Here's your degree -- and a lawsuit
Some universities are suing students who can't or won't repay their school loans.
Recent graduates are also having more trouble paying off their college loans, and many are being threatened with legal action from their alma maters for nonpayment of tuition and other bills.
The University of Pennsylvania filed six lawsuits against former students in November, demanding repayments from $13,000 to $27,000. A university spokeswoman told the Daily Pennsylvanian that students who graduate or leave the university with an outstanding balance will see their debt transferred to the school's collections office. Past-due balances, she said, are subject to a late-payment penalty of 1.5% per month.
And universities have other unique ways of pressuring students who can't or won't pay their bills. Kenya Shujaa, a former graduate student at Penn, faced a lawsuit and also saw the university withhold access to her transcript, which she said "limited the kinds of jobs that I could have." But Shujaa, who settled her debts last year, says she understands the university's actions. "That's the rule when you owe them money," she said.
Students who borrowed funds for college and earned bachelor's degrees in 2011 left school with an average of $26,600 in student loan debt, up 5% from 2010, according to a recent report by the Project on Student Debt, by The Institute for College Access and Success.
Last year, the Department of Education reported a 13.4% national student loan default rate -- with for-profit institutions having the highest average three-year default rate of 22.7%, public institutions at 11% and private, nonprofit schools at 7.5%.
"We continue to be concerned about default rates and want to ensure that all borrowers have the tools to manage their debt," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a press release. "In addition to helping borrowers, we will also hold schools accountable for ensuring their students are not saddled with unmanageable student loan debt."
Not surprisingly, educators say getting a college degree increases a student's chances of finding a job that pays well. But some also stress that both students and parents need to educate themselves about the loan process.
"Students and parents need to know that, even at similar looking schools, debt levels can be wildly different," said Lauren Asher, the president of The Institute for College Access and Success. "And if they do need to borrow to get through school, federal student loans, with options like income-based repayment, are the safest way to go."
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Before you committ to any college for a degree, go out in the workplace and find out your chances of getting a decent job. This idea of going to school to improve your life's view and such is nonsense. Unless you are already rich forget it. Go to school to learn a profession. Make sure the one you choose comes with a job at the end.
Question here is, why do so many educators and even parents (especially those parents who can't afford to pay their childs tuition themselves) push kids to college.
The job market is terrible. Even with a great education good jobs are few and far between. Most kids I know just go to college with no particular ideas in the courses they should pursue to be productive after graduation. Those who do have an idea still leave college with little chances in this economy, unless of course their studies are in medicine or like fields.
These kids end up deep in debt with little hope of even surviving on their own let alone have the ability to pay back these loans. It's us the taxpayers who take the brunt of the cost of unpaid loans and grants paid to students who either don't complete school or fail to find employment in their course of study.
It seems to me a lot of kids go to school just to put off work for four years or need to be the boss when they leave school.
I know a lot of them that would benefit from military service rather than school. They could actually earn the money for their degree before even going to school. The few years more in maturity they have after their service to this country could help them to decisively determine their course of study.
If youngsters don't go to college, they're labelled as uneducated and deadbeats because they can't find a decent job and are forced to work at McDonald's. If they do go to college, they're labelled as over-educated and deadbeats because they can't find a decent job and are forced to work at McDonald's.
I have a BS in Applied Mathematics (GPA: 3.76) and took several graduate courses in statistics (GPA 3.64) as well as the first of the Actuary exams. I cannot find an entry-level job anywhere. I am not looking for pity, but it is incredibly frustrating to have worked so hard and achieved academic success only to be unemployable.
I have been searching and applying for jobs for the better part of 6 months now. I am studying for additional exams and learning how to use different types of software on my own. I am motivated, hard-working, learn quickly and willing to relocate to just about anywhere in the Northeast or Mid-Atlantic. Please help me.
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