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When did parents start going hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt to finance their child's education?

I have several friends who have done this in the last few years, and I don't understand it. I graduated from high school in 1989, and I paid for my college education with student loans (in my own name), pell grants, and money from working. I graduated with 90k in student loans, and finally got them paid off a few years ago. Almost all of my friends my age financed their education in a similar fashion. My neighbor just refinanced his house to pull out cash to pay for his kids college education. Another friend is 200k in debt to pay for his two kid's education, and both of those kids are barely making passing grades. They will be in school for at least another two years, so presumably he will be 400k in debt by the time they graduate with degrees in education (so they won't be making much). This is a guy who makes 70k a year. It is going to take him forever to pay that off. The kids take no responsibility...I don't get it.

by Anonymousreply 8409/11/2013

I think the OP is asking why parents have taken on the responsibility. I, too, have wondered that. I worked my way through undergrad and took out loans. My graduate degrees and doctorate were covered by fellowships (anyone who pays for a PhD is a fool). It took my 17 years to pay off undergrad. But I never would have asked my parents to go into debt so I could go to school.

Also, if the parents were smart, they'd be asking why college is so damn expensive. As they continue to shell over $$, administrations have no incentive to lower costs. It's a variation on the Bennett Hypothesis.

by Anonymousreply 209/09/2013

R1, I realize that the cost of education has increased. I am wondering why the students don't take out their own loans, instead of straddling their parents with debt that they will never be able to pay off.

by Anonymousreply 309/09/2013

I was just talking to my partner about this last night.

Just another reason kids are so fucking entitled now. They expect everything to be handed to them. Most (not all) of the 20-somethings I work with are arrogant, entitled shits who would rather be on Twitter and Facebook instead of working. When questioned, they act horrified. How dare we cut in on their social media time! We fired 2 people for this last week. Unreal.

We also have a couple of guys at work who are around 23, that are amazingly hard workers.

Interestingly enough, they hard workers paid their own way through school, (one is still doing so) and the ones who were fired are both supported by their parents.


by Anonymousreply 409/09/2013

Why are students choosing such expensive colleges / universities in the first place? Why not go to a state college rather than a private one? Why aren't they going to a community college for the first two years which would save so much freaking money! Why are they majoring in English or Art and not in something they can get a good paying job in once they graduate?

by Anonymousreply 909/09/2013

the only i would take out loans for my kids to go to college. is if they got into ivy league.

other than that they gotta pay for it themselves.

today one is better off going to trade school or community college.

30+ a year to party on campus is too much.

by Anonymousreply 1009/09/2013

[quote] I am wondering why the students don't take out their own loans, instead of straddling their parents with debt that they will never be able to pay off

It's because kids don't do shit for themselves these days. They don't do anything. Their parents buy them cars, pay their car insurance, pay for their phones (the newest on the market), do their laundry and buy them everything under the sun.

by Anonymousreply 1309/09/2013

[quote]Also, if the parents were smart, they'd be asking why college is so damn expensive. As they continue to shell over $$, administrations have no incentive to lower costs. It's a variation on the Bennett Hypothesis.

Precisely. The cost of a college education is going up so fast because there is so much money out there. College loans are quick and easy. The kids (and parents) seem to think it's free money. They fall for it every fucking time.

by Anonymousreply 1409/09/2013

Don't parents have to co-sign for kid's loans, anyway? So odds are they'll be on the hook anyway.

I just read a report that the average college student now takes six years to get his or her degree.That's been the case for several of my co-workers' kids ... bouncing from major to major and school to school, and mom and dad pick up the tab for all of it.

by Anonymousreply 1609/09/2013

Government is never going to be able to solve this problem, and is only making matters worse by flooding the system with loans. There is a solution at hand though. Georgia Tech is going to be offering a fully accredited Masters in Computer Science for $7,000.00 starting next year using Massive Online Open Courses. ("MOOC") Once this catches on the bottom will fall out of the massively over-inflated cost of higher education.

Unfortunately this will be of little help to all the fools who are currently saddling themselves with life-long debt for overpriced degrees.

by Anonymousreply 1809/09/2013

For many, higher education is a waste of money because employers will be bringing over workers from other countries who will do the work for nothing. Or outsourcing to their country. There's even a plan to park a cruise ship off San Francisco in international waters and have Indian and Asian programmers live on it so that they aren't working in the U.S. but they are close enough to meet with clients.

Time for the people to demand some protectionist laws from the government. Screw big corporations. Unfortunately our politicians are for sale to the highest bidder.

by Anonymousreply 1909/09/2013

The answer is for government to stop guaranteeing loans until colleges stop inflating costs. The 70s and 80s had low costs at the cost of large and necessary capital repairs and such in the 90s. Vanderbilt dorms and class buildings looked the same for twenty years, now the dorms look like palaces and each desk in a class room has a computer terminal.

Now it's just greed and availability of money.

by Anonymousreply 2009/09/2013

I am guessing that would be disastrous for the creditors saved by their debtors inability to bankrupt their student loans.

by Anonymousreply 2209/09/2013

You gotta love DL'ers all born in the 80s who have yet to look at a calendar.

by Anonymousreply 2509/09/2013

When adjusted for inflation, the tuition at my Big 10 school is about twice what it was when I attended in the late '80s early '90s.

by Anonymousreply 2809/09/2013

I guess it started when poor people were allowed to breed?

by Anonymousreply 3009/09/2013

It's called having a conversation, R1. Google it.

by Anonymousreply 3109/09/2013

[quote]When adjusted for inflation, the tuition at my Big 10 school is about twice what it was when I attended in the late '80s early '90s.

The state liberal-arts college I attended around the same time is about three times as expensive today.

by Anonymousreply 3209/09/2013

Funny my ex-boss worked her way through college and though it took six years, now is a registered nurse with a Bachelor's degree and totally debt free.

I guess some lazy asses don't want to work they're way through college.

by Anonymousreply 3309/09/2013

I know and millennials were online last week talking about how bad the Boomers and Gen Xers are.

by Anonymousreply 3609/09/2013

I didn't expect my parents to pay for my college education.

I received scholarships that paid for most of my undergraduate degree. I had to take out a loan to go an extra semester to complete a minor I wanted to get (yes, I know that was stupid, but at the time I wanted to continue studying that subject in graduate school. I didn't, so the loan/debt was a waste).

I worked and paid my way through most of my first masters degree. Again, I had to take out a loan for one semester.

My current employers paid for my second masters degree.

by Anonymousreply 3709/09/2013

R34, my degree is in nursing and I worked part time during the school year, and full time in the summer. I basically made enough to pay for living expenses and books. Tuition had to come from grants and loans.

by Anonymousreply 4009/09/2013

My children are going to state schools or getting scholarships. I do not see the use in paying 50k yearly for a name school.

by Anonymousreply 4109/09/2013

when I went to college in the late 80s my parents said they had enough to put me through 4 years of state school (about 25K all in with room and board) If I wanted to go elsewhere it was up to me to make up the difference.

I chose NYU and to go there I found: grants, student loans, work study and worked my ass off all summer and still had about 10-12 years of loans.

I am truly grateful my parents did that - they didn't have to. Now my teen kids are nearing College age and I can help with state school but can't pay their full ride - even after saving for over a decade. The market killed everyone's 529s. Don't know how parents are funding these undergrads going straight for Masters degrees because there are no jobs. This doesn't seem rational to me. If they can't find a job and mom and dad lose their retirement funds the whole family is up a creek.

I'm not going to risk my retirement fund (which also took a killing in the market)for a college experience that will result in expensive unemployment. I have started encouraging the kids to be entrepreneurial and to find a well paying job that will exist when they get out of school - like nursing.

by Anonymousreply 4309/09/2013

A huge reason for the high coasts is that there is a flood of new applicants over the last 20 years. Population growth and the need for everyone to have a college degree being what a HS degree was a generation ago.

People who could have gotten into and Ivy 10 years ago are now fighting for spots at good state universities. And the trend isn't stopping. It's like a blood sport to get into a decent school these days and if you have a good in state university you it's your one shot at an affordable good education.

My niece is applying and has a 4,0, almost all AP classes, high test scores, but we live in chicago and U of I is her only affordable option. She's not ivy material but just under. I hate that town though, there's nothing to do but drink for fun and she's not a drinker and it's one of the biggest drinking schools in the nation. A horrible place to spend 4 years. She could probably get into some better schools in nicer towns but it would quadruple the cost.

I went out of state to a good school 20 years ago for the same price (adjusted) as her in state will cost. The best part of going to school for me was getting out of the midwest to explore. I wish I had a gob of money to give her.

by Anonymousreply 4409/09/2013

For every set of parents like this, there are dozens of "kids" who are trying to fund their own educations at commuter schools by holding down part or full time jobs. There are also a lot who have had to leave due to lack of funds or other considerations such as caring for ill family members, etc. and may or may not return to their studies. The inflated costs are killing lower middle-class and working class students, even at state schools. It's no wonder that the average number of years to complete an undergrad degree is going up.

by Anonymousreply 4809/09/2013

I live in a community of 50 houses and they virtually all have college age children at this time and nobody does this. Their various kids have been going to college over the past 5 years. They all go to state schools. Parents pay some money, kids get grants, small scholarships, loans and work during the summer.

I have a cousin who insisted her children must go to private, not state schools. She worked a lot and made real estate investments. By the time her kids went to school, she had amassed a good deal of money. She's mostly paying for it and her kids took some loans, but not much. It's money that she earmarked for years, so she's not missing it.

by Anonymousreply 4909/09/2013

I went to college in the late 80's and grad school in the early 90's. Things were just very different then - the cost of education now (for state colleges!) is unreal. The question isn't why are parents going into hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt - it's why a college education costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.

by Anonymousreply 5009/09/2013

Going into massive debt in order to get a college degree is stupid, be it the students or the parents who are paying for it. There are ways to get through college without drowning in debt, but it takes effort and perseverance to do it.

That being said, it seems to me that college students of today want everything handed to them on a platter. They don't want to WORK for anything. They want everything to be GIVEN to them. They want to live free and easy and without responsibilities in their teens...and twenties...and thirties. They want to postpone adulthood for as long as possible. They are appallingly lacking in common sense.

by Anonymousreply 5109/09/2013

[quote]I went to college in the late 80's and grad school in the early 90's. Things were just very different then - the cost of education now (for state colleges!) is unreal.

Me, too. My University of California tuition for undergrad in 1984 was ~ $1200/yr ($400/quarter). I just checked it out: it's $14K now. I'm really stunned. It is truly unreal. This is tuition alone, no room and board, books, etc. Using a Consumer Price Index calculator, that's $2,557.62 in today's terms. Jesus Christ on a Cracker.

by Anonymousreply 5309/09/2013

R53, I am a registered nurse and get calls from recruiters on a weekly basis. My sister in law just graduated with a BS in nursing, and got a job within a month, making 60k a year. Her hospital has great benefits, 401k matches etc. Baby boomers are getting up there, and Obamacare is going to create a lot of new jobs for health care professionals. My mom works as a private care aid (no degree) and gets $20 an hour. She has wealthy friends and people like having her around. If I had a child, I would absolutely encourage them to go into the field.

by Anonymousreply 5409/09/2013

[quote]Obamacare is going to create a lot of new jobs for health care professionals.

Indeed. I live in Sacramento. (California is one of the few states gung ho about implementation). The vast majority of new construction going on around here is for health-related concerns.

by Anonymousreply 5509/09/2013

I'm not going into debt for my son. He is the most disinterested kid I've ever met. He cares about sports and Xbox (which I did not buy for him) and nothing else. Doesn't read a book. Will not do extra credit assignments to boost his grades. Has a bad temper, doesn't listen to adults because they're "dumb." He knows better than anyone else.

He's adopted. I tried to get him to read, to be interested in the world, to be a little creative, to have some humility, to realize how lucky he is. My family is not at all like him. We love to read, to learn, too see the big picture, to be grateful for what we've got and be sensitive to others. We're not perfect, but we kind of strive to be better people.

I'm guessing genetics play a part in temperament and interests.

I have a feeling he won't last a semester at college. He's used to my husband doing everything for him and he likes it that way. Well, I'm not wasting my money on school for someone who hates school; I'll take my money and run. They can live together like two old biddies.

by Anonymousreply 5709/09/2013

I worked part time through the school year, and full time in Summer and Winter breaks. I lived at home, and only asked my parents for money one quarter when I took an extra class and didn't have e $100 for the book, graduating in 1988 debt free. I have a nephew starting college next year, and my brother has been saving for 20 years to pay for it, starting 2 years before he (or his little sister) was born. He's looking at the same school I went to, and I was astonished to see the tuition at 20 times what I paid. My advice to him was to look at a better school and both work and borrow to pay whatever his father couldn't.

by Anonymousreply 5809/11/2013

Pretty much sounds like insanity. If the parents would stop doing that...the price of education would come down.

Some of the students coming out of colleges today are more like high school students from when I was in school...since the Reagan years, education has suffered badly.

by Anonymousreply 6009/11/2013

For-profit colleges and Universities, even the ones who claim they aren't are the biggest scam going.

by Anonymousreply 6109/11/2013

Add on the tuition for private elementary and high school and it's a a million bucks for an education. In honolulu so many kids are in private schools then go to a 4 year college I don't see how they afford it. Some people are loaded though and send their kids to Punahou and then Stanford. Talk about major money, but the ROI probably is not that great.

by Anonymousreply 6209/11/2013

It's what happens when people let the media do their thinking for them, and live like sheep.

Those who don't (i.e., those who collect allthat money) are happy to fleece them.

They'll learn, tomorrow, that today they were fighting yesterday's war, as they play catchup to copy today's winners.

by Anonymousreply 6609/11/2013

WElcome to your preview of why Obamacare is going to cause healthcare costs to skyrocket.

Anytime a business can just send the bill to the government when the customer can't pay, and people feel it's "required" to buy the product, costs will soar.

Employers requiring college just to protect their own executives' investments in their edeucations, the stigma of not having a degree, and people refusing to think independently enough to survey the present, rather than the past, all contribute.

Even the financial crisis didn't stop this, because we didn't let the system crash, instead printing money to sustain the unsustainable. With everyone drinking the same kool-aid, those who note that it's poisoned wind up being shot messengers.

After all, we're all meaningless individuals who are just lashing out emotionally, not people warning of economic armageddon.

by Anonymousreply 6709/11/2013

How about taking a hammer to that little shit's Xbox and making him get a job, R58? He doesn't sound like college material anyway.

by Anonymousreply 6909/11/2013

[quote]For-profit colleges and Universities, even the ones who claim they aren't are the biggest scam going.

Actually, the for-profits are just a tiny fraction of the ed biz. I'm not saying they aren't a scam (some certainly are), but almost every college and university in the country shares in the blame.

by Anonymousreply 7209/11/2013

I can't believe how many people on (what was originally, at least) a forum for gay men have so many children in college.

by Anonymousreply 7509/11/2013

Government "loans" = higher tuition.

Colleges are full no matter what they charge.

The market is completely distorted. There is no supply and demand.

by Anonymousreply 7609/11/2013

As a 1972 high school graduate, that makes me MUCH older than the rest of you. But I have seen this with my brother and his 3 kids; seen it even worse with former co-workers (I'm disabled now.)

And I wonder: with the boomers, which I am - and down to the "youngest" boomers, born in 1964 - is it some sort of "guilt" thing? However unconscious such "guilt" may be? I can't quite put my finger on it. I don't have kids; never wanted to (am female - hag - BTW); I do love my nieces and great niece and great nephews (I said I was old, right??!) but I really

The posters that mentioned state colleges, community colleges, NOT getting a damn English degree - are spot-on. Back in my day, that wasn't so much the case - guess we were lucky.

I reluctantly went to my 40th reunion; the nice classmate who took me mentioned her youngest son just graduating; I thought first - and instead of asking, "where is he going to college"? asked, "what is he going do do"? - BINGO! he was an indifferent student; is taking courses - or perhaps apprenticing? to be a stone mason; I said to her, in all sincerity; "good for him."

I wouldn't have thought that, 40 years ago! But "real life" has show me that plumbers, builders, contractors - these are people who have a salable skill. Only reason, I - drama major, film minor - made any real $$ for 35 years was: typing class; the ONE business class I took in college.

Great topic, OP! Sorry to go on and on.

by Anonymousreply 7709/11/2013

R24, thank you for that excellent post. I'm an oldster who perhaps got lucky: went to school in Canada as one of 6% foreign (I'm AMerican) students they took each year. Got a $2,5000 loan from the smalltown bank; paid back in 5 years. "Rich" aunt gave me $1,000. Parents helped out with incidentals.

My niece, 30 years younger than I, graduated froM Clarkson (well-thought of Univ in Northern NY); her last year, including housing, was $58K.

I found this SO unbelievable! but your post explains a lot. She also got loans, scholarships, and worked.

I agree with you that this has to STOP. somehow. I am truly sorry that you and others around your age have this difficulty. Not fair at all. I'd f---ing vote for whatever candidate for President promises to DO something about this.

by Anonymousreply 7809/11/2013

If you're paying thousands for your kid to become an engineer, doctor or scientist, I understand. If your kid is taking courses in Beatles history, that's another story.

by Anonymousreply 8109/11/2013

r62, it's not just for-profits. In fact, the FPs are monitored now. It's all across the board. My brother teaches at the U. of Colorado in the 'environmental design school.' The students graduate with a BEnvd which qualifies them for nothing (although many talk about starting an "architecture practice" -- good luck with that when the AIA gets wind of it). And the U. of C. has known it was a joke degree for decades. Most of the graduates this May are unemployed or working in jobs that don't require a HS diploma.

Virginia Tech is under scrutiny now because its respected architecture school is graduating PhDs who can't read or write (they're jobbing out their dissertations). Private funders have taken note and pulled $$. Both the U of C and VT were recently written up in an arch. magazine about 'failures in education.'

by Anonymousreply 8209/11/2013

Parents and students are making stupid choices There are 'schools' that shouldn't even exist Reputable schools face a shitload of problems 1) Many of their degree programs are irrelevant 2) They are churning out graduates in 'real' degree programs way in excess of market demand for the profession (see law schools as a prime example) 3) There's no such thing as a not for profit school. They all want to milk you dry at this point to maintain their status quo. Besides the schools, you have lenders ready to milk parents and students dry, be it through student loans or credit card offers or whatever. We have a culture where a Bachelors degree has replaced the HS diploma as the entry level degree. It's assumed in way too many households that every kid is going to college now. There is an insufficient outlet for technical education as an alternative and it's looked down upon. Kids are lazy and avoid math and science way too often when that's what the country needs. There is a disconnect between education and how to live life (pay your bills, manage credit, etc.) and also with what employers will be looking for when these kids graduate. The culture allows far too much of a laissez faire 'take whatever classes you want and you will find your way in life' approach. That's unrealistic when cheap international labor is breaking down the walls and spilling into our country (figuratively). All of this makes for a ripe situation for white collar con men and snake oil salesmen to create a system like our modern higher education system. It's a political hot potato that everyone likes to fight about. Let me make it simpler though, the answer is we need a little bit of all of their solutions.

by Anonymousreply 8309/11/2013
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