Cnn-My Degree Isn't Worth The Debt

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 6 years ago '08        #1
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KAPITAL85 3 heat pts
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Cnn-My Degree Isn't Worth The Debt
 

 
My Degree Isn't Worth the Debt!
by Annalyn Censky
Monday, July 11, 2011
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Facing college costs that are rising far faster than incomes, many Americans are relying on massive amounts of debt.

We talked to people overloaded with student loans.


Courtesy: Erik Solecki
Erik Solecki

Student debt: $185,000
Degree: Bachelor's in industrial engineering from Kettering University

Was my college degree worth it? Hell no.

I graduated from one of the top engineering schools in the nation, thinking my starting salary would be between $70,000 and $80,000 a year.

More from CNNMoney.com:

Surging College Costs Price Out Middle Class

Calculator: What Will College Cost You?

Money 101: College
Such a specialized, technical degree is supposed to lead to a great career, so I was willing to take out the debt.

Instead, I was hit with nine months of unemployment after graduating. And now that I finally have a job, I'm making about $15,000 a year less than I had hoped.

Even if I were able to afford the $1,800 payments each month, it will probably take me 30 years to pay off my student loans.

I engineer high-end autos. Ironically, I'll probably never be able to afford one.


Courtesy: Saniquah Robinson
Saniquah Robinson

Student debt: $82,000
Degrees: Master's in Health Science from Chatham University; Bachelor's in psychology from Temple University

After holding my Master's for three years, I'm still f!ghting to find a Master's level position.

I have been seeking employment in the medical field and after about a hundred interviews, I'm left doing contract work for $19 an hour.

I once believed that part of the American Dream was to earn a college education and this would ensure a great career and financial freedom. Unfortunately I am losing hope.

I'm a mother of three, and my husband and I have been turned down from purchasing a home due to our income-to-debt ratio.

I don't want people to think they shouldn't go to college -- it definitely gives you a great foundation to start your career. But it's very important that when you do, you know exactly what you want to study and you're knowledgeable about debt.


Courtesy: Shane Dixon
Shane Dixon

Student debt: $72,800
Degrees: Master's in public health from University of South Carolina; Bachelor's in biology from Clemson University

In my early years after high school, I wavered between trade school and college, but eventually opted for college and earned a Bachelor's in biology.

I quickly found work, but at an abysmal wage of $7.25 per hour, which did not even allow me to live on my own.

After an exasperating year at that wage, I decided to go back to school and I graduated in 2004 with a Master's in Public Health, thinking I was on the road to recovery.

During that time, I had been married, had a child, gotten divorced, and ended up raising my son on my own. I took a low paying government job in Southern Florida, and because I couldn't even make the minimum payments on my debt, I took forbearance after forbearance.

I have had a good life, but now at age 37, the weariness of carrying this financial burden frustrates me to no end.

My son is nine years old now and will want to attend college when he graduates high school. But what will I tell him? First I have to decide if the college degree is worth the debt. I hope by the time he is making his decision, I will have figured it out.


Courtesy: Michelle Shipley
Michelle Shipley

Student debt: $140,000
Degree: Bachelor's in political science and international development from Tulane University

Like many, I had no idea what money meant when I was 17. My family is not wealthy. I simply didn't have the information or knowledge to know what it would be like now.

I had to pay for college on my own and took out loans for everything - rent, food, books, tuition, etc.

Then, during my sophomore year, I lost everything to Hurricane Katrina. I finished my degree, but continued to take loans to make it possible.

I'm now working at a non-profit and I love it -- but I don't make much. I've been able to put off the payments through forbearance, but I know the $1,400 a month bills are coming soon. Not to mention, I've also racked up about $7,000 in credit card debt.

My debt is a life-swallowing, all-consuming, hole in my life. No college degree is worth that.

43 comments for "Cnn-My Degree Isn't Worth The Debt"

 6 years ago '11        #2
ThaPro 
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All the more reason to beast those standardized tests and do well in high school to get scholarships. On top of that, there are plenty of grants and external scholarships up for grabs if you know where to look. If you manage to get those grants and scholarships--and go to an affordable school--you can finish college debt-free.

I'm not sure how grad school works outside of the STEM fields, but if you're doing grad study in the STEM field, you shouldn't have to pay for that either.

If you get an internship and turn it to a full-time job, you'll be straight. It's a matter of choosing your battles wisely.

Then again, if you're hit by some external force like Katrina, things will be a little different...


Last edited by ThaPro; 07-13-2011 at 04:13 PM..
 6 years ago '05        #3
dg177bx 25 heat pts25
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gotdamn i only owe like 20 k
 6 years ago '06        #4
RAZAH CUTS 5835 heat pts5835
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i owe like 5-6K at the most....got another year and a half tho...
 6 years ago '11        #5
PTC 138 heat pts138
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It just depends.

These people obviously took out MAX loans. How do you owe 184k for a bachelors degree?

I'm not sure how expensive school is outside CA but to rack up over 100 g's worth of debt for a bachelors is tough - that means you did a little more spending than you should have.

If you're on your own in college - and can't get financial aid you either:

Work AND go to school (with minimum loans)

or

Don't work, take all loans, and finish college ASAP (4 years or less!)

Most people can get some sort of financial aid though (free money).
 6 years ago '04        #6
Ace2125 25 heat pts25
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damn these n*ggas studying programs i never heard of. That sucks being them fa real
 6 years ago '06        #7
Nrizzle84 
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People love to complain. Sometimes you gotta make some different moves to get ahead. One of my boys got loaded with student loans. He couldn't get a job in his career field. He ended up joining the national guard or coast guard for a couple years. They pretty much wiped out his student loans. During that time he got in at a low level with a good company. Now he has like 4 years in and he's good to go. He's making like 50k, but without those student loans its going a long way.
 6 years ago '04        #8
browntown2 
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I'm a recent grad and here's my take on this:

- do good in high school if you can to get scholarships right out the gate (i wish i did this) or excel in sports to get a scholarship
- do your lower level classes at a junior college - much cheaper and doesn't matter how you start your degree, it matters where you end it (i did this)
- go to/transfer to a local state university as opposed to a private/out of state college and live with your parents. leave the house parties to someone else (at least you don't have to clean up after)
- if currently in college, apply to as many scholarships as you can (that your university officially sponsors) i applied to about 50 scholarships and got accepted by 1 - it made all the difference though
- get a part time job (preferably an internship in your field) and learn to fu*king save money, it adds up. no need to stunt as a college student.
- after college either a.) get hired full time by internship or b.) find entry level job - any job - that can get your foot in the door. continue to build new skills. what i did was look at job descriptions of jobs i wanted before i graduated and made sure i had all of them and could prove i had them to employers
- BUDGET your money so you can pay off whatever you took out after college

The cases they show of people oweing 100+k in debt are from people who didn't plan well and didn't make good decisions. Why even put yourself in the position to be in financial prison?

Also, you need to learn to work your a.ss off and show employers why you're INDISPENSABLE so they hire you. If employers can choose from thousands of people who have no skills, shown no passion, or ability to lead why would they choose YOU? (something to think about if you're currently unemployed)

Disclaimer: I know everyone's situation is different and not everyone is able to do the things that I mentioned above. BUT, if you watched Party Down all I need to say is.. JIM ABBOT. () If he can make it to the majors as a pitcher with one hand, you can stop making excuses for yourself and reach any goal you set.

edit: and my outstanding debt from school is ~5k


Last edited by browntown2; 07-13-2011 at 06:59 PM..
 6 years ago '07        #9
Mr. Moses 
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That's why I joined the Air Reserves and picked up a trade for free while I was in. Now I'm going to school at my own pace and should be done debt free in the next year and a half barring shinnanegans.
 6 years ago '04        #10
KURUPTION!!! 541 heat pts541
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Reading sh*t like this makes me feel like an as*hole for wasting an opportunity to get my degree without loans. My father paid cash for my first two years of school, but I fu*ked my grades all up luckily I was able to get a pretty good job and I'm going back to finish up hopefully next year. on my own dime. My wife and I do alright so there's no rush. I pay for what I can afford and finish when I finish. fu*k a loan. I have no idea what I'm going to tell my daughter when the time comes for her to go to school.


Last edited by KURUPTION!!!; 07-13-2011 at 07:27 PM..
 6 years ago '07        #11
nwadei 34 heat pts34
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People need to understand that it is foolish to overborrow for an education. In the same way that one should avoid purchasing items whose price exceed their yearly income or anticipated yearly income, its foolish to take on huge amounts of debt to get a bachelors degree.

As someone that majored in mechanical engineering, I could have told her that starting salary for most engineers holding only a bachelors degree is between 40 - 50k. For those with a masters degree, starting salary is between 50-60k. Industrial Engineers are on the higher end of this bracket but they still fit in. Why don't these kids do their research?

Solution: Find a cheap reputable state school to get your first degree (I went to Ga Tech for example). There are at least 2 or 3 in every state. If you get a FAFSA loan for this, it should not cost you more than 30-40k which is exactly on the mark.
 6 years ago '06        #12
D.O.H. 
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well for one you can get scholarships, but really the big problem is people preached for the last 20 years that u go to college, u get a job, thats that. Well now here we are, and we've flooded the market with people with degrees, now everybody has one, which makes them less valuable. Not to mention there aren't enough jobs for everybody
 6 years ago '04        #13
Alton85 
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 KAPITAL85 said:
My Degree Isn't Worth the Debt!
My debt is a life-swallowing, all-consuming, hole in my life. No college degree is worth that.

[video - click to view]

 6 years ago '04        #14
Tha754kid 1 heat pts
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 browntown2 said:
- do good in high school if you can to get scholarships right out the gate (i wish i did this) or excel in sports to get a scholarship
Thats what I did. Graduated Salutatorian and made 28 on ACT. Pretty much went to school for free. Graduated with only $2100 in debt which I have long since paid off.

$100K for a degree??? Damn
 6 years ago '10        #15
rek0nize 66 heat pts66
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I sense somebody maxed out all their federal stafford loans and then took out a lot of private loans to hit that mark.
 6 years ago '06        #16
Rique 60 heat pts60
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damnnn shouldve went to community college first they lost. Unless you get a scholarship or get in a school like harvard that doesn't accept transfers go to a junior college
 6 years ago '07        #17
MOTTAFOOKAH 4 heat pts
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n*ggas need to stop goin to college majoring in stupid a.ss sh*t
 6 years ago '04        #18
Cap Peeler 7 heat pts
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I owe about 50K... I know I'm gonna do good after I graduate but I'm joining the Army so they pay this sh*t off instead.

I would say that the debt was well worth it though... I feel like the best investment is the one that you make on yourself and I certainly did that. I know I'll make it through at the end of the day
 6 years ago '07        #19
nwadei 34 heat pts34
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 D.O.H. said:
well for one you can get scholarships, but really the big problem is people preached for the last 20 years that u go to college, u get a job, thats that. Well now here we are, and we've flooded the market with people with degrees, now everybody has one, which makes them less valuable. Not to mention there aren't enough jobs for everybody
And part of of the reason why jobs are less common even though standards of education have risen is because the spirit of entrepreneurship amongst those endowed with higher education is so diminished these days. No one starts their own business. Everyone wants to go work for someone else. People need to understand that jobs dont grow out of the ground. Someone has to start a company, someone has to put a good idea to paper and higher other people on. We cant all be employees. Someone has to be the employer. In a sense, education spawns that kind of mindset, the "Always follow the guidance of someone else, dont blaze your own path. Its too risky". But people have to shake that off. If you have the degree, you have been given all the skills and resources that you need.
 07-14-2011, 02:14 PM         #20
Rhyme n Tekniq 
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 nwadei said:
And part of of the reason why jobs are less common even though standards of education have risen is because the spirit of entrepreneurship amongst those endowed with higher education is so diminished these days. No one starts their own business. Everyone wants to go work for someone else. People need to understand that jobs dont grow out of the ground. Someone has to start a company, someone has to put a good idea to paper and higher other people on. We cant all be employees. Someone has to be the employer. In a sense, education spawns that kind of mindset, the "Always follow the guidance of someone else, dont blaze your own path. Its too risky". But people have to shake that off. If you have the degree, you have been given all the skills and resources that you need.
Ive been saying this for years now, contrary to popular opinion, Economics, Mathematics, and Science need to have greater emphasis in schools. Especially Economics. It'll plant the seeds of entrepreneurship,
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