Comments about ‘Americans aren't sold on massive student debt’

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Published: Friday, June 20 2014 2:55 p.m. MDT

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Ordinary Guy
Centerville, Davis, UT

I have a son who is completing his residency to become a doctor. He has enormous debt because no one in the family had the capacity to pay his fees. At this point he wishes there was no burdensome debt. Who wouldn't. At the same time, without the loan there would be no education or degree or profession. Thank heaven for a system that provides for the less affluent to rise to positions where they can make a contribution. We are all better off.

No one is forced to accept student debt. Most, if not all, rejoiced when they were approved for the loan.

Provo, UT

Imagine if we had spent $2 trillion to educate our kids rather than toss it into a toilet in the middle-east.

Ricardo Carvalho
Provo, UT

Utah schools have some of the lowest tuition rates found in the country. With a four year degree costing somewhere around $25,000, there is very little reason for our students to take out "massive debt". I have a hard time understanding students who go to schools where tuition is $20,000 per year or more resulting in high debt upon graduation, when such good, lower-cost alternatives are available. I hope students and parents look carefully at what that extra debt buys them.

By the way, thank you state legislators for pretty generous support of higher education in Utah.

Mom of 8
Hyrum, UT

Since my husband and I are still suffocating under crushing debt from our college years, we're strongly encouraging our children to find ways to avoid it.

Live at home, go to school part-time, work full-time, major in something that will actually lead to a job, etc.

We have one son old enough for college, but he's working full-time instead because he doesn't know what to major in, and he doesn't want to spend time in school until he does. Another child is taking practical courses at a technology center so he can have a decent job when he later goes to college. A daughter earned her CNA so she has steady work while she pursues her education.

I'm also encouraging my children to pursue careers that will always be needed: plumbing, electrician, HVAC repair, etc. A college degree is a wonderful thing . . . as long as you're not still paying for it 20 years later. Then it's a living nightmare, I know.

Seldom Seen Smith
Orcutt, CA

Don't expect to get a decent paying job with a degree in basket weaving (e.g., english, history, political science, dance, art, geography, philosophy, journalism), those days are over. In a related matter, many with the aforementioned majors, unable to get a job, end up entering law school. Our society needs more lawyers like it needs more parasitic disease.

Sugarland, TX

Kudos to FreedomFighter41's comment

Provo, UT

I see articles like this every so often, I think somebody has an agenda. Enrolments are up in most colleges out West. If "Americans are not sold", then they have a strage way of showing it. Having a college education is still much better than the alternative, so there must be something good about it.

I read once, "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance!"

Centerville, UT

It would be interesting to know what the respondents thought the debt would be. With Pell grants, graduation from a state college or university (or BYU) need not generate tremendous debt. An article in this newspaper last year said that the average Utah college graduate has less than $18,000 in student debt.

Salt Lake City, UT

Why go into debt to get an education for a high paying job when you can sit home on welfare and let the government support you? That seems to be the pervasive attitude of the young today. I got student loans, and worked my way through college. Now my loans are paid off and I'm heavily taxed to support the Obama generation. This country is in definite need of an attitude change away from the liberal left.

Sebastopol, CA

I have a problem with the charts used to explain the poll results: Male (what about the females?) Lower income (where is the balance?) and high school education (no college or partial college) this would lead people to assume that those who feel that college isn't worth the ENORMOUS student debt are somehow not to be regarded legitimately.But I feel it is a legitimate concern. Ours is the only industrialized nation that is bringing generations of young people out of college into an immediate indentured servant-hood of debt. They postpone starting a family or buying a home; many must go back to live with their parents because they can't find the jobs that they went to college for. Meanwhile, in European nations, students graduate without such debt, can participate in the world and live a decent lifestyle. How will our graduates be able to compete on the global level?

Laura Bilington
Maple Valley, WA

Imagine what colleges could do if they didn't pay their football coaches a million bucks.

On the other hand
Riverdale, MD

Students need to do an honest risk assessment before incurring debt. If a particular degree will help secure a high-paying job, and there's a reasonably good chance that you will actually get such a job once you have the degree, then it's probably worth borrowing some money. If you're hoping to get a degree in a field where there's no obvious career path and where recent graduates are earning modest salaries (or less-than-modest salaries), it would be best to find a way to earn the necessary qualifications without debt, or to rethink your choice of degree/career. We probably all know someone who borrowed unwisely for school and is now at the mercy of their creditors.

There are lots of ways to get employable skills without borrowing excessive sums of money. College is certainly not the only option, but even college (including graduate school) can be affordable if students prepare well, work hard, and weigh their options carefully.

Midwest Mom
Soldiers Grove, WI

What Americans ought to be convinced of is that governments are reducing investment in state colleges--which is the main cause of tuition rise. While I agree with Ordinary Guy, that student loans enable poor kids to attend college, it is in society's best interest that intellect, talent and hard work are not thwarted by poverty.

Lack of regulation in how landlords can abuse students is also a huge contributor. BYU is exemplary, on that score, because they have standards for that protect students.

Possibly the greatest cause of these problems is that America doesn't care. DN has more articles on its web site about sports, reality shows and Disney trivia than they do about the important issues that face our nation today. Is it any wonder that the government paid for everyone to keep tuned in, when tv went digital? Gotta catch those political ads and keep the entertainment "opiate of the people" blaring loud and clear so that people won't pay attention to "the man behind the curtain."

Laura Bilington
Maple Valley, WA

Pipes, you say you are heavily taxed. Compared to whom? Compared to when?

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