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Drowning in debt: More students in debt and at higher rates than ever before

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  • 'da Renegade Mama LINDON, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 12:34 a.m.

    I applaud Ms. Hatfield for choosing to make a better world over making a bigger paycheck.
    Shame on anyone who accuses her of having some sort of a problem because she wants to FIX a big problem rather than sit back and judge people who view "education" as little more than job training, and "life purpose" as little more than earning/collecting/hoarding/worshiping money.
    Listen to yourselves ... and then consider: Why is America going down the drain? Oh, yes: Self-Righteous Conceit, the reign of the almighty dollar, the devaluation of education, and disdain for people who see a bigger picture beyond the one that consumerism, capitalism and materialism have graffiti'd all over our values.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Oct. 10, 2011 11:29 p.m.

    Expensive universities are pricing themselves our of the market. Smart schools are going more and more to technology with on-line classes. I've looked an a lot of on-line courses and they are excellent--much better than I had for my bachelor's and master's degrees at a traditional universities (pre-computers). The cost per credit hour is usually less and much of the material is on-line so there is no need for a rediculously expensive textbook. I predict that costs will go down as a blend of the traditional and on-line develops.

  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 9:01 p.m.

    Education is the best investment you can make, if you are prudent, and avoid getting into too much debt. It is ESPECIALLY important for young women who plan to raise children. The single most important indicator of a child's future success is the education level of his/her mother. Parents, make sure that your daughters have EVERY oppotunity to get an education. They will have the single largest impact on the success and happiness of your grandchildren and descendants for generations to come.

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 8:33 p.m.

    Pretty disgusting to see people bash education.

  • EveryDave Provo, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 6:32 p.m.

    This situation is the reason I will never recommend anyone to get an MBA. The debt is simply not worth it. The majority of the most successful people become successful without it, and there is no business school with the gumption to tell students so.

  • Engineering Econ Loudon, TN
    Oct. 10, 2011 6:19 p.m.

    It seems like a lot of money goes to new university buildings & new books. How much has Calculus changed over the past 50 years? Do we really need a new edition book each year to teach the subject effectively? In fact do we need multiple professors at each school teaching the same topic over and over each semester? Would it be possible & effective to get one awesome Calculus lecturer and stream it to thousands of students across the country? You wouldn't need nearly as many classrooms, teachers, or books. Students could watch the lecture from their PC/laptop/tablet/phone, etc. There are some drawbacks and it wouldn't be for everyone but give some discounts and I bet we'd see it become effective for a lot of students. Just one idea.

  • awsomeron1 Oahu, HI
    Oct. 10, 2011 4:33 p.m.

    At 28, she must now face the fact that every year there is a new crop of 18 year olds. Who also have hopes dreams, have debt and live in holes.

    Difference is they go out and have a life not use their poor ness as an excuse.

    I had a Brother and Sister In Law who went in the Peace Core in part to avoid the Draft. College Grads in Debt both of them.

    Several years later they did a 2nd tour. They had kids 2 boys, who are now College Grads, helped others and had good lives, while remaining more or less good Catholic.

    You can have you life run, or you can run it. Running it is way better.

    I stuied the GI Bill in the 80's. I also got a Rehab Ride to Heald College in 03 and became a grad in 06 at age 58.

    I would bet Money or whatever that this lady never sees Africa, because things will never be just right for her to do. The same may also be in Relationships. This is a cover or excuse such as a Pen Pal, Face Book Boy Friend who lives accross country.

  • libertarian Cedar City, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 4:32 p.m.

    One thing not mentioned is that student loans are the ONLY loans that cannot be deferred by bankruptcy. They can even take the money from your SS. Loan companies WANT you to default so they can hike your interest to insane levels. All our kids are DRIVEN toward college, whether they need it or not, to get them into debt. Higher Ed has become just another American scam. See StudentLoanJustice.org for the complete story. High unemployment is being maintained to force as many defaults as possible. NEVER take out a school loan.

  • awsomeron1 Oahu, HI
    Oct. 10, 2011 4:12 p.m.

    You do what you want and need to do.

    President Hinckls Bio: I went to tell Marge that we would have to wait to get married. Mostly because I only had $125 dollars.

    Marge said that she was only looking for a Husband and now she was getting a husband and $125, lucky her.

    Now the pres who had met marge almost in Sandbox had followed Church Standards fo 27 years. If you wait for every thing to be perfact it never will be.

    I see a lot of Self inposed stuff here. I can understand being in Debt, what I can't understand is the Not going out part. Usually the Males pays at least at first.

    You can do it if you want to. Lots of RM's out there with more then enough funds to cover the bills.

    I am sure that there are Married Students at BYU who have Debt and live on String Deans. They have adjected their dreams to reality. Lonelyness is a Harsh, Harch Mistress.

    You get 1 shot to go through the prime of life and have a life.

    Goldfever: Proud of you. No age requirement on when you Graduate.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 4:03 p.m.

    The time to consider your risk/debt tolerance is BEFORE you sign the loan papers.
    Perhaps they aren't as bright as their diploma would indicate.

  • Scooter Plymouth, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 3:16 p.m.

    Here is part of the reason for the increase in tuition:
    Utah Higher Education Presidential Salaries (Proposed Pay) {% of Increase}:
    W.S. - $191,722 ($210,000) {9.5}
    U of U - $348,403 ($360,000) {3.3}
    U.S. - $283,605 ($295,000) {4.0}
    So. U. - $186,559 ($200,000) {7.2}
    Snow - $150,800 ($155,000) {2.8}
    Dixie - $159,988 ($180,000 {12.5}
    UVU - $193,000 ($205,000) {6.2}
    S.L.C.C. - $192,138 ($200,000) {4.0}
    [Source: Stand. Exam. 9/22/2011]

    If the Presidents make this much, could you imagine what the Professors are making.
    Education is NOT a right, but it is up to the individual obtain all they can.

  • Mendel Iowa City, IA
    Oct. 10, 2011 2:24 p.m.

    @Petra:
    Yes, but we would still need physical campuses for the football team.

  • CheeseFries SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 2:15 p.m.

    I graduated from an accredited four-year university in 2004, and made all of my student loan payments on time for five years. In 2009, my credit score was 824, the top 2% of the nation.

    Then the recession hit, and my salary cut in half, and then I was let go, and could not find work for ten months. I found that my skills were not transferrable to other fields...at least not when unemployment was over 9%.

    My federal student loans were lowered to $32 a month, while my private loans went into default, since they were unwilling to offer any adjustments other than a one-time, six-month unemployment deferment.

    Now my credit score is below 600, and I am still making only half of what I used to.

    If it's true that only 37% of people make their student loan payments on time, as this article says, then maybe I shouldn't feel so bad. I managed to be one of those 37% for five years. Hopefully things will pick up in 2012.

  • Sasha Pachev Provo, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 1:53 p.m.

    The cost of college education is bloated. We need to make better use of independent study. Professors teach essentially the same thing semester after semester. Any reason they could not publish the study materials online? The student pays a small access fee, then per-hour for one-one one tutoring time if he needs it, and a small fee to take the test to prove that he learned. Many independent study courses exist, but their cost is not reasonable.

    I came to BYU from Russia in 1993 and realized that I already knew much of the curriculum from high school, some college, and my own studies, and what I did not know I could learn fast. Money was tight, so I started challenging classes at $20 each. I got through a good chunk of the Computer Science major before the CS department put a stop to that. But the question still remained in my mind. If an angel from heaven revealed to you the knowledge can you prove you have it without breaking the bank? No, you still have to jump through hoops! We need to fix that.

  • Petra Sanpete County, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 1:24 p.m.

    Student debt is a scam, from the banks making money, to the fact that with all the technology we have today, there are very few college classes that could not be taken online, greatly reducing cost and vastly increasing the numbers of potential students who would benefit.

    The physical campus would only be needed for such things as hands-on classes, such as most medical school courses.

    It's time our higher education system caught up with available technology.

  • Ry Guy SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 1:16 p.m.

    The problem is you can get more loans than you need. And we do a terrible job of financial education in this country. i paid for college myself, no loans whatsoever. I had to work 40 hours a week and go to school full time, but it was well worth it.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Oct. 10, 2011 1:14 p.m.

    Yorkshire - yes I know that you and I have had our disagreements over religion. But wouldn't it be really boring if everybody agreed over everything all of the time?? It is merely my opinion!

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Oct. 10, 2011 1:08 p.m.

    That said, there's no good reason for student debt to be nondischargeable in bankruptcy. There was a real problem with people gaming the system -- getting a degree, then declaring bankruptcy immediately -- but that could have been solved without the ham-fisted, across-the-board nondischargeability rule. It would've been better just to *delay* the dischargeability of student debt -- say, for four to seven years.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Oct. 10, 2011 1:05 p.m.

    And yet the Occupy Wall Street crowd is mad at the bankers who lent them the money, not the fat complacent college administrators who took it from them.

    My guess is that this is a function of them consisting of way too many people with useless majors in things ending in "-studies," and too few math and engineering majors. Who have jobs.

  • Mendel Iowa City, IA
    Oct. 10, 2011 1:03 p.m.

    An average of $24,000 in debt for a college degree is a bargain. Consider the other options: (1) Go to work without an education for someone else. (2) Go to work for yourself by starting a business without an education. In the latter case you will likely have to borrow money and lots of it (if you are able to). Sure, some people succeed financially without an education, but they are the exceptions, not the rule. There is nothing more important than obtaining an education. Of course, one needs to go to college for the right reason, to get an education, not primarily to have a good time or to root for a football team. Universities should stick to their mission of education, not the running of athletic programs. Also the idea of giving high school graduates some service experience (mission, peace corp, military) early in their education is brilliant. Such experience gives them a much better appreciation for the importance of education and the opportunity they have of getting one.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 12:40 p.m.

    The whole idea of the PEF (church education fund) is to borrow money (go into debt) and then pay back the debt----prophets know it is better to go into debt to get ahead, than to remain in grinding poverty, and never move anywhere. Some people can not lift themselves up by their own boot straps. Most can never start a business without going into debt. Companies need to have debt---if a CEO is not taking on more debt, he is a lousy leader. The PEF is radical, especially if it disagrees with quotes in the 1980's that say, "The world works from the outside in and tries to change man's environment.." Well, so does the PEF.

  • Mark l SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 12:39 p.m.

    Tuition rises faster than inflation because of government backed grants and loans. It's simple supply and demand. We we ended all government aid, and students dropped out, prices would have to fall. Peter Schiff, who predicted the financial collapse, is also predicting the student loan collapse. Tuition is too expensive BECAUSE OF government aid.

  • Yorkshire City, Ut
    Oct. 10, 2011 12:21 p.m.

    Brahmabull-- you had me high-fiving you, til that last sentence.

  • tac2 new york, ny
    Oct. 10, 2011 12:11 p.m.

    Truthseeker:
    Republicans aren't seeking to diminish the value of an education. They are advocates for people taking responsibility for their own actions. Freedom and choice has a price. The whole point is that if you cannot afford a school without taking out ridiculous amounts of debt YOU SHOULD NOT GO THERE. You should look for more realistic options. I had friends who did a few years at community colleges because they could not afford tuition and then transferred later to graduate at more expensive and higher ranked institutions, thus saving huge amounts of $. I didn't go to best school I got accepted to, I went to the best school I could afford. Back to the mortgage analogy-don't buy the biggest home just because your lender tells you that you *can*-- you will spend the rest of your life either a slave to your mortgage or defaulting. If the rate of student loans were curtailed, we would see tuition prices drop, just like we saw the housing market prices drop when mortgages became more lender selective. Schools will charge what people are willing to pay, and unfortunately people are paying with government (taxpayer) $ and little regard to payback feasibility.

  • bricha lehi, ut
    Oct. 10, 2011 11:42 a.m.

    krissy: Couldn't agree more

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Oct. 10, 2011 10:52 a.m.

    When I attended college many years ago (in UT), it was cheap enough for me to pay tuition and books with the money I had saved working part time since I was 16.
    Our oldest child's college education cost $80,000 (tuition, room and board) paying in-state tuition at a STATE school in the east.
    He lived in barely liveable places without any frills, including air conditioning. (Summers in the east can be brutally hot and humid).
    Our second child is finishing school at BYU, and for the same amount of money we paid for his brother, he's been able to get a Masters degree. BYU is a bargain compared to many schools. How does tuition at U of U compare?

    Don't assume because things are relatively affordable in UT it is the same everywhere else.
    I don't know why Republicans diminish the value and importance of education.

  • krissy Sterling, VA
    Oct. 10, 2011 10:46 a.m.

    Lots of us that took out HUGE student loans knew exactly what we were doing and had no other options. My parents did not offer me a dime for school and I worked very hard during my undergraduate degree and still needed loans for tuition. I was able to pay for my own housing and food during undergraduate studies. Some fields (Like medicine) DO NOT allow you to work while in school, period. I would not be where I am today without the opportunity of taking out student loans. I am deeply grateful for the education I received and I every month that I pay my "other mortage", I recognize it for what it is.....the cost and sacrifice for making a difference in this world.

  • Truth and Light Chicago, Illinois
    Oct. 10, 2011 10:38 a.m.

    I owe, I owe, it's off to work I go, or you could always go occupy Wall Street to confirm that you are a failure.

    Get a haircut and get a real job. Why can't you be more like your brother Bob?

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Oct. 10, 2011 10:36 a.m.

    Let me make one thing clear. Education and a degree are two totally different things. Education is very important, and all of us need to continue to get more education every day if possible. I just can't stand when people go to school to say they have a degree. It means nothing other than that person is usually in heavy debt, can't find a job, and don't have much more education than when they started. Most people can learn the same things that they learn paying for a bachelors degree without taking any school at all. If you can read, write, and study without the help of college assignments then you could easily learn the same information without paying a dime to schools. I do acknowledge that certain professions such as doctors, dentists, etc. have to have a certain amount of school and have to specialize in that field. But to make students take all of these other worthless courses is a racket. The only racket bigger than U.S. colleges is religion, but it is close.

  • Z20110604 SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 10:36 a.m.

    I agree with tac2. There is a startling similarity between the student loan bubble and the mortgage bubble. I wonder when this one will burst?

  • Mick Murray, Utah
    Oct. 10, 2011 10:34 a.m.

    Bricha-

    I think your observations about the "consensus" is wrong. But I agree with the comments that you can find ways to pay for your education without going in to considerable debt. I also disagree with those that think you need an ivy education to be an intellegent, productive member of society. I work with large groups of MD's that have educations including ivy undergrad and ivy medical school with those who went to state school undergrad and state medical schools. Take it from me; don't let the ivy league medical school diploma on the wall of your doctors office fool you.

    The problem with student loans has been the same as with housing. As soon as large sums of money were made available for loan the costs skyrocketed. I agree as well that soon this bubble will burst.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 10:30 a.m.

    Why do universities increase their rates at more than the rate of inflation, where is the extra money going?

    Would it be possible for them to go back to doing things the way they used to, and lower their tuition?

    Of course it would, but I am certain there are built in incentives not to do it.

  • E & EE PROVO, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 10:30 a.m.

    Education is clearly important but I also think having realistic expectations is also important. If you're going to go to college and graduate in a field that isn't generally in high demand then you should expect to be working off that debt for a long time.

    On the other hand if you pick a field that is in high demand then it shouldn't take long at all to pay off any loans. I'm talking about computer science, electrical engineering, etc. In fact, it's quite easy to get through school in these fields (PhD included) completely debt free even at the top universities in the country and even in these economic difficulties.

    Basically what I'm saying is it comes down to a lack of pragmatism and basic understanding of economics in students. If what you learned gives little economic value to society, don't expect any one to pay you to do it.

  • Glenn A. Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 10:25 a.m.

    It's amazing how judgmental and/or out of touch with reality some people's opinions can be. You don't think many students would work three jobs to pay for school if they could? Come on, in the current job climate, most students are trying to find ONE job to help pay for school, but because of the economic nature of the country, many are struggling to do so.

    Also, people need to take into account academic demands before blasting someone for not working while going to school. Sure, for my bachelor's degree I worked full-time and was able to graduate with minimal debt. In graduate school, however, between a full slate of classes and clinical obligations, I don't get home until 7-9 pm each night (including most weekends). I'd love to work, but my school schedule won't allow it, so I take out loans.

    Labeling just anyone with school debt as "lazy" or "entitled" without knowing one's personal circumstances or without understanding the way they did it might not be a possible scenario for everyone, comes across as disrespectful and petty. Maybe it's a self-indulgent strategy to lift themselves above those who they criticize.

  • bricha lehi, ut
    Oct. 10, 2011 10:08 a.m.

    Wow so the general consensus here is to quit school and work at mcDonalds for the rest of our lives. i also am in school, I work 40 hours a week and go to school full time, usually between the two I am working over 80 hours a week. i am going into debt because their is no other way to pay for school while supporting my wife and two kids.

    If we as a nation turn our backs on higher education we will really get ourselves into a slump, our manufacturing jobs are going over seas, without bettering ourselves this economy will never get better.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Oct. 10, 2011 9:45 a.m.

    Universities have abused the student loan program to shift their supply-demand curve higher. They can increase tuition and students don't drop out they simply get bigger loans. So the universities can be inefficient and it is funded by students paying off loans after they graduate.

    The purpose of the student loan programs was to enable poor students to pay for college. What it has been turned into is cash cow for universities and the poor students still can't afford to go to college.

    One possible improvement is to only fund loans at community colleges for majors that have value and to not give big loans to people studying for majors that don't have a lot of value. This is kind of tough, but not as tough as having a huge student loan debt and having to work at Wal-Mart. Besides, if someone defaults on a student loan, they can't declare bankruptcy. The loan will follow them and they can't work at federal jobs. So it is already tough, but not in a way that helps the students.

  • Ms Molli Bountiful, Utah
    Oct. 10, 2011 9:38 a.m.

    Thank goodness student loans can no longer be written off in bankruptcy. All of these career students are going to have to face the music one of these days. I obtained my 4 year degree in in 3.5 years and worked. I received my graduate degree in 3 years - there was no way to get it in less than 3 years as it was a required 3-year program. I see many students attending college on their parents dime and taking 6-7 years to receive an undergraduate degree in a field that has very few job openings. Parents -- you aren't helping your children in supporting this kind of behavior. A certain amount of college is helpful for everyone. But taking 2-3 extra years to graduate with an undergrad degree that will not help someone get a job is just plain stupid.

  • sports fan Provo, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 9:32 a.m.

    you do not have to go into debt for school, take it from a 24 year old Jr. high custodian working his way through school at UVU at a salary of 27K a year. there are jobs out there that will pay for school but most people are to arrogant to work them. When i tell people what i do to keep out of debt and pay for school the response is usually "im sorry" or "that must suck" i have news for you people, it doesn't! im debt free and well on my way to a job right out of school because i got into the system early.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 9:32 a.m.

    My education (for which I still owe $25,000) is worth a billion dollars so I do believe it will pay itself off and it is "good debt"------if a person receives eternal life for becoming disciplined-------- then it is worth it. And yes educated people---the stats show-----are more likely to go to church---doesn't mean they are better---but more likely to be leaders (yes---even with debt). To the people out there saying there is no "good debt"----LDS leaders had creditors after them in the 1830's for the debt imposed by temple building---surely it was worth it then. Joesph Smith (who struggled with debt) was told in D&C 6:7 ----seek wisdom and not riches. Surely, if we are capitalists, we believe in risk and hard reality shows most businesses fail----but debt was no sin to the Prophet and no sin to anyone else----things take a life time to sort out. Having said all of this---some graduate programs needed to be burned to the ground---law schools, etc.

  • Timj South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 9:32 a.m.

    There are plenty of recent grads right now who started school before the recession, went into fields that have historically been good fields for finding good jobs, lived frugally, worked while in school, took out only the debt that they absolutely needed, and now owe hundreds of dollars a month in student debt and can't find decent work.

    Are we really going to blame these recent grads for not being able to predict the recession or the high unemployment rates?

  • ClarkKent Bountiful, Utah
    Oct. 10, 2011 9:14 a.m.

    I think that students need to wise up. If you are going to graduate with a lot of debt, you need to leave the idealism of making the world a better place until you have paid off the debt. If you were smart and obtained a degree in a field that will earn you a decent salary, work in that field, live like a poor church mouse, pay off the debt as quickly as you can and THEN go save the world. There are also many many employers out there in low paying service fields who will help with the debt.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 8:59 a.m.

    I know my major wasn't even offered at any state school. I went to Penn State (that's a heck of an out of state tuition bill) since it's one of the top three in the nation for my program, I graduated a semester early, and spent the first year at one of Penn State's satellite campuses to save money (lived just across the border so I could commute to that one). Still ended up with about 36k in debt over 3.5 years despite a sizable number of scholarships and grants. My dad is covering half of it, but as for the other half, that 18k is already 13k paid off in two years while I'm in graduate school since science major graduate students often have grants that pay them and their tuition.

    I needed a lot of things to go the right way to get to a manageable debt situation, there are others I know that aren't nearly as likely, particularly the med school student.

  • GAmom Athens, GA
    Oct. 10, 2011 8:38 a.m.

    This is not a new phenomenon. When my husband and I were in graduate school we used student loans to get through. We paid our last one off the month before our first child started college. We have encouraged our kids to not use student loans except for a last ditch need. So far neither of our daughters have had to resort to loans. Our son is in law school and the only student loan he has to deal with is one his wife got for her education. It is tough and can be done. But it does seem more difficult to live than years ago for these young students.

  • David B. Cedar City, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 8:30 a.m.

    To quote a line from Rodney Dandgerfield "Stay at Home Kids let your parents Worry About it"!But if you really want to thank somebody all you have to do is look at Washington! All they know how to do is spend spend spend! There has to be a way to make them spend within their means and that also goes for everybody else! Lawyers,Doctors,Politicians and so forth. How is the youth of today are going to survive the onslaught of the greedy ones?

  • mecr Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 8:28 a.m.

    And that's why I work: to help my children go thru college without getting into debt. They work during summer saving every penny and I help with the rest. Yes, I am not dressing the last fashion but I am pleased to see both thriving at school. I know of another friend who graduated suma cum laude in U of U without any debt. How did he do it? working for fedex part time and getting tuition reimbursement. On the other hand, I know of a couple who live in a nice condo, mom stay at home taking care of the baby and dad goes to the U. She admitted they have been living of student loans but "when he graduates, he will be able to pay them off". I don't think so lady....

  • Call_It_As_It_Is N. Salt Lake, Ut
    Oct. 10, 2011 8:28 a.m.

    This article is quite depressing.. currently, I am enrolled in graduate school (first semester) and the thought of how much debt I am going into is disheartening. I have made a plan to pay of the interest (and principal if I can) before the loans go into affect, but the thought of this debt is almost unbearable. To add to that, my wife has about 10k in student debt that we are currently paying off.

    Having said that.. I have a great job and I have considered dropping out of grad school because I don't want that financial burden for the next 10-30 yrs. I made it through my undergraduate debt free because of working and scholarships (not available to me in grad school), but by dropping out, it doesn't help the U.S. economy, but it will help my mental, emotional, and financial (short-term) well-being. People like me are stuck between a rock and a hard spot because we want the education, but also understand the financial burden.. what are we to do?

  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 8:22 a.m.

    Springvillepoet:

    I am grateful that my parents did not have your attitude. While I agree that students can help with the cost of their education, and that state schools and/or local colleges are a great option for many, many students, I DO NOT agree that putting children out on their own for college is prudent or even moral.

    When a student is capable of greatness, giving them the opportunity to learn from and with the best and brightest is a sacrifice worth making. It benefits the student and society. And to be frank, your local college or state school will not generally generate the best performance or opportunities, all else equal. I don't have room here to share statistics that support this position, but suffice it to say, the data is clear.

    Your attitude is a bit old-world, and has not adapted to the reality that today's job market is exponentially more competitive than the job market you entered 20 or 30 years ago. The best opportunities are going to go to the students who performed the best, from the best universities. To think they can do this without big parental support, financial and otherwise, is naive.

  • Red1234567 RIVERTON, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 8:19 a.m.

    I read an article where recent college graduates are having a tough time finding a job after graduating.

    According to the statistics, 23% cannot find a job, 22% are working at jobs like Wal-mart or fast food, and 55% are working.

    Students unemployment might be only 5% of the total unemployment number 24 million, but at 22% unemployed as recent college graduates is really is a very high number that certainly was not anticipated when they started college and took on debt.

  • Red1234567 RIVERTON, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 8:06 a.m.

    I read a NY Times article in May of this year, that also pointed out the debt of College Graduates averages $20,000 for every college graduate.
    After graduation, the students cannot find a job that is aligned with their college education working at Wal-Mart food service, and bars.
    The statistics point out that 23% of recent college graduates are not employed, 22% are working in jobs that do not require a college degree, and 55% are working. They question the benefit of a college education.
    The 800 Multinational Corporations laid off 2.4 million in the USA in recent years and since 2009, have hired 2.9 Million Overseas, Offshore.
    A bill in Congress designed to stop Multinational Corporations Tax Incentives to Offshore jobs was voted down by a block of 44 US Senators in September 2010, all Republican.
    Jobs are available in India for College Graduates with wages 25% of US wages.

  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 8:03 a.m.

    Student debt has been rising for many, many years. The primary drivers:

    1) Benchmarking of salaries/benefits: Salary and benefit costs for faculty and administration have been rising faster than the overall economy for years. Each school benchmarks themselves to other schools who are also benchmarking, and it quickly becomes a spending spiral that is a race to highest cost. Combine this with the post-secondary school education complex's complete inability to become more productive in educating students, and you a recipe for soaring tuition and debt.

    2) States have been unable to match spiraling costs noted above with new subsies due to economic stagnation. Rather than restrain costs, boards have chosen to hike tuition. It is student vs faculty, and the students have mom and dad to help and are viewed as inelastic demand.

    3) Students are living MUCH better than 20-30 years ago and have more expensive transportation (cars, motorbikes, better bicycles), more expensive technology (smartphones, tablets, computers), eat out more, newer clothes, live in more expensive and better equipped housing, and spend more on recreation and entertainment.

    Students who avoid #3 will still face higher costs because of items #1 and #2.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Oct. 10, 2011 7:49 a.m.

    "Lots of students are taking on debt, but have no real sense of what they are doing or how they are going to repay their debt," Barnhart said. "They would be better off taking time off and working and deciding what they want to do."

    Amen. Or work 3 jobs during college, which is what I did. Yes, I borrowed some. $12K, paid off over the 10 years after college.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Oct. 10, 2011 7:43 a.m.

    Argue if you will about the causes of educational debt and the wisdom of taking on an enormous debt, but to argue against higher education and especially advanced degrees is to sign the death warrant of America. America is all ready losing the globlizatin war, and the biggest cause is we have lost our educational advantage. We are being out created almost everywhere in the world, and while losing unskilled jobs to other nations is a tragedy, losing skilled jobs like we are now is absolutely stupid and self defeating.

    Unless America figures out how to educate our young people beyond the high school level without crushing them there will only be one solution to our survival..imigrate the talent. So, point out the flaws all you want but unless we fix it we're doooooomed.

  • luv2organize Gainesville, VA
    Oct. 10, 2011 7:18 a.m.

    This entire article makes me want to scream! First, there is no such thing as "good debt". Sorry, I don't believe in having a high fico score that only comes through borrowing money. Also, the only people that go bankrupt or go into foreclosure are those with loans so any debt is bad debt. Second, I do believe that most of the problem is that there is "unprecedented access to debt." It is just silly that so many young people are not taught how painful it will be to pay off a ton of student loan debt. I also find Hartifield's attitude to her debt disheartening. She is OK with being broke her whole life because she is doing something good? Why is she OK with being a slave to a lender for 30+ years? The only education that probably requires loans is some type of medical field but even with that it can be done wisely. I find that more and more of these articles on debt and money place the people as victims when they really aren't - they are the cause of their own problems.

  • Springvillepoet Springville, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 6:53 a.m.

    First, a student needs to ask whether 20-26K a year at a private university (Columbia) or 41K per year for a three year program for pharmacy studies (Roseman), is worth the debt, when a state school can offer much the same education for a lot less money.

    I, too, used the Army College Fund to get through college debt free. When I went to graduate school, I went through a program where I could pay off each year's tuition by the end of the year. Was it a private university? Nope. It was UNR, and I don't have to mumble the name of my graduate school like some who pay ten times what I did for less of an education than I received.

    My children know college is what I would like for them, but they also know they are going to be responsible to pay for it and they can have just as good an education at community and state schools. They also know that what they do for a living is not the thing which defines who they are and money does not equal prestige or respect.

  • tac2 new york, ny
    Oct. 10, 2011 6:50 a.m.

    Student loans will be the next "bubble" in America. Just as in the housing bubble that burst, we had overvalued investments (homes) combined with access to seemingly unlimited funds to acquire them (irresponsible mortgage allowances). Now we have inflated education costs, with access to practically unlimited debt, much of the time provided by the government. I live in NYC and am always shocked by the number of people who go to Columbia or NYU or other prestigious but hugely expensive universities and rack up enormous student loans to study social work or anthropology, or other subjects that will not provide the return on investment they will require upon graduation to repay. And then the individuals are angry about it. It was as if they never understood their problem until graduation. You can find them all down participating in Occupy Wall Street. "Someone needs to pay my loans! I was genious enough to get into Columbia, but not intelligent enough to make a personal financial life plan!" Boo-hoo. Our true problem here is a system that provides almost unlimited debt access to a generation that feels they are entitled to spend it and not repay.

  • MrsB1971 Kissimmee, FL
    Oct. 10, 2011 6:08 a.m.

    "It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have education without common sense" Robert Green Ingersoll

  • M. Matchette Syracuse, Utah
    Oct. 10, 2011 5:49 a.m.

    The standard of living is decreasing every year the dollar is devalued and prices rise in response. This had made the ROI in higher education horrible by comparison just 20 years ago. Now couple this with a disapperaring industry base in our country, wages intentionally stiffled (and in some cases, lowering), and I have to ask, just where do students intend on finding a job? With the very entity that created the mess? This whole thing is playing exactly how the establishment wants. Stay out of debt and avoid risking your freedom and selling your soul for thirty pieces of silver...

  • AmPatriot Taylorsville, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 5:08 a.m.

    From what 'goldfever' has said patriotism does have some benefits. But the US is not the most patriotic country anymore and serving their families and friends and country with their lives is not an option. He is one of the few and one of the brave who have earned the right to make his claim.

    Education serves 3 pruposes:

    1-It keeps people out of the job market, at least as job seekers stuck with only find part time limited employment that is not counted as employed.

    2-Loans feed the financial industry with continual loans since the losses taken in the housing debacle and failures. Banks keep giving loans but no one is paying them for over 20 years so they are becoming a problematic financial problem. While they were in school prospering with more debt the job market kept getting smaller and drying up.

    3- College students are provided a second chance high school education they didn't get the first time while they were enjoying the fun and football games. Many schools in Utah cut back on education subject matter and it didn't matter if they learned or not, the schools fixed the data for federal funding.

  • cpafred SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 4:22 a.m.

    Re: dadof5 sons
    The unemployment rate for college graduates is significantly less than for high school grads.
    One of the main reasons college tuition has increased significantly for students is because state govts have decreased their funding. Diplomas at the top schools-like Columbia-often do translate into more/ better employment opportunities. The US can't compete in job markets where wage rates are a fraction of the US rate. The future of the US lies in having a highly educated populace. Already, enrollment rates for graduate school are down.

    It is a shame so many young people, who are willing to work hard, are accumulating so much debt in order to get a college education. This is exactly backward of where we should be.

  • RinAZ Mesa, AZ
    Oct. 9, 2011 11:40 p.m.

    I agree with Dadof5sons. I do not think getting a degree that pays nothing from a school that charges that much is stupid, and I do not feel sorry for her. This is another program that is well intended, Wait until next years rules about student loans come out now that Uncle Sam is the only game in town, unless you want a private loan.

  • teleste Provo, UT
    Oct. 9, 2011 11:39 p.m.

    To paraphrase Marge Simpson, "Graduate students aren't bad people, they just made bad choices."

    Let's give our sympathy where sympathy is due...and that certainly isn't anywhere near Columbia University.

  • Dadof5sons Montesano, WA
    Oct. 9, 2011 10:51 p.m.

    Well Lets see? Take out a loan you know your not going to afford that you can not ever get rid of unless you pay it off. Going to a over priced college taking a major that is never going to get the return on investment you put in to. Not smart people! Wake up go to a community college pay for it as yo can. The way this generation has been sold a bill of goods is down right beyond crimnal. Not every person need collage the goverment needs to stop subsidizing higher education 100 percent. do a way with loans. when schools money dries up then they will lower the cost. when it it free to the school by the government they will jack the cost right out the sky.

  • goldfever St. George, U
    Oct. 9, 2011 10:50 p.m.

    College is possible to get through without debt. I am on my 3rd year and I have yet to borrow a single cent. How did I do it. I was in the military so I get about 1,500 from the GI Bill, I have worked and I get grants. Of course I am 29 so it has taken me a while but I will graduate without debt at about 30-31 years old.