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So you want me to pay your school loan bills? TANSTAAFL!

Updated on December 26, 2017
Don Bobbitt profile image

Don is a retired Engineer and shares his experiences and knowledge with his readers to help them as technology gets more complicated.

You want us to pay your tuition Bills?

So, You want us to pay your school bills?


You want me to pay your school bills? Get a Life, or Buy a Clue to Life, my friend!

There is an old saying you need to be aware of; TANSTAAFL

There aint no such thing as a free lunch!

I keep seeing these Millennials, or whatever they call themselves, on the different news shows. And they cry the blues about their $100K, $150K and even higher college bills.

And one of their first statements to the world is,

We can’t pay these enormous bills. We need the government to pay them for us!.

The much desired Graduates Hat

A Graduates Hat is one of the goals so many students strive for.
A Graduates Hat is one of the goals so many students strive for. | Source

My College Finances and Yours

Well, sorry buddy! I didn’t have the money for college when I was your age, either. I served my years in the Navy, and then when I got out of the Navy I went to work in a factory.

I made a good hourly wage, and I got married and started a family. The American Dream, back then.

After a few years though, my wife and I looked at our “Glass Ceilings” hanging over our heads and decided that one of us had to get a higher education. We realized that our family income would only be higher if we moved up in the corporate world and made a lot more money than we both did as hourly workers.

So, we compared potential opportunities and I started going to school at night. At first, I used the GI-Bill funding for my bills, and because I was working full time, I could only carry a half load.

As I said, my wife and I were both working full-time and a half load of college classes was a real strain, on both of us.

Of course, I ran out of my GI-Bill benefits long before I finished, at the rte I was going, so I ended up paying for things myself towards the end, literally semester by semester.

It was tough, for both of us, but I did end of with an Engineering degree (Cum Laude), and here’s the thing for you to understand.

My wife and I did it without incurring any such enormous debt as so many of you seem to have.

So, when I see people with college debts that are well into the six-figures, I can't help but picture a young person having a great four years, living in an apartment, or dorm, socializing several nights a week with his fellow students, taking summer “working” vacations at some beach resort somewhere to make a little change for their pocket, and generally having a relatively easy go of it.

I see someone who, OMG, only had to study, and not work a full-time job at the same time, like I did.

I see someone who actually had time to sleep at night without any serious financial worries and even had enough extra money from their student loans to eat out several times a week.

I see someone who always had the new version of textbooks, and didn’t have to shop for the cheaper used ones that I had to buy.

I see someone who bought the best supplies for their classes, while I was lucky enough one year that my bosses secretary would sneak me pens, pencils, paper and composition books from her office supplies, and the rest of the time I had to buy everything myself, generally at the cheapest stores in town.

I see someone who finished his studies in four years, and probably went on to go for their Master’s, because, what the Heck, more student loans for post graduate studies are so easy to get.

Borrowing Money with unrealistic expectations

Borrowing Money against an unrealistic future is a recipe for future disappointment.

Work Experience Pays off

Of course, I did eventually end up with my degree also, and guess what, the company I worked for was quick to recognize my accomplishment and give me the first of many promotions.

Why then, you ask?

Because while I was spending more than twice the amount of time getting my degree than normal, I was also already working in the field I loved, Electronics.

And the combination of finally having my degree, together with my experience, made me a valuable commodity for any number of companies, and not just the one I was working for.

You, on the other hand, have spent your four years studying, but when you apply for a job most companies look at that big “NONE” under experience, and go on to other resumes of people who actually have the experience they need.

You see, it’s the rare corporation these days that sees themselves ast raining schools.They’re there to make money and they need everyone to be a skilled contributor and to hit the floor getting the job done.

College Tuition and Financial deception

College Tuition
College Tuition

Don't sign for any loan until you understand just what your getting yourself into. An that goes for a College tuition loan. I read this book when my son wanted me to cosign for his loan. I refused after reading this book.


So, Your Bills are your problem, not mine.

So, here you are, with your low-level job and your pretty degree stuck away somewhere at home.

The company that finally gave you a job has you working in some entry level job that bores the Hell out of you and it does nothing to take advantage of your studies, far too often in such things as French Expressionism, Renaissance Art, French Literature, or Art.

Even those of you with an Engineering degree, a Biology degree, an Accounting degree, a Chemistry degree, or any of the more technical fields of study are finding that you are on the bottom rung of the ladder when it comes to “real work”.

This is mostly because you don’t have the slightest clue how a corporation operates.

You barely know how to write a technical paper, you can’t design design anything but the most basic of product parts and you have no clue how to make your design “manufacturable” once you finish it.

It’s that experience thing again, you see.

And, your real fear is that you might be like that friend of yours with his Liberal Arts degree who is pouring coffee in the local coffee shop for a minimum wage. He was your party buddy in school, but now?

Whew, you think, at first, that could be me!

But, now, you realize you’re now paying for all of those pizzas and cheeseburgers and pub beers you spent so much of the money from your college loans, enjoying.

Oh sure, a lot of the money was for tuition, and tuition costs are, relatively, just as high now as they was when I got my degree; if you factor in inflation, etcetera.

But, looking back, is that college you picked with its funky reputation and cool fraternities, really worth all of that extra tuition you spent to go there?

Could you have possibly picked a cheaper college and now be staring at a much lower college debt? I wonder.

Well, Surprise!

Oh, well, here’s the kicker for you.

I aint paying for your schooling and all of the amenities that you enjoyed while you danced through your school experience.

And I’m not alone, no one else that I know, with or without a degree thinks they should give you a free ride with their hard-earned tax dollars.

You made your choice and then you stuck your head in the sand for those four years, ignoring the real world and your true chances of walking into some high paying job, right away, making enough money to offset your enormous college loans.

Oh sure, after the corporate world has sucked as much as they can from you, at as low a salary as you let them gt away with, they will eventually start giving you raises … begrudgingly!

And, you will retire, eventually, with your bills paid, but not by me!

Honestly, I assume you were smart enough, being a college graduate and all that, to have read the contract you signed for your loan ….. weren't you?

Yeah, I thought so!


by Don Bobbitt, February, 2016

Is College Tuition worth the Cost?

© 2016 Don Bobbitt


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    • profile image

      Old Poolman 23 months ago

      Venezuela is in for a rude awakening following their choice of going to Socialism. They are fast running out of other peoples money and times are tough for them.

      Even though I have asked many who think they want Socialism for this country none of them can say where it has ever worked.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 23 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Tsad......Get in line, amigo....I promise you, there'd be nothing LEFT for you to rip after I got my hands on those lying scum bags!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 23 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      That's that rude awakening I mentioned!~! LOL

    • Don Bobbitt profile image

      Don Bobbitt 23 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      fpherj48 - It is a little scary!

      What will many of these millenials do when their parents are dead and aren't there to write that check they need to pay off their "toys" that they couldn't afford in the first place?


    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 23 months ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

      If he's in the Navy he is earning his money, not nearly what he's worth but the education is a valued benefit but...

      I wouldn't encourage anyone to enlist under this or any Democrat administration. My worst nightmare would be getting told a lie about how or why my adult child or grandchild was wounded or killed like Obama and Hiliary did to the patriots of Benghazi's families. I tell you if that were me I honestly don't know that I could refrain from ripping their faces off their heads right then and there in public.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 23 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Don.....I too was raised the TANSTAAFL way & raised my sons the same way!.....I don't understand the attitude these days, but what I do know is that a rude awakening is in order & all this pampering & hand-out stuff inevitably comes to an end....when the "money" runs out. Then what?

      I'm a firm believer in personal finance education from age 12 and on. What I see clearly all the time now is the "young adult" who has absolutely NO clue as to handling their money, bills, financial planning & COMMON SENSE. "Buying" privilege is totally out of control!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 23 months ago

      Don, speaking of enlisting in the military, my grandson will complete his associates degree in May. He is enlisting in the Navy, and his reasons for doing so now are: I like ships, and I want to earn government money to finish my college. Note the word "earn", not the "government give me."

    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 23 months ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

      Mike, one of the advantages that community colleges have over universities is that their professors are often successful career professionals that are tuned into their respective industry and can provide students insights and knowledge that is directly applicable to the local job market.

      Professors at most community colleges love teaching, consequently they are able to simplify complicated subjects in a way that students are better able to understand, internalize and reapply them in the real world.

      Many university professors are so focused on research, they do not teach as much and often leave teaching responsibilities for graduate students or teaching assistants. This is quite common at common occurrence at larger, more “esteemed”, public research universities.

    • Don Bobbitt profile image

      Don Bobbitt 23 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      MsDora - Great to hear from you.

      Actually, military service could be a good thing for many of our young people. They would learn a lot.

      And, I really do believe that these people who have these enormous tuition bills really were led into some stupid contracts.

      Thanks for the read and the Comment,


    • profile image

      Old Poolman 23 months ago

      Don, it would be much different if they had to pay any part of it out of their own pocket.

      If I could speak to one of those demanding taxpayers to pay their student loans I would have this reply. "To the best of my knowledge I never had sex with your mother, so it is impossible that I am your father. It is up to your parents and yourself to find or earn the money you need for your college education, not mine."

    • Don Bobbitt profile image

      Don Bobbitt 23 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Old Poolman - I suspect the high prices charged for a college education is an example of Capitalism at work.

      These schools are charging what the "market will bear" and the market (the students) are consistently given larger and larger loans.

      Imagine if the banks didn't load 100%, and the students had to pay the remainder? It would be a different market I suspect?


    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 23 months ago from The Caribbean

      Don, I agree that service in the armed forces are worth the consideration. In fact, students and students-to-be should hear all of your views. Very useful!

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 23 months ago

      I can remember back to when many of us felt an obligation to join the military to serve our country.

      Now it seems that just as many feel the country is obligated to serve them.

      What the hell happened to get us to this point?

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 23 months ago

      Don -You made a great point about not needing to attend a top ivy league college to get a degree. It is far cheaper to attend a local community college for a couple years with transferable credits.

      We now have kids demanding a free education. I would suggest they start by convincing all those overpaid college Professors and Administrators to work for free or minimum wage. When I see the annual tuition costs at some of these schools I am shocked. I would have to sell my home to send a kid to college these days.

    • Don Bobbitt profile image

      Don Bobbitt 23 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Rachel L. Alba - I am so glad that you like my opinion on this issue.

      In my opinion, if we want to reduce our national debt, then we need to stop this stupidity of thinking we are some rich "soup line" for the world.

      Sure, we need to help the needy but we do NOT need to help everyone who wants a free ride for one selfish reason or another.

      And that goes for this generation of "laid-back" young adults that are just realizing that they have overstepped their income.

      Thanks for the read and comment,


    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 23 months ago

      Don, unless we had rich daddies, we had to do things the hard way back in our day, didn't we? I had to live at home my freshman year because we couldn't afford for me to live in the dorm, and my dad was wise enough not to sign for any student loans. The result was that mother kept reminding me of the hardships I was creating by going to college and nagging me to quit and get a job. I married to get away from all that, thinking that I would be able to continue my education with an understanding husband. However, he was an abuser, and I divorced him. I went back to college after my oldest son graduated. I got two degrees and then began to move up in my state job. BTW, I didn't owe a dime to anybody when I finished my degrees. When I had a choice between law school and journalism school, I chose the latter because I would have had to borrow the money for a law degree.

      I might also add that we were paid one-half minimum wage for the jobs we worked in college when I was a freshman because the law didn't cover students. Now they are trying to pay students more money per hour than I earned to raise my children on, inflation be damned.

      So, NO, I'm not willing to pay for somebody else's degree while they lounge on the beach in Cancun during spring break.

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 23 months ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Hi Don, I could not have said all of that any better. I wish more of the younger people who it was directed at could read it. It should be in all the newspapers. That's if the college graduates even read the papers. I think this generation is really spoiled. When my girls graduated high school, they had two choices, go to college or work, and if they went to college they still had to work. I have one daughter who is still paying her college tuition, but she is paying it. You always have a way with words.

      Blessings to you.

    • Don Bobbitt profile image

      Don Bobbitt 23 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Ken Burgess - Well, NO!

      I could never trust any group of self-aggrandizing egotistical people who think they have the right to screw with me and mine!


    • Don Bobbitt profile image

      Don Bobbitt 23 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Old Poolman - I did it, and so many of my generation did it.

      We gave our kids everything we didn't have in our youth.

      Nobody told them that someone was paying the bills for their good life.


      They just want, and WANT! and WANT!

      What the Hell, they think, somebody else will pay for it. Right?

      Thanks for the read and Comment,


    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 23 months ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

      Or why don't we just pay off everybody's loans for everything, that would make it fair right?

      The democrats are all about fairness! What a solution. And since they want open borders we can make Mexico pay for it instead of paying for a wall. Trump might approve?

      Forget Trump, you are now The Donald in my book. :-)

    • Don Bobbitt profile image

      Don Bobbitt 23 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      tsadjatko - I'm glad to se you agre with me on this issue.

      As I said in my article, these men and women signed contracts for a loan. And, now they don't want to make the payments?

      How about telling the bank you decided your car loan was unfair and you didn't want to pay it?

      They would laugh you out of the office.

      Like I said, its a loan and you read the contract, so get over yourself, buckle down and make your payments.

      Thanks for the read and comment,


    • Ken Burgess profile image

      Ken Burgess 23 months ago from Florida

      So... I guess you're not a Democrat (AKA - free lunch party)?

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 23 months ago

      Wow do we ever think alike on this subject. Like you I used my GI bill to help with my college, and washed thousands of dishes to make up the difference. Student loans had not even been invented yet when I went to college.

      For me college paid off and I landed some really good jobs ending up in the Corporate world with good pay, benefits, and a retirement package.

      Many pick a major in a dying industry and then wonder why they can't get a job when they graduate. That would be similar to taking a job as an apprentice in a buggy whip factory.

      Most of us know that for many of these students college was nothing more than four years of party time before they had to face the cold cruel world and work for a living. When I watch man-in-the-street interviews with college students I am sometimes shocked at how little they know about the world we live in.

      Great job of writing Don, and I too feel like I should not have to pay off anybody's school loan.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 23 months ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

      Right on, right on! I'm going to save that acronym!

      You know many universities have multi billion dollar endowments. These universities could pay for their students' educations for decades to come and more.