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Posted on Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 9:38 a.m.

Students at Michigan's public universities bogged down in debt

By Kellie Woodhouse

The pricetag: $1.8 billion.

That's the amount of student loans taken out by students at Michigan's 15 public universities during the 2009-2010 academic year, according to an analysis published Thursday by Bridge Magazine.

Thumbnail image for University of Michigan Diag

University of Michigan student activity on the Diag.

That number is 49 percent more than it was four years ago, when students of Michigan's public universities amassed $1.2 billion in loan debt.

Bridge asserts that the state's total student loan debt is in the realm of $30 billion or "the equivalent of more than 20 years’ worth of state appropriations for higher education."

The average 2010 senior at a state university graduated with $25,675 in student loans, which Bridge says is the 11th-highest student debt load in the U.S.

The report follows another article from Bridge that said Michigan's public universities are among the most expensive in the U.S.

Read the full Bridge article here.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.



Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 4:42 p.m.

Does work-study still exists? That is what I did to pay my way through college (no debt at the end!)? Are students working while in school or just going to school? I would highly recommend a university or part time job so they can off-set some of the loans they need to take out. At a less expensive school (WCC or Eastern) you could possibly pay for your entire school this way.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 2:05 p.m.

So much for the American dream and aspiring to a career that you love, especially if it requires a bachelor's degree, grad school, and sometimes even more. I have two children who have been/currently are enrolled in Michigan public universities (one now in grad school). Yes, it is a choice they both made, but I give them credit for persevering because it beats flipping burgers for the rest of their lives.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 11:47 a.m.

That is a choice that those student opted to take to go to college. Therefore, it is they choice to repay. If you can't afford it, maybe one should look for other alternatives. This goes for all things in life.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 3:51 a.m.

This is not North Korea or a Middle Eastern dictatorship. In the USA, students may choose to pursue a career in one's area of interest and study courses of interest that lead to that chosen career -- whether it is History, or Literature, or Engineering, or Teaching, or Architecture, or Music, or Business, or any other discipline on the planet that they choose to entertain if it is offered. It is not up to a college or University to "Direct" them to any career based on where money may or may not be made in the future or where jobs may or may not exist, although counseling should certainly be available to those who request it. Positions like many posted here are scary and lead to the type of Government intervention that we are seeing from the Republicans now in power -- the party of less government, local control which is suddenly forcing it's way into as many local decisions, and bedrooms, as possible.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 1:50 p.m.

I completely agree. Students can study whatever they want to study, but the government - (i.e. the taxpayer) shouldn't be required to subsidize whatever the the student dreams up. Tax dollars should first be allocated to supporting those majors that meet the real, current and pressing needs of the public - math and science teachers, nurses, doctors who are willing to practice in rural areas or work in family medicine, social workers, public defenders, law enforcement workers, engineers, etc. There are jobs in these fields that are going vacant because there aren't enough people to fill them. Why should the taxpayers subsidize students who want to study in fields where there are few or no jobs? When we do that, these graduates can't get work and they either default on their student loans or go back to school, borrowing all the way, and end up with two or three times the amount of debt they had when they graduated from college the first time. And then they default on their student loans. The issuance of a student loan should not simply be tied to a promise to repay. It should be tied to public policy initiatives designed to support and promote the general welfare.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 2:56 a.m.

Median salary of university presidents: $440,487 Salary of the Cancellor of the University System of Maryland (14 colleges and universities, 152,000 students) $716,744. Mary Sue: $728,504. Salary of the chief of police UM $182,000. Salary of three star general, United States Army (Corps Commander, responsible for 20,000 troops and their families) about the same. While a democratic UM regent called the recent proposal for a study on consolidation of the Michigan higher education system "unadulterated politics" and the usual liberal posters cried foul here on "we can't change it, it's been in our constitution since 1863" (guess that means women and 18 year olds better stop voting), you are pricing your flagship out of the reach of your own residents with an arms race on salaries, de-centralized planning, purchases, construction, etc. And yes, State aid. But aid has been reduced all over the country. Under Maryland's University System, there was no tuition increase in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 with a three percent increase in 2010. In addition, 5,000 students were added without capital expenditures. What is funny about the liberal reaction to even a study on consolidation is that their opposition is based on the fact that it is a republican initiative. Extremely short-sighted. By the time you had a study, amended the constitution and implemented a consolidated system with elected State Regents and a State Chancellor (Universities would still have a President - just closer to the median salary), you'd have just as much chance as having a democratic administration as a republican one in power when this took place.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 3:02 a.m.

And an excellent Chronicle of Education article on President Salary issues <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 2:59 a.m.

University System of Maryland Effieciency in Education Workgroup: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 8:46 p.m.

Maybe they should consider going to a school they can afford. I have no sympathy for those living beyond their means. This is compounded by those who choose a course of study that does not have any jobs availble other than teaching. History, English lit, and many similar course.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 8:36 p.m.

The Bridge article focuses on a state of Michigan issue-our leaders have consistently used Higher Ed to fund systemic shortages in the state budget. It doesn't help that our current governor has redirected yet more state funds to 'attract businesses' that will allegedly 'create' new jobs. If in fact these are above minimum wage paying jobs-workers will need to be educated; yet the message from the leaders is that education is not valued. The logic escapes me.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 7:40 p.m.

What's wrong with this picture? A huge and burgeoning student loan debt that is not supported by an ability to pay it off based on a weak economy and poor job market. I've believed all along that student loans form a bubble that is going to explode in the near future. The U.S. and countries around the world keep borrowing money without a sound strategy for creating increased economic output that will pay for it. It's utter madness.

Geoff Larcom

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 7:39 p.m.

Also, thanks to for highlighting this series of articles on its site.

Geoff Larcom

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 7:30 p.m.

The Bridge Magazine story referenced here in this excerpt offers an answer to the crucial question of why Michigan students face such relatively high loan debt: &quot;Michigan families already pay more to send their children to state universities than families in almost any other state ... Michigan's "college tax" of exploding student debt has materialized in concert with disinvestment in public funding for Michigan universities and tuition increases that have far outpaced inflation. As Eastern Michigan University President Sue Martin explains, as state budgets tightened, higher education was an easy place to cut because universities had the "safety valve" of tuition to make up for lost state funding. As state funding dropped, tuition rose. And, of course, increased tuition and fees led to increased student loans.&quot; I urge you to read this thoughtful and well-researched series of articles that attempt to lay out the cause-and-effect of college tuition in our state. As a side note: EMU has led the state in tuition restraint the past three years, in essence resisting the &quot;safety valve&quot; President Martin speaks about.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 9:16 p.m.

&quot;...stemmed the tide *of* raises....&quot;


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 9:15 p.m.

It's difficult to point to reduced state funding as the cause of increased tuition when reduced state funding has not stemmed the tide raises and gross salary excesses among administrators, deans and other functionaries.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 7:29 p.m.

Years ago corporations wanted college grads to be able to think ,problem solve, communicate effectively and be creative. Just graduating from a respected university was enough to get your foot in the door regardless of what your degree was in. Now you need to hit the floor running and your degree must be 100% specific to the job offer. Some areas are so competitive a kid in the seventh grade needs to make their career choice.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 7:08 p.m.

Just another part of our &quot;Great Society&quot; that wants something WITHOUT having to pay for it!


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 9:35 p.m.

Agree cinnabar. What they are entitled to is a swift kick!


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 7:12 p.m.

They are entitled.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 7 p.m.

There are two additional issues not discussed here. First, financial aid is expanding both in reach and depth (wider body of students getting more money). Several studies have shown that rather than offsetting the cost burden for families, increased financial aid has led to increased tuition costs (to absorb the available money). Suggesting that a reform of financial aid may force universities to ratchet back on tuition increases and ultimately student/family indebtedness. Second, is how money is being spent by students. Look at the luxury student housing that is/has been built in Ann Arbor the last few years. Granite counter tops, big screen TVs, workout rooms, lounges, etc.-- all amenities that were well out of reach for the vast majority of students 5-10 years ago. With the increase in building, it is clear that developers (granted not a great gauge of the market) see this as a highly profitable sector.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 9:12 p.m.

That's a great point. Without oversight or any controls, of course costs will rise to absorb the available money.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 6:56 p.m.

The federal government is missing a great opportunity to &quot;encourage&quot; students to enter high-demand fields. For fields where employment prospects are good and in need (e.g., rural healthcare, mathematics, science, engineering, etc), student loans should be offered and subsidized. For fields where no (or little) market demand exists for new graduates, student loans should not be issued. In other words, if you want to be a nurse, doctor, engineer, math teacher, social worker, or work in another high-need field, you get student loans at low interest rates. If you want to study 18th century Russian literature, you pay for that yourself.

Trisha Carey

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 7:36 p.m.

Veterans hospital are doing something like what you suggest. Helping with school loan payments from people with social working degrees. Win - Win situation: steady employment right out of college, hands on experience with some of the nations most vulnerable population AND the veterans get fresh new ideas and motivations brought to hospital settings to enhance the veterans transition period, back to civilian life.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 6:34 p.m.

seems like deciding which school to go to that a student can afford should be thought out before signing all the necessary papers to get a loan. I haven't heard any stories about people with guns to thier heads forced to go to a particular school. Sometimes expensive lofty dreams should remain so. Go to a school you can afford. Problem solved.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 9:09 p.m.

Schools supported by taxpayers ought to be affordable to taxpayers. Private schools can charge whatever the want, and those who elect to attend them make their choices and end up with whatever debt they sign up for. All this talk about who should go to college and who should not completely sidesteps the point, which is the cost of taxpayer funded universities in Michigan. It's out of control, and we should not be forced to fund it if we have no ability to influence how the money is spent, and little hope of benefiting from it without incurring unreasonable debt.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 6:13 p.m.

Oh the humanity! Change the name of this blog to &quot;Self Loathing.&quot;


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 5:44 p.m.

Maybe society needs to revisit the notion that everyone in America is deserving of a college degree. I would submit, that if you incur $45K to $90K in debt to obtain a bachelors degree in something like &quot;Child and Family Studies&quot;, that perhaps your time and efforts would be better suited elsewhere (or at a less expensive school). NOTE: I am NOT implying the degree isn't a respectable one, just that with a starting salary of $30K and a median, mid-career salary of $39K, it doesn't make sense to incur that kind of debt for that little payback. Let's be realistic, just because you have a degree, doesn't mean the degree is worth anything substantive. People need to start thinking before choosing &quot;less marketable&quot; degrees, especially if they're choosing it because it's easy. Doubly so if they're financing their education. We could adopt a European system where universities are essentially free (e.g., Germany, France), but they don't allow everyone to go! In fact, they determine at the end of 4th grade (yes, you read that right) which &quot;path&quot; you will take. (I too think that's a bit early). But the American sense of &quot;entitlement&quot; pretty much precludes us ever adopting such a system. But simply saying school should be &quot;free&quot; and then let everyone go, isn't sustainable. and before anyone starts bashing...I worked my way through college with no assistance from my parents. I did have an academic scholarship which covered only tuition/fees, so yes, I did obtain some student loans, but less than $6K total in 4 years. I was a full time student, worked 35+ hours per week plus full time/overtime during the summers. (Bachelors in Chemistry, which one could definitely argue is a &quot;worthless&quot; degree unless you go to grad school).


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 6:57 p.m.

Completely agree Mr. 1Block! That European &quot;path&quot; leads people to trade schools where they learn crafts that build and keep this country running! Frankly, I can think of very few jobs that aren't worthwhile.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 6:12 p.m.

I like your story and most of what you said. I am under the belief that if when you graduate you are on your own (no rich parents, or promised job opportunity) you will choose a career path considering debt and what you will make as a salary. When kids are 'coddled' they hit college and think it's all fun and games and they will always land on their feet, but that's not the case. For some reason society thinks that being a plumber or electrician is a &quot;stupid persons&quot; route, but that job is zero debt and actually makes a lot of money in comparison to some &quot;crap&quot; degree from a mediocre university. It's just interesting to me no one is tapping into the skilled trades market more..... anyone hire a plumber or electrician lately ? They charge a LOT! :)


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 5:40 p.m.

Higher Education is a business, just like medicine. the people telling you that you need a degree or some type of test/drug/procedure are most often the ones who benefit from it in the respective industry.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 6:06 p.m.

All the academics make me sick. A lot of them just hide out in universities because they're unable to be productive members of society. Sure there are a lot of good &quot;DR's&quot; in the universities, but there are so many that are arrogant and not good teachers it actually makes me kind of angry thinking about it. Professors get that &quot;DR&quot; title and then a lot of them think they're really smart. I think the sign of a truly smart person is someone who listens to everyone (plumbers, electricians, clerks, etc included) and then makes an informed decision based on what they've heard, then continues to listen / adapt in case something changes. A degree doesn't help to make you smarter, it just shows you had the ability to get that degree. As for teachers - that system is COMPLETELY broken. You don't want to even get me started on that, but UofM charges $60k for a 1-year teaching masters and I know of a lot of Ann Arbor public school teachers (the smartest in the world, right ?) that went to phoenix online and get paid the exact same. It's doesn't really make sense.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 5:57 p.m.

I agree that a degree can help you, but it has to be the right one. Your last example is just that. it isn't about learning, it is just about purchasing the additional letters to go behind your surname. Also, the world is still going to need skill trades, lets not forget that.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 5:48 p.m.

I think this view point is really interesting - hadn't heard it worded quite that way before, but thanks for sharing. I do agree with you, but also when you're in the job market a certain degree from a &quot;top school&quot; does still get you more money.... not every time and with certain degrees it is less important, but with something like &quot;Business&quot; or &quot;MBA&quot; just the school name alone will get your foot in the door for one of those high paying jobs where a lower school probably won't. On the flip side though, look at all the teachers getting masters degrees from &quot;Phoenix Online&quot; and getting that automatic pay bump from the school! Just depends I suppose....


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 5:35 p.m.

Couple thoughts: 1. Though it's a highly unpopular view on this topic, much of this problem still comes down to ever-decreasing (wait for it) state aid to public universities. 2. In my opinion, part of the problem is too many students. It seems that there is now a widespread general belief in our country that every 18 year old needs a college education in order to get a job. a decent job. As such, we have a dearth of technical service sector professionals and tradespeople, including manufacturing and that's another hit to the economy. Not to mention, a slight to perfectly acceptable careers that should not require an advanced degree. Further, this trend I feel is now almost as firmly entrenched in the notion of &quot;graduate school.&quot; 3. Also, and this is not a slight, but not everyone is cut out for college coursework and the lowering of academic requirements/standards to increase student enrollment, or rolling admissions or various other attempts to increase the student body accounts for falling grades, dropped graduation rates and inability to perform to expectations after degree completion. 4. Finally, wrt student loans--you know what would be great? every year that a college graduate works. Just works, period, a certain percent of the interest level drops off the loan or partial loan forgiveness could be granted. I don't think we need to specify public service, continguous or non-profit or historically underpaying fields. Make the benefit across the board and things might start looking up.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 6:41 p.m.

a lot of technical trade people can make a lot of money! I know a guy that went to school for heating and cooling and after five years now makes $70,000 a year, he's only 28 and has no debt because of school.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 5:35 p.m.

Ya' know when a banker or a CEO of a company pulls down a nice $100Million bonus or some outrageous salary most of the time I really don't care because it's that private companies business and if it's a dumb decision that company will go out of business. With public universities though, it really erks me when I see these administrators making $700K+ in salaries. Public Universities are subsidized by the state and they operate under the guise of &quot;helping people learn&quot; but as years go on it's more and more evident to me that public universities are just big business with the business practices of the federal government. They don't care about wasting money because they just raise the cost of tuition and people pay it because they think they have to get that certain degree. Get ready for the &quot;University BUBBLE&quot; everyone..... be prepared! This whole thing will collapse in 10years


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 8:07 p.m.

Trisha - Could you explain what you mean by &quot;Highly degree people are forced to take jobs far beneath their education&quot; ? If that person got a degree in something that there are no jobs for then they either made a poor career choice, need to move or they were unlucky. Either way go back to school, learn a new skill or take the job, but when you say there are jobs that are &quot;beneath their education&quot; that startles me. Maybe just poor word choice. Also, being the &quot;most educated cities in America&quot; is hokey to me. How do they judge something like that for Ann Arbor ? Ann Arbor people have stacked the most pieces of paper from colleges ? Is that how we define educated ? I could argue that someone who has empathy, reads on various topics, watches a wide variety of educational tv might be more educated than someone who paid a lot of money to get an advanced degree. I'm a professional so don't get me wrong, formalized &quot;pay for it&quot; education is important because it's proof you have completed it, but I just think that a lot of people with degrees consider themselves smarter or entitled to &quot;good&quot; jobs. Life isn't fair - the quicker you realize that the better off you'll be.

Trisha Carey

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 7:31 p.m.

I think the &quot;University BUBBLE&quot; started leaking (with full awareness of the government) when the students loans started involving parents incomes and co signatures. The latest tax changes and food stamp regulations (denial to college students) is pretty much putting the chance for higher education further out of the reach of middle America's offspring. Ann Arbor toted as one of the most educated communities in the country, is already seeing this. Highly degree people are forced to take jobs far beneath their education, which has a trickle down effect as the lesser educated are left with minimum waged position. I predict a mass exodus of our newly college graduates.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 6:28 p.m.

You are right on target.I'd to see my kid to get a real skill in something that is needed, like HVAC. People have to HAVE to heat their homes, and people HAVE to keep there food cold. The problem will be all these people with degrees that feel they can't do the little jobs anymore and thats when the truely skilled will start making real money.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 6:18 p.m.

It USED to be that they would go out of business. Now, taxpayers get to bail them out and pay their outrageous bonuses too.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 5:34 p.m.

Something needs to be done to cut the deans wages and knock down the price of education. The school is a nonprofit 501(C3), and is obligated to serve the people. This is more like self serve, and mismanagement of funds. If the school make so much over the cost it should be returned back to the lenders, and not to the directors. I believe that $100,000.00 annually is a great income, for a nonprofit org. top employee. This a waist of our money, and if they are so inclined to vote for their higher incomes, then they should be privatized business. There is no excuse for taking so much money when we need all the financial help possible.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 6:58 p.m.

This information is what I was told by a good friend, but if what you say is true, then even more so do they need to be responsible with our funding. This is another pork barrel scenario, and needs to be addressed.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 6:46 p.m.

Technically, the University of Michigan (and all state universities and community colleges) are constitutional corporations, as they derive their existence from the State Constitution. They are not charities as you suggest. (They may have separate foundations, recognized by the Internal Revenue Service, which could be 501 (c)(3) charities.)


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 3:37 p.m.

If only there was a way for prospective students to do something for their country and have the country show it's appreciation in the form of giving the students some funding for education.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 6:28 p.m.

cinnabar, I took advantage of that very program. I wonder why others don't, yet complain about educational debt.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 5:36 p.m.

I think its an idea long overdue. We could use working Public Service programs for *Schools; people who will assist in more in-depth classes, homework labs, field studies, special education, physical fitness, etc. *Municipal park authorities - *National Park Service *Medical (most especially) work in disadvantaged communities and in schools *Infrastructure development (roads, bridges, sidewalks) *Civil Defense (huge need here) *CDC *FEMA *TSA (!!!!) In fact, I think every American should have to provide civil service time - not just taxes - to support our nation. It would level the barriers between groups a great deal and allow for some cross social appreciation.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 5:19 p.m.

Ignatz I believe the military offers that.

5c0++ H4d13y

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 4:20 p.m.

Of course when the government dumps money into an area it usually causes inflation.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 3:26 p.m.

What Congress should do is make a change to the amount of interest paid on student loans you can claim when filiing taxes. I paid well over $5k in interest on my student loans last year and the max I can claim is $2,500. That would go a long way to help those of us that have more than $25 in debt to pay back.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 3:21 p.m.

What is &quot;Bridge Magazine&quot; and why should we consider it a credible source?

Cindy Heflin

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 3:34 p.m.

Bridge Magazine is a publication of the Center for Michigan, a think tank founded by former University of Michigan regent and newspaper publisher Phil Power. The publication employs veteran journalists who report its stories.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 3:18 p.m.

I'm so glad I went to a school I could afford. No debt or sympathy here.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 7:29 p.m.

dotdash do that on your own dime They can also acquire knowledge, widen their minds, sharpen their critical thinking, and learning skills (like writing) that will last them a lifetime of jobs in fields that are indemand. If you want me to pay for it I say fine as long as you are productive when you get out of school. A friend of mine has a sister who has been in school her entire life and has never had a job above baby sitting. Shes almost 60 now. That is a complete waste!


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 7:02 p.m.

hut hut Please explain WHY it in my best interest to subsidize students that take classes they KNOW will never help them support themselves?


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 6:48 p.m.

Some people consider an education less a training program for a job, cinnabar, than a chance to acquire knowledge, widen their minds, sharpen their critical thinking, and learning skills (like writing) that will last them a lifetime of jobs. To disallow loans for anything but job-ready training is to restrict those other wonderful benefits of education to the upper class.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 6:14 p.m.

JustMyOpinion what do you feel the demand is for someone with a degree in womans studies?


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 5:27 p.m.

&quot;woman studies&quot; . Really. You 'said that out loud', and its not very complimentary towards yourself.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 5:17 p.m.

And thats why we need to hold people accountable for their own actions. I should not be accountable for someones debt because they choose a field of studies they cant get a job with. Nor should we allow loans for degrees in Medieval History, or woman studies. But since I cant tell people what they are allowed to study I shouldn't have to pay for it.

hut hut

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 4:05 p.m.

Everyone including you pay the price for undereducated, underemployed and in debt students. Your lack of sympathy and claims that you made wise choices for yourself is shortsighted. The attitude that only *me* matters is an attitude that keeps this nation divided.

Angry Moderate

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 3:25 p.m.

Since student loans are backed by the federal government, this issue affects all of us.

David Briegel

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 3:04 p.m.

And the civil society that INVESTED in the future with huge subsidies is now turning it's back on the future by refusing to &quot;pay it forward&quot;! They got theirs as America went from 6% to 20% college grads. The worse they behave the less &quot;civil&quot; our society will become!

hut hut

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 2:57 p.m.

All while the UM deans get massive raises on top of their already bloated salaries. The deans who control the university are the HAVES, the students graduate to become yet another HAVE NOT.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 2:54 p.m.

Does this report even consider the amount of loans taken out by parents? $25k for a student to pay back is minimal. Heck, a new car costs about the same amount and the expected payback on that is 5 years.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 7 p.m.

@sirotan &quot;almost everything that the parents could be buying can be discharged in bankruptcy&quot; This is becoming an increasingly popular way of getting off the hook for your debt. Are you advocating that? &quot;Even if you did die, if you happened to have a co-signer on any of your loans, now THEY are stuck with them forever.&quot; Informed cosigners are aware of this BEFORE they sign!


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 5:24 p.m.

This might be a legitimate point if not for the fact that loans for almost everything that the parents could be buying can be discharged in bankruptcy and will not follow you around until the day you die, like student loans will. You can never be rid of them, even if you were to become disabled and cannot work. Even if you did die, if you happened to have a co-signer on any of your loans, now THEY are stuck with them forever.

hut hut

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 2:53 p.m.

And they'll never get out of debt if the continuous redistribution of wealth to the ultra rich, the top 1% by way of tax breaks, financial rules written to favor them and the false politics of aspiration where what the ultra rich are telling them that they too can be rich are just dreams, the gold ring that they never are able to reach.. The so called job creators must get off their fat cat rear ends and invest in the future, create some jobs instead of spending their booty on themselves.

Aaron Wolf

Sat, Jan 14, 2012 : 7:15 p.m.

@ 81Wolverine, That's a lot of generalizations there. It is undoubtedly true that most rich folks indeed work hard and are ambitious, but it is completely debatable whether they worked harder and were more ambitious than middle-class and poorer folks. The more important point though is: you accuse people of blaming the rich for all of society's problems, and that isn't a fair representation of others' views. The people you are addressing are only blaming the rich for society's *economic* and economic-related problems. And nobody's saying the rich deserve 100% of the blame. They're just saying that the rich deserve some if not most of the blame for financial/economic-related problems — and actually, they aren't blaming individual rich people either, the blame is on a systematic inequity in economic and political privilege that the rich enjoy. If you can be so gracious as to fairly acknowledge these views, then it is perfectly reasonable for you to then debate their veracity...


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 10:13 p.m.

DonBee, this is not North Korea or a Middle Eastern dictatorship. In the USA, students may choose to pursue a career in one's area of interest and study courses of interest that lead to that chosen career -- whether it is History, or Literature, or Engineering, or Teaching, or Architecture, or Music, or Business, or any other discipline on the planet that they choose to entertain if it is offered. It is not up to a college or University to &quot;Direct&quot; them to any career based on where money may or may not be made in the future or where jobs may or may not exist, although counseling should certainly be available to those who request it. Positions like yours are scary and lead to the type of Government intervention that we are seeing from the Republicans now in power -- the party of less government, local control which is suddenly forcing it's way into as many local decisions, and bedrooms, as possible.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 7:34 p.m.

Please STOP blaming the rich for all of society's problems. Most of these people achieved their wealth through hard work and ambition. And rich people on average donate a higher % of their income to charity than others.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 6:37 p.m.

I never heard of a poor person starting a scholarship.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 5:21 p.m.

a lot of rhetoric, though not altogether untrue-- what are some of your ideas about some of this investment in the future? otherwise, this post is just a soapbox statement. a lot of people are always interested in complaining but not critically thinking beyond how the system is broken.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 4:47 p.m.

Mr. Briegel - The term &quot;Vulture Capitalist&quot; has been around for more than 2 decades. Gov. Perry just used it. hut hut - A big part of the problem with universities is they don't direct people into careers where there is money to be made. Each department wants the maximum number of students, even if there are not jobs. In Michigan there are not enough education jobs for all the students who want to be teachers. I am not sure there are enough Medieval History jobs to handle the number of graduates, nor art appreciation. Universities become more relevant when they can graduate students who they can place in real jobs at the end of their degree program. I know that is not the &quot;American Way&quot; but it needs to start to be or many of these people will have thousands of dollars of debt they will never make enough to pay.

Angry Moderate

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 3:10 p.m.

Actually, we'll never get out of debt because the 100% liberal universities charge us high tuition to cover excessive salaries for professors of useless subjects.

David Briegel

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 3:06 p.m.

I love the newest term &quot;Vulture Capitalism&quot;. Thank you &quot;Christian Conservative&quot; Rick Perry!