• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • The Politics forum has been nuked. Please do not bring political discussion to the rest of the site, or you will be removed. Thanks.

WSJ: ‘Financially Hobbled for Life’: The Elite Master’s Degrees That Don’t Pay Off

CloudNull

Banned
Oct 14, 2019
2,689
6,771
490
All of the above!

1. I did internships, I went to major cities during the summer and worked on films/worked with agencies/worked with independent film makers. I used all the free resources the school gave me to make connections and build up a network. I see so many people
Ignore all the tools their universities have. Seriously people, go talk to the university staff, make friends with them, learn all the opportunities and tools they have access to and USE THEM. You are literally paying for this stuff.

2. I cared about what I was doing, why I was doing it and had a fair idea how I’d make good money from it. I knew quickly I didn’t want to go the Hollywood route (too much competition and not my cup of tea) I wanted to go the marketing agency/corporate media route where I could have autonomy and run a whole sub department in marketing.

3. I built a great portfolio and made sure every professor knew my name, so when I got my BFA they were all willing to stand up for me to get scholarships/stipens to do more with the school.

4. I took my time in my career early, didn’t expect to make tripple digits out of the gate and instead took a modest salary at a place that would treat me well and let me grow, and used that time to generate a name for myself through the US market. Then once I knew I had everything I needed (5 years into my career) I made a big jump to a new city and company to get the major pay increase and title I had been working on.

5. I always had 2 income streams - one from my salaries work and one from freelance/contract work. I never have put all my eggs into one basket. That’s important for creative fields as they can be volitile and easy to cut in the corporate world when the economy goes down, so protecting yourself with multiple income streams and good budging can save your butt and free you of a lot of stresses.
Yo... if you need a star for your next commercial/marketing campaign look no further

john lithgow omg GIF


Seriously though this is awesome to hear. A very practical approach that sounds like more people in creative fields should follow this. Everyone wants the big pay out without putting in the work.
 

CrankyJay™

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,816
2,291
560
Never heard of this and googled it. Too bad I dont have Apple TV. The premise of the show and Brad character sounds hilarious.
Hah didn’t mean to spoil, but I got a free year of Apple TV + when I bought a new iPad so I’ve been checking it out. I think the show was okay.
 

Nester99

Member
Sep 17, 2016
2,797
3,252
540
BC
I disagree with this.

I went through the whole trajection and frankly schools tell you whatever u wanna hear. Lots of those kids will never see the reality because they are shielded from it. Parents have no clue they just see "university degree = good money" good job kid.

Schools will tell you anything and guess what jobs and reality those kids sniff up on? loans so they are again shielded from the world so they are easily manipulable.

I was at my university for example where a the first week they would tell you what u make and how much you make, well guess what i had a internship one of the few that sat there that ever did one. and that internship i knew a guy that recruited people from this university all day long for the biggest company's in my country. it wasn't even half of what this clown stated. I even called him in the class itself on speaker to ask him how much you made. And i got booted off it the next day for all kinds of bullshit reasons.

People are pushed into debt and tehy manipulate kids doing so heavily because it makes them bank. I know tons of people in my friend circle that have huge issue's getting rid of there debt because there education is bullshit. Hell i know 40+ year old people that live with there parents still because of it. They got completely fucked because they married a chick or a guy that also has the same issue's.

My comment was more about the CHOICE to spend all that money on a FINE ARTS degree.

IMO success in the arts is has the smallest correlation to education, let alone insanely expensive advanced education at an ivy school.
 

jason10mm

Member
Feb 3, 2009
2,918
2,211
1,190
While I think Ivy league school our built on past reputation and mild promises. There are examples of students that gets degrees and succeed in the respective field. Saying your a Lawyer from Harvard still carries weight in this world. There is also a lot of connections that Ivy league schools open up for their students. Getting a degree isn't a guarantee, but merely a tool that must be utilized to find success. There are people with communications degrees that can't communicate. The school would only be liable if they said you could earn a degree, and then they did not let you earn it.
See, this is in large part based on very successful examples predicated on either being from a very well connected family or being a near genius. When I think of "Harvard Grad" I think of someone from a prosperous family carrying on the legacy or a very industrious boot-strapper that earned it through grit and talent. But if all it takes is paying $$$ WITHOUT those 2 prior conditions then what is the point of paying for a Harvard grad? Employers either want their connections or they want their talent to justify the increased pay they need to offset that bloated tuition.

This is the danger modern universities are heading into when they lower standards to widen enrollment beyond the core group that built their reputation in the first place. Employers wont pay for an Ivy League degree if the person holding it can't deliver. If it can't deliver then it makes no sense to pay so much to get it. Ivy League schools should become MORE rigorous as they charge more, not less.

But it is easy to throw together some Underwater Basket Weaving Liberal Studies program with a few social virtue point earning "guest professors" that command a premium to deliver a single lecture a year. The other side of this grift is blackmailing corporations to then hire these joketard graduates as "Diversity Consultants" and "Social Media/Incident Managers" as if you actually need such a thing if you hire based on merit and performance instead of social virtue cred.

Yet here we are...
 
  • Like
Reactions: DeepBreath87

lachesis

Member
Jun 17, 2004
4,162
1,423
1,665
I was a fine art major in painting. I got my BFA back in 96.

Greatest decision that I've ever made, was that I went to the small, less famous state university for my education where I got full scholarship for it, than some big name expensive school that I was accepted.
That famous school, back then - I think the tuition was 20k per year. Compared to today's rate it's nothing - but was big money for me back then (and still is, TBH).
I knew if I had gone to that school, at the end of the 4 year course - I would be under 80k in debt.

I was conflicted and wanted to go that school... but I knew that going to that expensive schools as a fine art major would burden/risk my future and my parents as well.

I even finished the 5 year BFA course (because it was so heavy in studio hour requirements) in 4 years.... just because I didn't want to pay the tuition. (The scholarship was 4 year scholarship)... I got out of the college, debt free.

So I tell EVERYONE, who goes to college as a fine art major - to do the same as I have - to pick the best college you can find at the lowest/zero cost.
In the field of fine art - it often comes down to "what you make", rather than who teaches you. You can always get creative inspiration from anywhere - that the professors aren't only source of knowledge.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: EviLore

Dural

Member
Sep 18, 2006
925
844
1,535
I am a bit worried about responding to this thread, because I feel this is a fundamentally political issue. Cost of education in the US is prohibitively high and though on average garduates earn a lot more money than non graduates, individually, it is a big risk, especially if you do not come from a rich family. This is why I think it is more fair to make education free, but to tax higher income brackets a bit higher to refinance this, so people do not fear higher education when they come from a family without a lot of financial backing. In addition, a good choice of subject of study goes a long way, but a passion for the field is important if you want to excell in it, so I am a bit hard pressed to tell a film student to study computer science instead, because for me it would have been pretty nasty to study film in turn.

"Free higher education" is an option for those that wish to put in some service time. My cousin joined the Air Force after getting her bachelor's in nursing and qualified to be an officer. She decided to stay in and has now been in for close to 20 years, I believe she's going to retire after 20. My nephew joined the national guard last year to help pay for tuition for his master's degree at Northwestern. I believe some of the Scandinavian countries that offer free higher education also require some sort of service, either military or some other government service.


Tbh, a lot of people enrolled into masters and phds are there just because they couldn't find job after graduating. "Studying" has become a profession for many and the education system knows that and it is taking advantage of it.

Yep, I worked with a guy that had multiple Phds. I believe he spent like 20 years going to college. He was very intelligent but thought his degrees should put him in a higher position when he had no actual work experience and those that did would perform above him.
 
Oct 26, 2018
21,588
29,988
835
Yep, I worked with a guy that had multiple Phds. I believe he spent like 20 years going to college. He was very intelligent but thought his degrees should put him in a higher position when he had no actual work experience and those that did would perform above him.
One of my cousins does the same kind of thing but at a lower scale (no PhDs or anything). She's in her 40s, works at shit jobs for over 20 years somehow always shifting around to bad job to bad job every 2-3 years. Can never hold a job. Every so often she goes back to school for more courses for who knows what.

Nice person, but not reliable.

Jokes on us though. I dont think she gives a shit. She still lives at home with my aunt and when she's dead (her mom has got to be around 75 by now), she gets the house and it's probably worth I'd say about $1.5 million. Dad isnt around and shes the only kid. So she'll get it all.
 
Last edited:

-Minsc-

Member
Nov 14, 2009
3,352
691
1,080
Too many people have lived under the lie that they could be anything they want to be for far too long. People paying that much for degrees like this are suckers that believed the lie. For people thinking they are going to go to film school and become the next Spielberg….news flash. You won’t and these institutions have wiped you clean.

As collateral damage the artsy people suckered me out of developing my trade. A lot of time wasted on entertainment. At the end though, my own bad decisions. I'm at the age where I could have had the experience built up to run my own business. If I went back in time I'd work in the trade until I was about forty then go run my own business. Like most people won't be Spielberg, most simply don't have the talent to run their own business until they get experienced in my biased mind.
 

NecrosaroIII

Member
Feb 2, 2020
1,445
2,395
490
www.weeabuds.com
I don't have a masters degree, but was considering one in Logistics or Supply Chain management to supplement my work experience (I have 7 years experience working in air freight, and have Dangerous Goods certification and a GLS designation).


Think it would be worthwhile?
 
  • Like
Reactions: AJUMP23
Oct 26, 2018
21,588
29,988
835
Too many people have lived under the lie that they could be anything they want to be for far too long. People paying that much for degrees like this are suckers that believed the lie. For people thinking they are going to go to film school and become the next Spielberg….news flash. You won’t and these institutions have wiped you clean.
100% true.

But it goes beyond flashy stuff like being a celeb and making Hollywood movies. It goes for any job.

I have no problem with encouraging kids who are starting out to enjoy school and go after what you want, but it gets to a point (probably high school graduation time?), you got to be realistic and gun for something you like and is achievable.

Flashy stuff like sports, movies and just about anyone who works in media with airtime will say dream the dream and you can be anything. I guess thats true up to a point. Then you got to cut the cord an live the reality.

That's not to say random no name people can come out of nowhere undrafted or with zero theatre experience and be an awesome player or actor, but for every person who makes it big in a career there's a bunch who are doing so-so and probably shit load at the bottom.

And extreme industries like sports and entertainment sure seems skewed into fame and fortune, or being a shlub.

Thats the problem. Every business, school and promoter is self serving trying to prop up their backyard but not once (at least I've never seen it) do you ever see someone say "Come join our ranks and live the dream!.... BUT make sure you know only 1 out every 1,000 do great"
 

EviLore

Expansive Ellipses
Staff Member
May 30, 2004
28,613
71,162
2,475
I don't have a masters degree, but was considering one in Logistics or Supply Chain management to supplement my work experience (I have 7 years experience working in air freight, and have Dangerous Goods certification and a GLS designation).


Think it would be worthwhile?
Generally, yeah. SCM is in high demand and logistics appears to be as well. You're at a good timing for setting yourself up for further advancement with a master's (several years of experience and mid-career).
 
  • Like
Reactions: dr_octagon

dr_octagon

Member
Apr 25, 2009
1,479
2,023
1,195
I don't have a masters degree, but was considering one in Logistics or Supply Chain management to supplement my work experience (I have 7 years experience working in air freight, and have Dangerous Goods certification and a GLS designation).


Think it would be worthwhile?
A colleague is doing a masters in procurement.

Supply chain is solid choice and your experience would definitely assist.
 
Oct 26, 2018
21,588
29,988
835
I agree with SC being a sought after function. Our logistics team which is a combo of supply, traffic and demand planning are heavily relied upon especially with covid impact on sales, inventory, and procurement.

Definitely not a glamourous function to work in (most people never even think of logistics and just assume shit magically appears), but very important cog in the wheel.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dr_octagon

NecrosaroIII

Member
Feb 2, 2020
1,445
2,395
490
www.weeabuds.com
I wouldn't describe it as sexy, but the area of logistics I've fallen into is never boring. The companies I've worked for are time critical logistics - mostly aircraft parts and organs for transplant. It's fast paced stuff and you have to juggle many things at once. But it's important work. Our decisions impact lives, and can cost companies millions of dollars
 

Scotty W

Member
Sep 29, 2019
1,757
2,379
510
Was just reading about this idea of elite overproduction and how it can lead to social instability and potentially disaster.


The college degree/accreditation and student loan system really do have a lot to answer for. Way too many people going to college who have no business doing so (in that there is no way it makes sense economically) and stunting the trajectory and potential of their adult life.
Sounds like a New Discourses podcast.
 

TTOOLL

Member
Mar 22, 2012
4,773
4,411
960
There’s no reason to go the academic route if you don’t plan to work in academia itself. That’s my take solely based on my experience.
You will be better off by just working (accumulating real world experience) and doing very specific courses in your field.
 
Last edited:

DeepBreath87

Member
Jun 15, 2019
4,136
8,169
615
I ran the concept by a friend who told me that overproduction of the elite is also explained by the decreasing standard of education. Since the students are less skilled, the courses of study are less rigorous and mostly useless. Ultimately producing a lot of low skilled individuals who consider themselves entitled because of their elite education. For example, the University of California is no longer using SATs for admission and a lot of schools are talking about not giving grades.

This overproduction of the elite eventually leads to another social phenomena called circulation of the elite, in which the disenfranchised elite tries to remove the current elite from power; sort of like what we are seeing in America to a degree.

This kind of thing is extraordinarily interesting to me. Another thing this explains is the bureaucratic bloat you see popping up at most larger organizations, including universities. I know where I work, we seem to be adding new management and administrative position all the time. Meanwhile, we can not manage to staff enough nurses to reasonably care for our patients. Every manager has an assistant. And a coordinator above them. Then you have department heads and Vice Presidents and that’s before you ever start talking about HR style positions and DEI and education and on and on.

Meanwhile, half the staff are pursuing some kind of advanced degree, to the point where in some ICUs, close to half the nurses are slated to become nurse practitioners in the next 2.5 years, which that’s great and all, but that is also completely unsustainable when bedside nurses are already understaffed. Not to mention all the people who are pursuing Master’s in order to escape the bedside as well.

And that’s just my experience. I know it’s even worse at other places. I remember reading that a big part of the reason universities are so expensive is because a massive % of tuition goes to pay for the bureaucracy at the school rather than your actual education. And because universities create the degrees they use to fill these positions, it’s expanding at a ridiculous rate.

I think we are fast approaching the upper limit of this kind of stuff in many, many industries.
 
Last edited:

-Minsc-

Member
Nov 14, 2009
3,352
691
1,080
100% true.

But it goes beyond flashy stuff like being a celeb and making Hollywood movies. It goes for any job.

I have no problem with encouraging kids who are starting out to enjoy school and go after what you want, but it gets to a point (probably high school graduation time?), you got to be realistic and gun for something you like and is achievable.

Flashy stuff like sports, movies and just about anyone who works in media with airtime will say dream the dream and you can be anything. I guess thats true up to a point. Then you got to cut the cord an live the reality.

That's not to say random no name people can come out of nowhere undrafted or with zero theatre experience and be an awesome player or actor, but for every person who makes it big in a career there's a bunch who are doing so-so and probably shit load at the bottom.

And extreme industries like sports and entertainment sure seems skewed into fame and fortune, or being a shlub.

Thats the problem. Every business, school and promoter is self serving trying to prop up their backyard but not once (at least I've never seen it) do you ever see someone say "Come join our ranks and live the dream!.... BUT make sure you know only 1 out every 1,000 do great"
I believe there are two extremes that lead to the same crushing of dreams.

One is the route of going to school to land the job you want. While I didn't go the academic route, I did go to trade school and took a nine month program. My take away in that area was that a person would be better off going to class for 1 or 2 days a week and spend the rest of the time getting real experience on the job. Theory is good but for me it didn't mean I knew what to do on the job. Where I'm going with this thought is people go to school for years, get a piece of paper and then hit a brick wall when the job does not work like it does in school. As I said though, I only have experience in trade school so I don't know how the transition from school to work applies in other areas. If I'm to estimate, maybe 3-5 from out of the class of 24 are still working in the trade.

The second is having the talent to succeed without following the school path. I believe there are really talented people out there who do succeed by ditching school Props to them. But they are the minority.

In my opinion the best thing I got out of trade school was On The Job Training. I did my apprenticeship at the company I did my OJT.
 

-Minsc-

Member
Nov 14, 2009
3,352
691
1,080
This kind of thing is extraordinarily interesting to me. Another thing this explains is the bureaucratic bloat you see popping up at most larger organizations, including universities. I know where I work, we seem to be adding new management and administrative position all the time. Meanwhile, we can not manage to staff enough nurses to reasonably care for our patients. Every manager has an assistant. And a coordinator above them. Then you have department heads and Vice Presidents and that’s before you ever start talking about HR style positions and DEI and education and on and on.

Meanwhile, half the staff are pursuing some kind of advanced degree, to the point where in some ICUs, close to half the nurses are slated to become nurse practitioners in the next 2.5 years, which that’s great and all, but that is also completely unsustainable when bedside nurses are already understaffed. Not to mention all the people who are pursuing Master’s in order to escape the bedside as well.

And that’s just my experience. I know it’s even worse at other places. I remember reading that a big part of the reason universities are so expensive is because a massive % of tuition goes to pay for the bureaucracy at the school rather than your actual education. And because universities create the degrees they use to fill these positions, it’s expanding at a ridiculous rate.

I think we are fast approaching the upper limit of this kind of stuff in many, many industries.
I'm all for a person to be paid to be compensated for the cost of their education. What I'm taking away is everyone wants the high paid boss position so the education system became designed to produce bosses and now these bosses have a degree and are a dime a dozen and no longer worth the old school high pay rate due to supply vs demand?
 
Oct 26, 2018
21,588
29,988
835
I believe there are two extremes that lead to the same crushing of dreams.

One is the route of going to school to land the job you want. While I didn't go the academic route, I did go to trade school and took a nine month program. My take away in that area was that a person would be better off going to class for 1 or 2 days a week and spend the rest of the time getting real experience on the job. Theory is good but for me it didn't mean I knew what to do on the job. Where I'm going with this thought is people go to school for years, get a piece of paper and then hit a brick wall when the job does not work like it does in school. As I said though, I only have experience in trade school so I don't know how the transition from school to work applies in other areas. If I'm to estimate, maybe 3-5 from out of the class of 24 are still working in the trade.

The second is having the talent to succeed without following the school path. I believe there are really talented people out there who do succeed by ditching school Props to them. But they are the minority.

In my opinion the best thing I got out of trade school was On The Job Training. I did my apprenticeship at the company I did my OJT.
Your view on work experience vs academic theory relates to lots of college/university programs.

I did business and it relates as well. Aside from I'd say program courses dealing with accounting or hard core finance where you need grounding how to do formal/technical math and dollars or reporting, the rest of the stuff can be done on the job or with purely some minor background theory applied so you at least know about some basics like demand, pricing, target marketing etc.... I did business and majored in marketing, yet I do finance. My first role out of school was inventory control. Weird huh? I've never even had a marketing job even though I applied like crazy decades ago.

IMO, sales and marketing can be learned on the job.

And some things like demand planning, supply chain, inventory control, category management, brand finance (which is different than accounting, taxes and stuff like that), packaging etc.... are not even the types of things you even learn in school. Unless they are new functions that now get their own distinct paper or can be chosen as a minor or major for a commerce degree, you cant even learn this stuff in a 3 or 4 year program. Maybe at most you get one course as an option.

These kinds of jobs, people typically start out as something else business or analyst related, get some experience and then go into it. Or they are hired out of school with a business background as an assistant and learn the function because their course likely told them nothing about it.

Thats the good thing about a business background. You can go into a ton of different stuff and every company (even government) needs some business guys to keep the place going.

For the example film student, I don't know enough about media and film, but if he cant score getting a decent film related job, how big is the scope of other jobs he can get? I'm guessing it cant be that big. As my example showed, I failed at getting into marketing, but scored in being successful in finance because a business degree is vague enough to do different stuff.
 
Last edited:

-Minsc-

Member
Nov 14, 2009
3,352
691
1,080
StreetsofBeige StreetsofBeige

Sounds like it would have been good for me to have taken some sort of business program.

Processing what I said in my last post, no schooling after high school is definitely not the way to go either. While I don't believe I needed a nine month program to learn the first block theory for plumbing, I do believe some sort of classroom education for what I'm currently working at. This is dairy farming. I was born into one and I don't recall ever being told by the previous generation to go to school for it. A part of me wonders if people legitimately thought I wasn't capable of living outside the farm. Some schooling definitely would have given me more opportunity to make connections outside the family. For one reason or another I'm still there, not plumbing and I'm uncertain how much longer the place will keep going. I'm thinking a six week course each year on aspects of farming would have been a great help. For each year of my plumbing apprenticeship that's how much time was given for the theory.
 

Amory

Member
Jul 10, 2008
11,256
1,612
1,185
Connecticut
I really don't know how people still fall into these traps. It's crazy.

Older millennials were raised with the "do what you lovveeeeee, the money will come later!" mentality, but it's been known for decades that paying top dollar for a liberal arts degree is almost always a recipe for disaster.
 

DeepBreath87

Member
Jun 15, 2019
4,136
8,169
615
I really don't know how people still fall into these traps. It's crazy.

Older millennials were raised with the "do what you lovveeeeee, the money will come later!" mentality, but it's been known for decades that paying top dollar for a liberal arts degree is almost always a recipe for disaster.
What is truly insane is that people are being given astronomical loans to pursue degrees that don't provide the possibility of repayment. This is what happens when you allow the federal government to divorce the education system from financial realities. If student loans could be renegotiated via bankruptcy, there would be a financial incentive to make sure that education provided enough value to justify the loans. A bank would not give out 200,000 in loans to become an elementary school teacher, for instance. This would require colleges to keep their prices reasonable or no one would enroll in these expensive programs.
 

Pagusas

Elden Member
Jun 9, 2006
13,397
5,524
1,870
Prosper, Tx
#5, Boring is sexy:


(relevant video for this thread in general, too)
Great video, looking back at my career I did all of that (other than letting my career kill my marriage, Balance may be a myth but also remember tomorrow is not promised to you, so don't give up your present for your future all the time, otherwise you'll be on you death bed before you know it never having lived your life for you, you just made others rich and let them live the good lives)
 

jason10mm

Member
Feb 3, 2009
2,918
2,211
1,190
Well, the writing is on the wall that "loan reparations...err forgiveness" is something we should actually be considering, so all this will do is spur on another couple of years of students to take out ridiculous loans "because big daddy gov is gonna make them go away!" until some other sales tactic is rolled out to keep the machine rolling.

I get the idea that education loans are about the only way some segments of the population will EVER see the inside of a college, but they were spread far too wide and deep, to the point where tuition bloat has run rampant.

A potential solution I've heard before is salary garnishment to pay for your education. So college would take a certain percentage of your pay for a certain amount of time, dependent on your anticipated work. So an engineering degree might cost 10% of your pay for 5 years while a lit degree might be 15% for 10 years (because the pay is much lower). But this puts the onus on the college to be up front about the actual real world salary because you going out to work is the only way they get paid. Obviously if you hit it big you cash out early and if you strike out and work at McDs forever then the college is taking not much from not much only for a specific amount of time.

This would probably lead to STEM degrees getting over collected to pay for defaulting liberal art degrees, but only to a point, since it would be easy to cross shop between universities with similar programs. Then you'd really be able to see the "cost" of an Ivy League school versus a state school since I've no doubt Harvard would take much more of your future salary than a state school.
 

DeepBreath87

Member
Jun 15, 2019
4,136
8,169
615
Well, the writing is on the wall that "loan reparations...err forgiveness" is something we should actually be considering, so all this will do is spur on another couple of years of students to take out ridiculous loans "because big daddy gov is gonna make them go away!" until some other sales tactic is rolled out to keep the machine rolling.

I get the idea that education loans are about the only way some segments of the population will EVER see the inside of a college, but they were spread far too wide and deep, to the point where tuition bloat has run rampant.

A potential solution I've heard before is salary garnishment to pay for your education. So college would take a certain percentage of your pay for a certain amount of time, dependent on your anticipated work. So an engineering degree might cost 10% of your pay for 5 years while a lit degree might be 15% for 10 years (because the pay is much lower). But this puts the onus on the college to be up front about the actual real world salary because you going out to work is the only way they get paid. Obviously if you hit it big you cash out early and if you strike out and work at McDs forever then the college is taking not much from not much only for a specific amount of time.

This would probably lead to STEM degrees getting over collected to pay for defaulting liberal art degrees, but only to a point, since it would be easy to cross shop between universities with similar programs. Then you'd really be able to see the "cost" of an Ivy League school versus a state school since I've no doubt Harvard would take much more of your future salary than a state school.
All I know is I could’ve payed a huge portion of my remaining loans (~25k) off this past year, but why would I do that when the government is probably going to swoop to give me at least 10k in forgiveness next year or the year after? Anyone who pays off their loans right now is probably wasting their money. Which is terrible to say that you’re being stupid being responsible, but the government has created this perverse incentive structure by the things they are saying.
 
Oct 26, 2018
21,588
29,988
835
What is truly insane is that people are being given astronomical loans to pursue degrees that don't provide the possibility of repayment. This is what happens when you allow the federal government to divorce the education system from financial realities. If student loans could be renegotiated via bankruptcy, there would be a financial incentive to make sure that education provided enough value to justify the loans. A bank would not give out 200,000 in loans to become an elementary school teacher, for instance. This would require colleges to keep their prices reasonable or no one would enroll in these expensive programs.
Thats because government with bottomless pockets is involved. If there's one organization you can always count on to overpay and not give a shit with infinite debt is government.

"Just add it to the bill"

No different than business contracts. They always pay the most. At my old company, the most profitable account in terms of % was government. The provinces buying supplies were paying 100% regular price! LOL. Not one idiot even bother trying to negotiate like any other buyer would. On one hand, government plays the PR game big corporations make too much money and need to be taxed more, yet when it comes to buying supplies under contract, not one moron plays the negotiating game to chip down the cost. lol

Even Bob's Bullshit Bargain Store is smart enough to go back and forth for 5% off. Big accounts like Walmart might get 25% off, semi big account 10-15% off. Provincial buys were lower than semi-big, so I'd say "small" but still worth some discount. All they got to do is ask.

Instead they got that laughable bid and submit system where every supplier gooses up price knowing they'll take one of the overpriced submissions. The government doesn't even go through effort to have buyer representatives meet the suppliers. It's faceless bid systems. Who knows what government people are handling it on the other side.
 
Last edited:

Cyberpunkd

Member
Dec 16, 2020
1,568
2,278
455
The student loan is on a fucking 7.9% annual interest rate? and it’s a federal program? How the fuck this is legal?
 

Aesius

Member
May 19, 2009
7,388
1,692
1,220
I really don't know how people still fall into these traps. It's crazy.

Older millennials were raised with the "do what you lovveeeeee, the money will come later!" mentality, but it's been known for decades that paying top dollar for a liberal arts degree is almost always a recipe for disaster.
I heard "just get a degree, any degree" from a lot of boomers as a kid/teen. That's because a lot of them were already in professional roles with zero college experience but couldn't get promoted to upper management because no bachelor's degree. Now you can't even get unpaid internships at most of those places without highly specific and relevant degrees.
 
Oct 26, 2018
21,588
29,988
835
The student loan is on a fucking 7.9% annual interest rate? and it’s a federal program? How the fuck this is legal?
Who knows. But as (I think Evilore) posted in a chart, loan rates are based on criteria and his tier was 6%+ already. Why his is 8% probably has to do with the amount and maybe a shitty credit rating.

Thats the amazing thing about student loans. It's really no different than when I had them 20 years ago (I had 3 of them as I went back to grad school). The interest rate on them is typically Prime + xxx%. In Canada, some provinces now have 0-2%, but some are prime + 1-2%. So overall not bad. How the US has tiers at 5-8% is nuts when mortgages are at 2-3% (you can actually get a mortgage for under 2% if your credit is good), car dealerships sell cars at 3% or less, yet a student loan is 5%+.

Figure that one out.
 
Last edited:
Oct 26, 2018
21,588
29,988
835
I heard "just get a degree, any degree" from a lot of boomers as a kid/teen. That's because a lot of them were already in professional roles with zero college experience but couldn't get promoted to upper management because no bachelor's degree. Now you can't even get unpaid internships at most of those places without highly specific and relevant degrees.
I'd say the people pushing degrees (like my parents) lectured us about it because my dad noticed his job opportunities and pay skyrocketed when he got a piece of paper. Before that, he was a broke immigrant who didnt even know English. He was a waiter until he was probably 30 and my parents didnt get their first car until they were about 35 years old. Ya, 35.

As for internships, depends on the place. Our company paid university summer students $20/hr. And all they had to do is learn the basics, do some excel and help people out make powerpoint slides. Not a lot of value they did in 3 months before they went back, but $20/hr was paid.

But yes, the only interns I've ever seen were university business students.
 
Last edited:

DeepBreath87

Member
Jun 15, 2019
4,136
8,169
615
Who knows. But as (I think Evilore) posted in a chart, loan rates are based on criteria and his tier was 6%+ already. Why his is 8% probably has to do with the amount and maybe a shitty credit rating.

Thats the amazing thing about student loans. It's really no different than when I had them 20 years ago (I had 3 of them as I went back to grad school). The interest rate on them is typically Prime + xxx%. In Canada, some provinces now have 0-2%, but some are prime + 1-2%. So overall not bad. How the US has tiers at 5-8% is nuts when mortgages are at 2-3% (you can actually get a mortgage for under 2% if your credit is good), car dealerships sell cars at 3% or less, yet a student loan is 5%+.

Figure that one out.
The difference would be a mortgage has collateral, which is the house. So if you go bust and can’t pay, the bank takes your house to cover the loss. With education, there is nothing for the bank to take besides your future income. So the risk profile is far different.

Of course the government doesn’t care and keeps allowing people to take out exorbitant loans that can never hope to repay, which is essentially signing kids up for indentured servitude before they’re old enough to buy a beer.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: StreetsofBeige

dave_d

Member
Jan 31, 2005
2,124
827
1,580
Who knows. But as (I think Evilore) posted in a chart, loan rates are based on criteria and his tier was 6%+ already. Why his is 8% probably has to do with the amount and maybe a shitty credit rating.

Thats the amazing thing about student loans. It's really no different than when I had them 20 years ago (I had 3 of them as I went back to grad school). The interest rate on them is typically Prime + xxx%. In Canada, some provinces now have 0-2%, but some are prime + 1-2%. So overall not bad. How the US has tiers at 5-8% is nuts when mortgages are at 2-3% (you can actually get a mortgage for under 2% if your credit is good), car dealerships sell cars at 3% or less, yet a student loan is 5%+.

Figure that one out.
Well there is one big difference now vs 20 years ago. 20 years ago banks were the originator of student loans. That changed around 2009/2010 when the Feds nationalized the student loan industry.(They own something like 92% of all loans these days.
 
  • Like
Reactions: StreetsofBeige

dave_d

Member
Jan 31, 2005
2,124
827
1,580
The difference would be a mortgage has collateral, which is the house. So if you go bust and can’t pay, the bank takes your house to cover the loss. With education, there is nothing for the bank to take besides your future income. So the risk profile is far different.

Of course the government doesn’t care and keeps allowing people to take out exorbitant loans that can never hope to repay, which is essentially signing kids up for indentured servitude before they’re old enough to buy a beer.
Pretty much. It used to be banks didn't want to loan young people with no credit money for an unsecured debt for exactly the reasons you state. Of course then the law was changed to prevent you from using bankruptcy and all of a sudden student loans became insanely lucrative.
 

DeepBreath87

Member
Jun 15, 2019
4,136
8,169
615
Well there is one big difference now vs 20 years ago. 20 years ago banks were the originator of student loans. That changed around 2009/2010 when the Feds nationalized the student loan industry.(They own something like 92% of all loans these days.
And banks actually had to worry about people not repaying as well. So they weren’t going to underwrite $200,000 loans for English Lit undergrad degrees.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dave_d

Cimarron

Member
Jun 7, 2004
3,223
48
1,605
Beantown
Unpopular opinion: You should not accrue more college debt than what your starting salary will be.
Even more unpopular opnion: Arts majors are only really worth it if you are good enough to get a scholarship.
 

dave_d

Member
Jan 31, 2005
2,124
827
1,580
And banks actually had to worry about people not repaying as well. So they weren’t going to underwrite $200,000 loans for English Lit undergrad degrees.
That's true, even with the law change that made it so only death/dismemberment gets rid of a student loan (and sometimes not even then, did you have a co-signer?) banks would still be reluctant to make that loan.
 

Northeastmonk

Gold Member
Mar 18, 2013
14,078
3,261
970
Omaha, NE - USA
I went to ITT Tech and got an associates in Information Technology back in 08. Their loans were through Sallie May and I had incredibly high interest rates. The program was basically professors printing off tutorials online. I had around $30,000 in student loan debt that quickly jumped to $40k by the time I graduated again from the state University. ITT Tech shut down because they were trying to get students to take out federal loans for classes that aren’t even accredited. The thing is, no one is telling them that they’re making a mistake. My mom isn’t exactly the most intelligent person. “Believe in yourself” doesn’t exactly say “hey, you’re really going to mess up your life with all this debt at such a young age”. It took me a while to graduate after that. I went to college for a good 10 years. I went to the local community college, the expensive elite school here in my state (Creighton), a nursing school, and then finally graduated from the state school. I really messed up my life by going to college for so long. I had around $100k in debt. My two degrees are practically pointless considering what my passion actually was. The best thing I did was pay those loans off. I even have empathy when I see college kids these days. I sometimes see the students going to Creighton and I wonder how much are they going to have to pay once their “college experience” ends and the real world kicks in.

People spend a fortune just to go and they don’t realize that they might never pay off that debt. I can’t imagine doing it again. Not with the knowledge I have now. That’s why I have a college fund for my kids. My wife and I both agree on a couple conditions. The kids can’t major in something that won’t get them a good job. No fine arts, no Women’s Studies, no BS degree that won’t get you anywhere. They also can’t use it for a super expensive out of state school. If the person has talent, there’s enough materials online in this day and age to get them started.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: DanteFox

Durask

Member
Feb 6, 2012
3,016
2,213
860
Correct me if I am wrong but I am under impression that in countries where the government pays for most of higher education a far smaller percentage of people goes to university.
 

Durask

Member
Feb 6, 2012
3,016
2,213
860
No one should ever get a college degree in any type of Arts program. If you go to college for a degree, AT LEAST let it be a field that has good job prospects and opportunities. Success in an art career rely on connections, talent, drive, and people skills.
I will have no problem with Arts programs if these programs cost next to nothing.
If price of the program is tied to earning potential post graduation - why not?
 

DeepBreath87

Member
Jun 15, 2019
4,136
8,169
615
I will have no problem with Arts programs if these programs cost next to nothing.
If price of the program is tied to earning potential post graduation - why not?
Oh no. They are absolutely not connected. Not even close. You can go to a school for $45k a year to become an elementary school teacher making $40k before taxes. So you could owe upwards for $150,000 on student loans while also attempting to start your life.

As to why, that’s kind of been what we are discussing. The federal government underwrites almost all of the loans now. And they are VERY generous with credit in ways traditional banks likely would not be. There is no part of the federal student loan process where potential earnings are considered. I never took out private loans for school, so I can’t speak to that. But there is no other creditor on earth who would give upwards of $100k to 18-22 kids with zero credit history.

The ease of credit has allowed schools to radically increase their prices. And while it might not be ethical, there’s nothing to stop them from doing it because demand is artificially inflated by the ability for anyone to get a loan.
 
Last edited:
  • Thoughtful
Reactions: DanteFox
Oct 26, 2018
21,588
29,988
835
Oh no. They are absolutely not connected. Not even close. You can go to a school for $45k a year to become an elementary school teacher making $40k before taxes. So you could owe upwards for $150,000 on student loans while also attempting to start your life.

As to why, that’s kind of been what we are discussing. The federal government underwrites almost all of the loans now. And they are VERY generous with credit in ways traditional banks likely would not be. There is no part of the federal student loan process where potential earnings are considered. I never took out private loans for school, so I can’t speak to that. But there is no other creditor on earth who would give upwards of $100k to 18-22 kids with zero credit history.

The ease of credit has allowed schools to radically increase their prices. And while it might not be ethical, there’s nothing to stop them from doing it because demand is artificially inflated by the ability for anyone to get a loan.
Thats government for ya. Mr Bottomless Pockets. No debt or loan is too big or risky.

One morning, it's all about scrimping and saving or increasing taxes to cover increasing debts. Next morning, it's Robin Hood time where students wanting to borrow $50,000 to study making clay pottery is no problem, and at some point its forgiven.

As people have said, no wonder tuitions have skyrocketed when the government is the one on the hook. The biggest organization with the biggest budgets, debts, and vortex of unlimited money. Whats the next number after trillion? Zillion? Quadrillion? Too lazy to check. No worries, just tack it on. We've reached 1 zillion debt. Dont worry about it!

You'd think that would lead to the biggest group of savvy people controlling the coffers. Nope. Just dish out money like it's a free for all.

Just imagine what car prices would be if government took over from banks handling the car loans. lol. A Honda Civic would be $80k.
 
Last edited:

dave_d

Member
Jan 31, 2005
2,124
827
1,580
Thats government for ya. Mr Bottomless Pockets. No debt or loan is too big or risky.
From what I've heard people still pay off those debts eventually. I mean you have your entire lifetime to pay off the feds and even those people with useless degrees end up getting decent jobs. (Since most of the debt is actually held by the upper middle class, they eventually figure out some way to make a good living.) I know I said this before but when I was working in that business (admittedly right before the feds took over) you could not believe how well those things paid off. (It was nuts.)
 
  • Like
Reactions: StreetsofBeige
Oct 26, 2018
21,588
29,988
835
The difference would be a mortgage has collateral, which is the house. So if you go bust and can’t pay, the bank takes your house to cover the loss. With education, there is nothing for the bank to take besides your future income. So the risk profile is far different.

Of course the government doesn’t care and keeps allowing people to take out exorbitant loans that can never hope to repay, which is essentially signing kids up for indentured servitude before they’re old enough to buy a beer.
Well there is one big difference now vs 20 years ago. 20 years ago banks were the originator of student loans. That changed around 2009/2010 when the Feds nationalized the student loan industry.(They own something like 92% of all loans these days.
Good points.

It's still surprising the feds would grill students with such high interest rates despite no collateral since you'd think education would be something the government would give people a break and partially subsidize.

Oh wait, I went to university too! lol. For those of you who've never been to college or university, not only are tuitions and interest loan rates high (in the US, as Canada seems reasonable), but even things like parking, food courts, and mandatory meal plans for first year dorm students! are sky high.

It'd be cheaper going off campus and buying lunch than eating at the various food courts on site.

A giant money grab from all angles.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dave_d