mind for a very long time, but it seems like something everyone has to go through if you go to college.”

Photo of Quinton King

“Nah. I’m not very worried. It’s not really that much, and I can pay it back quickly after I get out of college. KU is pretty cheap.”

Photo of Janell Runnebaum

“No. I’m not, because I’m not the one paying for it.”

Photo of Annie Biddison

“Very. The profession I’m going into doesn’t earn much money, so I’m not that confident that I can pay it off anytime soon.”

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Comments

craigers 8 years, 1 month ago

grubesteak, I didn't do a whole lot of shopping around but the key is to consolidate while you are in your deferrment period. Your rate is lower in that 6 month period after graduation and if you consolidate then, I believe Sallie Mae will lock you into a rate closer to your deferrment period rate instead of the normal payback period rate. Consolidate early. That is all I can say.

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Multidisciplinary 8 years, 1 month ago

I wish I would have copied and saved, rather than printed. (I just knew it would disappear at any second)Must do that more frequently, I usually do, it saves publishing time LOL. I'm going to be very busy the next couple of days, I'll try to email it to you if I can.I'm far past when I should be asleep now. Catering to the needs of others. Too many coasts in this country!(Now questionably overseen :( All heck breaks loose thru the weekend. Is marriage better than dating at this age? Slower? Sheesh. Anyone besides those offering looking for an idealist/giver/individualist/passionate/spontaneous/romantic? LOL

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hitme 8 years, 1 month ago

with my degree I can waste everyday posting all day long on websites what a waste of life?

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Ceallach 8 years, 1 month ago

sue, I believe that would be at McDonald's.

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sunflower_sue 8 years, 1 month ago

Bea, where can you get a Latte AND a muffin for $4? I need to get a new barista!

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sunflower_sue 8 years, 1 month ago

Kansas, so sorry to have led you into temptation. I should have followed MD's advice and printed it. The hubby would have thought it hysterical. I was trying to remember what on earth I and avhjwhattheheckmlk said to get us zapped and then I remembered it was alternative monikers...nothing racey. Ya just never know!

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inmate 8 years, 1 month ago

Getting my law degree was easy since I've had plenty of time to study. The price was perfect too; I have nothing to pay back. I wish Toby young would stop by...I could use a trip to Tennessee for a little R&R.

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beatrice 8 years, 1 month ago

"I once heard the definition of maturity is the ability to delay pleasure." I wonder what old fart came up with that one? : )

Actually, it is a great quote, and quite true. I find myself agreeing with Bowhunter on the need for people to not expect everything instantly. If you don't want debt, maybe the new truck with lousy gas mileage isn't the best choice after all. Make your coffee at home, and don't spend $4 every morning for a latte and muffin. That kind of living adds up quick when you are "poor."

I have to disagree with his questioning of spending money on an education in the humanities. I don't even want to consider how dull a world without the humanities would be.

But hey, splitting fifty/fifty with bowhunter is a rare day for me! Maybe there is some common ground after all. : )

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Multidisciplinary 8 years, 1 month ago

Ahh, kansasland...may the name rest in peace...snicker snicker. I printed it all. Too funny to lose. This could be a book some day, like the top ten from letterman.

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grubesteak 8 years, 1 month ago

Craigers, my man, you did some good shopping on your loan rate.

katybleu ... I think what you mean to say is that if you didn't have the option of a student loan, you wouldn't have the opportunity to get your degree now.

You could have paid as you go. If one truly wants something bad enough, you find ways. I can think of several different options other than using student loans.

I once heard the definition of maturity is the ability to delay pleasure. Would that mean America's workforce has immature college grads?

A friend of mine got his start in the newspaper biz while he was in college. He worked his butt off and his studies ended up suffering from it. He went on to work for several major newspapers, and now works for Knight-Ridder. It's funny, because he kept taking jobs that would pay for his schooling as a benefit (as does mine) but his success at his work kept getting in the way!

Here it is, seven years after we worked together at a small newspaper in Missouri and he still doesn't have his degree. Too funny.

Sorry for the rant, but it pains me to see our nation, where he have so much, really end up so poor because we're stuck with monthly payments. When is enough, enough?

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Kathleen Christian 8 years, 1 month ago

I'm 55 - have three more classes and I'll be finished finally - but I'll be paying on my loan for the rest of my life - well into my 80s. But if I didn't have the option of a student loan I would never have the opportunity to get my degree. So you're dogged if you do and dogged if you don't. Unfortunately business require way too much for a low end/low pay job.

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 1 month ago

ACG = Here I is... baby boy fed, changed, and sleeping. Think I shall go outside and be in the sun for a few minutes.

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acg 8 years, 1 month ago

Thanks MD. That's awesome. TOB if you're out there anywhere, congrats man. :)

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Multidisciplinary 8 years, 1 month ago

Aw shucks, sounded just like someone else I know. I was ready to call people. Thanks for answering! At least I know there are others out there suffering the same abuse.

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badger 8 years, 1 month ago

Not a 'Rick', but he was also a conspiracy theorist (we think he may have found a way to listen in to his employees in their offices because he thought we were talking about him) who has since lost his company.

Never told me I was a waste of time and money, just that my failure to embrace his wisdom was a 'deep personal disappointment' because I was 'refusing to see my potential' and he was very upset that I was going to condemn myself to mediocrity.

When I left angry, he said, "Only one of us wanted you to fail at this job, (badger), and that one wasn't me, it was you. You'll never get another opportunity like this, and someday you'll wish you had listened to me."

I never considered the multiple personality angle, but I did once anonymously email him a link to an online mental health diagnosis reference with the title, "Pick a card, any card...".

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Gootsie 8 years, 1 month ago

Sorry acg!!! TOB posted - I thought he might answer you.

His name is RM Taylor. Not the new Bobino. The Sybil boss.

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bankboy119 8 years, 1 month ago

mefirst, I can't give you the names of all of them because I don't need to look them up. I got one grant because I was married and in college (the whole income thing) I received Spanish scholarships, others for writing essays. I got plenty without a 4.0. There are many more now. Especially if you're a woman or a minority. Now that you can look up many online there are an endless amount to apply for if you want to take the time.

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acg 8 years, 1 month ago

Are you guys really going to make me scroll back thru the last four days of OTS to see if TOB has a new bobling or not? If so, you all suck. It's a simple question, people. Bobling? Bobette? False alarm?

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Multidisciplinary 8 years, 1 month ago

OH IT IS HIM isn't it ???? Gootsie, call me LOL

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Gootsie 8 years, 1 month ago

Oh he did that too. And I'm convinced that the reason he had such a bad time was that he suffered from multiple personalities (seriously) and didn't remember one of him telling me to do something, then another of him asking why I'm wasting his valuable $$$ on something so stupid. I really considered filing charges against him for cruelty, but no one would back me up. He treated all of them that way too, but they didn't want to face him.

"The only reason you still have a job here is because the other people like working with you. I think you are a wate of time and money." He's since lost his company.

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Multidisciplinary 8 years, 1 month ago

And his name was Rick ! I know him ! Claimed his employees were always in a conspiracy against him. Family too. Someone said, we can always call him "Dick". His children decided to start calling him Earl, after the song by the Dixie chicks. The mom found that hilarious.

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badger 8 years, 1 month ago

Gootsie -

Hey, I think I worked for that guy!

Except that it wasn't the building intercom. He'd stand five feet from your desk and lecture you at length and at full volume on your 'poor performance' with the office door wide open and most of your co-workers trying to find reasons to be anywhere else, and anyone passing by the open front door fully able to hear you getting your head handed to you. I once received a fifteen-minute diatribe about my inability to be a dependable asset to the company and the inadvisability of wasting time on anything but critical project work for being three minutes late to a meeting.

Usually, he'd finish it off with a rundown of your personal emotional issues, your problems at home (including one horrifying detailed elaboration of the reasons he felt that the wife of one of my co-workers hadn't been able to conceive - you could hear office doors slamming all down the hall as we tried to give that conversation some privacy), and his willingness to forgive your flaws because he could see the real potential if only you'd let him mold you into the kind of success he'd become.

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Multidisciplinary 8 years, 1 month ago

and he can skip this weeks pop quiz

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Multidisciplinary 8 years, 1 month ago

Most everyone I grew up with that got a degree, works in a field other than their degree. The man I know with the most degrees, changes jobs every 5-6 years, for the hell of it. He can, he can do what ever he wants LOL. The MD's I know with the most power, have told me personally, they would never go through all those years again, knowing what they do now about what the profession is. And I'm talking previous heads of major depts at major KC hospitals. I was stunned, and very saddened. But I understood completely.

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Bowhunter99 8 years, 1 month ago

most college students today confuse the cost of education with the cost of living like Kings and Queens thru College. If they forgo the designer jeans, the partying,etc, then maybe they would not be 50-100K in debt.

And, also.. reality check. Why pay 100K for a degree in History? what on Earth makes you think it's worth it?

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Multidisciplinary 8 years, 1 month ago

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Linda Endicott 8 years, 1 month ago

The guy I knew worked at a newspaper...and no, didn't require any knowledge of agriculture that I know of.

In the company I work for now, we have case managers. And a degree is required for that position, though other places tell you that experience in the field will count instead of a degree.

And how is a case manager who has a degree in art any more qualified for the position?

I have a daughter. That should prove to companies that I can stick to something for MORE than four years. In fact, being a mother gives you all kinds of skills, including such things as budgeting, fashion, conflict resolution, answering phones, and mediation. But try listing it on a resume. It doesn't cut any ice at all.

CNN said the other day that most workers will change jobs between 7 and 10 times in their careers. So what does that college degree really say about them being able to stick to something for more than four years?

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Multidisciplinary 8 years, 1 month ago

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sunflower_sue 8 years, 1 month ago

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from_kansasland 8 years, 1 month ago

Me thinks that I may have to go the e_m route and start thinking up a new moniker right about now! LOL!

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avhjmlk 8 years, 1 month ago

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from_kansasland 8 years, 1 month ago

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avhjmlk 8 years, 1 month ago

Oh sue, you beat me to the punch.

Rephrase: Bets on from_k's 1:32 getting axed?

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avhjmlk 8 years, 1 month ago

Bets on that last one getting axed?

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sunflower_sue 8 years, 1 month ago

from KS, You about made me pee my pants! (I'm blushing)

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from_kansasland 8 years, 1 month ago

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Gootsie 8 years, 1 month ago

I had a boss that would get on the building intercom and page me and say "xxx, will you get your a$$ up here and tell me why you f'd up this project so bad."

It was incredibly awful. But I did lose some weight! I left there and went to this place as a temp and we all just hit it off. Yes, I am incredibly lucky to get this bunch.

And you are so right about resumes. I fell into all but one of my jobs and was able to prove myself once I was there. But if they were going off my education, I would be begging money on the street!

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sunflower_sue 8 years, 1 month ago

Badger, that is hillarious. Reminds me of the time (as a teenager) I had to take one of those "morality" tests just to apply for a job in a record store. Took a half hour to take the test and then just to be told by the store manager that I was "too pretty" and he didn't want to work with anyone he might end up dating. HA! Years later, that same manager and I had a mutual friend and got to know each other. It was then that I told him what a p*ick I thought he was back then. And, no, we never dated...he wasn't my type.:oP

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Multidisciplinary 8 years, 1 month ago

This is depressing, let's go back to cookies, shall we? Or, best dessert after a Porterhouse steak.....

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badger 8 years, 1 month ago

harley:

Or, no one has the time to figure out how to write a test that effectively says, 'When you hit 40 hours for the week on Thursday morning, and have sent out eleven massive client mailings on one week's notice, and the phone won't stop ringing but no one will take their calls, and by Friday afternoon 30% of the staff has bugged out because it's a 'light' week, then when one of the project managers stops by your office at 4:15 that Friday and says, "Hey, I just sent you my updated draft for the flyer for the client mailings. I know you said Monday was the deadline, but I was out Tuesday and Wednesday to watch my kid's soccer tournament, and I just got caught up on the noncritical stuff. I'm out of here. Have a great weekend!" and bugs out, will you:

A. Slap him in the head. B. Throttle him. C. Stay late to get the corrected mailings out but call in sick next Friday and go shopping. D. Stay late to get the corrected mailings out, then mis-route his mail and send him all the sales calls for a month. E. Smile cheerfully, stay late to get the corrected mailings out, and stab another pin into his voodoo doll.

When they find a way to write that test without it being an HR nightmare, then you'll see testing for administrative positions.

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mom_of_three 8 years, 1 month ago

Many accounting/finance companies require a certain GPA to apply for their positions. And students do add it to their resume.

HR firms hire psychology majors, (find the right people for the right job) and some companies just require a major of some sort. Unless you are going to be self-employed or don't care as much about monetary success as job happiness, then you will need a degree. You may not see a difference in the first few years of employment, but you will in the long run.

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blue73harley 8 years, 1 month ago

Badger - regarding companies testing the knowledge of applicants. You are absolutely right...very few do. The legal departments of large corporations are afraid that any test might not be "fair" to some person of "protected status" and that they might end up with an EEOC challenge.

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sunflower_sue 8 years, 1 month ago

Student debt: Have none. I went to college 7+ years taking full loads every semester. I had grant money, scholarships, and I worked full time. It was a lot of hard work but definitely doable.

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canyon_wren 8 years, 1 month ago

Great comments, Beatrice--especially the last paragraph!

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beatrice 8 years, 1 month ago

crazy: "I don't buy the idea that people with college degrees can do a better job than someone who doesn't have one." Perhaps, but then again you aren't the one hiring people at all the companies around the country that do. One thing a college degree shows someone doing the hiring is that the applicant can stick to something for at least four years. This is saying something, when so many young people today have the attention span of a gnat.

Being the first in my large family to attend college, I'm proud to say that I put myself through undergrad and graduate school without ever taking out a loan, or money from the folks, while living on my own. I saved for a few years before I could afford to enroll, but once I was in I did go after academic and writing awards, scholarships, and in grad school I taught, which covered tuition and provided just enough money to live at a level close enough to look up to the poverty line. I loved it, met my spouse then, got to travel to Europe on grant money a couple of times, and the education has allowed me to now earn a comfortable living in a field I love.

While I believe there is plenty of scholarship money out there and I didn't personally have to take out any loans, the loans are important. Without loans, many would never get a chance to attend college. This would mean that primarily the kids born into wealthy families would be going to college, thus the divide between the haves and the have-nots would grow even further. So the loan system must continue.

However, when someone is unappreciative of the fact that they get to attend college at all -- or not caring about the loans because mommy and daddy will be taking care of it -- I just want to slap them. Hard.

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badger 8 years, 1 month ago

Gootsie, I'm glad you work somewhere that you're appreciated. One of the ways to tell if a company is a mentally healthy place to work is to watch how people treat their admins. I went on an interview right after I moved here with a small local company. While I was walking back to the interview area, I overheard one of the higher-ups (VP level) berating an admin in front of several other employees and telling her that he just couldn't tolerate her stupid mistakes and she should consider herself lucky he didn't fire her on the spot. The woman interviewing me looked embarrassed and said, "Don't mind him. He's all bluster. He yells at everyone but never actually fires anybody, ha ha."

Luckily, the offer for the job I have now came through before that company's did, so I could say without lying that I already had found a position and thank you for the opportunity and your very fine company offers a lot to a potential employee (can't burn bridges in this economy) but I have already committed to this other company.

crazyks, it'd be great if you could be given the job based on what you know and your skills in the field. But let's say you're interviewing for an administrative assistant job. You are told to cull 75 resumes down five phone interviews.

After you pick out all the people who don't have the job criteria listed in your ad, and whose resumes don't look professional, and whose cover letters contain grammatical errors, you still have fifty resumes. You sift through for those with the 'ideal candidate' criteria, and you come down to ten candidates with roughly the same amount of experience and equally professional resumes and cover letters. None of them really stand out that much.

How do you cull next? You have to eliminate five of them, without being able to call them or get any more information from them. Usually, what you do is you see which ones have the most education and in what fields. In cases like that, the degree is what makes the difference. In a lot of companies, they've recognized that and just require or prefer a college degree 'or equivalent experience' (to keep them from missing candidates like Gootsie who might shine without a degree) in the job description.

Very few companies will test you to find out how much you know about the field.

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canyon_wren 8 years, 1 month ago

crazyks said "All a degree proves anymore is that you had the money to go to college...whether you borrowed it or not." I suppose that is true, to some extent, but I also think it proves that a person can STICK with something long enough to finish it--and some people just can't stick with anything. Employers are looking for people who can.

Nobody lived "cheaper" at school than I did, but that was in the late 50s and the situation was so different, I can't even make a comparison. But my college experience (even with non-resident tuition most of the time) only cost my folks a total of $260--I earned the rest, mostly working at the KU Student Union cafeteria.

As far as the degree making a difference salary-wise, I was hired at the KU Alumni Association as a clerk for $240 a month (with my degree) and they hired a woman with an 8th grade education for "only" $225 a month. Big deal! She couldn't do anything, and they finally set her to alphabetizing the alumni cards--her response was "It's been so long since I used the alphabet, I forget how it goes!"

I never HAVE had a position that really paid me for my degree, but it definitely made a difference in whether I got the job.

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 1 month ago

I have the exact same deal as Craigers except a smidge higher I think. It's almost like free money. $20K to ensure at least $1m+ lifetime additional earnings at less than 2% a year? What a deal.

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craigers 8 years, 1 month ago

grubessteak I have a contract when I consolidated my loan and I got locked in around 2.785 and after three years of on-time payments I will get my rate lowered by 1% taking it to 1.785. My rate is fixed and not tied to the going interest rates.

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Ceallach 8 years, 1 month ago

Gootsie, I'm peeking around the door right now -- can you see me -- no, I was afraid of that -- we should be so lucky as to have you in our office!!

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sunflower_sue 8 years, 1 month ago

Cea, must be why they actually have a "day" for secretaries. Somebody knows their true value.

Gootsie, good call on "daddie's money Janell." She will learn.

holyjim, most med students start earing money in their second year of residency. Let's not scare off some potential Dr.'s out there!

crazyks, There are B i l l i o n s (spoken like Carl Sagan sp?) of Ag magazines, journals, yadda, yadda... out there. Maybe your friend works for one of those? Ag is the largest industry in the US. Me thinks your friend done good to get a degree in Ag!

Oops! gotta run to school. Gotta kid w/ a headache.

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 1 month ago

Every time I see the total of what I owe I crap my pants. Then I realize if I didn't have student loans it would have probably taken me 15 years to get through school or just not gone through at all. And I owe my job and current status of living to my undergrad and grad degrees. I was able to lock in my rate at a drop-dead low number back in the free-wheeling loan consolidation days (3 years ago) so I'm doing better than most I guess. It's more like a hairy mole on your butt. Yeah,it isn't pretty and I wish it wasn't there, but I've learned how to live with it.

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Liberty 8 years, 1 month ago

Crazyks,

It is quite simple how the government spends money that they don't have. They borrow it from the Federal Reserve (which has questionable reserves since it has never been audited), the Federal Reserve keys into their computer the amount that the treasury wants to borrow at an interest rate and creates it out of the computer entry (no real money exists). Then the government spends and buys whatever it wants. The debt burden for big government is piled onto you and future generations that call themselves 'taxpayers' to pay back the Federal Reserve this 'debt' back to the controllers of the Federal Reserve (International Bankers in England/United Kingdom).

Always remember: The borrower is servant (slave) to the lender...

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acg 8 years, 1 month ago

School costs are poopy too! I've been paying on mine since 1997 and I still have over $2000 to go! It's crazy that it should take over a decade to pay off student loans. But then again, if I hadn't had a degree I would've never gotten the job I have now so it's a toss up. So, I was out of the office most of the end of last week. Did TOB's wife ever pop? If so, what did they have, anyone know?

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linux_chick 8 years, 1 month ago

The company I'm interning for requires the GPA to be listed on applicant resumes. They won't even talk to you without >3.0, which is tougher than you'd think in my field.

Blech, paying for college sucks.

I used to work double-shifts over the summers to save $ for tuition and living expenses. One year, I actually lived off of $25/month for food just to make ends meet at KU... and that's with grants and scholarships.

School is poopy.

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Gootsie 8 years, 1 month ago

Ceallach, thank you for the kind words. I happen to agree with you and am grateful to work in a place that shows their appreciation to me every day in one way or another. 'Course I'm always telling them that calls can be dropped; mail can be lost; emails can be misaddressed....they just laugh at me! I love it!

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Ceallach 8 years, 1 month ago

crazyks: GPA's on resumes not only annoys people it scares them. If you have a good gpa they can hear your footsteps coming down the hall for their job :)

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Ceallach 8 years, 1 month ago

I'm feeling really old cuz when I was ready for college there were no student loans as we know them today. Your parents either had money or hopefully qualified for loans, and/or you worked your way through. However, my daughters, being part of the "lucky" generations to receive funding, are still paying on their student loans.

Gootsie, my office just filled two positions that do not require a degree beyond high school. Most of the applicants had degrees of one sort or another. There are a lot of social work and philosophy majors our there working the front desks in offices. A good secretary or receptionist can make or break an office in achieving their goals. Those positions are an integral part of a truly functional office. Ask any of us who have been filling in for those positions until a replacement was hired. Secretaries and receptionists are two of the most unsung and under paid professionals in academics or administration.

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Gootsie 8 years, 1 month ago

Thanks Badger! You are such a good 'splainer!

Is castor oil made from castor beans? I think there is a connection!.

Glad it is all OK. And what a sad game! I'm glad someone is finding humor in it.

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Linda Endicott 8 years, 1 month ago

I don't buy the idea that people with college degrees can do a better job than someone who doesn't have one.

You can get a college degree with a D average. And no, all places don't check to see what your GPA was. In fact, some suggest you shouldn't even put your GPA on a resume, as it annoys people.

I knew a guy once who had a degree in agriculture, and got a journalism job. What exactly does one have to do with the other? Any old degree in a storm?

I think businesses would be a lot better off if they would go by how much knowledge people have in a particular field, instead of how many degrees they have.

All a degree proves anymore is that you had the money to go to college...whether you borrowed it or not.

Yes, we used to live in a world where, if you didn't have the money, you didn't go to college until you did...even if it took you six years or more to finish that degree.

But hey...the federal government does things all the time when they don't have the money for it...it's okay for them, but if you try it, see how far you get.

Matter of fact, I've never been able to understand how the federal government can buy things without actually having the money...how does that work?

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badger 8 years, 1 month ago

Gootsie -

Ricin is a poison made from castor beans. It takes an amount about the size of the head of a pin to kill an adult. A student doing laundry at UT (as if risking exposure to four-week-old dirty socks wasn't dangerous enough!) found a small quantity (it sounded like about a teaspoon) of brownish powder in a roll of quarters. Initially it tested positive for ricin, but secondary tests cleared it.

They evacuated and 'sanitized' (I'd love to know what that means) the entire dorm, and locked down that part of campus for a few hours. I booted up the news about 7pm for the first time, and my primary thought was, "Geez, so glad I didn't have anything to do near campus today!" They had FBI, Homeland Security, everything.

The student got the quarters in a sealed roll from a parent, who bought them at the bank. The FBI has taken the quarters (poor kid with unwashed socks!) and the coin box for the laundry equipment the kid was using.

omb - I too am glad it wasn't the end of the world. Apparently, though, even a poison scare couldn't save KU. Everyone on the radio this morning was joking about how KU didn't do too badly for a 'Self-coached' team.

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badger 8 years, 1 month ago

neopolss -

One doesn't need a bachelor's degree to be a secretary.

But when the job market tanks like it did five years ago (a friend who works in tech here told me that they averaged 1800 resumes a week at a small company until early 2004, sometimes 500-600 for one job), they have to do things to raise the bar.

What happened in most places which have large IT populations, was that when the tech bubble burst a whole bunch of upper-middle level management and IT folks got laid off, and after about six months they were desperate enough for work to take lower-middle management and clerical jobs. If you can have an admin assistant for your IT department who's a former network admin willing to work for half of what you pay your network admins, you take it. Then, the admin assistant who would have gotten that job gets hungry enough to take data entry or receptionist work, and the receptionist ends up working retail or sales. Everyone moves down a rung and the jobs suddenly require more than they did. For this reason, a friend moved from Austin to Lawrence a couple of years ago - because without a degree he couldn't effectively compete for a job at the Best Buy.

You may be doing the same jobs as college graduates, but when promotion time comes, most companies will (all other things being equal) go with the person who holds a degree. I have found several times in the last ten years that having the degree meant that I had a better shot and got better money. Usually, the degree gets you another dollar an hour, or two grand a year, when you're looking at office work, and that adds up.

Advanced degrees don't make much difference entering the workforce, but as mefirst said, they do matter a few years down the road. Everyone starts out at the bottom of the totem pole; what a degree determines is less about your starting salary and more about how fast and how far you can move up the ladder. I have been told by a potential employer, "If you expect to stay with this company, you should expect to start pursuing an advanced degree within the next five years. We expect everyone besides the receptionist to have at least a Master's, and we would prefer it if she had one, too."

Mind you, I don't work for them, because they told me I should pursue an expensive advanced degree, and then advised me that they don't offer tuition assistance because the degree should have 'intrinsic value' to me - they were going to require it, but not help me get it. Most companies, though, do offer tuition assistance programs. I can tell you from experience that if you work for a company that does have one and you're not taking advantage of it, you can only put off those questions about why not for a couple of years before the questions become strong suggestions.

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Liberty 8 years, 1 month ago

Sounds like 'Grubesteak' has said it like it is...

"It's too bad society breeds the mindset that you have to have a loan to go to school. There once was a time when people didn't do something if they had the money, and that was their motiviation to save up to get it."

I think the intention here was that you wouldn't go to college unless you had the money to pay for it. (This would bring college costs back down to reality). Stay out of debt, pay only cash. Don't use money you don't have, because in the end it bites back like a snake and enslaves you and locks you into "the system" where you can't get out.

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grubesteak 8 years, 1 month ago

Craigers,

Interest rates are at their lowest rates in 40 years. What makes you think they'll go down?

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Gootsie 8 years, 1 month ago

I didn't need a degree to be a heck of a good secretary! Well, maybe not a heck of one, but a pretty good one. Sadly, though, without a degree, I can't work in Lawrence and make enough money to live in Lawrence.

What is ricin?

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craigers 8 years, 1 month ago

I'm not too concerned since it isn't too much money right now and as time goes the interest rate is supposed to go down for mine after 3 years of on-time payments so it gets cheaper as I go.

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one_more_bob 8 years, 1 month ago

Badger, I was following that little episode rather more closely than most on this board. Glad it turned out to be less than the end of the world as we know it.

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mefirst 8 years, 1 month ago

An advanced degree does not pay off in the short run, but later on, after working about 10 years in the field, pay increases dramatically. I went back to school for a master's degree and am now earning twice what I made before getting the degree, but I've also got student loans to pay off as a result.

Um...bankboy, I don't know what world you live in. What scholarships/grants are you speaking of? Can you name just one?

Also, KU's out-of-state tuition policy SUCKS. We've lived here five years, but because we came to KS to go to school, we've had to pay out of state tuition even beyond the first year. You can never earn in-state status if you come to KS to go to school, despite working in KS and paying state taxes.

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badger 8 years, 1 month ago

Off topic, we had a little excitement here in Austin on Saturday, what with the ricin scare and all.

The annoying thing is that the radio this morning was all, "Final FBI Tests have confirmed it's not ricin - EVEN THOUGH THE FIRST TEST SAID IT WAS (doomdoomdoom) - and despite that initial positive test result, authorities insist it wasn't ricin. It doesn't appear that any UT students are showing signs of ricin exposure, so we feel pretty confident saying it's not ricin."

But they won't say what it WAS.

Grr.

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badger 8 years, 1 month ago

I didn't have any student loans.

I graduated near the top of my class with $3000 in annual scholarships if I chose to attend a state university, and roughly 2 grand in one-time scholarships. My dad helped cover what that didn't on tuition, and I worked for the rest. I did my last year over six semesters because I was often working two jobs to pay living expenses, and the earmarked 'college fund' and the scholarships ran out in my fifth year.

At the time, starving myself to pay for books, it seemed like all my student-loan-getting friends had it easy, but when I graduated and I had a couple hundred bucks a month to kick into savings that they had to pay to student loans, I didn't mind so much.

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bankboy119 8 years, 1 month ago

Sigmund, "eucation" lol pretty much sums it up.

There are so many scholarships/grants out there now people really shouldn't have to pay more than minimal. Especially for KU.

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Sigmund 8 years, 1 month ago

There are several dirty little secrets here. Grub and Neo have hit upon two of the dirtiest. The ease of getting artificially low interest rate student loans allows tuition rates to be artificially high is another. People scream about companies marketing to students with credit, but it seems most graduates debt appears to be for their "eucation.".

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blue73harley 8 years, 1 month ago

I did the "pay-as-you-go" plan. It took a LOT longer, though. My goal was to graduate before my kid went to kindergarten. I made it. The only job-related benefit of getting my BSB was a little job security. During RIFs, it gave me an edge over those who did not have a degree.

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RonBurgandy 8 years, 1 month ago

No, as long as I can keep diverting them.

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neopolss 8 years, 1 month ago

The college curriculum doesn't pay anymore. Getting a degree will set you back years financially, moreso if you plan to have a family. Worse, a college grad will not make much more than the average bear. I never finished college, yet work in the same jobs as college grads. The pay they are receiving in their fields is laughable at best. Either one of two things needs to happen. Either jobs need to pay for what a position is really worth, or jobs need to stop requiring degrees for lower end positions. Seriously, who needs a bachelor's degree to be a secretary?

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grubesteak 8 years, 1 month ago

It's too bad society breeds the mindset that you have to have a loan to go to school. There once was a time when people didn't do something if they had the money, and that was their motiviation to save up to get it.

But in our culture where "No" is the same as hate speech, kids like Annie are getting more debt than their jobs are worth and will probably be paying on it for a long time.

Read Robert T. Kiyosaki's "Rich Dad, Poor Dad," for more thoughts on this topic.

A nation of slaves we've become.

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holyjim 8 years, 1 month ago

Wonder what Quinton is going after. Must not be pre-med, those students don't start making money until about their tenth year after residency, not counting fellowships. Those with nursing degrees now have the option of having their Perkins loans forgiven by the Fed. I'm sure all the neo-cons find this type of "big government" unforgivable, but nurses are people who immediately start giving back to their community through both work and taxes so it works out. Besides, we aren't the best-paid sector and it isn't our fault health care costs have been rising. Also we still have other loans to work off, and many nursing graduates are older (not 18-23 year old) who may already have families and other time constraints. Would most people rather have a competent, well-paid nursing staff or a few disgruntled poorly-paid folk? There are several nasty nurse stories floating around out there, mostly anecdotal evidence, but if one were to poll the general public one would find nursing is still a profession that most hold in high regard. (If you can't tell, I love my profession- how many people can say that?) Cheers, Jim.

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Gootsie 8 years, 1 month ago

oh Janell. The world is a big and expensive place. You have a big surprise coming for you, don'tcha?

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goatdog 8 years, 1 month ago

So tell me christians. when will your George Bush enjoy his opencar motorcade victory parade through the downtown streets of your "liberated" Baghdad? Tell me christians, will it be televised live? Tell me christians, how many more people need to die to satisfy your greed?

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