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Well, You Want Me to Pay Your School Loan Bills? TANSTAAFL!

Updated on March 19, 2020
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.

ME Pay Your Tuition Bills?

So, You want us, the Working Class of this great nation of ours to pay your school bills? You are OK with the raising of Federal Taxes to cover this enormous bill!

You borrowed money not only for Tuition, but for nice apartments, and thousands of pizza's, and even your clothes and parties at the local bars?


Well, 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 as 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 rate 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 by the way), and here’s the thing I want you to understand.

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

Of course, we lived at home and were never stupid enough to borrow money for daily living expenses as so many of you did. Sure, with all of that money you ate a lot more pizza than I did, you wore nicer clothes than I did, and you had a nice dorm room or like many of your peers, you had a nice off campus apartment.

It's your debt, not mine.

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 boss's 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.

When I look at you, I see someone who finished his studies in four years, and probably went on to go for their Master’s, because, what the Heck, 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 as training schools.They’re there to make money and they need everyone who works for them to be a skilled contributor and to hit the floor running and quickly 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 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 back when you were 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 get 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, All Rights Reserved

Is College Tuition worth the Cost?

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


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