So let me get this straight. Someone goes out and chases down a $150,000 or more education over four years and takes out lots of student loans to get it, because in America we only deserve the best, we’re entitled to it. That is all fine and dandy. If you can get a job that will help you pay that down, then go nuts. There are enough dumb kids and idiot parents that think racking up a six figure debt for a bachelor’s degree will automatically qualify their special child for a seven-figure salary and now face reality that it is sad. The kid isn’t qualified but for maybe entry-level positions that pay peanuts, and most of what he learned is crap he could have taught himself if he tried hard enough. Now he can’t pay the bill. Guess what, we have this thing called personal responsibility, it is time for junior to buckle down and work off that poor decision he made when he took out all those loans. But, and yes there always seems to be a but when it comes to someone else’s money, now Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-Mich.) has introduced H.R. 4170 (Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012) to forgive student loan debt for those who do this and that and yada yada yada. I’m sure there are a hundred different stipulations that apply that will end up disqualifying 80% of those seeking the forgiveness because they don’t meet the requirements of the act . However, with One Trillion dollars in student loan debt, footing the bill for even 20% of that as taxpayers doesn’t amount to chump change. Also, since when is it our job now to pay for someone else’s college experience and education.
Yes, you want to go to a great institution. I get that. But at the same time you shouldn’t drive yourself into debt you can’t afford to do it. Why not look at a scholarship, or work for a company that offers tuition assistance. When I was 19 I worked for a fast food restaurant that offered TA…fast food, not a fortune 500 company. Guess what? There are also boatloads of scholarships out there, look around. How about joining the military, hell, they’ll pay you to get a degree with tuition assistance and the G.I. Bill. Maybe attend a community college, or take some classes there and transfer to your big school when you’re down to the last year. Really, there are ways to avoid debt while getting a quality education. I should know, I have an A.A., B.S., and am halfway to an M.A. and I have a debt of $245 for this semester and no lingering debt from the past haunting me.
You want to know what else? Two of the most intelligent and successful people I know do not even have degrees. One has a high-school diploma, the other has just an eighth grade education. Yet, both are well-read, well-spoken, and most importantly are economically successful (i.e. they have some dough). They learned those tricks through what they both called a “real” education and neither of them cares about a piece of paper that says, look I learned something. Just something to think about.