Student loan rates become campaign issue; area's graduates struggle to pay

At stops in three swing states last month, President Barack Obama called on Congress to head off a scheduled doubling in federal Stafford loan rates, from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. Changing the law could save more than 7 million new borrowers an average $1,000 a year, but would have no effect on prior borrowers trying to make monthly payments.

— Jennifer Frank wouldn't exactly say her family is struggling.

She has a roof over her head, food on the table and a job she enjoys. But with student loan payments totaling more than $500 a month, the 36-year-old East Naples Middle School teacher admits her finances are often stretched thin.

"I want to live a better life, that's why I went to college," she said. "I still have dreams that one day I'll make more money, that I'll pay off my loans. But they're growing. They're not shrinking even though I'm making payments."

Student loans became a political football in recent weeks, as Democrats and Republicans maneuvered to point fingers in case Congress fails to pass legislation that would prevent an interest rate increase this summer.

At stops in three swing states last month, President Barack Obama called on Congress to head off a scheduled doubling in federal Stafford loan rates, from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. Changing the law could save more than 7 million new borrowers an average $1,000 a year, but would have no effect on prior borrowers trying to make monthly payments.

The changes also would have no effect on people paying off private loans.

Frank is among those struggling with private loans. While about three-quarters of her education was paid for through scholarships, Frank still had a debt of more than $50,000 — $28,474 of which is in high-interest-rate private loans, while $32,826 is in federal loans — when she graduated college.

"I wish college didn't cost so much. I wish the interest rates were lower," she said. "(But) despite the debt I am currently burdened with, I cannot imagine what my life would be like without the knowledge I have gained through my college education."

Still knowledge comes at a cost.

Frank couldn't get a mortgage based on the amount of debt she carried, and needed her mother's help to buy her home. Lauren Janice, a Manatee Middle School teacher, left a teaching job in Michigan to move to Collier County to be closer to family.

"I live in my parents' condo," Janice said. "I made a lot more money in Michigan as a teacher, but living on my own there compared to living at my parents (was more expensive). I pretty much live paycheck to paycheck."

Susan MacManus, a political science professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa, said trying to minimize the number of college graduates who live paycheck to paycheck is just one reason why student debt has become a campaign issue this time around.

"They're under a lot more economic stress," MacManus said. "In the past, many have been able to — when times get tough — rely upon their parents and their grandparents, but with the economic recession ... that has dried out."

Peter J. Bergerson, profesor, Florida Gulf Coast University.

Peter J. Bergerson, profesor, Florida Gulf Coast University.

So has the job market, making it more difficult for recent college graduates to get a job once they get their diploma.

"It's all about the job picture, and whether it's going to improve," she said. "(Student debt) is going to be an issue ... the question is it going to be the sole issue in voting."

Peter Bergerson, a political science professor at Florida Gulf Coast University in Estero, said it's doubtful the student debt issue will continue to be at the forefront of either campaign's message come fall.

"My thought would be it is not going to be a critical issue, but it's going to be one that might affect a swing voter," he said. "I know Obama has used it in the last week or 10 days as a campaign issue, and I think if there's some political advantage to be gained, Obama sees more on his side than the Republicans do."

Bergerson said Republicans — including former Massachusetts governor and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney — also have spoken out in recent days to say they too support keeping the interest rates the same.

Dr. Frank Schwerin, Collier GOP chairman on NewsMakers 10-9-11

Dr. Frank Schwerin, Collier GOP chairman on NewsMakers 10-9-11

Still, Frank Schwerin, chairman of the Collier County Republican Executive Committee, said raising the issue of student debt now is nothing more than "blatant pandering."

"I think it seems to be that President Obama is trying to buy the votes of the students," Schwerin said. "He doesn't have the natural support (he once had). They're trying to get that block of people to line up."

Mickey Gargan, chairwoman of the Collier County Democratic Party, said what the president is doing is far from pandering.

"I think people are too paranoid," she said. "I don't think ... there's any way they're going to do something so underhanded."

The issue is one that "riles the feathers a little bit," but Gargan said she's unsure whether it will continue to be hotly debated when voters cast ballots in November.

And while experts are unsure the issue of student debt will be important to voters in the long run, Frank said it is one of the most important issues to her this election cycle.

"I don't think it should be so impossible for someone from a working class family, like I am from, to go to college," she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

© 2012 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 71

Bramble writes:

Free college for everyone! Free healthcare, too. Free child care and subsidized housing. Then we will truly be the land of the "free."

Beachglow writes:

in response to Bramble:

Free college for everyone! Free healthcare, too. Free child care and subsidized housing. Then we will truly be the land of the "free."

And even more the land of the "broke."

Beachglow writes:

And as long as these administrators are making millions in pensions, salaries and benefits and every time they are fired for poor performance, they sue us and we hand them a half a million dollars or more because we don't have a competent legal staff to fight the suit and then when we win, have them pay our legal fees, it will continue as such.

We have put our children in that posture, broke and keep on paying those ridiculous things these people think they should be paid. It's our own fault. We are definitely not very bright in that arena.

They are literally robbing from our children to pad their bank accounts, ie, FGCU.

OddsMaker (Inactive) writes:

I hope Miss Frank is not teaching our kids math. How did she calculate she could pay back $50,000 on a middle school teacher's salary? (Unless she figured on becoming an overpaid administrator at some point.)

Also, Miss Frank appears to be an unwed mother. If so, it's hard to feel sympathetic towards her. If college was her plan she should have considered it before getting pregnant. The taxpayers shouldn't have to bail her out of her poor economic decisions.

Doubtful1 writes:

Isn't it great that Obama wants to save us students money on loans? Excuse me, but my student loan interest rates were almost 2 percent LOWER before Obamacare passed! The feds took over loans to pay for Obamacare and raised the rates drastically, and now they act like they really care about saving students money. What a crock, and what hypocrisy! And the media, like Naples Daily News aren't saying a word about all that, so once again, he gets away with a huge lie by distortion and omission. What matters to the current administration, folks, is bigger government - you and I will pay and pay and pay.

gl1800 writes:

My wife and I worked hard to put our six children through college. Our children also saved and worked summer jobs - They were encouraged to study and treat college as a job instead of an extension of their childhood. The result - Five of them have graduated without owing the government a dime. The sixth is still in college and hopefully will graduate without owing the government a dime. Yes we gave up many luxuries (our car is over 13 years old) and we were not able give our kids all the gifts and name tag cloths that their peers had- but one gift that were able to give them was a future debt free. Now if only Uncle Sam would do the same.

Onelove101 writes:

in response to OddsMaker:

I hope Miss Frank is not teaching our kids math. How did she calculate she could pay back $50,000 on a middle school teacher's salary? (Unless she figured on becoming an overpaid administrator at some point.)

Also, Miss Frank appears to be an unwed mother. If so, it's hard to feel sympathetic towards her. If college was her plan she should have considered it before getting pregnant. The taxpayers shouldn't have to bail her out of her poor economic decisions.

There is absolutely no logic to this posting. Did Ms. Frank ask for a bail out? Maybe she is doing better than she would have before going to college, despite the debt. Should she be flipping burgers or serving food for less money? She is not living high and mighty, but at least she has more brains than you. I'm sure her logic doesn't run the slippery slope yours does, thanks to her college education.

Onelove101 writes:

Let's just keep it simple, college should be more affordable.

naplesconservative writes:

in response to gl1800:

My wife and I worked hard to put our six children through college. Our children also saved and worked summer jobs - They were encouraged to study and treat college as a job instead of an extension of their childhood. The result - Five of them have graduated without owing the government a dime. The sixth is still in college and hopefully will graduate without owing the government a dime. Yes we gave up many luxuries (our car is over 13 years old) and we were not able give our kids all the gifts and name tag cloths that their peers had- but one gift that were able to give them was a future debt free. Now if only Uncle Sam would do the same.

There is a major difference. You have values and you care about your kid's futures. Each party in Washington shows that they have neither values nor concern for our children's futures.

Independent writes:

There is much less demand for college graduates in the U.S. than there used to be. If companies want more, they need only outsource overseas or import them at greatly discounted wages.

sporttruck writes:

The people making money in the future will be the tradesmen. Plumbers, Electricians, Carpenters and so on will be able to name their price to the people who are becoming succesful now.

profiler writes:

Mickey Gargan, chairwoman of the Collier County Democratic Party, said what the president is doing is far from pandering.

"I think people are too paranoid," she said. "I don't think ... there's any way they're going to do something so underhanded."
Oh YES...barak obomber would NEVER lie to the masses! God forbid!
You are pitiful fools to believe that pos! His first lie..to cut the deficit in 1/2 his first term....is STILL JUST A LIE! Come on obomber...go ahead and keep your FIRST LIES before you start new ones!
Here are you typical obomber voters:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P36x8r...

FOOLS! Gawd that ghetto thug from chicago LOVES YOU FOOLS! Keep on voting...I will keep on laughing.

furball writes:

Whenever the government gets involved it drives up the costs.

Can you imagine the disaster if the Health Care law is upheld? MY health care went up 100.00 a month. Everything he puts his hands on is a failure.
Forward into debt and decline.

profiler writes:

STEAL ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING WHILE YOU CAN. IT IS NOW EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF.

mr_1_term_proposition writes:

H------------.

swamp4ever writes:

"Frank is among those struggling with private loans. While about three-quarters of her education was paid for through scholarships, Frank still had a debt of more than $50,000 — $28,474 of which is in high-interest-rate private loans, while $32,826 is in federal loans — when she graduated college."

3/4 of her tuition was paid for with scholarships, yet she still racks up this much in student loans? Where in the heck did she go to school? Oh wait, I forgot......she probably had to pay for her booze and birthcontrol with her student loan money, that explains it.

Shark88 writes:

Are you better off now than 3.3 years ago?

The spirit of Barak Obama, "pay more, get less".

I just can't believe there are 45% of voters still wanting to vote this guy another 4 years. No different than telling them the bridge up ahead is out but they, being 'willfully ignorant', proceed in spite of warnings.

Travelassie writes:

It would seem as though Ms. Frank, with her private student loan, and as a former "loanee" of federal loans, isn't effected one way or the other with the possible interest rate increases now being duked out in Congress and used as a campaign weapon against the Republicans by the Obama re-election campaign.

I don't think any politician wants to see those interest rates increased, and they'll work it out somehow, once it wears out its perceived effectiveness as a campaign tool...

wonderful (Inactive) writes:

in response to Shark88:

Are you better off now than 3.3 years ago?

The spirit of Barak Obama, "pay more, get less".

I just can't believe there are 45% of voters still wanting to vote this guy another 4 years. No different than telling them the bridge up ahead is out but they, being 'willfully ignorant', proceed in spite of warnings.

That number is dwindling and expected to be more like 25%, which is still too high, by November.

But NTW: vice present joe bin biden was just here and focused like a laser on gay rights and said that the job market was of little consequence because there are new initiatives coming in the new budget?

What a classic!

And congrats to gl1800 and family!

SWFLUSMC writes:

Sporttruck is correct, why would any kid looking at the next ten years not consider a trade? The 20-30 year olds doing the best right now own their own business, have a trade, or do good old fashion hard work. Meanwhile grads are working retail and restaurants. We have over a dozen nieces and nephews, they prove this point. All the system has done is exponentially increase the profits of colleges and universities across the country. Very similar to the subsidizing of unions has been done. Without government loans, tuitions would plummet and then only those who could pay for college would go. Many people work thru college and find success with experience and a great work ethic. I would bet, after graduating school, that group greatly exceed the success those who do not work thru college. This is true in every section of our society, time to buckle down, pay your way, "sink or swim". If it worked for our grandparents and those before them, why not now?

kenny5000c writes:

These students voted for socialism, now they are complaining there are no jobs?

BillBrasky writes:

in response to Damyankee:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ironic considering how the Republicans are campaigning on the need to improve the economy, which they themselves destroyed.

Looks like both parties do it, who would have imagined?

joeblow writes:

Just dont pay them...I know alot of people doing the same thing. Cant pay back the loans when there are no jobs out there. What a country!

SergeStorm writes:

Interest rates go up when the Government borrows most of the available capital. Job formation then suffers and new graduates find good paying jobs few and far between. This makes it difficult to pay back student loans. Subsidizing Student-loan interest will exacerbate the problem. What ever happened to "working your way through college?" Many of us older folks worked part or full time while going to college. Of course this left little time for drinking parties and fraterity foolishness, but we graduated with no debt and a good idea of what goes on in the working world. The politicians of both parties will never stop spending us into unending debt as long as the American public is so woefully ignorant of simple economics.

taxed_to_the_max writes:

owes 60 plus thousand and that is 25 percent of what it cost to get an under grad degree in education? 240,000 plus??
no too smart from the get go.
most women i know who were education majors at expensive schools were there for an MRS. degree. must not have panned out.....

tomorrowsgift writes:

in response to OddsMaker:

I hope Miss Frank is not teaching our kids math. How did she calculate she could pay back $50,000 on a middle school teacher's salary? (Unless she figured on becoming an overpaid administrator at some point.)

Also, Miss Frank appears to be an unwed mother. If so, it's hard to feel sympathetic towards her. If college was her plan she should have considered it before getting pregnant. The taxpayers shouldn't have to bail her out of her poor economic decisions.

College costs money, even with scholarships. Not everyone has parents that had the resources to help and educate their children on making and/or saving money for the future. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that $50,000 is not an out of the ordinary ammount of debt to be in after getting a quality college education. Shame on anyone for getting an education and working in a field that they have a real passion for! How dare you!

Sometimes pregnancies are unplanned. You don't know the circumstances of Ms. Franks life. Would you have rather she had an abortion? Would that have been a better economic decision? Or should she go off and marry some sucker just so she is no longer an unwed mother? Some people don't need a man to fulfill their every need.

tjohn#222071 writes:

Another area the government had no business entering. It should have been left to the private sector. But the entitlement-heads in DC have to buy votes any way they can--as you see our car-salesman president working the crowd. Ever since the government got involved costs have spiraled out of control. Why, do you think? Easy gov't money for the schools, staff, professors, retirement funds, on an on. Again.

John_Galt writes:

College tuition is expensive BECAUSE government is involved. It used to be affordable, until government started backing loans. Once the colleges realized the government will provide the loans no matter the cost of tuition, it is really no surprise that tuition skyrocketed.

Before they became involved, you could work summer jobs in high school and college to pay for your own tuition. Now you must get a loan and spend the rest of your life paying it off. It sounds like a scam because it IS a scam! End the cycle! Stop voting for candidates in the two party system.

Vote them all out! Get the government off our backs!

http://www.collierLP.com

http://www.electrichter.com

Quietcat writes:

Why do people who go into traditionally low paying jobs attend expensive colleges when a much lower priced option would serve them just as well? I have no sympathy for the woman in this story- she knew teachers don't make a lot of money so why would she saddle herself with that level of debt? My theory is that the gov't encourages student loans to adjust young people to a lifetime of debt and by extension gov't dependence. If families can't figure out a way to pay for higher education without loans the vast majority of kids should consider another way to develop a career- not everyone needs a degree to make a good living.

SWFL_Sunshine writes:

In reply to quite a few of these posts - I am a full time student with a full time job as well. Even with this, when I graduate I will have $40,000+ of student loans. This is actually a normal amount for most college grads, even quite low for some. A college course for one semester at Florida Gulf Coast University costs over $500 while the president of the school is making a six figure income, living in a free house, driving a free car, and attending lavish and expensive events all on the schools dime. My full time job is in a promising field and is an open door to a career in the area of work I'm studying - except I can't get there without the degree. All in all, students wouldn't be required to take out these student loans with these ridiculous interest rates if the tuition wasn't as high. Instead of making this a political issue why doesn't everyone look at the real problem here and put a stop to this frivolous spending at universities around the country.

DinNaples writes:

I'd like to suggest to the liberals that there be a government takeover of the education system in this country. The first thing we can do is have the government take all of these endowments that the colleges hold and put them in the general fund. Then they can set the pay structures of the educators to a standard as they do other employees.

Yeah, that'll work.

D-IIIII writes:

in response to SWFL_Sunshine:

In reply to quite a few of these posts - I am a full time student with a full time job as well. Even with this, when I graduate I will have $40,000+ of student loans. This is actually a normal amount for most college grads, even quite low for some. A college course for one semester at Florida Gulf Coast University costs over $500 while the president of the school is making a six figure income, living in a free house, driving a free car, and attending lavish and expensive events all on the schools dime. My full time job is in a promising field and is an open door to a career in the area of work I'm studying - except I can't get there without the degree. All in all, students wouldn't be required to take out these student loans with these ridiculous interest rates if the tuition wasn't as high. Instead of making this a political issue why doesn't everyone look at the real problem here and put a stop to this frivolous spending at universities around the country.

Good luck to you in your future career. I agree with you that tuition is ridiculous. That being said, I would like to make a point. I know that it is all the rage these days to denigrate those who are successful and have more than you. Starting with our nation's President, you are being conditioned from all sides to be envious of those who are successful. The rich. As you sit there and complain about what your College President has, makes and drives, take a step back and see what he is resposible for. Let's start with the nearly 13,000 students and the 1,200 employees. Then there is the 182 million dollar operating budget, not to mention all of the physical assets on a campus with 760 acres.

Your shouldn't bemoan the successes of your College President, a better use of your time and energy would be to set goals that one day you could be as successful in your field of choice.

Quietcat writes:

in response to SWFL_Sunshine:

In reply to quite a few of these posts - I am a full time student with a full time job as well. Even with this, when I graduate I will have $40,000+ of student loans. This is actually a normal amount for most college grads, even quite low for some. A college course for one semester at Florida Gulf Coast University costs over $500 while the president of the school is making a six figure income, living in a free house, driving a free car, and attending lavish and expensive events all on the schools dime. My full time job is in a promising field and is an open door to a career in the area of work I'm studying - except I can't get there without the degree. All in all, students wouldn't be required to take out these student loans with these ridiculous interest rates if the tuition wasn't as high. Instead of making this a political issue why doesn't everyone look at the real problem here and put a stop to this frivolous spending at universities around the country.

Since you are still a student and haven't probably thought much about how the free market works I'll cut you some slack in not understanding why there is such inflation in the cost of higher education. It is BECAUSE of gov't subsidized loans. It is the same with medical costs that started to skyrocket when Medicare caused private insurers to cost-shift in response. If the gov't was out of all these areas that were handled just fine before they started meddling there would be more competition and lower costs. Think cell phones, consumer electronics, and fast food- competition keeps prices down. The car and housing provided to the school president isn't the problem- inflation of tuition driven by the gov't is.
I give you credit for thinking through the viability of the career you are pursuing and that you are working and gaining experience in that field. The cost of school not withstanding, I was commenting on a person who gets themselves into debt knowing full well that it will be a possibly lifelong struggle to repay it when a cheaper alternative may be available.

SWFL_Sunshine writes:

in response to D-IIIII:

Good luck to you in your future career. I agree with you that tuition is ridiculous. That being said, I would like to make a point. I know that it is all the rage these days to denigrate those who are successful and have more than you. Starting with our nation's President, you are being conditioned from all sides to be envious of those who are successful. The rich. As you sit there and complain about what your College President has, makes and drives, take a step back and see what he is resposible for. Let's start with the nearly 13,000 students and the 1,200 employees. Then there is the 182 million dollar operating budget, not to mention all of the physical assets on a campus with 760 acres.

Your shouldn't bemoan the successes of your College President, a better use of your time and energy would be to set goals that one day you could be as successful in your field of choice.

I understand the president of the university has a job to do but where does a free house, free car and free admission to these lavish and expensive events have anything to do with getting the job done? I'm not saying he doesn't do anything and I wasn't specifically focusing on FGCU, I'm sure this happens at the majority of universities in the U.S. I am simply saying instead of cutting the pay of the educators or increasing tuition costs for students, there are areas of concern for money being wasted.

Onelove101 writes:

in response to swamp4ever:

"Frank is among those struggling with private loans. While about three-quarters of her education was paid for through scholarships, Frank still had a debt of more than $50,000 — $28,474 of which is in high-interest-rate private loans, while $32,826 is in federal loans — when she graduated college."

3/4 of her tuition was paid for with scholarships, yet she still racks up this much in student loans? Where in the heck did she go to school? Oh wait, I forgot......she probably had to pay for her booze and birthcontrol with her student loan money, that explains it.

Hey there, ever thought of how much it costs to put a roof over your head, eat, buy textbooks and supplies, and provide other living expenses while studying full-time. Tuition is not the only reason people need student loans. When you don't have a parent footing the bill or a free roof over your head, the expenses can be great.

dwyerj1 writes:

Too bad that college has become like public high school.

Nobody learns how to think while stuck in the American educational system.

And the poorly educated public [I include here the administrators of schools] scorns real education.

You get what you pay for.

Here4Now writes:

Too bad - the article above this one says that Immokalee migrant workers get to attend the Univ. of Michigan for free. Of course, the NDN disabled the comments, so I shouldn't express my thoughts as they may be deemed offensive.

Maybe our high school kids should all start picking tomatoes.

dogtiredboss writes:

As long as low interest loans are available, college costs will continue to skyrocket. Rates need to be high to reduce the number of students attending college. This is no different than the housing bubble except it it 10 times worse and the bubble is still increasing. College is not for everyone and reducing the available loans will make the college cut costs. Same as the housing market, college will become more affordable for all.

STONECRAB writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

profiler writes:

The whole system is rigged...and NOT for you or me. It is rigged for the politicians of both parties. Pick any one and you will see someone what has greatly enhanced their personal wealth all the while claiming they represent the people that voted for them.
KEEP VOTING! They LOVE fools. Your vote means NOTHING! I wont vote for either crook..barak obomber or Obomney....the only difference is their name!

marcari writes:

Once again the law of unintended consequences wins! Politicians try to buy student's votes by offering taxpayer subsidized loans at low interest. College tuitions have risen more than any other institution in America. Why? Because rather than using the income they get from these loans to lower tuition they increase professors salaries, allow them to teach fewer classes and spend millions to improve facilities so that they can better compete with other schools. Many years ago the government offered to forgive student loans if the graduate went into teaching. College costs went up and a glut of graduates looking for teaching jobs found them almost impossible to find.

profiler writes:

Hope and change was in reality hype and lies!

Silent1nomore writes:

Time to go back to pushing skills and vocations with the higher purpose of self gratification, self esteem, and self reliance, rather than merely higher education and more debt!

upeoplrmean writes:

in response to Doubtful1:

Isn't it great that Obama wants to save us students money on loans? Excuse me, but my student loan interest rates were almost 2 percent LOWER before Obamacare passed! The feds took over loans to pay for Obamacare and raised the rates drastically, and now they act like they really care about saving students money. What a crock, and what hypocrisy! And the media, like Naples Daily News aren't saying a word about all that, so once again, he gets away with a huge lie by distortion and omission. What matters to the current administration, folks, is bigger government - you and I will pay and pay and pay.

Ummm.... you have no idea what you are spouting about! Pres Clinton lowered the college rates when he was in office and then ol' Bush hiked em back up again almost immediately to 7%! That's equivalent to what people were paying on mortgages at the time! Then Obama lowered them again when he took office (right away I might add) and now they are scheduled to go back up and he is fighting to keep the rates low. Those are the facts so get them straight before you satrt blabbing a bunch of lies about health care!

Shark88 writes:

in response to SWFL_Sunshine:

In reply to quite a few of these posts - I am a full time student with a full time job as well. Even with this, when I graduate I will have $40,000+ of student loans. This is actually a normal amount for most college grads, even quite low for some. A college course for one semester at Florida Gulf Coast University costs over $500 while the president of the school is making a six figure income, living in a free house, driving a free car, and attending lavish and expensive events all on the schools dime. My full time job is in a promising field and is an open door to a career in the area of work I'm studying - except I can't get there without the degree. All in all, students wouldn't be required to take out these student loans with these ridiculous interest rates if the tuition wasn't as high. Instead of making this a political issue why doesn't everyone look at the real problem here and put a stop to this frivolous spending at universities around the country.

$500 for a college course at Fla. Gulf Coast Univ.???? That is a bargain.

Univ. of KY charges $365/credit hour so a 4-credit calculus class costs $1,460 & that doesn't include any course fee's! And that is an in-state cost.

I believe mosts posters are correct; government involvement in education is doing nothing more than driving up the costs. More loans, more borrowing, more interest, more debt. It's the government way of doing things.

Keep kicking that can down the road, America.

firejoke writes:

in response to SWFL_Sunshine:

In reply to quite a few of these posts - I am a full time student with a full time job as well. Even with this, when I graduate I will have $40,000+ of student loans. This is actually a normal amount for most college grads, even quite low for some. A college course for one semester at Florida Gulf Coast University costs over $500 while the president of the school is making a six figure income, living in a free house, driving a free car, and attending lavish and expensive events all on the schools dime. My full time job is in a promising field and is an open door to a career in the area of work I'm studying - except I can't get there without the degree. All in all, students wouldn't be required to take out these student loans with these ridiculous interest rates if the tuition wasn't as high. Instead of making this a political issue why doesn't everyone look at the real problem here and put a stop to this frivolous spending at universities around the country.

I would sure like to see how you came up with the idea that $40,000+ is a normal amount of debt for a college graduate. State of Florida tuition/fees is +/- $190.00 per credit. 120 credits to graduate gives us- 120x190.00= $22,800.00. Even adding $1,000 a year for books and supplies you are $27,000 max. So, even if a student never worked or got any help from mom & dad they don't approach 40k, much less the 50k that this lady says is only 1/4 of her college costs. Somebody is either getting scammed or is really s-----.

Therealist writes:

College is a for-profit enterprise. Not sure what's surprising about any of this.

Captian_Cataracts writes:

There isn't going to be amy money left to my kids as an inheritence so my gift to them is to pay for college so they get out without owing a penny.

I's all I can do given that the economy has crashed (most won't admit it) and will continue to cycle downward until one day you show up at work and there's a note on the door "GONE OUT OF BUSINESS".

Buy gold & silver no matter what the soothsayers on the major media outlets say, they're paid by their advertisers to say that kind of bunk.

playball writes:

My spouse and I were the first in our families to earn college degrees. We worked our way through college and much of it we had to pay via student loans. Now, due to the fact that we make a decent living (notice how I did not say “GREAT”) our children do not qualify for absolutely any assistance to help pay for their college education. In addition, all scholarships they found were “need base” and they could not even apply for them. Since our daughter was at the top of her class, she was able to get some money through Bright Futures, but that was it.
Our children take out unsubsidized student loans every semester to help pay for their schooling. We try to contribute as much as we can, but every year we are able to contribute less than the previous year.
While I am all for helping those that need help, I truly believe that the middle class, average students are the ones that short end of the stick! If you are super smart, you get scholarships. If you are poor, you get federal help. If you’re an average student from a middle class home, you get nothing!

firejoke writes:

in response to weather_radar_25:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Housing and food are expenses you would have whether you were in college or not so you pay for them one of two ways. Work to pay them as you would if you weren't in college or live at home.

Double major means 30 more credits or $5,700 more. Still not $40k.

I know what private schools cost, I went to one and if you can't afford them then go to a state school. Pretty simple.

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