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#3047192 11/18/20 01:34 PM
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my how time flies ...

My first book had just come out

Some good friends in there who are no longer with us.

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Why do so many college grads apparently have such a student debt burden if there is no college cost crisis?

Last edited by pianoloverus; 11/18/20 02:47 PM.
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Short answer or long answer ... smile

- State appropriation for public universities is around 20% below 2001 levels, per full time student. Price has gone up and at lower tier places quality has gone down (guess who mostly clusters at lower tier publics?).

- This is a separate issue from "cost," which is what the schools spend to provide the service. Like other personal services from child day care to your dental bill, cost has gone up over time relative to "goods" like groceries and most manufactured products.

- Students who have flooded into post-secondary education over the past 25 years have come mostly from the bottom half of the income distribution. They're needier, and that pushes up the demand for loans. Loans facilitate education.

- Students with average amounts of debt (26K - 33K) who graduate with a degree tend to have little problem with repayment.

- The bulk of the "crisis" narrative is based on students at for-profits and in graduate school.

- Extract the for-profits from the data and the numbers shrink. Debt > 45K is quite common in that sector, and the return to a for-profit degree or certificate is often too low to effectively repay.

If you really want to understand this ... Stephanie Cellini on "Gainfully Employed"

- Extract graduate debt. Borrowing for and MBA, MD, JD and other "professional" things is not a big source of default, but is a big source of eye-popping anecdotes.

These people tend to have high incomes. They would love to have their debt forgiven.

Some basic facts about who owes what ... Fed data on student debt

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Why, as I help my children apply to colleges, does it seem like $60k-$70k / year is the norm for private universities? That comes to over $250k per child over 4 years, not counting grad school. How is that not a problem? Why is it that seemingly 50% or more of the students get at least partial, if not full scholarships, while my income does not qualify, leaving me to foot the bill for not only my children but others as well? Maybe there is no crisis, yet for me to have two children in school at the same time, for about $130k after tax dollars / year, it's certainly a hardship.


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Time does indeed fly.

But why is there suddenly a discussion about higher education costs in the United States? The piano and music are universal to all of us.

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A bunch of politicians on Twitter recently were agitating about higher education debt forgiveness, so it's probably made the rounds of media.

cmb13 #3047805 11/20/20 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by cmb13
Why, as I help my children apply to colleges, does it seem like $60k-$70k / year is the norm for private universities? That comes to over $250k per child over 4 years, not counting grad school. How is that not a problem? Why is it that seemingly 50% or more of the students get at least partial, if not full scholarships, while my income does not qualify, leaving me to foot the bill for not only my children but others as well? Maybe there is no crisis, yet for me to have two children in school at the same time, for about $130k after tax dollars / year, it's certainly a hardship.


I'm in the same boat as you, I have a high school senior and a sophomore so my wife and I are going through the sticker shock phase at the moment. We are also in the same boat because we make too much to qualify for financial aid. My daughter (the senior) is applying to 11 schools, the "cheapest" is University of Illinois which is about 30K-ish all in, whereas Northwestern is over 70K per year. I'd say that the average annual cost of the schools she is applying to in between 55K and 65K. She's heard back from four schools so far and she has been accepted to all four and has received academic scholarship offers ranging from 55% to 65% of the tuition. The remaining cost with room and board is still significant. This is of course after spending 15K a year per child at their high school. I actually did some rough estimate math when our kids were in grade school and I calculated that we'd spend approximately 225K just to get our two kids through grade school and high school. I actually stopped taking piano lessons two years ago when our youngest started high school, I'm resigned to the fact that I'll have to wait until they graduate college before I start up again. My kid's needs come first, no question, but it was difficult to stop lessons all the same.

Last edited by John305; 11/20/20 07:22 PM.

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My kids Senior and Junior. We still waiting to see what we might get. I'm more upset that the College Savings plans were not to count and I had to list them on the FASA online form. On top of that I had to just give the total amount even though the total is for both kids. I started putting in when they were less then 6 months old and now I feel like my family will be penalized for saving and not going on vacations. Sad part is both of my kids have outstanding grades and still seems like we will get the short end of the stick.


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
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Same. I began contributing monthly to the 529s 18 years ago. I saved while my friends spent. As a result, I won’t be seeing any aid. Fooled.


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