Thursday, November 10, 2011

Asking the Questions That Need To Be Asked

The Occupy (insert city here) crowd likes to whine about student loan debt. Deb Saunders asks the important questions:
I keep reading about young adults who owe, $60,000, $90,000, even $200,000 in student loans. How did you rack up that kind of debt? Where did you go to school and why that school? What was your major? How did you expect to pay your loans off? Details please.


Scott mccall said...

Well for one, the price for my senior year was twice the price of my freshman year. Non-standard tuition increases can totally throw off the expected debt budget.

DADvocate said...

Four years at almost any state university will set you back $60,000 nowadays.

Peter Reilly said...

I think you need to think of first generation college graduates. They are heavily influenced by their highs school teachers many of whom influence them into fields that don't have good job potential. I know that happened to me. I had very inspiring teachers but if they knew jack shit about business they never let on

Darren said...

I myself am a first generation college graduate.

mazenko said...

No student loans, no financial aid, middle class family with three kids. I worked sixty hours a week during the summer and one breaks - at two jobs - from the time I was sixteen until I graduated. I also worked twenty hours a week while in school doing maintenance and managing computer labs. Still made grades, still had a boatload of fun, graduated with no debt from the University of Illinois in 1992.

Tristan said...

@ mazenko

I did a little math comparing your college experience with that of the average University of Illinois student that graduates this year based on this data that I got from the U of I website (

First, I will admit that colleges tend to overestimate how much money falls into the categories of Room and Board, Book & School Supplies, Travel Allowances, and Personal Expenses so this data may not accurately represent exactly what you paid for college, although the tuition fees should be exactly what you paid.

Adding up all of the tuition fees for when you went to school it cost you $9,072 to attend University of Illinois from 1988-1992. I made a few assumption here, first that you attended U of I for four consecutive years and didn't graduate late or early. The cost benefit of graduating in 3 years is quite substantial. Second that you were paying in-state tuition, things get even stickier if you had to pay out of state tuition.

Now if you followed the rather unthrifty budget that U of I sets for its students then you spent $23,423 in addition to tuition totaling to $32,495.

The total tuition for an undergraduate that attended U of I from 2007 to 2011 was $25,840 or more than 3 times or 300% what you paid for tuition. And about $7000 less then what you paid for your entire college education. But that's just tuition, adding the additional $52,456 for other expenses the total cost of attendance for this student was $78,296.

Even accounting for inflation (based on this inflation calculator: the total cost of attendance for you was $51,667, more than $20,000 less than the student that graduated in 2011. These discrepancies arise in both tuition fees and housing, books etc. which have been outpacing inflation for years now.

University of Illinois is a public university, but like so many other public universities these days the cost of attendance means either large amounts of debt or no attendance.

MikeAT said...


As someone who has battled the teacher from Colorado I can say please don't confuse him with the facts. It might set his therapy back. ;<)