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Student Debt In America - Education - Nairaland

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Student Debt In America by AjanleKoko: 8:53am On Apr 08, 2013
I was reading this article in the London Guardian this morning. It deals with the issue of student debt in the US, and how borrowers are having to make lifestyle (and lifetime) adjustments in order to deal with the debt.

Apparently owing $100k and up in student debt is a common occurence in the USA. Generally people have to pay for school outside these shores, but it seems the US is the top dog in this respect. An organization called American Student Assistance says there are around 1.1 million students in the US who owe $100k and above in student loans. To me, that sounds scary.

There's no doubt that American education is quality, compared to almost everywhere else. But in the face of the global recession, how sensible is it really to incur such costs on education. For the 1.1m people, are they guaranteed jobs that can cover their expenses? Simply put, is the ROI on such expensive education guaranteed?

Another interesting stat you can garner from the ASA site is that 96% of people who attended private for-profit institutions (like maybe Stanford or Harvard) borrowed to pay for their tuition. So it's an almost-guaranteed fact that you will borrow money, a lot of it, if you want to go to a really good school in the US.

It would be interesting to hear from the peeps on NL who have borrowed money to pay for their US education. Is it paying off in terms of jobs? Also, are these loans calculated on commercial compounded rates? E.g. if you borrowed $120k to pay for an MBA, what do you actually pay over time, $200k +?

Let's hear from y'all wink
Re: Student Debt In America by birdman(m): 4:34am On Apr 09, 2013
AjanleKoko: I was reading this article in the London Guardian this morning. It deals with the issue of student debt in the US, and how borrowers are having to make lifestyle (and lifetime) adjustments in order to deal with the debt.

Apparently owing $100k and up in student debt is a common occurence in the USA. Generally people have to pay for school outside these shores, but it seems the US is the top dog in this respect. An organization called American Student Assistance says there are around 1.1 million students in the US who owe $100k and above in student loans. To me, that sounds scary.

There's no doubt that American education is quality, compared to almost everywhere else. But in the face of the global recession, how sensible is it really to incur such costs on education. For the 1.1m people, are they guaranteed jobs that can cover their expenses? Simply put, is the ROI on such expensive education guaranteed?

Another interesting stat you can garner from the ASA site is that 96% of people who attended private for-profit institutions (like maybe Stanford or Harvard) borrowed to pay for their tuition. So it's an almost-guaranteed fact that you will borrow money, a lot of it, if you want to go to a really good school in the US.

It would be interesting to hear from the peeps on NL who have borrowed money to pay for their US education. Is it paying off in terms of jobs? Also, are these loans calculated on commercial compounded rates? E.g. if you borrowed $120k to pay for an MBA, what do you actually pay over time, $200k +?

Let's hear from y'all wink

Most people go to public institutions, which are far less expensive. Typical debt is about 50k and definitely much less than 100k. The loans are usually backed by the government one way or the other, so the interest rates are really low. Which means you can pay it off in about 10 years, assuming you have a job that pays you 60k+ per annum.

Of course there is always the lazy senseless student who wont hold a job while going to school, and puts EVERYTHING on credit. And then there is the student who goes to an ivy league school hoping school reputation will help land a top paying job, so they dont care about expenses. TThese are not that common, and the 1 million sounds off, frankly
Re: Student Debt In America by biolabee(m): 4:19pm On Apr 09, 2013
interesting topic...... This is a hiherto not-discussed aspect of foreign education
Subscribing
Re: Student Debt In America by AjanleKoko: 8:41am On Apr 10, 2013
birdman:

Most people go to public institutions, which are far less expensive. Typical debt is about 50k and definitely much less than 100k. The loans are usually backed by the government one way or the other, so the interest rates are really low. Which means you can pay it off in about 10 years, assuming you have a job that pays you 60k+ per annum.

By 'most people', I assume you mean most Nigerians or most people that go to school in America? Since price is a major differentiator, that would definitely be the case, since most people obviously can't afford $100k plus.

Just out of curiosity though. How easy it is to work and study at the same time in the US? Can you work during the term/semester, or can you only work during the vacations? I'd have imagined that would be really hectic, and whatever you made would probably manage to cover living expenses. We're talking about tuition, and study expenses, I would imagine.

birdman:

Most people go to public institutions, which are far less expensive. Typical debt is about 50k and definitely much less than 100k. The loans are usually backed by the government one way or the other, so the interest rates are really low. Which means you can pay it off in about 10 years, assuming you have a job that pays you 60k+ per annum.


How easy it is to secure these student loans? Can you get one solely on the basis of an admission letter? I'm just wondering how the business model of the loan providers work. Does immigration status play a role, i.e. would someone on a student visa be eligible for a loan after some time? The assumption in that particular case (student visa) is that the person is applying for the loan to either further their education after the initial course of study is done, or needs additional funding in the course of the program.

Let's say I got admission to Harvard Law. Would that be bankable enough? Just like securing a supply contract with Shell in Nigeria would almost certainly guarantee financing by most banks, due to Shell's financial status and ability to pay contractors, I would imagine that a Harvard Law grad is almost certain to get lucrative job opportunities.

I'm also surprised that the government is able to give out subsidized loans to students in the US. Do they have a Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac sort of vehicle set up strictly to do that?

birdman:
And then there is the student who goes to an ivy league school hoping school reputation will help land a top paying job, so they dont care about expenses. TThese are not that common, and the 1 million sounds off, frankly

I think the stats look okay,considering that there are supposedly around 20+ million college students in the US. Let's assume the number of Americans who have been to college in the last 20 years to be that figure, even. Then it would be reasonable to have 1.1m who have attended Ivy League schools over the last 2 decades, and owing over $100k in fees. That would be just 5% of the assumed total, which doesn't look so far off.
Re: Student Debt In America by birdman(m): 12:57am On Apr 11, 2013
AjanleKoko:
By 'most people', I assume you mean most Nigerians or most people that go to school in America? Since price is a major differentiator, that would definitely be the case, since most people obviously can't afford $100k plus.

By most people, I mean everyone, including Nigerians. And its not just the affordability...there are only so many $100k schools you can choose from.


Just out of curiosity though. How easy it is to work and study at the same time in the US? Can you work during the term/semester, or can you only work during the vacations? I'd have imagined that would be really hectic, and whatever you made would probably manage to cover living expenses. We're talking about tuition, and study expenses, I would imagine.

It is hard to study and work (homework is much more time consuming here), but its doable. The hourly wage is usually large enough that you dont have to work more than 20-30 hours a week to make ends meet as a student. Many work essentially full time during the breaks too, so you can usually save enough to scrape by...at most you would need a few loans, but definitely not 100k. Of course all this applies if you have papers to work, If you are the typical Nigerian student, you have a choice of looking for scarce on-campus jobs where you can only work 20 hours a week, or looking for an relative to cosign a private loan for you, or hope your parents know Alams, or one of those EFCC jailbirds lol.


How easy it is to secure these student loans? Can you get one solely on the basis of an admission letter? I'm just wondering how the business model of the loan providers work. Does immigration status play a role, i.e. would someone on a student visa be eligible for a loan after some time? The assumption in that particular case (student visa) is that the person is applying for the loan to either further their education after the initial course of study is done, or needs additional funding in the course of the program.

If you are the typical Nigerian student, on student visa, you do not qualify for low interest government loans based on residency, so you must get private loans. These are higher interest, and considering that international student tuition is more than double that of residents, its likely you will not have the credit to obtain one yourself. This is where you call your relative in the US, and ask them to cosign for you. You will probably also discover that the "aunty abroad" you have always looked up to, that sends you endless gifts does not have the credit to help you. Bottom line, if you are Nigerian without work papers, you will likely have to work illegally, or have your parents pony up the cash. If you are a grad student, things might be a little easier as you have a better chance of getting an assistantship - always verify the grad school you are going to is helpful in this regard, or you may be in for 3-5 years of hell.


Let's say I got admission to Harvard Law. Would that be bankable enough? Just like securing a supply contract with Shell in Nigeria would almost certainly guarantee financing by most banks, due to Shell's financial status and ability to pay contractors, I would imagine that a Harvard Law grad is almost certain to get lucrative job opportunities.

There are banks that offer loans based on getting into a good medical or law school, for sure. But these are regarded as predator loans - the interest rate is usually really high. Even with your almost guaranteed good paying job, you will still be paying this loan back for a while. Btw, Harvard is not what it once was in terms of job guarantee. There are numerous NYTIMES articles of depressed, underemployed ivy league lawyers.


I'm also surprised that the government is able to give out subsidized loans to students in the US. Do they have a Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac sort of vehicle set up strictly to do that?

This is one of the reasons Obama won a second term - he refused to kill the education subsidies so many students depend on. Of course if power changes hands, all bets are off and the subsidy could be a thing of the past. I dont remember the programs off head, but they are essentially in the same spirit as Fannie etc


I think the stats look okay,considering that there are supposedly around 20+ million college students in the US. Let's assume the number of Americans who have been to college in the last 20 years to be that figure, even. Then it would be reasonable to have 1.1m who have attended Ivy League schools over the last 2 decades, and owing over $100k in fees. That would be just 5% of the assumed total, which doesn't look so far off.

Exactly. The reason you are hearing more about it, is that the upper middle class, which was used to sending kids to the best schools and paying off the loans with a good job afterwards have been hit by the economy too. No jobs means you may have to help your kid pay off that debt - usually when bad things happen to the upper middle class, you hear about it a lot more. The rest of us welcome them to the new normal grin

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Re: Student Debt In America by Bontee: 7:35am On Apr 11, 2013
Nice discussion and this is obtainable also in some developed countries down here in Europe.
Re: Student Debt In America by AjanleKoko: 10:37am On Apr 11, 2013
Bontee: Nice discussion and this is obtainable also in some developed countries down here in Europe.

Education isn't as expensive in Europe as it is in North America. Apart from top universities and MBA programs, most of European education is probably affordable for middle-class Nigerians.

Some countries, like Germany and the Scandinavian nations used to offer free tuition up until recently, even.
Re: Student Debt In America by biolabee(m): 11:22am On Apr 11, 2013
Nice.... Learning some ish here
Re: Student Debt In America by AjanleKoko: 2:32pm On Apr 11, 2013
birdman:

It is hard to study and work (homework is much more time consuming here), but its doable. The hourly wage is usually large enough that you dont have to work more than 20-30 hours a week to make ends meet as a student. Many work essentially full time during the breaks too, so you can usually save enough to scrape by...at most you would need a few loans, but definitely not 100k. Of course all this applies if you have papers to work, If you are the typical Nigerian student, you have a choice of looking for scarce on-campus jobs where you can only work 20 hours a week, or looking for an relative to cosign a private loan for you, or hope your parents know Alams, or one of those EFCC jailbirds lol.


Interesting.
And students in Nigeria, who do nothing else but study, and who have their fees and expenses fully paid by relatives, still do not find time to study. Amazing. embarassed
Re: Student Debt In America by An0nimus: 7:36pm On Apr 11, 2013
AjanleKoko:

Interesting.
And students in Nigeria, who do nothing else but study, and who have their fees and expenses fully paid by relatives, still do not find time to study. Amazing. embarassed
Truly amazing.
Re: Student Debt In America by oxygen25: 5:52pm On May 27, 2013
embarassedNawa oh! Just thought it out to go get a student loan for my PG study (in one of the best US schools), wish I could get a relative to sponsor me undecided
Re: Student Debt In America by Wallie(m): 9:27pm On Jun 14, 2013
My student loan is well over $100k with a payment of $1k per month at 5.6% interest and by the time I'm done paying, I would have paid about X2 of what I borrowed.

I actually consider myself very lucky as I went to a private undergrad university that cost about $40k per year for a 5-year program. When you add my law degree to that, the cost becomes a number so obscene that only people that went though it can understand. It is very common to have spent over $200k to get a law degree (undergrad + law school).

My only advice to people that are able to borrow money is to borrow just what they need and not a penny more. Also, be extremely cognizant of the earning potential of the field you want to go into and make sure it correlates with what you borrow.

Lastly, make sure your lifestyle matches where you are in life. If you're a student then live like a student and not a king! Some people will borrow every last penny they qualify for and use the money to supplement their lifestyle without fully appreciating the fact that they will have to pay back every single penny they borrowed!
Re: Student Debt In America by biolabee(m): 10:07pm On Jun 14, 2013
wow... now i know wat i need to save for my brood.....woww shocked shocked shocked

More grease bro

Wise words..... live within ur means


Wallie: My student loan is well over $100k with a payment of $1k per month at 5.6% interest and by the time I'm done paying, I would have paid about X2 of what I borrowed.

I actually consider myself very lucky as I went to a private undergrad university that cost about $40k per year for a 5-year program. When you add my law degree to that, the cost becomes a number so obscene that only people that went though it can understand. It is very common to have spent over $200k to get a law degree (undergrad + law school).

My only advice to people that are able to borrow money is to borrow just what they need and not a penny more. Also, be extremely cognizant of the earning potential of the field you want to go into and make sure it correlates with what you borrow.

Lastly, make sure your lifestyle matches where you are in life. If you're a student then live like a student and not a king! Some people will borrow every last penny they qualify for and use the money to supplement their lifestyle without fully appreciating the fact that they will have to pay back every single penny they borrowed!
Re: Student Debt In America by Nobody: 10:09pm On Jun 14, 2013
AjanleKoko:

Interesting.
And students in Nigeria, who do nothing else but study, and who have their fees and expenses fully paid by relatives, still do not find time to study. Amazing. embarassed
Thats a very slack conclusion. They do study, (atleast 70%).

But what will you say about this: When a lecturer starts his opening lecture for the semester by saying "Welcome to BCH401 class, I'd like to let you know that Grade A, belongs to God because he is the only perfect man, while B belongs to me your lecturer, and C, well the most brilliant of you can have that, D and E's for average student, so let the porr student be prepared to register this course next session'
Thats a very small fraction of what education in Nigeria institution look like, or what will you say about this: A lecture refuses to come to class, for almost 80% of his lecture time, and he sends you course material roughly 2weeks before the exam. Do you experience that in the US and UK too? Or what do you have to say about writing a course very well, and when you check the result all you see is 'AR' if you don't know what that mean, then be my guest 'Awaiting Result' such student will be forced to re-take the course.

The above examples is to make you understand the fact that the western world should NOT under any circumstance be compared to Nigeria, either financially or academically.

Students are actually studying, but most of the gets frustrated as there is nothing to shows forth as a reward for their labor, since their brother is still living with mummy and daddy after bagging a 2:1 in Physiology.

Sorry for any typos pls, my qwerty pad is really clumsy

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