Excessive Student Loan Debtlooking For Your Stories
Q: I'm a freelance writer working on a story about excessive student loan debt and the problems (financial and psychological) that is causes. I'm looking to talk to anyone who's accumulated a huge debt, but I'm especially interested in people who have gone to school, done well, and come out with a lot of debt, a liberal arts degree, and a lower paying job (like teaching) that virtually ensures that they'll never be able to pay off their debt burden. Essentially, I'm looking for people who honestly went to college to educate themselves, to better themselves, to earn a degree to get a better job, but came out mired in debt (perhaps impoverished?) because of student loans. I myself have accumulated about $70K in student loan debt (which I'll probably never pay off) in pursuit of an undergraduate English degree and a Master's degree in Journalism, so it's a story that strikes close to my heart.
A: - I'll bet there are millions of people out there who went to school at least partly on borrowed money, got an degree AND an education, went on to get a decent job, paid off their loans, married, had a family, bought a house, went on vacations, etc. (not necessarily in that order). People who, without the loans, would have spent years or lifetimes in low wage jobs, just scraping by, never able to afford little, let alone big, luxuries. Maybe you'd have better luck if you concentrated on success instead of failures. While I'm at it - I've heard my whole life about low teacher pay. I don't know about the country as a whole, but I've had a couple of neighbors who were teachers, one in elementary school and one in high school. Both made incomes from teaching comparable to mine, both lived in the same neighborhood in the same or better (more expensive) housing, they had tenure, they had summers off (although one used that time to work at another job), etc. And they both made more than the median income of the communities in which they taught. In short, they were being paid more than the people paying their salaries made. In my admittedly limited personal experience, teaching is not particularly low paying. - Maybe they should have majored in accounting. Then they'd have figured out whether they were chumps for choosing Snooty U rather than Working Class U, maybe before they'd put themselves so far in hock. Who really believes a bachelor's degree in a liberal arts field, no matter the university, is the ticket to riches? And getting that expensive degree--instead of going to the state university, or just writing--so you could have a sheepskin penned in Latin, has left you cruising newsgroups looking for sources for your freelance work. Yeah, makes sense to me. You're not going to get much sympathy in *this* newsgroup. - I just read somewhere that the average student debt in the US on graduation was $21K. Look at the cost of education. $21K is a low number for an average student loan debt. - Even $70K student debt is peanuts when one figures out how much MORE one is going to make over a lifetime with MANY, but not all University degrees. Sorry, but I have no sympathy for something who will probably make in a lifetime ONE HUNDRED TIMES their student debt. .