'Indentured students' jump as U.S. loans corrode education ticket

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  • trueamerican Huntsville, AL
    July 16, 2012 9:12 a.m.

    And nothing will change. Congress keeps letting companies walk right out the door here in the U.S. to take their work overseas to sweatshops. What we get in return is cheap junk that doesn't last, CEOs getting paid more money, overseas companies making a fortune for this outsourced work, and youth without job prospects here. It gets better. Those same overseas business owners, taking in the outsourced work, become wealthy. The U.S. then sells citizenship to them to come to the U.S., as they now have a wad of cash and get fast tracked into U.S. citizenship. Their children then can afford to go to college.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    July 16, 2012 6:01 a.m.

    The cost of higher Ed has gone up at a higher rate than the cost of energy. State schools behave like for profit universities. Where is the money going? They get tax dollars, money from the government via grants and student loans and tuition and fees besides. 50 years ago you could work and earn enough to attend college as you go. A student maybe can do it for a year or two at a community college, but not a 4 year school. Trade that in for 300 students in a lecture hall and maybe a teaching assistant. Are you getting what you are paying for? Tuition costs increasing almost 9% annually? My old state schoo is now 3 times what it was in the early 90's. But no kid is making $18 an hour.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    July 13, 2012 12:43 p.m.

    It is really funny to me that all of these colleges have the monopoly on education. School and education and college are not interchangeable. You can get an education from going to college just as you can get an education from reading and studying on your own. I think people should be able to take a test to get a bachelors degree etc. If you can pass a test with a wide range of knowledge then why can't you get the degree? Half of the classes, if not more, are a waste of time and money. Colleges know that, they keep students paying and paying for classes that aren't going to matter. I mean really, the whole college thing is out of control. Education and knowledge are great, college is not.

  • DucatiCR Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 13, 2012 11:29 a.m.


    You paid 640.00 per academic year (160*4) And it now costs 6400 per academic year.

    I took a job at the UofU because not only does it help with the tuition cost (50% reduction each semester) but it also is close to everything I do during the school year.

    We allowed private companies to run student loans - And they screwed themselves out of it because they were jamming students with 19-20% tuition. At least with government control there is some balance to the intrest charged (3.4 - 6.8%) the problem is nobody sits down with the 18th Century Art History student and says "There is no future in this degree" we need to point kids to productive programs - not ones that will make you a college graduate with no marketable skills.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    July 11, 2012 9:51 a.m.


    The only problem is that for the last two decades the cost of a college education has way outpaced inflation on other goods and services, except for health care. These are the two things weighing down many Americans right now. The solution to the latter is very complex, the solution to the other is hard but simple. End the student loan racket. The correlation of easy student loan access and higher tuition costs is indisputable. The three biggest problems facing America today are low real estate values, high tuition costs for college and healthcare.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    July 11, 2012 8:22 a.m.

    The same government thinks that they can just keep raising the debt ceiling with no consequences at the end.

    We need to stop borrowing, stop spending, pay down debts

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    July 10, 2012 8:01 p.m.

    The great John Wayne said... "Life is hard. Its harder if you're stupid"

    Borrowing $85,000 for a masters in education speaks more for the the intelligence of the borrower than the inequity of the system.

    Memo to students: Just because someone will lend you the money doesn't mean its a good idea.

    John Wayne just might have something to say about that...

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    July 10, 2012 7:20 p.m.

    I think we are caught in a vicious cycle. People can't retire because their retirement is gone, or never existed --- because costs are progressing much faster than inflation --- because the government is tossing cash from the parade wagons -- because they can no longer win elections based on their skills as leaders; they must buy votes --- because power is everything and the best retirement and health care program in the world belongs exclusively to the members of government -- and so on and so forth.

    Somewhere along the line we transformed from being a nation of good people making a living to many determined to make a fortune and for some, to do that required dishonesty. But then again, the one thing we may not teach in our education system is morals.

    For the first time in many generations, we are facing the realization that our children may not get a college education. And when facing the high cost of higher education, working at McDonalds may be more profitable in the long run.

  • Vince the boonies, mexico
    July 10, 2012 4:10 p.m.

    All of you need to "thank" the big businesses involved in all aspects of finance, along with crooked congressmen for the last 30-40 years ect! What a sad state the thieves, liars and cheats have left us in!

  • Mom of 8 Hyrum, UT
    July 10, 2012 3:21 p.m.

    It's not just the student loans that kill you, it's the interest rates which are not negotiable. We were encouraged many years ago to lock in at the "low" 8.5% rate. Our loan keeps growing at a rate we can't keep up with. It's a horrifying nightmare, one that's made me even suicidal at times.

    And you know what? Even if I died, my husband would still be stuck with the loan.

    All we can do is steer our children far away from those options that have been destroying our finances for over 15 years now, with about another 10 more to go.

    Education is NOT worth any cost. There are so many other options.

  • T-bird for life tallahassee, fl
    July 10, 2012 2:54 p.m.

    I love that so many people are so willing to blame the victims. It is not the student's fault that their parents bought houses they could not afford and that bankers helped create this lousy economy. Students are only trying to do the best they can. If old people would retire then, there would be job openings for the next generation.

  • Shimlau SAINT GEORGE, UT
    July 10, 2012 2:00 p.m.

    rvalens2: I heartily agree, in the late 60's I was charged $160.00 per quarter for full load at the University of Utah, I have no idea what it is now, but I'm sure it's nowhere neat that

  • Wildfan Ogden, UT
    July 10, 2012 1:57 p.m.

    We are still fairly well off in Utah, the costs are much lower here than just about anywhere in the country. I don't think the public schools are so much to blame as the for-profit schools, the ones constantly advertizing on TV. Those places are incredibly expensive, their classes are not on par with real colleges, and for the most part, they don't offer credentials that will get people to jobs that pay well enough to pay off the loans necessary to graduate!

    State colleges offer a lot of options for working adults, online, evening and weekend classes, with better education and far lower tution than those almost fraudulent for profit schools.

  • RBN Salt Lake City, UT
    July 10, 2012 11:47 a.m.

    shuttdlrl stated, "Professors and administrators at State colleges should not be paid health and welfare benefits."

    Why should they be treated any differently than any other employee?

    Casey stated that sports and the university budgets are separate, thus insinuating that students don't shoulder some of the athletic burden. At the U of U that is not true, there was about a $110 increase in student fees tied directly to the U's admission to the PAC12. I think that is shameful. The only "marketing" that is done goes back into the athletics budget.

  • rvalens2 Burley, ID
    July 10, 2012 11:23 a.m.

    Isn't it interesting that anything the government subsidizes the costs go up and not down?

    There's a lesson to be learned here.

    In the 70s, I attended Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho for $205.00 per semester. Anybody care to guess what it costs now?

    $3,035.00 per semester.

  • djc Stansbury Park, Ut
    July 10, 2012 11:22 a.m.

    Just one comment. Some people make the answer to every single problem, cut, cut, cut.

    This may be a good idea, but then again it might not. Perhaps the answer is more complex and might include a more thoughtful process. In the article we compared 1965, 1985, 2012 figures with no consideration of inflation. In 1965 a new car cost $2000 - 3000, so the cost of a year of college was about the same. In 2012, the average new car costs how much? The real problem here seems to be steadily increasing costs for everything including education with stagnant or decreasing wages.

    Perhaps we need to look into why our wages are decreasing while our GDP and other indicators are still increasing. Where oh where is all this money going? I have my opinion on this issue and it is different than many of yours, but it can't continue or we will be a third world nation, with a small extremely uber rich wealthy class and a large and very poor worker class.

  • UU32 Bountiful, UT
    July 10, 2012 11:08 a.m.

    The government should not be sponsoring student loans. Private institutions would perform this function much more efficiently. So long as the government prints money to fund programs like this an others, there will be false demand signals given to colleges and universities that their education is valuable enough to warrant increases in fees, tuition and other costs. Once the false demand is taken out of the system, education institutions will have to become more efficient as the demand for their services declines. Of course, this is all economics - and public policy is not always determined by economics but rather at the polls. Sad.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    July 10, 2012 10:20 a.m.

    We have also encouraged our children to choose a field and study...and pay for their education and training as they go. So far, with a couple of small glitches, they are doing so. And they see how it will benefit them down the road. I woke up to the "student-as-a-conduit for federal money" a while ago. I teach at a University and see that it is true. The more loan money available, the higher the tuition...it's a spiral. And Universities go hog wild with building programs to improve the "country club" appeal of their campuses, to compete for students...all the while knowing they will be able to pay for it with laundered federal student loan money. It's truly a vicious cycle. We should be smarter, more patient, and more self-reliant.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm all for education. And if we want a good liberal arts education, we should get it...but we should also know that such a degree has other purposes than job training and will likely not result in a good ROI.

  • Clarissa Layton, UT
    July 10, 2012 10:09 a.m.

    Part of the problem is that schools have to pay a higher salary to educators with a Masters Degree than they do a bachelor degree. They were foolish to waste their money. Once you have a job, you can work on a higher degree to increase your income. In my personal opinion, master degrees in education are a waste of time. I thought about getting mine, but the cost and the sheer boredom of education classes changed my mine. I borrowed money to make it though college, but I got a degree where I knew they had job openings and was willing to move anywhere on the Wasatch Front. Why is one of the people getting another degree in Urban Planning? I don't think there are a lot of jobs in that area. My cousin got a degree in Foreign Affairs and is so far in debt, her boyfriend won't marry her. Loans should only be there for the ones who can't get an education any other way. I had no ability to get a job where we were living. (Really small town, with few jobs unless I wanted to work in a mine.

  • Glen in the Bronx Bronx, NY
    July 10, 2012 10:02 a.m.

    "Increases in financial aid in recent years have enabled colleges and universities blithely to raise their tuitions, confident that Federal loan subsidies would help cushion the increase; Bennett wrote in a 1987 op-ed piece in the New York Times."

    That's it in a nutshell. When I attended private college 1981/85 the *maximum* a student could borrow under a Federally guaranteed loan program over four years was $10,000. Guess what? My four year tuition came in at a shade over $15,000 (all in). The difference was easily made up with summer and part time work. The schools knew they could not charge a tuition rate of much more than students could borrow; clearly the same holds true today. Another fine example of the road to perdition being paved with the government's good intentions.

  • shuttdlrl Smith River, CA
    July 10, 2012 9:55 a.m.

    College loans should be for tuition only and should be paid directly to the college. Professors and administrators at State colleges should not be paid health and welfare benefits.

  • 3grandslams Iowa City, IA
    July 10, 2012 9:53 a.m.

    This is a great article that explains why we can't continue to pour more money into the system. We must make hard choices, cut spending, eliminate entiltlement programs and special interests and stop bailing out CEO's and green companies that are a farce at best.

  • Misc. Renaissance Man Bountiful, UT
    July 10, 2012 9:30 a.m.

    The thing that is most telling about this article is that the architects of this grand federal program were surprised..."How did a once-modest federal program spiral out of control, weighing down low- and middle-income families like the Brezlers that it was designed to help?"

    Yep, they were surprised. None of the other carefully planned federal programs spiraled out of control; Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Welfare, the Department of Education, Affirmative Action, etc. etc. How in the world could a program with the very best of intentions get out of hand in a country with 300+ million people and budget in the hundreds of billions (and now trillions) of dollars get out of hand? How were the architects supposed to see this coming. There is not way they could see the future. And the program was so well intended.

    The sad thing is that the government is sure to suggest a new 'program' to fix the old 'program'. Won't that be fun?

  • GAmom Athens, GA
    July 10, 2012 9:28 a.m.

    My husband and I paid back our last student loan the month before our oldest started college. It just seemed like "free money" and that is how the financial aid dept at our college encouraged it. We really stressed to all our kids to not use student loans unless absolutely necessary. All our kids went through under grad and 1 grad school with no loans. My son did however marry a girl with 50,000 in loans for dental hygiene school (really for a 2 yr program!?) which they are now struggling to make the 600 a month payments on instead of being able to buy a house. It is a crazy world out there today!

  • Andy Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 10, 2012 9:12 a.m.

    My experience mirrors Brian's: the cost of my graduate school tuition was not tied to the average salary of a graduate, but on the amount the federal government would lend the student. Students are merely a pass-through to get federal dollars to schools.

    If we want education costs to drop then we should stop subsidizing tuition costs.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    July 10, 2012 6:41 a.m.

    One has to wonder if for-profit schools targeting working adults should be charging tens of thousands of dollars for a sub-standard education.

    Should it cost over $10,000 to learn to cut hair or drive a truck? Absolutely not.

  • Casey Ryback Chapel Hill, NC
    July 10, 2012 6:02 a.m.

    About reference to athletics - those budgets are required to be separate. Also, colleges use sports for "marketing." And "football" funds Title IX. No football - no Title IX. Consider that.

  • wwookie Payson, UT
    July 10, 2012 5:25 a.m.

    The story should mention that the student loans for a liberal arts education are the majority entering into default.

    Still can't find a job with your teaching or micro-biology degree? Look outside of upstate new York. Nevada is searching for teachers and would give you a nice paying job.

    And still can't find something? Use IQ92's example and look outside your field. There are plenty of jobs out there and the degree can give you an edge.
    If we learned personal responsibility, more than half this problem would go away.

    We might become the most "educated" country, but that doesn't mean we become the smartest.

  • Brian Wasilla, AK
    July 10, 2012 1:12 a.m.

    Every time they raise the amounts they will allow for student loans the colleges immediately raise the tuition. Eight years of college taught me that some, and it is just some, but some of the college professors I had would have thought a three hour work week was extreme. It's quite the gravy train for a few and they need to be weeded out and the sooner the better.

  • IQ92 hi, UT
    July 9, 2012 9:30 p.m.

    I finally paid off my Phd student loans by cashing out my 401k. Instead of retirement, I now drive a truck. Sadder but wiser, at least none of my kids have any student loans.