That and there are lots of people that didn’t go to college that make great money. I work with plenty of them. I work with welders, electricians, painters, machinists, technicians, supply personnel, drivers, etc that make $30-$50 per hour all without a college education. People have choices. They might have to actually move to take advantage of those choices but that can also be the car with a college degree.
What percentage of them are women? Fyi, if you’re going to talk about women’s choices in these fields, 40 years’ worth of evidence against is lined up and ready to torpedo the point.
Beyond that, I notice that the people who advocate for trades almost never work in trades, and almost never have to retire on disability in their late 40s, early 50s. Nor do they seem to want to recognize that the trades and university paths are converging and at points have already converged because the trades themselves are much more complex than they used to be.
It sounds lovely and zen, but in real people’s real lives, the choices are constrained, and sometimes you get one option, which means that it is not a choice. Again, that is, unless you’re willing to acknowledge behavior at gunpoint as a choice.
Since it appears the state in question is SC, I looked into various options. Several community colleges offer certificates as electrician (as one skilled trade) for example- the tuition is less than 5k/year, the salary and growth potential are solid. An appealing option for some.
Real people make real choices all the time, and live up to the commitments they make. Like the choice to take a loan and pay it back in good faith. That’s a choice. Some people may think that anything but a 4 year college is beneath them. It is not.
You also don’t have to take a loan to go to college. You can work at Starbucks and go to ASU online. You can work at UPS. Military. National Guard in some states. Several states have CC for free and have for many years. If you are low income, you can get a Pell grant, SEOG grant and some state grants that would cover CC and a low price state university.
Free things are never free. One thing you give up is control. Currently in the US you get decide what you want to study and assuming you’re accepted where you get to study it. If you want to study basket weaving at X university then it’s up to you. You get accepted to the program and pay the bill. How is up to you. When the government (us) begins to pay eventually they’ll demand control. We will begin to see a system much more like Europe where you have much less flexibility in what you study or where you study it. I prefer decisions such as “free” community college remain at the state level. With few exceptions they are state schools and as such local control would have a much better handle on things than a federal program. They are also much more likely to have an interest in controlling the costs than a federal program. I appreciate the fact that someone in their late teens and early 20’s really doesn’t have a clue what the debt means but they also don’t have a clue as to what chaining themselves to future obligations (for everyone) means either.
Who knows? It could. I have held back in terms of commenting about this issue because I think it is such a thorny problem with few solutions that seem both equitable and effective. I think we can all agree that college costs have gotten out of hand - especially at public institutions (privates are private and can price accordingly). I am less certain about the best (or even, possible) way to address it.
I don’t think it is dead, but the President has not been very “enthusiastic” to talk about cancelling student loans. I believe that he may kick this one down to Congress and let them try and figure out something. The amount of money either approved or proposed for Covid Relief, National Infrastructure projects, Universal Pre-K and 2 years of free community college along with the possible tax increases and possible permanent child tax credit has already put forth a pretty ambitious agenda.
But cancelling loans does not address this issue- in any way, shape or form. There is no incentive to rein in costs, and no demand from students for any cost containment with a loan forgiveness program of any magnitude.
As it is- how many posts do we all read that some parent went to visit “XYZ college” and their reaction is “what a dump”. I would ask- why does my kids college dorm need to have the amenities of a Hyatt hotel (my house does not) but that’s me. And my kids were not evaluating colleges on the basis of their physical plant!
I’m not sure why this thread has become so contentious, but I’d like to refer users to the Rules, at the bottom of the page. In particular, this one: “CC is not a place for contentious debate. If you find yourself repeating talking points, it might be time to step away and do something else.”
Some people are dominating this conversation and are repeating the same ideas over and over. Our goal is to keep a civil dialogue going. Let’s keep this thread open by adhering to the Rules. Thanks for your understanding.
I do think the the feds will have to do SOMETHING before September when the payment and interest pause will expire. Suddenly (not really suddenly) millions of loans will go back to repayment status and during the year they’ve been on hold those former students will have lost jobs, returned to school, had income adjustments, etc. They need to have some notice of what they’ll be expected to pay, time to file for deferments or IBR programs.
For my own kids, one is in the same job she was in when the pause began, so she’d just being repaying the same amount. The other child is starting a masters program in Aug so her loans will go into deferment. She just received a notice that her Perkins loan is being ‘transferred’ back to the department of education so she’ll have a new servicer to deal with anyway.
For this to work effectively for students aiming for a BA/BS, the community college → state university transfer pathway has to be well developed. This is true in some states, but some other states need to do significant work to make starting at community college a suitable option for those aiming for a BA/BS.
But also note that tuition-free community college does not mean that other costs (food and utilities at home, commuting costs, books) are zero. Students in low SES families may find near-term financial pressure to work to help support the family over attending school that may later help them get a better job.
Of course, much remedial education in college is needed because of K-12 educational deficiencies (e.g. students who completed algebra 2 in high school but need to retake it in college because their learning of the subject in high school was deficient).
This could easily be gamed by the students (take large* loans that are not really needed, pay them back after getting a job). It would also make hiring for state jobs less based on actual ability-to-do-the-job factors.
*And it may even advantage those with wealthy parents who can cosign larger loans as needed to game the system.
Note that some trade education is offered in community colleges. Many community college students now aim for something other than transfer to a university, since that other something is what is needed for their desired career path, but a BA/BS is not.
On an individual level, of course taking a loan is a choice. However, it is also true on an individual level for most graduating high school students considering future educational and work pathways, the range of available choices is typically more dependent on their parents’ financial circumstances and choices than their own needs, wants, achievements, and qualifications.
Those who have financially successful parents who made good financial choices are the exception, since they have far fewer or no cost constraints on their available choices, so their own needs, wants, achievements, and qualifications become much more important.
If you are taking remedial classes post-secondary school to teach things you should have learned in K-12, you are likely going to spend more than 2 years to get a two-year degree and more than 4 years to get a four-year degree. At least part of the student loan debt increase is due to more kids needing remedial classes.
The reason remedial classes are needed matters. If its bad schools, going to better ones can help. Though from what I understand, CCs tend to be hit or miss. Our local CC (according to my wife and kids who have taken classes there) is bad. If you are taking a class that is a one and done (no building the next class in a series or being needed for other subsequent classes) it could be ok. But if you needed mastery of those classes for a subsequent class, you would struggle mightily in that future class.
If you need the remedial course(s) because you didn’t take high school seriously, its not clear you will suddenly do so after high school. Some kids mature/grow up later in life so that could be the case. Just not sure how often it actually happens.
For some kids its an ability/aptitude issue. Not sure what you do with that in terms of remedial classes leading to 4 year college.
I think it makes sense to try to figure out how we do more with K-12 (and there is no silver bullet solution to what is a complex issue so multiple paths can be taken) rather than moving to K-14.
I have no problem in cancelling loans for those students that were lied to by for-profit schools or attended a school that abruptly went out of business before the student could complete their degree program.
Just a caution here: Even though your D’s Perkins loan is being transferred to the Department of Education, it is not treated in the same way as her federal Direct Loans. Her Direct Loans will be automatically deferred once she starts grad school based on the school’s enrollment reporting. Her Perkins loans will NOT be automatically deferred. She will need to have her school complete a deferment form for ECSI (the Department of Education’s Perkins loan servicer). I unfortunately saw a number of students’ Perkins loans go into default because they didn’t realize the need to submit a form to request deferment for their Perkins loans. As a result, I always warn people about this!