US student loan crisis

On this I agree - as long as the gender studies mandarins stay out of STEM departments. To the extent that success in STEM revolves around merit then I agree they are absolutely vital.

I’m far less interested if the goal becomes equity and “success” in STEM depends on skin color. That’s an emerging trend in higher ed, unfortunately.

1 Like

Here’s an issue, maybe it’s a bit unfair to women?

Women don’t usually gravitate towards STEM or accounting/finance. My masters program boasts about nearly a 50/50 male to female ratio for finance. I had my doubts on how that is possible from the beginning because in undergrad, almost no women are in my finance classes in business school, while marketing is close to 50:50 followed by business admin which I say it’s 40:60 female to male. Accounting is also male dominant.

My school only gets the near 50;50 ratio from basically getting a much of Chinese students that are female. There’s like 3 western women that I’ve seen in my entire finance class.

It’s possible, but in my experience most people working in science are hard-wired for it. That wiring does not seem to depend on chromosomes.

I think there exists a “brain for science,” or a predilection for success in scientific study, and I have known lots of women who possess one. They were Arabic, Chinese, and eastern European mostly - although in my last US job I worked with an American woman who had no peer when it came to “thinking” scientifically.

I don’t think American women are excluded from STEM fields due to sexism. On a lack of merit, yes. I think American women who excel at science go on to study science sooner or later. I don’t think the US places institutional or systemic barriers in place for them to hurdle.

It’s not a question of sexism against women in STEM. But if more women wish to study non STEM as their personal career choice. Is it fair the majors excluded are predominantly taken by women?

See, this is why merit can be the only standard for success. It’s the only way to ensure that ed resources are distributed at maximum efficiency for the US as a whole.

I would say yes, it’s fair as long as women are objectively better than men at xyz, and vice versa.

1 Like


That’s the thing. How will the universities make all the bucks if not for forcing useless electives to fill time.
I wish there was the option to pay to skip all the bull. You would end up learning the same anyway. And the university still gets is lucre.

1 Like

Well, let’s face it. Those who borrowed heavily to spend 5 or 6 years earning a BA in Art History are just superior to humans who elected not to borrow and became plumbers, and deserve to have the peons cough up some $$$.

I mean, clearly superior and should never have to work a day in their lives, especially when plumbers’ll do it for them. :idunno:


Hopefully Trump extends it or Biden steps in quickly. No interests right now is really beneficial to me during this time.

10k off?

1 Like

Posting without comment…

I agree with the second comment on the article.

I’m not sure we should be trying to go back in time and solve all the problems people brought upon themselves in the past, but I don’t see why we are still propping up the student loan business which just contributes to higher tuitions and more debt. Get the government out of this business entirely and allow student debt to be shed like all other debt in bankruptcy. Lenders will provide loans based on actual risk, not government handouts. Students may actually start to get their degrees at the eminently affordable community colleges before transferring to the still affordable, if not cheap, state schools. Maybe people will think twice about getting worthless undergrad degrees or professional degrees from garbage private schools.


Or just make student loans subject to bankruptcy. Let a judge and trustee examine the debtors circumstances and alleged hardship, and decide if the debt is forgiven. If the debtor wants to get rid of their debt they have to demonstrate hardship, and live with the consequences of bankruptcy.

That’s not a long term solution. I think the best solution is a combination of long grace period and long loan terms.

They’re already pretty long.

They have to do something about the interest rates. That why I said a floating rate matching inflation. Some people (idiots)signed up for fixed loans that are 8-9% for degrees that’s are useless at private schools (bigger idiots). That’s already crazy after you leave it compounding during your time at school.

1 Like

Also, I don’t understand how the interest rate is much higher for grad students. That’s really BS. Grad loans aren’t even close to the FED rate…it’s significantly higher.

Stafford loan rates are low at 4 percent. But Stafford loans will only cover state schools, not private schools. The loan limit is too low to cover private schools which will be double the limit.

So you need private loans to make up the difference. It’s significantly higher interest.

Grad students studying science often get tuition wavier, and a stipend for research work. But for MBA they won’t have those. Trump piseed off a lot of them when he made tuition wavier income

They used to be. The argument for making them non-dischargeable was that (at the time) the cases of high student loans were concentrated among law and medical school students, who would not pay their loans and then continue on to lucrative careers.

Yeah, I’m saying they should be dischargable, again.

This post is not directed at MikeN1. I just got to thinking, and I need to rant on a bit about this.

That story of the lazy doctors and lawyers who all want to go bankrupt? That was a myth that politicians used to support the idea of removing bankruptcy protections, which obviously helps creditors and moneylenders, and hurts the little guy (poor students who can’t afford education). The numbers show that law and med students never declared bankruptcy in any large numbers. And law school and med school never used to be so expensive. And they were very selective to admit new students. So “student loans discharged in bankruptcy” was never a problem that needed to be fixed.

After Congress changed the law so that students could not take advantage of the same bankruptcy laws available to the rest of the U.S. (such as failed businessmen, consumer debts, other bad choices), the universities realized they had access to guaranteed large federally subsidized student loans. I say “guaranteed,” because now that student loan debt can no longer be discharged in bankruptcy, and students can have their wages garnished and property seized for life, all the way to the grave, this means that the feds are willing to loan money for huge, unrealistic tuition, no questions asked. Even if it breaks the backs of the students.

Around this time, U.S. universities across the board started raising tuition and fees drastically, while (not coincidentally) accepting larger and larger numbers of students and encouraging them all to apply for federally subsidized student loans. Whereas previously, many students couldn’t afford to go to college, the new message was “the cost doesn’t matter because the federal government will loan you the money!”

And as student enrollment continued rising, and tuition and fees continued rising, the feds kept on lending a river of cash. Everyone said “It’s wonderful that so many students can now take advantage of higher education!”

Supposedly, the federal loans were loans made to students. But to me it looks more like this: The naive students are encouraged to sign the loan papers, and then every semester a massive transfer of cash goes from the federal government to the bank accounts of the educational institutions, to pay for “tuition and fees.” The students see little, if any, of that money. And because the feds seem to have an endless river of money, the cost of education just keeps going up, the schools accept ever greater numbers of students, and the river of cash flowing into the universities becomes a tsunami.

That’s all taxpayer money used to enrich the universities, their administration, the vanity projects, and the endowments. And the poor students spend the rest of their life as indentured servants, having their meager paychecks garnished to “pay back” the government or private lenders (making mostly interest payments).

In most cases the education wasn’t worth even half of price that the students were charged. The price tag in most cases is a made up number: as long as the feds will continue lending (because they know the population are being turned into indentured servants to pay forever) then the tuition will go as high as the school can price it while keeping a straight face. But the price tag on the education is not tied to any actual cost of providing instructors or classes.

I went to a school that cost $10,000 per year. While I was a student (around the year 2000) they raised the tuition to $21,000 per year. That same school now charges $51,000 per year, per student! That is now a very common tuition rate at schools around the U.S. And the students sign the papers, and the federal government gives $50,000 per student, per year, to the university. At a large school, say 20,000 students getting loans for tuition, that’s ONE BILLION dollars per year that the federal government is giving to a SINGLE university. And the students are supposed to go six figures in debt then get regular jobs and pay it all back to the federal government? Something stinks here.

So many students are in a position where they are living through hardship, and can’t declare bankruptcy, and will be forced to live outside of the normal economy and society because of the debt on their back.

Why do I think students should be able to bankrupt their loans? This is only one lever that can be pulled to re-balance the system, but it’s an important lever. Allowing bankruptcy is not a free cancellation of all student debt. Some students (doctors, lawyers) who have the ability to make money will want to make the money, and they won’t be motivated to declare bankruptcy. Other students who can attend a reasonably priced school, may manage money wisely and repay their debts. And the students who are screwed for life and can never repay their loans will have their circumstances investigated by the bankruptcy trustee and the judge, if they choose to declare bankruptcy. Those who really don’t have a hope of repaying the debt should be able to go bankrupt and have a fresh start.

I believe, when lenders realize that their loan may not be repaid, they will lend more selectively. And if the universities don’t have the flood of free cash coming in, they might better control their costs. The system has to be rebalanced somehow.

There are all sorts of ways for the system to be rebalanced. A heavy-handed government could control the cost of tuition and the terms of lending by force of law. But no one in free-market U.S.A. wants lenders and educators to have the government dictate their business. Bankruptcy protections are available for everyone else, though. Why not just make it available to students, as well? Why should creditors get such special protection, and such power over the lives of only one type of citizen? The U.S. Constitution says that congress shall enact “uniform laws” on bankruptcy to apply throughout the United States. The way student loan debt is being treated is not “uniform” with the rest of the bankruptcy code. The system is being run for the benefit of the schools first, and the government second. Students are last.


Perfect comment. Only took a few sentences to say what I was trying to get at in my rambling post.