4/11: Student loan debt

Moderated by Rick Badie

Americans’ outstanding student loan debt stands at $1 trillion, higher than credit cards and car loans. Today’s page is devoted to the issue, said by some to be the next financial crisis. The president of the Georgia Student Finance Commission offers tips on borrowing for college. An Atlanta attorney explains how federal bankruptcy law views student loan debt.

16 comments Add your comment

Ron C.

April 11th, 2012
6:26 pm

Oh, and one more thing . . . as for scholarships and grants, good luck finding the time and energy to sit down and write all the essays and complete forms. Do you think the universities really want students to have any of this money? I don’t.

Ron C.

April 11th, 2012
6:21 pm

Consider too, that not only has tuition gone up in the university system, but let’s not forget all the “extras”:
- luxurious new student centers
- fancy dormitories with every possible amenity
- athletic fees for state-of-the art gyms demanded by this generation
- never-ending technology fees to make everything electronic (the newer the the better, or is it)
- student activity fees that only a small percentage actually use

All this, so now you can see why the cost of higher education has been increasing, making loans the only choice.


April 11th, 2012
3:10 pm

There is a new option for paying back student loans. It is based on the student’s income after graduation. As the mother of two college students, I am very glad the loans are there and that there are many options for paying them back. I do believe a student needs to be responsible for some of the costs of attending college as they are taking classes. “After you graduate” is a long time in the minds of young people and they don’t realize what paying back very large sums of money will do to them when they do start paying the money back. We gave our children some options and one chose to move to Athens and attend UGA, the other chose to stay home and attend Kennesaw (yes she did get in UGA, but thought it was too big) and live at home. The difference – the one at UGA HAS to keep HOPE or come home and has a loan for a portion of the expenses, the other wants to keep HOPE and have no debt. Both will have very good educations and we have explained, in detail, the difference. There are many ways to pay for college and options to attending college. Students don’t realize, and often parents don’t explain, the many options available.


April 11th, 2012
1:34 pm

Mmm yes, let Richard be the decider as to what course of study is valued and what isn’t.

You want more people in engineering? You probably should work on steering people into the field long before they are applying for college loans…just a thought.

Many sociology majors go into social work, criminal justice, and teaching. . . Not exactly glamorous jobs with a prospect of advancement and monetary gain. You would penalize them?

I say this as a gainfully employed sociology graduate (with no loans).


April 11th, 2012
9:05 am

A couple of changes need to be made before we even think of attacking the people defaulting:

1. Once you enroll, your current tuition rate needs to be locked until your expected graduation date. If you enroll, and the school tells you it will cost $40k, that’s fine, but if it ends up costing $60k, the school needs to take a great deal of blame.

2. Student loans need to be issued in amounts dependent on the major. There’s no valid reason for the government to loan the same amounts of money to a sociology major as an engineering major.

3. Graduates need to be able to extend the amount of time to pay back the loan at a higher interest rate. Self explanatory.


April 11th, 2012
9:00 am

SAWB — the majority of the loan $$$ went to for-profit schools whose completion rates are horrible! $800 million in guaranteed loans for Georgians in one year to pay for correspondence schools! HOPE is not the cause of this problem…