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Comments about ‘Allow student loan bankruptcies, but hold colleges accountable?’

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Published: Tuesday, Aug. 19 2014 4:20 a.m. MDT

Updated: Wednesday, Aug. 20 2014 4:24 p.m. MDT

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humbug
Syracuse/Davis, UT

I agree that colleges need "some skin in the game." They do need to be held accountable for certain things. They might want to address the issue of why college costs so much in the first place. The teachers aren't getting the income (mostly.) There are a lot of adjunct professors out there. Is there too much administrative cost? Not sure.

Liberal Ted
Salt Lake City, UT

Colleges should have some skin in the game. However, the student is the one who chooses to take out a loan to begin with. I chose to pay as I went through the University. Graduated debt free. I don't think the school should be responsible for students who take out loans to buy a car, fast food, gaming systems, TV's, trips etc. Ultimately it will be the other students who get to cover irresponsible students.

Mom of 8
Hyrum, UT

Liberal Ted, I'd be interested to know when you went to college. What it cost in the 1970s and 1980s is nothing to what it costs now.

Students have no clue if, as they're attending college, they'll land a job that will allow them to repay the loan. Thirty years ago the assumption was that the degree was a fast-track to financial security. Now, a bachelor's degree earns you $30k if you're lucky, and only in about two decades will you be making enough to afford both a house and the student loan payment.

Colleges have exploded their costs because they know naive students can get loans to cover their expenses. Look at the building projects on campuses now a days. They border on the luxurious.

It's an out-of-control mess, and universities should stop using students and start serving them.

Liberal Ted
Salt Lake City, UT

@ Mom of 8- Finished my undergrad in 2005. It wasn't that long ago. Working on my Masters and I am paying as I go. No student loans. That is in addition to working full time and running a business.

There is nothing I have done, that anyone else couldn't have done themselves. It's a matter of actually going out and putting in the long hours of work and study. Yes it's hard to give up playing video games and going to the mall with friends and whatever other nonsense concerts etc people like to go to. But, if you want to make it debt free you can.

If the students are clueless going into college or a university of what the value of the education is or will be. It sounds like their parents need to explain that a ceramic arts, psychology, sociology, English, communication degrees will not pay the same as an engineer or doctor. Schools should give the students the tools to make an educated decision. Such as actual pay rather than taking the top 10% in each field and hinting that is the way for everyone.

Liberal Ted
Salt Lake City, UT

@ Mom of 8

If you have 8 kids. I'm sure you'll qualify for pell grants. They will give your kids money to attend college. Buy your books online and shop around. Don't waste time taking classes that you don't need. Figure out where you are going first, that will save you a lot of money. Go to school close to home, if I could have lived with my parents that would have saved me a lot of time and work. Have a cheap car, don't bother with a tv, spend the weekends in the library, take 3 classes and work to pay.

College isn't just about partying or hanging out. The main focus is to get that degree and move on. It's a tough balancing act. But, hopefully kids learn in their youth (something parents and public education has failed at doing) that you have to work for what you want. Even with good grades, you may not be accepted into a program. Keep your options open.

dave4197
Redding, CA

Take a closer look at college expenses. Admin salaries are way out of any sensible range, many leaders are in the $300k+ range, they're based on infinite income to the college from easy to guarantee student loans, they're based on what admin's can get, they're not based on any sort of community income average. It's about greed and what you can get away with.
Colleges and universities absolutely must be held to pay for student loans on students' backs who cannot get jobs or otherwise pay back loans.
The taxpayer should be the very last last resort, after the college taps its wealthy alums and corporate sponsors. Tap athletic sponsors too.
I have to disagree with Liberal Ted about a student's choice to take a loan, my experience is students don't have a clue about loan burdens. In contrast they are led thru easy qualification for loans.
Have 5 kids, 4 thru college and working, I'm helping them pay off their loans now going on 15 years for the oldest.

mcdugall
Murray, UT

Here is a simple solution. If any school, private or public, has an overall student loan default rate above 15%-20%, the school should no longer be able to accept any form of federal student loan money.

FDRfan
Sugar City, ID

Finally a bit of good news. But there are those who would bring back a debtor's prison.

Liberal Ted
Salt Lake City, UT

@dave4197

I understand the frustration people have with debt that they incur. These are college and university students. Some of the best and brightest right? Yet they can't figure out interest rates and how to spend money? The student loans are not used only for education. Many finance their cars, trips, parties etc on student loans. That is not the fault of the University.

If they paid attention they would be fine. Take a loan out only to cover your tuition and books. You can keep costs down to $5,000 a semester. If they worked a part time job to pay for rent and food and tuition. They could knock the loan down to $1000 or less each semester. Piece of cake.

Don't burden my tuition because kids can't figure out how to be frugal. At what point are these adults will act like adults and think things through? Where has personal responsibility gone to?

The schools should give all of the data they have, concerning the actual pay for each degree. Not some arbitrary number pulled from the highest cost of living states. But I figured that out as an undergrad.

No One Of Consequence
West Jordan, UT

How about educating students in high school about personal finance so they can make intelligent choices.

Boomersooner
Macon, GA

Education and learning are not necessarily related to increase in income. If we followed this association, only schools offering engineering would be allowed to continue. Liberal arts majors that include "x-race or y-culture studies" that "reduce" earning capacity because they otherwise cause the attendee to look like a flake, would also have to go.
In truth, the educational model is changing in favor of online education, and when the tide has completely receeded, there will be far less brick-and-mortar educational facilities, and the epidemic of wild in-residence loans will subside.

sally
Kearns, UT

The colleges should focus on quality teaching and showing up for class. Maybe students should be allowed to charge the colleges when a teacher does not show up. This has occurred many times with our children.

Students need to know how to plan college expenses just like they would in life after moving out on their own. This is the responsibility of the parents, not the colleges.

Scholarships, government and charity welfare (such as pell grants, food, medical etc) is available. This all requires homework. It amazes me how students can excel at game playing and computers, yet they are unable to figure out how to go to school on a very low income when so much help is available. How are they going to survive life after college?

When a student has disabilities, yes they need personal help. If they are too disabled to attend college then they should seek alternative ways to survive life. The schools should not be financially punished for a students decision. Private Schools have retention quotas they need to keep up to stay in business. They would be foolish to allow low achievers into their programs.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Dumb idea – if the student knows they can get the debt discharged in bankruptcy, they have every incentive to eschew the lower priced option and go for the high-priced, more elite institution.

A Guy With A Brain
Enid, OK

Article title: "Allow student loan bankruptcies, but hold colleges accountable?"

Hold the colleges accountable?

Why?, the student signs the loan, NOT the college.

This smacks of (more) liberal thinking run amok. "It isn't my fault" is the very essence of current liberal philosophy.

cmsense
Kaysville, UT

With online courses college education with innovation should be getting cheaper, not having cost explode. Colleges couldn't charge so much if the student loan system wasn't so easy to qualify to get a boatload of money that for profit colleges and others figured out they could get the money by often selling the students a pipe dream that all majors are equal and by breaking the law and in some instances paying recruiters to find a warm body. Spend 30k to be an M.A. or phlebotomist, no problem and will tack on 10k and you can be a pharmacy tech too.
I don't think students should be allowed to declare bankruptcy for at least 25 years on their student loans unless there is extenuating circumstances like getting on SSDI for major medical, even if they pay $10 per month the rest of their lives.

casual observer
Salt Lake City, UT

Bad decisions always seem to be someone else's fault.

AlanSLJ
Tacoma, WA

Bankruptcy is a longstanding, free-market principle that is even demanded in the US Constitution. There was never a viable reason for removing this protections, and given that today, the entire lending system-federal government chief among them- make a profit- not a loss- on defaulted student loans.

This is a defining hallmark of a predatory lending system, and by supporting the continued absence of bankruptcy protections from student loans, you are supporting, enabling, the perpetuation and growth of a big government monstrosity.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

I have to admit I have a little bit of a liberal streak in me, especially in education matters, but in this case not seeing where the colleges are responsible. This problem comes from two primary sources; those who get the loans (students) and the government that made these loans so easily available. Like said above, I think on-line choices will bring the market back to reality, people won't put up with this forever and smart people will figure this out.

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