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America’s Trillion Dollar Student Loan Train Wreck (with Video)

Posted by Larry Doyle on October 27, 2012 6:44 AM |

Can you imagine the media coverage of a train wreck in which the passengers largely consisted of hundreds of thousands of American college, university, and graduate students? Every news outlet in this nation would set up shop by the roadside to cover that massive human interest story.

Well, that train wreck is playing out in slo-motion each and every day in our country. Is that right? Yep, and it has garnered little of the requisite attention it deserves. Let’s navigate and take a personal look inside the trillion dollar student loan disaster. Interesting that it takes coverage from Euronews to shine a light on this pileup.

The range of comments and opinions in that clip run the gamut. I am not here to debate free public education for college and university students as some in the clip would promote. I would also not go so far as to say that Uncle Sam should not have a seat at this table.

Do you think the students profiled had any idea or appreciation for the amount of debt they were taking on or what they needed to do to service that debt post graduation? Those questions and that topic need to be front and center PRIOR to taking out student loans. The costs of education also need to be part of that discussion.

For the future of our nation and the millions of prospective college students, this issue of student loans and the cost of education needs to come front and center. America needs to openly address what I characterize as “a bit of a racket” in the world of student loans and education at large.

I personally believe that the education model as currently constructed for many colleges and universities in our nation is unsustainable. Education at both the secondary and college/university levels is critically important if our nation thinks it is going to compete on the world’s stage and in the world’s markets. The financing of education for families and students is increasingly challenging. We should not force those families and students to have this discussion strictly at their kitchen tables.

In an attempt to bring this discussion into the public square, I welcome putting forth a wide range of commentaries written on the Student Debt Bubble and the accompanying Student Loan Train Wreck. I hope people will share this clip, those commentaries, and shine a light on the train wreck before more students crash and take our economy right along with them.

We can do better.

I hope students and families facing the cost of college education will find this library of articles to which I link below to be of help. I hope current students will elevate this topic on their own campuses. If any students in the audience are looking for a speaker to come to your campus, please reach out to me at senseoncents@aol.com.

Related Sense on Cents Commentary/Student Loan Bubble

Student Loan Bubble: The Hidden Reality (September 2012) (addresses the skyrocketing level of defaults and pending defaults of student loans) 

California Pension Payouts Increase 73% In 2 Years (June 2012) (addresses the egregious pension payouts by many administrators in higher education…a central part of the racket!!)

Student Loan Crisis: Why So Many Colleges Will Fail? (May 2012)  (which schools might just not make it?)

Student Debt Bubble: Impending Doom for Colleges (May 2012) (Mark Cuban lays it out in spades)

The Prohibitive Cost of Higher Education: A Racket? (April 2012) (with cutting edge research; a great read!!)

Student Loan Debt Bomb’s Collateral Damage (February 2012) (impact of this train wreck on our economy)

Very Disturbing Update: Student Loan Bubble and Seeking Arrangements (August 2011) (highlights how female students are engaging in prostitution to pay their student loans…yes, very disturbing!!)

Are Student Loans An Impending Bubble? Is Higher Education a Scam? Part II (June 2011) (addresses how a hedge fund looks to profit on the impending bubble…a very interesting read)

Are Student Loans An Impending Bubble? Is Higher Education A Scam? (April 2011) (a fabulous comprehensive piece on many elements of “the racket”)

Financial Literacy Is The First Step To Financial Independence (July 2009) (the prerequisite for this topic)

Larry Doyle

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I have no affiliation or business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

  • fred

    LD,

    Is there a hidden agenda behind this scam that needs to be exposed and understood? Affirmative action, income redistribution, socialism, liberalism, misapplied keynesianism, public servitude, political patronage, etc.

    It should be obvious 1) not everyone is college material, 2) a college degree no longer guarantees financial success or that you’ll even find a suitable job, 3)selecting the right major is critical, 4) in general, the rising cost of education is unsustainable given wage stagnation.

    A wise man once told me “if everyone has money or (access to credit), money becomes worthless, it is the scarcity of money that creates it’s value”, does this principle hold true for most people regarding “generalized” secondary education at most colleges and universities?

    “Before you make things fair, you have to make them right”. Just more misguided public policy and yet another argument for limiting the role of government?

    Too cynical a viewpoint?

    • coe

      For my two cents, Fred, it is far from being cynical – your thoughts are dead on right…read an article in today’s WSJ on how parents who were needed to co-sign the student loan notes of their children are finding themselves now caught in the unintended consequences of these pressures backing up on their all too fragile finances…

      Shame on the colleges for the unthinkable costs of mediocrity or worse, shame on the leaders of corporate america for not welcoming the newly minted graduates to real meaningful job opportunities, shame on the President and his toadies for neglecting the use of common sense and political will to address this challenge, shame on the teachers’ unions for promoting mediocrity and all too self serving education policies that spawn adverse selection as well as unsustainable un/underfunded pension liabilities, and shame on all of us for believing the bull and drinking the Kool-Aid.

      Time for a group of visionaries to navigate the third rail issues and lead us to legitimate solutions – it is not too late!






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