Friday, April 27, 2012

The Deck Chairs Look Fine

Both sides of the political aisle have now made the interest rate on student loans a battlefield, claiming they are fighting the good fight to protect our young people’s best interest and make it possible to get advanced educations and secure the jobs of the future. Sure, and rearranging the deck chairs would have prevented the Titanic from sinking, too.

Do they really think that a student with a debt of $106,000 is going to be dramatically affected by the difference between a 3.4% interest rate and a 6.8% rate on that debt? The problem, you posturing jackasses, is not the interest rate; it’s that a college education costs $106,000 in the first place.

There are several factors contributing to that cost, some of which are unavoidable as a result of the economy, and some of which are sheer greed on the part of several players, but it is the cost of advanced education which should be addressed, and the lack of opportunity to earn a viable living without an advanced education. What both sides are doing right now is equivalent to steaming at full speed through an ice field with the radar turned off, arguing about the schedule for the evening dinner dance.


bruce said...

Is that number a state or private college? Is is a plain jane or fancy schmatzy college? Does it just undergrad, or does it include graduate or professional school? If someone want to pay through the nose to go to Harvard that's his/her choice going into it, as opposed to State U. Is the degree any different? It could be, but that would be in the minds of the beholder.

Arthur said...

$106,000 is (as I understand it, my sources could be wrong) the average debt load of all those graduating with Bachelor degrees. So a combination of all of the above.
Also, most people who go to Harvard have significant means beyond loans, get merit or need based aid (i.i., not loans), or (often and) have an easier time finding the high-paying jobs that make debt bearable.

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