I'm Graduating From A College I Can’t Afford - NYU

<p>I can imagine an impressionable teenager coming to CC, and coming to the belief that life is over if you don't go to the absolutely best school you can possibly get into. The hype has gone to ridiculous proportions on CC and society at large. No, I'm not talking about the parents forum, but the rest of CC promotes this focus on rank to silly levels. </p>

<p>Whats really sad is it's not just teens, but a huge chunk of the population that buys into the marketing and media hype of USNews and academic institutions with large budgets. The rankings don't have a sound basis in reality (in that the reality is the differences between these schools is not what the hype and ranks suggest, the differences to the INDIVIDUAL are probably negligible, and the truth is you can go all kinds of routes to a great life without going to a top 10, top 20, top fill-in-the-blank school). </p>

<p>For kids from wealth, the above doesn't matter, they can purchase the hype and hey, its a nice bumper sticker. For kids from less than wealthy backgrounds, it is sad they've been sucked in.</p>

<p>"I know it's "tough love" but really, this is a very scary punishment. The parents should have stopped her from going down this path."</p>

<p>I agree. The article makes clear that the parents disapproved, but ultimately cooperated with her decision. I think I'd put my foot down in this situation. You can't stop her from going, but you don't have to co-sign the loans or anything else. She says her parents sat down with her and helped her make a financial plan for NYU. 18-year-olds are legally adults, but I'd do just about anything I could, short of ending my relationship with the child, to discourage her from making a bad decision with consequences as far-reaching and long-lasting as this one. Maybe the parents wanted to make sure she'd move back home? :)</p>

<p>That being said, I do think NYU's relationship with its students is and ought to be different from the relationship between Best Buy and its TV purchasers. Best Buy doesn't claim to be interested in you as a person, it doesn't claim to be a community, it doesn't claim to help teach you how to be a productive adult.</p>

<p>Why suggest that NYU is at fault? She knew she couldn't afford it. She wanted it anyway. She took the risk in loans to get what she wanted. End of discussion. It's a business. She wanted the product. She knew she would have to go into major debt to buy the product. She bought the product anyway. It isn't the college's responsibility now to go out and find her a job. It isn't the college's responsibility now to help her figure out how she's going to pay back her loans. She bought an education. She didn't buy a guarantee for success.</p>

<p>Colleges sell a product. As long as people are willing to pay their price, why not continue charging the high tuitions and costs? As crazy as it seems--there are people on waiting lists eagerly awaiting their turn to pay.</p>

<p>I also feel sorry for her. Many 18 year olds have no clue about loans and what they will mean and many have parents who also don't know. I've taught personal finance to teen girls for many years and stay in touch with what many kids learn about finance at home. They think borrowing for whatever you need or want is the way everything is paid for. Their TV is 22.95/month, the sofa they watch it from $19.99/mo. and they have clothes on lay-a-way. Then before ever leaving home they are faced with making a college financial decision they are making with no education and can end up hundreds of thousands in debt. Only in America!</p>

<p>I feel no sympathy for her...and that's from a hs senior. She gets what she wants...I know many people like this at my high school who are taking out $200,000 in home equity with their parents for their dream colleges...I just don't get it</p>

<p>First, please note that this young woman does NOT regret what she has done. </p>

<p>Let me tell you the difference between NYU--or really Citibank--and Best Buy. Nobody would have given her $80,000 to spend at Best Buy. If she did and was unable to pay back the loan, she'd go bankrupt. While for many years( since about the mid-70s or so) student loans from the government couldn't be discharged in bankrupcty, it's a recent innovation for PRIVATE educational loans to be non-dischargeable. Thus, banks are willing to loan for them at debt levels nobody should take on because the banks know that no matter how onerous the debt loan, the student can never escape it. </p>

<p>That's why Citibank was willing to loan the money.</p>

<p>As you may remember, the Attorney General of the Sate of New York launched an investigation into the kickbacks student loan companies were giving to colleges and financial aid employees. The fin aid folks weren't about to tell Janie or Jimmy that
(s)he shouldn't take on the debt, because the schools were getting money from the loan companies.</p>

<p>This young woman is actually in a much better position than many young people, because she is close to the finish line and is almost certainly going to graduate. The ones I really feel sorry for are those who go $40,000-$50,00 in debt for one or two years of college and don't finish.</p>

<p>"They think borrowing for whatever you need or want is the way everything is paid for. Their TV is 22.95/month, the sofa they watch it from $19.99/mo. and they have clothes on lay-a-way." </p>

<p>Hey, don't knock lay away. It's not borrowing at all. They hold the merchandise in your name, and you must save for it and pay in increments (your own money, no interest) until you have enough to make the purchase. Only after you have saved the money and paid for the item do you get to take it home. This is in contrast to charging the item and enjoying it before you have actually earned the money to pay for it, then carrying a balance over on the credit card and paying interest for the item for months.</p>

<p>Does anyone really offer the lay away plan anymore?</p>

<p>I see folks complaining that the parents didn't protest enough. </p>

<p>Have you ever had a very stubborn child who was dead set on something? It is very hard to say no! Moreover, the high schools are also at fault. Many high schools try to get kids to apply to the "best' or "those with tougher admission standards."</p>

<p>Certainly, at our high school,which may be indicative of others, NO DISSCUSSION occurred about whether a family can afford the tuition or about financial planning. No high school counselor asks the questions, "whether these kids should even apply or go to expensive schools." The attitude is that colleges will provide the necessary need based aid...as idiotic as that may be.</p>

<p>This poor girl and to some extent her parents were simply victims of the system design to make them stupid and to buy into the myth that expensive schools or those with tougher admission standards are necessarily much better and will meet all or most of your expected need.</p>

<p>I still feel my analogy holds. She bought a product she really couldn't afford. Still don't see how this is NYU's fault.</p>

<p>Students and parents -- TALK to each other about money before that ED envelope arrives in the mail! Freshman year of HS is not too early, IMO.</p>

<p>Hope this young woman majored in something that is well-paying, and that she doesn't mind living at home while she pays off her "brand name" degree. Yikes. This is certainly a cautionary tale for families with students currently applying to colleges.</p>

<p>I do not care how stubborn a child is. Unless the parents contributed nothing, they had some power here. </p>

<p>We've already told our kid that our continued financial help past age 18 is based, in part, on him not taking out more than a small amount of debt for college. If he still wants to go 20K+ in the hole, that's his choice but I'm not enabling that behavior.</p>

<p>I'm with you pugmadkate...why don't parents want to sit these kids down and tell them what is? I would contribute nothing and let me child know of my severe disapproval of this plan.</p>

<p>These are the same people who bought houses they couldn't afford and cars, boats and second homes they couldn't afford. Anyone pass a luxury used car lot or used boat lot lately? These kids were sent to summer programs on credit cards. It all looked easy, we live well now and pay later. If we live like we're rich we'll become rich. It's just another part of the credit crisis . Mark these words: We will soon be talking about a government bailout because these kids are not going to get jobs that can pay those loans.</p>

<p>Can anyone name another country where these kids and prents have these outrageous education loans? I wasn't sure if her $88K even included her parent's loans!</p>

<p>She would do the same again, so she is not regretting.</p>

Did I make the right decision? Check in with me again in another 20 years. But if you ask me now, here's what I'll tell you: If I had to do it all again, I'd still make the same choice.


<p>The "I'd still make the same choice" is just saving face. Otherwise she would feel like a complete idiot, so she rationalizes and saves face by saying it was worth it. Just about every single article on this debt topic ends with the kid saying it was worth it. Imagine how depressed they would be if they admitted that it wasn't. Of course it isn't worth it. NYU? Come on. For that matter, what colleges WOULD be worth it? How are kids going to go to colleges, most of which cost 40k a year, without coming out with a ton of debt? </p>

<p>And if it's anyone's fault I'd pin it on the parents. Don't parents have to cosign for student loans? Or maybe not. But if they do, then it was their responsibility to draw the line. </p>

<p>But I do think that banks are extremely irresponsible for lending these amounts of money to teenagers, for heaven's sake.</p>

<p>Bad toblin:</p>

<p>Please change the title of of this thread to:</p>

<p>I purchased a ________________ (fill in the blank) that I can't afford. </p>

<p>Good toblin:</p>

<p>Why do allot of colleges so readily turn their backs to the interests of their students and society?</p>

<p>Reading this article made me really grateful for the choice I made. Though under different circumstances, I turned down a "dream school" to go to a respectable LAC that is quite literally paying me to go to classes. Lately, I've been wondering what it would have been like for me to go to my dream school (which would have cost at least $50,000 over four years, taking into account need & merit based aid). For me at least, the idea of owing that much money is incomprehensible and I would certainly never be able to ask my lower-middle class parents to cover it. On a side note: I don't think that I would have been able to come to my decision if it hadn't been for a frank conversation about my family's finances (and this was even before the market downswing really hit). High school seniors and college freshman all dream big, but I think that if we don't begin to take responsibility for our financial futures now, it will soon be too late.</p>

Are my parents the only ones who REFUSE to talk to me about college finances? Seriously, I don't get it.</p>

<p>And just out of curosity, how'd you get merit aid above the COA?</p>

<p>This story just emphasizes for me how much I wish all schools covered 100% of financial need. That's the only reason I "blame" NYU -- I wish it devoted more resources towards financial aid.</p>

<p>I've gone to info sessions where HS guidance counselors and financial aid people urged everyone to apply because there are financial aid opportunities for everyone. I don't consider huge loans to be financial aid, and I don't think students are adequately informed about the impact of large loans. I don't think most students are informed about how many colleges don't meet their financial need. </p>

<p>This story is just another example why many students should not apply early decision. She should have applied to a range of schools, compared packages, and then made a decision. </p>

<p>I think her "dream that came true" will eventually become a nightmare.</p>

<p>It is not a nightmare for her yet but it will be in a few years.</p>