Author Topic: $500k in debt for college  (Read 6714 times)

Daleth

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$500k in debt for college
« on: May 24, 2014, 02:40:54 PM »
This is... there is no other word for it... insane:
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/student-debt-nearly-destroyed-this-family-s-finances-150749696.html

"“All three kids were in college all at the same time and we didn’t have cash saved up,” Shippen says. “We had to finance everything.”

SInce each of their three kids decided to attend private universities, their financing options were limited."

So that's where you say, "SORRY KIDS, we can't afford that." Or... NOT, and then you torpedo the rest of your own lives (and probably stick the kids with supporting you when you're old, since you no longer can).

WTH?!?!? Seriously.

Albert

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Re: $500k in debt for college
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2014, 04:04:19 PM »
And one of the kids majored in music therapy...

cko

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Re: $500k in debt for college
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2014, 04:54:05 PM »
That's a lot of beer pong....

SwordGuy

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Re: $500k in debt for college
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2014, 07:11:11 PM »
Idiots. 

MrsPete

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Re: $500k in debt for college
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2014, 07:42:08 PM »
I can't get my head around the thought process:  My kid is 18 years old, and I haven't been able to save anything for his education yet -- but I'm sure that if I borrow for his education, I'll suddenly find the money to repay the cost later . . . plus interest! 

frugalecon

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Re: $500k in debt for college
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2014, 08:01:12 PM »
I can't get my head around the thought process:  My kid is 18 years old, and I haven't been able to save anything for his education yet -- but I'm sure that if I borrow for his education, I'll suddenly find the money to repay the cost later . . . plus interest! 

This. And what happens when it is time to pay for weddings? Unlikely that they will be hit by a sudden attack of common sense.

These articles seem premised on the idea that readers will feel sympathy for the nitwits they profile. My response is "Guys, WTF were you thinking?"

It would be interesting to do a follow-up on the kids in ten years to see what sorts of decisions they have made.

CarDude

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Re: $500k in debt for college
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2014, 09:25:47 PM »
On the bright side, at least they're down to 150k in debt, and the last child is attending a public school. That's right, I found my optimism hat.

Latwell

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Re: $500k in debt for college
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2014, 10:54:38 PM »
If I gambled, I'd bet that at least one of those kids decides to switch majors.. Costing more money

Jamesqf

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Re: $500k in debt for college
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2014, 11:40:33 PM »
That's the problem with speed-reading titles: I thought $500K was a bargain price to BUY a college, not go there :-)

Ayanka

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Re: $500k in debt for college
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2014, 03:26:58 AM »
Well the parents should have pushed the kids to go to public school, on that point I agree. I don't know about the kids though, after all the music therapy kids actually has work and works a second job to supplement income in order to pay the debt back. I wouldn't call it badass, but also not worth the Antimustachian wall of shame. Don't get me wrong though, the parents need a financial check-up. I always try to see the best in people/stories, there are already enough lemon people on this world.

Daleth

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Re: $500k in debt for college
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2014, 08:13:14 AM »
Yeah, actually there is a bright side. If the kids who have graduated have somehow already managed to pay the parents back $350k (which must be what happened, if the parents are down to owing $150k), that's pretty miraculous, actually. But still, almost $170k per child per UNDERGRADUATE degree?!?

Albert

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Re: $500k in debt for college
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2014, 11:36:50 AM »
Yeah, actually there is a bright side. If the kids who have graduated have somehow already managed to pay the parents back $350k (which must be what happened, if the parents are down to owing $150k), that's pretty miraculous, actually. But still, almost $170k per child per UNDERGRADUATE degree?!?

Are any undergraduate degrees in US actually that expensive? How much is these days 4 years in Harvard for a full price?

AlanStache

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Re: $500k in debt for college
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2014, 12:02:17 PM »
Quote
Are any undergraduate degrees in US actually that expensive? How much is these days 4 years in Harvard for a full price?

Coworker graduated undergrad +4(?) years ago from a name brand engineering school, has 100k debt, was a public school.  He says tuition more than doubled in the 4 years he was there.  He did not work while in school.  Yes school in the US can be stupid expensive. 

Also no one pays "full price".  My understanding is they make it as hard as possible to compare prices, with random grands and loans at different rates.

homeymomma

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Re: $500k in debt for college
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2014, 12:18:56 PM »
Yeah, actually there is a bright side. If the kids who have graduated have somehow already managed to pay the parents back $350k (which must be what happened, if the parents are down to owing $150k), that's pretty miraculous, actually. But still, almost $170k per child per UNDERGRADUATE degree?!?

Are any undergraduate degrees in US actually that expensive? How much is these days 4 years in Harvard for a full price?

My undergrad (private liberal arts college) is currently almost 50K/year, and would top that amount if parents are also picking up all living and transportation costs. My second degree, public in-state, was over 10K/year, not including housing/living expenses. So yes, it's expensive, but definitely doesn't have to be THAT expensive. What I don't agree with is when people say that kids should just get a summer job and do work-study and imply that this would end up paying for their entire degree. There is no summer job for a recent high school grad that would make 10K in three months, and no work-study that could even begin to cover all your living expenses. You'd have to do college non-traditionally (years off, night school, community college classes during high school, etc) in order to graduate without debt, unless you have massive scholarships. Going a non-traditional route is great, and I'll encourage my own kids in that direction, but not all 18 year olds would think of this on their own... Especially not if their parents are pushing the traditional 4 year college immediately after high school.

homeymomma

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Re: $500k in debt for college
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2014, 12:19:30 PM »
I can't get my head around the thought process:  My kid is 18 years old, and I haven't been able to save anything for his education yet -- but I'm sure that if I borrow for his education, I'll suddenly find the money to repay the cost later . . . plus interest! 

Agreed!

Albert

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Re: $500k in debt for college
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2014, 02:38:07 PM »
Lucky you... Tuition in ETH Zurich which is not that far academically from Harvard/MIT is about 1,500$ a year + living expenses. If you are poor there is a possibility to get scholarships which would partially cover cost of living.

Zette

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Re: $500k in debt for college
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2014, 03:01:31 PM »
And one of the kids majored in music therapy...
Music therapy?  Some majors these days sound like they selected two random legitimate majors and put them together just to see what happens.  Let's see if I can make a better one.  How about engineering literature?  Art forestry?  Electrical theater?

Music therapy is a real profession.  It's used with autistic kids to help them learn to engage in interacting with other people and leads to basic communication for some kids.  Kind of a cross between being a music teacher and a speech therapist.  It's probably more practical than majoring in just music.  Not sure I'd spend $150k on a degree to do it, though...

homeymomma

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Re: $500k in debt for college
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2014, 03:23:54 PM »
And one of the kids majored in music therapy...
Music therapy?  Some majors these days sound like they selected two random legitimate majors and put them together just to see what happens.  Let's see if I can make a better one.  How about engineering literature?  Art forestry?  Electrical theater?

Music therapy is a real profession.  It's used with autistic kids to help them learn to engage in interacting with other people and leads to basic communication for some kids.  Kind of a cross between being a music teacher and a speech therapist.  It's probably more practical than majoring in just music.  Not sure I'd spend $150k on a degree to do it, though...

Definitely a legitimate career. Seems odd you couldn't do music or education or childhood ed and get a certification in the specialty of music therapy. Weird one would require a full bachelors degree in such a niche area.