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graduate school debt nytimes article

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  • Avatar nephron 
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    He didn’t get hosed, us taxpayers got hosed.    He will either go into some income repayment program and have the debt forgiven or go into default, either way, the taxpayers end up paying the bills.     300K median debt for a vet school seems crazy.    100K for social work is probably equally crazy.    It’s a good thing that our government is on a good fiscal footing and can pick up the bill for everyone.    They should all go to Elizabeth Warrens website to see how much money they will be saving by voting for her.

    #219393 Reply
    IntensiveCareBear IntensiveCareBear 
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    You tell your kid to examine the costs and potential pay of any job. Going to school for 4 years doesn’t have to cost 100k. Go to your in state, state university, get a job during school and you can go for 10k/ yr probably. So if you’re 40k in debt for a 40k/yr starting job, not so bad…

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    $40k and 4 years is a terrible opportunity cost to make $40k/yr afterwards.

    $40k is only $20/hr… any restaurant/store/etc assistant manager, bus driver, construction worker/painter/landscape/etc, trucker, contractor assistant, salesman, efficient cook/chef, waiter/bartender, etc can make that money or even significantly better with no loan payments and without years of opportunity cost. Those are jobs any hardworking and half professional 18 year old can attain or get promoted to within a year (and get paid in money and exp while earning promotion). Most nursing assistants can pull that $20/hr off with 2 weeks of school, a certificate and a bit of overtime or holidays. Those people are all light years ahead of someone who goes to school for 4 years and takes on $40k debt.

    Until you get into the six figure jobs, I think the target annual income should be at least 150% the debt…. even higher for older non-trad students. $40k/yr simply doesn’t go very far in most areas… it barely covers COL, and it leaves virtually nothing for student loan payments or retirement. You need to aim significantly higher if you’re spending both time and debt to grow earnings. If you are spending $100k for 100k earning potential, that’s more valuable since you have achieved significant breathing room above COL and can knock out the debt much more efficiently… but the problem there is often even more years of opportunity cost.

    Honestly, aside from science or engineering or nursing or medical, there is barely any present day value in university education (computers can be good, but most of the best are self-taught and may only do degree/certs later on employer dime). The univ prices just don’t justify the gains anymore. All of the degrees are interesting, but people are only as good and valuable to employers or their own business as the value they can add, create, or produce. The community colleges and trade schools (IT, HVAC, housing, elec, etc) are getting nearly as bad with less and less value due to rising costs. The only consistent value at university would be when an employer will pay for it (wants to make someone a manager and will pay their MBA, wants to make a nurse asst to RN, wants to send salesman to get BA in comm, cashier into pharm tech, etc).

    Times have changed. I would advise any kid to just do a sales or trade job at a place known for good training or tuition assist, get skills, work their way up, get the employer to pay for school if they can, and save for their own business or college. Until univ prices and wages get back in sync, the value isn’t there to do even a 2yr comm college degree right out of HS unless there is a well defined end result or the employer is paying. We have tons of orderlies and medical assistants at my hospital with pre-med and pre-pharm and other assorted degrees they finished awhile ago that put them $50k in debt and relegated them to working half time or less for many years, yet they are still making… you guessed it: around $20 per hour. If they’d done a $1k two week cert course (or even $0 with a good interview) and started as nurse asst here, they’d probably have a hospital-paid RN degree by now, be making $35/hr, and be on their way to NP or masters. They likely could’ve done the same at McD… started cashier, get promoted to asst mgr, then school for BA biz to be a mgr on employer tuition payments. Life is full of choices.

    "Hmm, that sounds risky." - motto of the middle class

    #219394 Reply
    Avatar Tim 
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    Honestly, aside from science or engineering or nursing or medical, there is barely any present day value in university education

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    Ahhh, vocational school. I guess that covers everything of value. The world revolves around hospitals. Cashier’s don’t need skills. Osmosis.

    I would advise any kid to just do a sales or trade job at a place known for good training or tuition assist, get skills, work their way up,

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    Please provide a list of the companies.

    #219448 Reply
    Liked by hightower
    Avatar Tim 
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    Career counseling takes place at the backend rather than the front and the quality is poor.

    High school, college, grad school, med school, residency? Projecting to the next level is not sweet spot. Time to apply, what’s next? By that time the debt is incurred. You fool, you graduated but your not competitive, pick something else.

    As a side, that is why the socio economic background is so tough. Parents and peers guide you along. Example, I like healthcare so I want to be a doctor or nurse or a PA but I want to work with kids. Cool, off to college, good luck. College orientation, here is your class schedule, good luck. Great, you have a 2.9 to 3.1, now what? $200k debt and a degree that is difficult to move on. Career counseling and FinAid are so distinct, its a miracle if it works out. Healthcare is not that much different than any other career path. No one recruits mediocre. Maybe you should have been an elementary school teacher. Same happens in business, prelaw, engineering, liberal arts wanting law school. No one ever says “no, you are crazy. Your SAT’s and math and science scores and freshman grades mean you WILL NOT succeed”. Three more years of loans.

    Salvation arrives. We are recruiting underserved people to become doctors in family medicine. You can be a Pediatrician and get PSLF. Might as well try it. Hope you make it through med school. Opps, now you need to get a residency. IF you are successful, you make $200k not because you want to, but because you have $400k loans. You work in places just like you were trying to escape. Bright industrious people will succeed. Some will drown in the debt simply because its politically correct to point out short comings.

     

    #219467 Reply
    Avatar Panscan 
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    I don’t think counseling is the answer. When I was 13 the last person I would listen to was the guidance counselor (and I think rightfully so).

    I feel like a lot of this stuff is innate. If you walk into a store and automatically decide you’re going to buy it without knowing how much it costs, I’m not sure you can be saved. Same thing for education. If you don’t consider the cost of your education or what it’s going to get you, idk if you can be saved.

    #219497 Reply
    Liked by Zaphod
    Avatar Tim 
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    A store? Who took the kid to the store and paid for it? That’s the point. Learned behavior requires understanding and motivation.12 years of free education should have a purpose. Parents or school? Not going down that rabbit hole.

    #219519 Reply
    Avatar Panscan 
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    The kid paid for it when they sign on dotted line

    Nothing is stopping an 18 yr old from getting a store credit card and spending hundreds or thousands. So I think it’s a pretty similar situation.

    #219523 Reply
    Avatar nephron 
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    Not really, because when the 18 year old doesn’t pay back his hundreds or thousands of dollars, other cards know not to loan him more money.  The store makes the money they lost from the kid not paying back from other people who do pay back with high interest rates.   Banks don’t care if students can’t pay back student loans because tax payers will pay them back if they default.    Store credit cards also have a credit limit to limit their losses and prevent someone from racking up 300K to obtain a veterinary degree.   Whats really sad is parents obtaining parent plus loans for kids to obtain their degrees after the kid has maxed out their loans and then expecting for their kids to pay them back.  It’s like a double whammy, not only did they not learn anything about personal finance from their parent, they have double the loans because their parents took out additional loans for them.

    #219526 Reply
    IntensiveCareBear IntensiveCareBear 
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    Tim wrote:

    Click to expand…

    …I would advise any kid to just do a sales or trade job at a place known for good training or tuition assist, get skills, work their way up…

    Click to expand…

    Please provide a list of the companies.

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    Basically any fortune 500 company would suffice, and usually those would be optimal since they’re most likely to offer tuition assist (they prefer future leaders to come from within vs outside). Any local hospital system, chain of local restaurants, auto shops, supermarkets, etc etc etc can usually do the same.

    All of those places have winning systems for a youngster to absorb and learn from… and good mentors to seek out, shadow, and discuss possible career paths with. I find the sales and customer service end of those places to be particularly useful since those skills will transfer to virtually any future job, but the systems are proven winners that have been duplicated again and again. They can usually find the right place for almost any motivated worker.

    A small business job is fine for “unskilled” workers, but those will be much more dependent on the entrepreneur leading it and the co-workers and managers they happen to be put with. That could provide much more variable quality of mentorship and training. The small biz also typically can’t offer the same education $ benefits or name recognition on the resume for future jobs that the big ones might. All are preferable to borrowing significant money to plod through college doing “generals” though.

    "Hmm, that sounds risky." - motto of the middle class

    #219527 Reply
    Avatar Tim 
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    All of those places have winning systems for a youngster to absorb and learn from… and good mentors to seek out, shadow, and discuss possible career paths with. I find the sales and customer service end of those places to be particularly useful since those skills will transfer to virtually any future job, but the systems are proven winners that have been duplicated again and again. They can usually find the right place for almost any motivated worker.

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    I love this. Chase Bank, a teller is about the only HS education spot.

    9-6 five days a week, how many hours are you going to take? 7-10 four days per week? Thats 12 hours, you pay it up front. Instead of 4-5 years, you are looking at 8-10 years. You pay each semester up front and then get reimbursed. Now you have a marketing degree with teller experience. The career path is head teller or selling insurance.

    Now find a marketing position with zero experience. Do you really think that your local BBA is going to move you to corporate? That’s in NYC and they are hiring MBA’s and folks from ad agencies. Entry level spots. Maybe Walmart? Or an Amazon fulfillment center? Try to get a job at 28 with a local college position. Working full time and putting 3 hrs in for every class hour credit is a huge grind. By the way, the employers are free to shift your hours and you end up footing the bill. For that you have 12 hours of marketing classes and the required BBA classes. No $100K job awaits. This path leads to huge failure rate. It is a PR employee benefit. It pays off for adding and “executive MBA” or a law degree. Programs designed for that. That’s part time for 4 to 6 years. Corporate America is not conducive to part time study. The grad school route is doable.

    What you are suggesting is akin to medical school on a part time basis. Could it be done? Definately. Probable is a different question. You do know customer service is outsourced the majority of the time. Its called centralized services. Sales and warranty and claims and policies. Low pay dead end.

    Do you have any idea how difficult it is to land a position with a Fortune 500 firm that has any meaningful experience without a college degree? How does the youngster survive and the brutal schedule with low pay for the years it takes? Be a welder or a plumber or get a scholarship.

    Suppose the youngster applied to medical school, I am not so sure the marketing is going to help. Educational assistance is a supplement, not the main product. You have a full time job.

    #219538 Reply
    Avatar Roentgen 
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    I still have no idea what about social work requires a masters. Not hating on social work at all, I just don’t understand how more school would make you good at it

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    Its because a BSW can take a lot of jobs, but in order to be licensed to work in more intensive environments like ICU social work, maybe transplant/organ harvest services, and ESPECIALLY to be a licensed independent counselor (which social workers do in private practice) then you need a Masters.  Which makes sense – you don’t want someone out there hanging out a private practice shingle and doing adolescent counciling or family counseling or whatever with only a Bachelor’s level of training. The Masters includes a more of the family counseling type stuff or exposure to those more intensive environments like ICU, all of which requires more training.

    #219646 Reply
    Liked by EndoRobert
    Zaphod Zaphod 
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    Click to expand…

    Its because a BSW can take a lot of jobs, but in order to be licensed to work in more intensive environments like ICU social work, maybe transplant/organ harvest services, and ESPECIALLY to be a licensed independent counselor (which social workers do in private practice) then you need a Masters.  Which makes sense – you don’t want someone out there hanging out a private practice shingle and doing adolescent counciling or family counseling or whatever with only a Bachelor’s level of training. The Masters includes a more of the family counseling type stuff or exposure to those more intensive environments like ICU, all of which requires more training.

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    I dont really think you want any of these guys doing that in reality. Very little evidence to say counseling has any benefits a. Wouldnt want anyone that didnt appreciate the danger of improperly (even on accident) steering a person especially mentally. At least as physicians, even psychiatrists are acutely aware of harm and how your decisions can impact a pt. Its hard to instill that personal accountability and ownership outside of the painful experiences that are med school residency and the bad things one sees.

    #219653 Reply
    Avatar Jack_Sparrow 
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    Even your above average 18 year old doesn’t have a clue what life looks like or what expenses are expected. Most folks in college have never paid for healthcare, never paid meaningful taxes, and being rich is someone who has a couple $1000 in their bank account. Just from my own experiences, I lived off maybe ~$12,000 – $15,000 a year (non school expenses) and I was the guy that had extra money in the bank account to go on fun spring break trips, eat out, etc. After living off 10-15k, its hard for me to relate/read in some financial book how everything is going to cost an arm and a leg to live and you’ll be scraping by at 40-50k when I’ve been doing it for 4 years on way less. Even with great financial guidance, I think there is going to have to be a certain learning curve for folks. I think in College some people do make the decision that they are “ok” being poor(because they are already poor) to have a job they love.. Then 2 years out, priorities change and they realize they were wrong… and its going to take them 10 years to fix the problem..

    #219656 Reply
    Liked by Craigy, Zaphod
    Avatar hightower 
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    You tell your kid to examine the costs and potential pay of any job. Going to school for 4 years doesn’t have to cost 100k. Go to your in state, state university, get a job during school and you can go for 10k/ yr probably. So if you’re 40k in debt for a 40k/yr starting job, not so bad.

    Are you going to go to random fancy liberal arts college for 200k to make 40k? No but IMO these are crappy schools anyway and I still have no idea why anyone goes to them. Microscopic expensive private colleges seem almost inherently pointless to me. Bad academics, decreased opportunities, I really don’t see any positives.

    And no I don’t think it takes a bright brilliant person to teach kids out of a book. I also don’t think it takes a bright brilliant person to be a doctor.

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    You have a very negative view of liberal arts schools.  Not sure what that’s all about, but that’s fine, you are entitled to your opinions, but realize that they are just that.  I went to a “fancy liberal arts” college and felt it changed my life in so many positive ways.  It was an excellent school and I had professors that were absolutely amazing people and very inspirational to me still to this day.  It’s definitely not fair to say that all private liberal arts schools are “inherently pointless” with “bad academics, decreased opportunities”  Not sure why these schools upset you so much, but I think you’re generalizing too much probably based on limited information.

    Also, I think it’s sad that you think that teachers do nothing more than “teach kids out of a book.”  I agree with you that you don’t have to be brilliant to be a doctor though, but the brilliant ones I’ve met are certainly better doctors.

    #219664 Reply
    Liked by Zaphod
    Avatar hightower 
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    I would advise any kid to just do a sales or trade job at a place known for good training or tuition assist, get skills, work their way up, get the employer to pay for school if they can, and save for their own business or college.

    Click to expand…

    Tell that to the guys who work in the auto industry and were told they had good opportunities for training and skills/working their way up, then auto sales slump and their factory gets shut down.

    I mean, seriously, you think it’s a good idea to tell kids to just completely give up on the idea of college?  You’re a physician!  Are you going to tell your kids to just go get a job after high school?  I highly doubt it.  If so, I hope they don’t listen to you, lol.

    I mean sure, non-college paths can work out well for some and likewise, college may not work out for all, but the truth is that college educated people still have more opportunities and higher earnings throughout their lives on average.

    Telling people to give up on college is crazy.  I think a more reasonable approach is to change our system so that college isn’t so stupidly expensive and advise people to be careful about their choices

    #219668 Reply

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