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College Degrees Saddle Amercians

Updated on August 8, 2013

Something Needs to Change This Crisis

I am haunted by the future of my children who will be attending college in about 5 years. I have a middle schooler entering high school. She has been groomed for college since age 2. We have been saving for her future. Of course, like many parents, you save what you hope will be enough. The economy soured and so did the savings for college. We are no way near what we had hoped for. I am not alone in this. It makes me angry to know that anyone who wants to go to college must incur an incredible amount of debt. There needs to be a ceiling cap somewhere for educations costs.

College Education Is A Must For The Future of Our Country

I remember graduating from college in Boston with a debt of 10K. The tuition NOT including room and board was $3500.00 for a year. By the time I graduated tuition had risen to $7000.00. It was a little more than I could afford. I could pay it back. Jobs were plentiful and I was confident I could pay it back and save for my future.

Today most kids have too much debt. They are graduating with $50,000.00 - $200,000.00 debt. The job market is not good. Two hourly wage jobs can barely pay rent, food, health insurance, clothing, and retirement. The only logical option is to move back home. How is this teaching our children to be independent and responsible?

Do colleges really NEED luxury suites, maid service, gourmet dining foods, expensive improvements for football stadiums. THIS IS NOT WHAT WILL EDUCATE THEM. These are frills. Expensive frills. Most college sports do not turn a profit for the school. Our students get stuck with high cost of capital improvements. I think the money donated to the schools should go towards paying adjunct professors who are actually teaching our kids. They are the ones who are responsible for making an impact on the minds of our future leaders. If tenured professors only want to do research and published, perhaps there should be fewer on payroll for a life.

College life is false sense of independence and responsibility. Most kids still depend on their parents for expenses. Many kids work part time jobs during school, but It isn't a job that is long term or career related. Education should give our children choices and more freedom to make a contribution to society. I think the system fails our kids. We have only ourselves to blame for supporting a system that just places them at a financial disadvantage from the jump start.

What has happened to our institutions?

DID YOU KNOW Tenured Professors Are Guaranteed A Job For Life

Colleges in my opinion have lost their sole purpose, that purpose is to educate. What are the leaders of those institutions thinking? Where is their business sense? What is the logic behind the future of our children? How do the leaders of our schools justify that it is a great idea to put kids in debt just so they can keep tenured professors on staff? A college would rather cancel a course than trim costs in other areas, unrelated to teaching. They would rather keep a tenured professor who spends more time doing research than teaching our children. I don't know of any occupation that pays your benefits for life and better yet guarantees you a paying job for life. But tenured professors do and it is a big part of the schools budget that we parents and student pay for. If you have a lousy professor he/she is still protected from job loss. As long as he/ she belongs to all the required committees at school, does some research and gets published, maybe teaches once course they are untouchable.

Big School Names and What You Get

I have great respect for those who teach. But i have even greater respect for those professors who actually teach our kids.They are the one's who make the difference. Universities hire adjunct professors who get paid very little, have no job security and are considered the bottom feeders in the education circles. TT as they call it "Tenured Professors" is what most strive for. It is like the brass ring! Interestingly, once they become tenured they teach less and have less contact with students." Colleges hire teaching assistants to do the paper work, the labs, laborious work. I think it is strange that those who teach as adjuncts are looked down upon by tenured peers. It is rather elitist in my opinion.

Benefits of tenured positions include things like sabbatical with 80% of pay after 3 years. Universities hope that you will research and write something earth-shattering that will make the school look good. Your kids get to go to college for free. More importantly, you are expected to belong to an assortment of committees and attend a lot of meetings.

Salaries of College Presidents

I was pleasantly surprised when i discovered how much college presidents made. Click here to see for your yourself I am ok with it. They supposedly bring and attract money to the schools. But is making $1million plus justified with raise increases when students are going broke? Enrollment in colleges are down in some. If the school is run like a business shouldn't it be based on merit? If enrollment is down, " Should you still be entitled to a raise?" Most companies lay off people, put people on furlough, cut services. Colleges have raised their tuition in spite of job lay-offs and a soured economy.

Research, Visit and Ask Questions

Well, I have some time to look and help research where my daughter thinks she may want to go. It will depend on her interests and what she HOPES to pursue. I am debating in my own head if she should stay home, take all her basic prerequisites the first year, like english, math, social studies to save some money. She could then go out of state for her major. She will be more mature too. It is a gamble. Are kids better off going a year or two later when they are more mature. I know one school in NYC has a toy design program and they require all students to be 2 year older. Then there is the cost. There is much to weigh in. I am not fond of any school who has more teaching asistants teaching. I want my daughter to be taught by the professor. The person with the knowledge and life experience. Is that too much to ask for?

Want To pay Down Your Loan?

Ok, if there is anyone who wants to pay down their loan there is nothing on the web page that even mentions or tell a student how they may do that. I looked all over the page to print a student loan pay-bill stub and nothing exists. You have to wait until they send you a bill by email.You can pay electronically

I think it is horrific that they do not encourage loan borrowers to pay down and early. Instead they want you to pay less and prolong your debt. More parents need to protest and speak-up. Students need to be made aware that the government will not release them from any debt. They can wipe out your bank account if you owe money. The government gets paid no matter what.

Loans and Deferrment

Our Government should NOT be telling our children to defer payments. The idea of deferring loans with compounded interest just puts of the idea of paying off a loan. They need to lower the interest rate to 2 % so people can pay it back. What good is a loan that no one can pay back?

When students are unable to find a job they end up living with mom and dad again. This further enables our children. The goal is to guide, educate and teach our children responsibility. They can't become responsible adults after college if they can't find a job after college, live on their own and assume the college debt.

When kids move back after college it is a false sense of adulthood.

Frustration in Raising the Payment to Pay Down Loan

I called the Federal Student Loan Dept. I want to raise the payment to pay it off. On the website it is impossible to manage it unless you pay by banking online which I REFUSE to do bcause the government is so laxed and in my own experience incompetent because none of them seem to have a finance background or even understand themselves, what it means .

I have called on the same day and spoken to two different representatives. The first representative did not understand what I was asking. The second representative told me I could send in two separate payments. The first to pay the interest, plus principal. The second payment to be applied to the principal. I did just that. The loan dept. did not follow their own rules, instead they divided my second payment and applied it to interest and principal.

I have called and complained. It gets me no where. Who is in charge of the people that run the federal loan dept.? This is where government creates waste and puts our kids in debt. Extending the loan does not create a better financial society. I want to pay it down and OFF.


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    • alphagirl profile image

      alphagirl 5 years ago from USA

      Alocsin, thanks for stopping by. I went back to school to hone skills and to get reskilled. The gov't school looan pages DOES NOT tell any student HOW TO LOWER your debt. What they do is tell you how to pay as little as you can, the interest builds and you are buried with principal and interest. THIS is wrong. There should be a link on the page that says,"How to Pay-Off your Loan." It is unernerving that the gov't has advertsied to kids how to get into education debt with few jobs out there.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      It's rather frightening how much college costs today and the loans you need to attend. I have many friends who are still saddled with tens of thousands of dollars worth of college loans many years after they're graduated. I was fairly fortunate in not having any loans for college. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • alphagirl profile image

      alphagirl 5 years ago from USA

      I never really understood it all until I went back to school again for myself! When I sat in a room with kids had my age and realized who was teaching me I was miffed! The cost! I had graduate students and I saw the prof. Only by appt! I have great respect for anyone who teaches but I wanted the prof. Not the grad student! Thanks and thanks for voting up!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      It takes a full six figure salary to send a child to college and still the degree may not justify the cost. I agree with your statement that you must do your research and find a college that offers a quality education for the price. As an adjunct professor myself, I strive to ensure my students receive the most for their money. I spend hours (outside the classroom) building a curriculum with classroom content that challenges the mind and increases a love of learning. I admire tenured professors who still hold to these values. There are some out there... you just have to find them. Interesting hub and voted up!

    • alphagirl profile image

      alphagirl 5 years ago from USA

      ID Radmaster, I think you are unaware of the students out there who get loans and are told they can postpone payment, as long as they are in school taking minimum credits.

      There are also students that apply to school, drop out and get the loan money but do not spend it on their classes. They live on it, party with it. They are theones who think that the loans never have to be paid back.Those types of kids know how to work the system. But for those who really want an education, have to get loans because costs are too high. There is no other way unless you take 2 classes at a time and work full time, which could take a very long time, but you would be free of school debt. To your point the kids are smart to begin with and can manage themselves. Then why pay to go to school?

      Did you have to go to school to work in technology or are you a natural ? I don't believe education is a dinosaur.

    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 5 years ago from Southern California

      The cost of education far exceeds the cost of administering it, and college and university education is a dinosaur.

      Prestigious schools are ofter confused with great schools. These schools set their entrance threshold so high that only the gifted students get into them. This means that the graduates of these schools would have thrived in any school, because they don't need to be taught, they have the intelligence to educate themselves.

      The lower rated schools have a very low entrance threshold so these students wouldn't excel on their own.

      The point is the it is not the school or university that should be given the credit for high rating, it should go to the intelligence of the students.

      BTW, students that don't pay their student loans back should be penalized by putting their degree on hold until they pay it off. It is not fair to those students that pay back their loans, nor of the public that is footing the bill for these students that stiff their loans. It is an example of bad character on the part of these students, and they should not be rewarded for these character flaws.

      my opinion....