Government Watch / Opinion / Politics

Loan Forgiveness Won’t Solve the Great Scam of Higher Education

AMAC Exclusive – By Daniel Berman

Loan

President Joe Biden’s move to forgive $10,000 in debt for those with outstanding loans who earn less than $125,000 a year has rightly been slammed as little more than a transfer of wealth to the richest Americans. But perhaps the greatest tragedy of Biden’s scheme is that it fails to deal with the underlying problems with the U.S. higher education system that created the student debt crisis in the first place.

Two things can be true at once: many individuals saddled by student loan debt have the ability to escape it through hard work and sacrifice, and many of those same individuals were victims of the decades-long scam perpetrated by the higher education industry. For the past four decades, America and the Western world have seen one of the largest transfers of wealth in history to the “haves” from the “have nots” in the form of political efforts to “universalize” higher education, efforts which have served to enrich institutions and allowed them to coerce hundreds of millions into paying exorbitant fees not just for degrees they do not need, but for services they do not want.

The student debt crisis in many ways has its roots in the 1980s, when a new obsession took hold with the “modernizing” left. Reckoning with political defeat at the hands of Ronald Reagan in the U.S., Margaret Thatcher in the U.K., Helmut Kohl in Germany, and Brian Mulroney in Canada, liberal elites concluded that a focus on the values of their old working-class base no longer could deliver electoral victory.

Until that point, center-left parties, at least the non-Marxist ones, had generally tried to represent the values of working-class culture as an ideal against those of the upper-middle-class professionals who voted for conservative parties. Suddenly, they abandoned that. Internalizing their own caricature of what Reaganism and Thatcherism represented, they adopted a contempt for the working class, and instead sought ways to win over the upper and middle-class elites while at the same time expanding this demographic by transforming everyone into “professionals.

For the left, the way to do this was universal higher education. It was true that having a university degree, especially from a four-year institution, was a major dividing line of class prior to the 1980s. So, it was easy for the Tony Blairs and Bill Clintons of the world to convince themselves that if everyone went to college, everyone would become middle class, at which point there would only be one class which they would need to win. If they won it, they would win every election.

The current federal student loan program in the U.S. was part of this effort to make college affordable for everyone – in other words, to ensure that no one would be unable to afford college because of their income. Yet there were three major flaws at the heart of this plan.

The first was the premise that a college education should be universal. To the extent to which degrees had value, that value was diluted by increasing the supply. When 20% of workers had degrees, they were an asset. When 60% did, they became a requirement for hiring, even in roles where whatever skills were ostensibly acquired by attaining a college degree contributed nothing.

Secondly, the universal college idea ignored that not all degrees contributed genuinely useful skill sets. There was and continues to be a shortage of workers with programming, mathematical, or hard science experience. But absent a few gestures, the major effect of removing any cost barrier to degrees was to remove an incentive to study more lucrative fields. Because schools were not responsible if their graduates earned little, they had an incentive to pander to what their faculties wished to teach, not what students needed to learn in order to earn a living. By allowing anyone to borrow enough to attend universities, the federal student loan program directly subsidized the rise of “Critical Gender Studies” and other obscure disciplines.

Finally, subsidizing higher rates of college attendance upset cost and demand. In 1981, tuition at the University of Southern California was $6,304. By 1991 it was $15,300. By 2001, it had hit $25,533, reached $42,818 in 2011, and will be $62,505 this year. This charts almost exactly with tuition at Stanford and Tufts. So closely, in fact, one might be tempted to allege some sort of cartel, designed to ensure that no major institution underprices in an effort to attract stronger applicants who might be tempted to make a tradeoff between price and reputation. In fact, the most striking feature of American higher education tuition since the introduction of the modern federal student loan program is the complete consistency in prices across institutions. Rather than a market in which options would exist, and where higher ranked institutions charge more (which, given how much the earning potential of degrees rests on institutional reputation rather than skill set, would make sense), everyone charges the same rate.

The same is true of the major cause of cost increases. There has been an increasing trend of schools competing by offering steadily more expensive facilities. One of the major reasons for the high cost of a U.S. education versus those in Europe is that in Europe you can, if you choose, merely attend class and live off campus. Many U.S. schools actively forbid students from living off-campus in private housing in their first year and often even longer, forcing them instead to pay tens of thousands of dollars for what are, in effect, luxury resorts with Olympic-level athletic facilities and inflated food services. Not only is there no incentive not to provide this, as schools seem to have agreed not to allow anyone to try to compete on price by offering lower tuition, but this reinforces the coddled attitude of younger Americans who, when they enter the workforce, expect the same level of services they paid $65,000 a year for at college.

Students are the victims of a system which forces them to take extortionate loans. To be sure, many lack personal responsibility and made bad choices, but they are nevertheless part of a system that does not allow those who do wish to make sensible, conservative choices to do so. Yes, students can opt out of the system and forgo college, but the 1990s transformed a degree from an asset into a requirement for many jobs, and it is a legal requirement for a host of professions. If young people do choose a four-year private program, a cartel prevents them from even having the option of trading off a lesser-known institution for lower tuition. The 40th-ranked school costs the same or sometimes even more than the top-ranked institution. Aside from community colleges, most students do not even have the option to save money on housing or food by opting out of living in dorms or purchasing expensive meal plans. With hard work and sacrifice, it is possible to pay down loans, but victims of a financial scam who managed to dig their way out of it were still victims – just victims Joe Biden and Democrats don’t respect enough to recognize.

The problem then with Biden’s approach is not moral hazard, though his plan is targeted to reward Democratic-leaning voters and exclude those least likely to vote for Democrats, while also encouraging the same sort of irresponsible borrowing to continue unabated. Rather, the problem is that it does nothing to address the fundamental problems with the system. It compensates victims of a scam at the expense of other victims who either worked harder to pay down their loans, or who are victims of the scam’s success in limiting the career prospects of those who refused to opt into American higher education. Biden’s action is an immoral wealth transfer, but it pales in comparison to the one it fails to address.

The Federal Student Loan program has transferred trillions to American higher education institutions, enriched endowments, and funded esoteric academic disciplines which have poisoned discourse. While those schools have reaped the financial rewards, and academics luxuriated in their tenured positions and grand athletic facilities, the various victims of the scam have been turned against each other in a culture war which is tearing America apart. A culture war which is also a class war.

Biden’s actions on student debt are immoral and political, but conservatives cannot allow themselves to forget that Biden is not the only culprit here. The federal government and the higher education industry empowered a corrupt loan system to begin with. This scheme needs to be confronted, and the victims aided – all of the victims, not just those who voted for Democrats.

Daniel Berman is a frequent commentator and lecturer on foreign policy and political affairs, both nationally and internationally. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics. He also writes as Daniel Roman.


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GTPatriot
5 months ago

KIm: Thank you. Triple AMEN

GTPatriot
5 months ago

I was in college in the 60’s. Lived in the dorms ( old buildings)., ate 2 meals per day from the cafeteria because I had a meal ticket (thank goodness), had no car, and was in no fraternity. Very
basic. On Sunday the cafeteria was closed so we collected $.50 for a pack of cigarettes. No food.
I borrowed money and paid it all off in 3 years.
My kids attended college with cars. They lived primarily off campus. They borrowed money. Only 1 has paid all off their entire loan.
The problem is that college degrees are worth today much less than they were in the 1970-80’s,
The idea that everyone needs a 4 year degree has created a huge class of educated unemployables.
The best college money is spent on 2 year technical college associate degrees from schools which teach a job-worthy skill.
Over the past 50 years, I will guess ( don’t know) that the number of colleges in the US has tripled as college has become a huge money making industry supported by the Fed Govt. There are many schools which depend on on-line classes. Forget the brick and mortar of a classroom. Just pay
us and take the classes on line.
The very top 4 year colleges today get 50,000 applications for 4000 freshman places because they are worth it. STEM degrees are the only worthwhile programs. Engineering (always # 1), math,
science, finance and business are the only worthwhile efforts. Good parents will burn this idea into
the heads of their 10th grade kids or they will do them an injustice.
Today, its all about what degree you get.
Biden wants the taxpayer to pay for all of those worthless degrees. The poor colleges should be
run out of business. Their tuition should be based strictly on the avg salaries of their graduates within one year of graduation. Nothing else. College is not for “enlightenment”. Its for making a living wage.

Lynn
5 months ago

There has been a culture war against working class and lower middle class men of all colors since the Vietnam War era. Remember not drafting college men who wanted to become teachers? As soon as there was a draft lottery and then a volunteer military, those guys changed professions. The poor guy who couldn’t go to college because he didn’t have the grades or money became cannon fodder and were ridiculed as suckers by the same snotty college boys. And now females without college degrees don’t have the pathway to pursue jobs as many jobs such as office management are professionalized. No wonder people in burger joints want high minimum wages.

Gail
5 months ago
Reply to  Lynn

Waiting for the other shoe to drop. Equality for all means Biden will offer to pay back all the people who paid for their own educations. It’ s only fair, right?

gerald serlin
5 months ago
Reply to  Gail

Don’t hold your breath, Gail.

James
5 months ago

It would be great if another country was footing the bill but we know there is no free lunch. And we know who pays for this one. I couldn’t go to college and became a carpenter but I’m very glad. I just don’t want to pay for someone else to go. Just like I don’t want to pay for abortion…we all pay for these things.

Ben Ray
5 months ago

We took my 2 kids and nephew to tour colleges several years ago and should have seen these issues back then. We are financially in a position where our kids did not need loans and we subsidized much of our nephew, they had a couple scholarships so the loans aspect was not a primary focus – we paid our way. But looking back at each college the sales pitch was not focused on the academic merits. It was facilities, meal plans with real good food, upscale dorms with rec centers, the athletic centers, extra curricular activities, clubs, all kinds of support staff to help “adjust” to student life… the focus was all perks and culture. If needed, there was dozens of ways to take care of the costs… not to worry.

BAE
5 months ago

The universities and colleges should help the students; NOT one penny from the taxpayer!
They have been ripping off their student body for many years……….

Bob
5 months ago

I paid my student loan and so should current students pay their own loans. Use that money to increase Social Security payments. Prices have increased but SS remained the same. I’ve already lost my home because I couldn’t afford to keep it. NO to student loan forgiveness.

Toni Geren
5 months ago

I graduated in 1972 and by 1975 owned my first of several business. I accumulated 5 rental properties after 2011, None have I every carried a mortgage on. A person i graduated with, he valedictorian of my class, went to college and last I heard was a receptionist at a business and probably still paying off that college debt. I’m retired n and have more income than when I was working and have lived debt free for 17 years. This business of needing a college education to succeed? NO! All you need is hard work and dedication. I worked 2 full time jobs for 25 years and worked 5 for 2 years to get where I’m at. Grow up children and listen to ones that have been where you are at and been there way before where you are at.

PaulE
5 months ago
Reply to  Toni Geren

Very well said and all completely accurate. There are lots of professions where you can make excellent money without a college degree and I’m not talking about being a plumber, elecrician or a carpenter either. I’m talking white collar jobs. Most people in IT make six figure salaries and they don’t have or need a massively expensive and completely unnecessary four year college degree. If someone has the aptitude and intellect for that kind of job, you can pick up all the requisite skills for far less than what a 4 year college degree costs.

Plus if you’re motivated and have a real desire to succeed, the option of also starting your own side businesses is also on the table. The bottom line is the opportunity to lift oneself up and be highly successful is up to the individual. The only thing limiting one’s sucess is their own personal drive and skills that command a higher salary. Too many people have bought into the crutch of they “must” have a college degree. They “must” only work for somebody else. They “must” not take any chances in life for fear of failure around every possible corner.

Hal
5 months ago

The states pretty much control many/most aspects of children’s education from age 6 to thru ~age 18. The DemocRats are impulsively trying to get involved at that level so they can “brainwash” students to grow up as obedient little Commies in the DemocRat Party when they reach voting age. That way it takes the strain off of them a bit to rig elections. The DemocRats want to propagandize our children, not educate them. Similar to the basic premise of the Commie DemocRat Party passion to RULE the Nation … not GOVERN the Nation.

Erv
5 months ago

Where in the Pew Research is the graph shown in the article above? Can’t find it. . . .

Stop Hating America by supporting Right Wingers.
5 months ago
Reply to  Erv

It isn’t there! Amac is terrible at credible reporting. The author doesn’t want readers to be able to access the actual Pew Research. I would recommend everyone actually read the Pew Research before jumping on the Anti-American train being steered by the GOP.

Hal
5 months ago

The Federal Government has no real Constitutional basis to finance education at any level in our society outside of military purposes to insure well trained and prepared soldiers.

Hal
5 months ago

It’s not the students that Bejing Biden is trying to help with help keep their wallets thick … it’s the educational institutions that he is trying to gain favor with. It’s gotten to be that everything Biden and the DemocRats do politically is to curry favor with potential voters who can influence others.

Russell
5 months ago

You get what you pay for. Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?—Bluto

Elaine
5 months ago
Reply to  Russell

Excuse me in missing that tidbit of info.
In my study of WWII history it was the Japanese who bombed Pearl Harbor.
Sarcasm in print does not translate well, there is no voice inflection or facial expressions to understand what you are trying to say. It just causes confusion on this older person.

Russell
5 months ago
Reply to  Elaine

Watch the movie “ANIMAL HOUSE” . It’s the story of young men growing up in the 60’s trying to get a college education and the problems they faced. Bluto became a U.S. Senator. The movie was made in 1978. Watch it and you will learn the price you have to pay for a college education.

James
5 months ago
Reply to  Russell

Great movie. To bad parents pay for their children to party. My brother left with his letterman’s jacket and came home with a bong 1978.

The Bill J
5 months ago

Any educational institution that receives borrowed funds should be required to guarantee it. That way ALL parties have the same goal of increasing students’ earning potential. Period. Organizations committed to funding the Arts can do that separately. Yes, academia is a huge scam involving way too much money. Something drastic needs to be done. It will only get worse otherwise.

Kim
5 months ago

There’s much talk about victimhood here—a novel approach, I suppose, but one which I can’t buy into. When I was in school, in the early 1970’s, I secured a loan, and worked summers and on campus to pay my own way. I never would have thought that someone else would pay off that loan for me. My parents helped, but most of the expense fell on me. Does that make me a “victim”? Hardly!

Beyond the obvious immoral and extortionist aspects of debt forgiveness is what students getting “helped” in this way will expect in the future. Will they cry and beg for mortgage relief? Will they get to keep that expensive sportscar (all it takes is a pen and a phone) when the repo man comes knockin’ at the door after payments stop? Will everyone get a free ride at any 4-year college degree? When the he<< will this government get some sense and start saying “No!” to these snowflakes??!!

A whole generation of people will think “Ah, the heck with contracts”. And then when someone making them a loan actually comes around demanding payment “or else”, what then? Obama set the stage for this big mistake when he took over the student loan program. It didn’t take long for the feds to come up with this plan to rob decent citizens and to redistribute their wealth, or what’s left of it.

This is just another one of those fallback schemes, and they never end well. Prices always go up as a result. Provide the means to send the kids to an expensive college, get the loan papers in order, pay the college, then declare the requirement to pay the loan an “injustice” or “unfair”. Government steps in, takes responsibility for repaying the loan, and colleges ratchet up tuition rates because they know the government will pay! What a racket! Students, happy… colleges/universities, happy.

A word of advice to any student rejoicing over this stupid maneuver: start acting like an adult and do the right thing.

PaulE
5 months ago
Reply to  Kim

Very well said Kim. Another thing any student cheering today about Biden’s decision should consider: Remember, at some point down the road, when the next Democrat keeps offering free this and free that, you will eventually end up on the losing side of the deal. The government doesn’t pay for any of this with their money, The government has no money, except for the money it takes from its citizens in the form of taxes. So eventually all the students today thinking “this free stuff is great” will eventually end up on the other side of the equation and be the people paying for someone else to get “something for nothing”. I guarantee they won’t be smiling then.

Lauren R MacArthur
5 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

How long do you suppose it will take for the “government” to declare the forgiven student loan dollars as income…and tax it!

PaulE
5 months ago

I’ll assume you mean the government will tax it as unearned income for IRS purposes. To answer your question, I would say the federal government would start taxing some or all of the so-called forgiven loans as unearned income within 10 years. The government will have to as the existing tax hikes they just put through in the so-called Inflation Reduction Act won’t generate the amount of tax revenue to the Treasury that is being forecasted by the Democrats. Biden’s little loan forgiveness stunt will cost $600 billion dollars by a couple of accurate estimates. Which far exceeds any projected savings from the IRA signed last week.

History has consistently shown the actual Treasury revenue realized from tax hikes is ALWAYS less than forecast. Dems always intentionally under-estimate a bill’s true cost and over-estimate any revenue from a tax hike. So the federal government will have to claw back the cost of Biden’s largess by turning around and taxing more things, like this loan forgiveness, to keep the monthly interest payments the Treasury has to make on our national debt to something manageable. The last thing the federal government can afford to do is start missing interest payments on the national debt to our foreign creditors. If that were to happen, we would quickly find ourselves in the same predicament as Argentina, Greece, Venezuela and the other socialist paradises that ran themselves into the ground.

Hal
5 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

There is a second way the government helps finance its overspending from just taxation. It is call “inflation” … and that is what the present DemocRat administration is relying on. The American public still hasn’t quite (in the majority) caught on to this little gambit.

PaulE
5 months ago
Reply to  Hal

Yes, inflation is how most modern governments rely on paying down their debt with fiat money that is worth less and less with each passing year. However, that model doesn’t work to bail out the givernment, if the level of spending by the government far outpaces the rate of inflation. Which is the case we have with the Democrats spending literally trillions every few months and calling it “investments” in this or that.

It would take an inflation rate of nearly 3 times our current rate just to break even with the rate of constant spending rate the Democrats are doing. Which means our existing dollars would have to depreciate in value almost 30 percent each year just for that to be a viable strategy for the Democrats to use based on their current spending patterns. That make existing dollars completely worthless in just 3 years.

I agree the American public is woefully uneducated when it comes to economics and finance. The Democrats rely on that ignorance to make their schemes sound reasonable and workable.

JCjr
5 months ago

doe ray me fa q biden

Hal
5 months ago
Reply to  JCjr

… and the Mule (donkey) he rode in on!!!!

Jeanine
5 months ago

I started college when I was 15 while I was still in a private high school where I still needed to finish up a couple levels of religion and of english. The community college did not charge any tuition, except for possibly a couple classes that had their own nominal fees (of a few dollars). I continued at a University of California as pre-med, received my B.S., and continued at another UC school up the coast for 2 years for my masters. I had a 3.89 GPA which was not sufficient for medical school (due to the “quotas” at that time). After my masters I attended medical school in Guadalajara where on a day which I was driving to school to take my second year finals, I was hit by a truck. My career as a physician was over, but I went back to the community college (and combined with my previous education) I received a BS RN degree and proceeded employment as a nurse supervisor.
The whole point of that itinerary is that ALL of my education was paid either by my parents or by myself. My father owned his own company which discounted any possibility of any student loan at any time (even after I had been living independently for 5 or 6 years).
My sister is 7 years younger than myself. She chose to go to a small private women’s college where she attained a B.A. My parents paid ALL of her education. She found a wealthy husband in the elite community of colleges. That was WHY she went to university. The total expenses for her education were more than TEN TIMES ALL of my education (from community college to B.S. to M.S. to Medical School).
The United States government did not pay for either of our educations, but that is unusual.
My education had pointed purpose and a goal that was (eventually) realized.
My sister is an example of the large majority of college “students” now. Flitting through college with no collegiate purpose. Most do not have family that can pay for education to be Wasted, so instead, the United States prints money to be trashed; federal loans and grants usually only requiring that the student maintain a 2.0 GPA. That is a low ‘C’ average. If the U.S is going to provide student loans (and I mean loans to be reimbursed) the requirements should be to maintain at least 3.0, maybe even a 3.5. That may be the only means to ensure that the “student” is serious about their education and would eliminate the fodder that is being churned out now.

Carol
5 months ago

Dear World: Let me tell you a story. There once was a young girl who graduated at the age of 17 from high school in IN. She chose to go west to UCLA and could have gone east to Boston University as her mother had in the 20’s. She was a P. E. teacher. I remember the student president of UCLA at the time was Rafer Johnson! I ended up with seizures and as my parents had dropped me from their insurance I lost all the money I had earned at home for my education. You see this happened right before I had entered to UCLA and they followed me when I was hospitalized after I had started school. So my older brother gave me the money for my first year. Then I lived with a family and worked 18 hours per week for them as well as working outside their home to have enough money to attend this school. When I was 21 and became a citizen of the state of CA my out of state tuition dropped down. Then I went to UCMC in San Francisco to finish my physical therapy as required so that I could be licensed in the state of CA> Then my first job was at USC/ County Medical Center although the medical center was not affiliated at that time with the USC Medical School. After 5 years of working 40 hours per week and 3 weekends per month at other places I went to UC “berserkeley” to finish the pre-med requirements as I wanted to be a Pediatrician. When I was there at school it was during the Vietnam war and I was tear gassed two times .I saw the berserkeley campus destroyed by the lefty students and they do not know that the younger students in my class wanted to pour bottles of acid over the long queues of the left that went through and destroyed this beautiful campus. But as I was older I was able to stop them. I was called all sorts of names when I walked through Sather Gate each day. I am now an old white woman of 82+ years and have recently have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. I have worked in many countries of the world and have treated so many children here and overseas in my profession What I want to say here is I agree totally with the author of this article. I can only say that my work in the soviet union, the middle east and in the remote villages of AK prepared me for something. Oh and my wonderful husband whom I married in 1974 was born in Berlin in 1938 and he lived through the fascist regime of Hitler and WW II as a young child. Then he was under communism in East Germany until he was 18 about one year before the Berlin Wall was erected by the soviet union. I usually write a comment to Mr. Charles who writes things so well but I thought the author wrote this article so well and it hit me so hard. I am thoroughly disgusted with the students today and would not send my dog (if I even had one) to any of the UC campuses. The woke culture is not what it is cracked up to be. And if the “dirty old man” wants to tell me that I am a fascist he can tell me to my face. I will support Trump until I am dead which they so want us to be as we remember the way it used to be in schools all over the country and how this country used to be before “they took over”! I could go on and on but I will write this in my book about my husband’s memoirs and our life together Thank you all for letting this old lady vent. Blessings, Carol

Kim
5 months ago
Reply to  Carol

Reading the account of your life and those of other commenters, it’s clear that your (and their) determination got you through the hard times. Unfortunately for many in the younger generations, they’ve never heard the word. “Determination?” It sickens me, too, Carol, that lack of focus and common sense economic wisdom are lost on them. Sad results for the future of this country. I wish you well.

Carol
5 months ago
Reply to  Kim

Thank you Kim for reading this old lady’s email. I think that anyone who takes a loan out should be responsible for payback. I have always had the determination to get through the rough times. I am not sure what your life story is and none of us know the future but I do believe in God and I know he has a plan. My husband just came and said that he has had a routine all of his life and he goes “crazy?” when that is interrupted. His routine has certainly been interrupted lately by this DICTATORSHIP! He keeps saying they lied to him about the GOLDEN YEARS. I know that the last year has been horrible for him but I know it is worse in Germany. His three sisters will be freezing during the winter because of the mess that this regime has made I did not mention our exchange student son who is from Ukraine and that we lost touch after the Orange Revolution there. I have found him on my own but it is so hard for me to trust that he will be the person on the other end of the telephone. Our other exchange student got into a school on Long Island. He was Serbian and we were able to hear the bombs that the jerk clinton was dropping on Nish when we spoke with his parents So we would not let him return until the war was over. He ended up with a Master’s degree in computer engineering and now is married and has three children. He just moved into a lovely home on Long Island I am not sure on what his status is on student loans But I do know that when the boys were both with us (at the same time) they never missed a day of high school as both my husband and I were so big on education and that that is the way to help others. That does not mean a college education (my husband was knocked out of his higher education because of the communists) but any sort of education is fine. I am so against the students going to higher education to party (I had enough of that at berserkeley when I was there) or to obtain degrees that they will NOT be able to find jobs in the future. But wait a minute comrade joe is here and the government will take care of them so why do I worry? I wish you well in what ever endeavors you seek! Carol

PIDL
5 months ago

I really cannot agree with much in this article. During the 60s and 70s, students were told thay had to have a high school degree to get any job at all. They also talked about the wage differential between high school graduates and college graduates. There may have been ulteriour motives to get more college educated people. But I do not think it had anything to do with creating a wealthier middle class to get votes for Democrats.

One of the contributors to getting a college education was the Viet Nam war and the GI bill. Veterans received a free ride, without even borrowing any money to go to college. There were a lot of veterans in college.They deserved it!

In 1970, student loans and tuition grants were widely available to many people, especially if one’s parents were lower on the income list. But, also, frugal methods were available like going to a community college which were breing created all over the U.S. in the late 60s and early 70s. I received tuition grants, around $800 rep year at a state college, a far cry from what costs are now. . I stil had to pay for room and board and books. That is what forced me going to a community college first, then transferring to a 4 year college.

I had $3000 in student loans when I graduated. With what money was back then, that was a considerable burden to have to pay. But I padi it off in the 10 year term.

But one thing I saw back then was that students were getting student loans to go to community college, while living at home. They would use it to buy cars or whatever else they desired, then did not finish school. They had no intentions of paying back these loans.But that was a small percentage. But that is where the attitude started. The student loans had no restrictions on what one spent the money on. This was the loan compnies fault!

Most of us were headed to 2 year degrees or transfer to a 4 year college and wanted to spend the least amount to do it.

But that was the beginning of the debacle of student loans. As they grew and grew, more room for abuse by the colleges and loan companies grew.

Even when I went to college, the colleges said how there was high demand for people getting the degree they were pushing and how they would help graduates get a job. My children heard the same thing. The problem is that was the same lie told to all of us. They had no desire to help graduates get a job. It all fell upon the students to get the job.
But these same colleges were all there to help the students get huge student loans. The school my son went to actually got student loans to pay for shared off campus condominiums. I am sure they were getting some kind of kickback from that. They were filling the condos with students.

There is a lot of blame to go around. But I think the major motive all along has been greed!

Garye
5 months ago

It’s really quite simple, colleges charge WAY TO MUCH for too many USELESS degrees.
Any college with a significant amount of wealth should receive NO MONEY. The marxist democrat party is corrupt and are using taxpayers money to buy votes!
THROW THEM OUT

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