LJS College Discussion Comment

February 16, 2013


  1. Thanks for the shout-out, DaHusker.
    DaHusker nailed it when he writes, “They [for-profit “colleges”] love a student who doesn’t understand the difference between a loan and grant.”
    Sadly, it’s not just Kaplan + Vatterott who love students who don’t understand the difference between loans and grants. So, too, do Federal/Morrill Land Grant Universities and four-year, private liberal arts and religious colleges. Truth.
    During my 2010 run for Congress, I met with many Lincolnites at “The Mill” across the street from Union College, which offers a lovely, peaceful ambiance and wonderful Professors.
    Nonetheless, I became concerned when a number of random Senior students I would talk to from there would tell me how stunned they were to learn that – upon graduation – they had $50-$90 (fifty to ninety thousand) dollars in student loan debt that they were “unaware” of because – as DaHusker noted – they did not know the difference between loans + grants.
    One young woman stood out in particular – African American from California – said that she was “terrified” to learn this news, as she had just recently. “Clearly, I didn’t understand my financial aid package.”
    She’s not alone. For some time, making these “packages” easy to understand was not a college goal. Almost all colleges are, in fact, desperate to fill their classroom. American students simply do not understand this.
    And as Suze Orman – and all bankers – know, the very families who need financial expertise the most are the ones who are – shamefully – lured into high student loan-debt colleges.
    Tragically, these oft-times first-generation college students and families are not cynical enough to understand that just like bankers who push predatory loans that home-owners cannot afford to pay/keep/manage, so, too, do college titans push predatory student loan debt on unsuspecting, vulnerable, financially-undereducated Americans.
    It’s the way it works these days. Fact.
    The problem with all colleges these days – except for most Community Colleges – is that the great majority of students, or their families, must take out predatory student loan debt in order to make it through.
    In the past, we Baby Boomers could work a few summers and pay off student loan debt because tuition at all public, flagship Universities was exceptionally low, kept so by genuine educators who understand the mission behind the visionary Land Grant Act of 1862.
    At the same time, until recently in America, anyone with a college degree could land a job.
    That, my Friends, is no longer true. An awful change occurred in the past couple of decades.
    Right now, I am in Washington, D.C. where I know students who graduated from top, private liberal arts colleges with six figures in student loan debt and they’re working two or three even low-paying jobs that require only a high school degree.
    What happened? Greed. Indisputably.
  2. DaHusker
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