Discussion on Education and Student Loan Debt
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https://www.ted.com/talks/sajay_samuel_how_college_loans_exploit_students_for_profit#t XXXXXXXXXXLinks to an external site.)
View this 11 minute Ted Talk. I found Sajay Samuel's ideas very interesting. Thinking of financial health I personally believe that a higher education CAN be very affordable. Minimizing debt and maximizing opportunity can limit the amount of debt students have upon graduation. Sajay speaks about how universities capitalize on their students expenses twice... First on their tuition, and second on the interest their students pay on their student loans by investing in the student loan companies.
Please watch the video and share your thoughts. This is open ended. Do you have experience with student loans? What thoughts do you have payment for higher education? What are your general thoughts on the video?
Below is my own personal experience with student financing my own education.
When I was a junior in high school my parents told me that they wanted me to go to college... but when attend I would be completely responsible for financing my own education. Not because they did not want to help but we were financially unstable. My father was terminally ill our family finances were highly revolved around his condition.
Like many high school seniors in the area my plan was to go to school in SouthernCalifornia and I really didn't care where. Come May of my senior year I realized that I had no way of financing this without loans. I was unwilling to take out a loan especially because I did not even have plan or idea of what I wanted to do with my life so I decided to come to Chabot. When I enrolled in courses at Chabot I anticipated paying the$20 per unitat the time. I soon realized that received the tuition waiver. I attended Chabot for free, I worked at Food Maxx on Hesperian to cover all of my other academic expenses. Needless to say I left Chabot with my AA degree with zero debt.
Leaving Chabot I had identical Track and Field scholarship offers of $8,000 per year to both UC Santa Barbara and Chico State. I thought Santa Barbara was incredible. Why did I choose Chico??? I spent one afternoon on Craigslist looking at the cost of rent. In Chico I can rent a room in a very nice town home for $300 per month. In Santa Barbara I can pay $650 per month to share a room with somebody in a 800 square foot 2 bedroom apartment. I was instantly sold because I knew that between my scholarship and a $5,000 dollar loan I can live in Chico and maybe only need to work odd jobs once in a while. In Santa Barbara I would need to take additional private loans to fund my education.
I finished my Bachelors degree only 10k in debt. Well below the national average of $38,900 for a bachelors degree. I took one year off of school, prepared to take the GRE and was a substitute teacher where I aggressively paid off that loan in 1 year.
I then made the decision to get my Masters at Saint Mary's College in Moraga, which cost 30k. It was a lot of money but I chose this route because the way the program was set up I can get my Master's in 1 year by taking A LOT of classes for in the Summer/Fall/Spring. This was theoretically more expensive than my other options of San Francisco State or Long Beach but I chose this route because I can finish my program in one year rather than 2. I also figured that Time=Money and me finishing in one year allowed me to work that second year rather than being in school which allows me to begin paying off that debt earlier.
I look back at the decisions I made and what things would have looked like had I moved to southern California out of high school. Paying for tuition and rent in an area where I knew nobody with no scholarship money would have easily cost me 12-15k in loans every year totaling approximately 60k for my Bachelors. For me... This would have been crippling which would have not allowed me the opportunity to get my Master's degree from a program that I loved.
The moral of my story I guess is that I did not make decisions based off what I really "wanted" to do. I thought long and hard and made decisions based off of what would be best for me long term.