2010 May 29 Saturday
High Price Colleges Lead Students Deep Into Debt

Higher education is a fraud.

Today, however, Ms. Munna, a 26-year-old graduate of New York University, has nearly $100,000 in student loan debt from her four years in college, and affording the full monthly payments would be a struggle. For much of the time since her 2005 graduation, she’s been enrolled in night school, which allows her to defer loan payments.

When will the education bubble burst? When will kids start figuring out that for most of them higher education isn't worth it unless they go for economically valuable skills?

Get this: the foolish girl racked up $100k in debt to get a degree in religious and women's studies.

Cortney could move someplace cheaper than her current home city of San Francisco, but she worries about her job prospects, even with her N.Y.U. diploma.

She recently received a raise and now makes $22 an hour working for a photographer. It’s the highest salary she’s earned since graduating with an interdisciplinary degree in religious and women’s studies. After taxes, she takes home about $2,300 a month. Rent runs $750, and the full monthly payments on her student loans would be about $700 if they weren’t being deferred, which would not leave a lot left over.

Even if she wasn't paying interest it would take her 12 years to pay back the debt. But if her interest rate is 6% then she's looking at over 19 years of payments. For what? The ability to work a job that she could have gotten sooner without the degree. What the hell are people thinking when they go to college to get a degree in some "studies" major? I can see it if you were born rich and just want to intellectually entertain yourself and hang out at college parties. But what if you really need to make a living once you leave school?

Colleges and universities like NYU are peddling a fraud to prospective students. Spend big bucks to attend their over-priced institutions of higher learning and the door to wealth and success will be opened. The Left's constant chanting that education is the answer sets up each new generation of youths to be easy marks for what the colleges are selling.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2010 May 29 05:17 PM  Education

black sea said at May 29, 2010 6:24 PM:

I believe that the current model of higher educations is in many ways flawed and unsustainable, but unless someone promised this young woman that a degree in religion and women's studies guaranteed her a middle class income for the rest of her working life, then it wasn't fraud. (By the way, no university can make such a claim about any degree program, nor would I trust any school that implicitly or explicitly does.) Universities offer all sorts of degree programs that might generously be called an "intellectual indulgence," and I say generous because in many cases, there's nothing particularly intellectual about them. Nevertheless, there are people who want to study these things, and there is credit available to do so. Under the current system, that is their choice.

In this particular case, the young woman's mother should have advised her daughter of the risks involved in taking out these loans. I would certainly agree that the standards under which banks provide student loans should be scrutinized. But I wouldn't call this "fraud" if no one ever promised her anything more than an expensive opportunity to study something that interested her. You buy the ticket, you take the ride.

Mthson said at May 29, 2010 6:36 PM:

Haha... that's so irresponsible of the academic community.

Do "studies" majors even qualify as intellectualism? I love talking with such people at social events and respectfully pointing out a dozen problems with their arguments that they're not aware of because they live in an intellectual monoculture that doesn't expose them to serious intellectualism and science.

black sea said at May 29, 2010 6:56 PM:

I just finished reading the second page of the article, and must comment again. This is actually a story about a young woman with an absurdly inflated sense of entitlement. She had to go to NYU; a state school wouldn't have been good enough. I suspect becuase NYU is, you know, in Manhattan. She insists on living in San Francisco (another great SWPL mecca), because she believes, or so she says, it offers her good job prospects. To do what? I don't think the article ever mentions what it is she plans or has ever planned to do to make money after graduation. She blames her university for not cautioning her against taking on so much student debt. Does this child have any idea of how the world works? And finally, she could live with her mom and help operate the B&B mom owns in upstate New York, but she doesn't like her job prospects there. Again, what the f*#k kind of job or career does she plan to have? I doubt that she's gotten beyond the fantasizing stage.

And then finally, she says "I don’t want to spend the rest of my life slaving away to pay for an education I got for four years and would happily give back,” she said. “It feels wrong to me.” Well sweetheart, when you borrow money to purchase an experience rather than an object, you can't give it back. And I think when you take out student debt, they probably explain to you that you can't bankrupt your way out of it.

You will note that throughout the article, she absolves herself and her mother of any responsibility whatsoever, and blames all of her reckless decision making on the failures of the bank or the university to, in effect, tell her what to do with her life. I say place her in indentured servitude until the loan is paid off. She's asked for it.

Mercer said at May 29, 2010 7:08 PM:

"The ability to work a job that she could have gotten sooner without the degree. What the hell are people thinking when they go to college to get a degree in some "studies" major?"

There are many employers who require a degree and don't care what was studied. I don't think earning 22 per hour is bad for someone 26 years old. I think Munna's problem is she went to a school that charges 200,000 for a degree. If she went to community college and transferred to a public university she might have gotten a degree for under 20,000.

Matt@occidentalism.org said at May 29, 2010 10:07 PM:

Randall, maybe she is not as dumb as you think. Maybe she was positioning herself for a job in the lucrative diversity industry.

She couldn't have known that a recession would hit and some of the diversity largess would have to be put on pause (I am guessing that is has but who knows?)

Wolf-Dog said at May 30, 2010 5:47 AM:

For undergraduates, 95 % of all education can be completed with online interactive courses even more successfully than traditional blackboard and chalk type lectures. The intervention of a real professor will be needed only for some cutting edge research courses where a mentor is appropriate. If this kind of education were sponsored by the government (non-profit) then the tuition fee for an undergraduate degree would be well below $5,000 per year if no human "research mentor" is needed for the senior thesis.

Understandably, for graduate courses there will be more need for human interaction, but even for first and second year basic graduate courses in math, chemistry, physics, biology, etc, all of the material can be standardized in online interactive courses. Only in research courses there will be a need for consulting the professors.

Mthson said at May 30, 2010 7:01 AM:

BTW, Randall, on the general subject of China, maybe you'll like this video as much I did (1:47 long): http://videosift.com/video/Crowd-vs-Motorbike-bag-snatchers

If that happened here, Western Liberals would decry it as "racism" and seek to channel more funds into diversity & wealth transfer efforts. Coupled with their lack of religious fundamentalism, China seems to be avoiding the worst traps of the West.

realist gun nut said at May 30, 2010 8:53 AM:

The truth is that she wanted an Mrs degree, someone who valued access to her pussy enough to take on her debt as well.

Looks like she struck out in more than one way, eh.

realist gun nut said at May 30, 2010 9:02 AM:

"She had to go to NYU; a state school wouldn't have been good enough. I suspect becuase NYU is, you know, in Manhattan. She insists on living in San Francisco (another great SWPL mecca), because she believes, or so she says, it offers her good job prospects."

Actually, she was and is looking for Mr Right, but no self-respecting woman can say that these days.

The problem is, with $100,000 in debt very few men of any quality will touch her. Tough titties.

Randall Parker said at May 30, 2010 9:45 AM:


White women are increasingly not diverse enough in a demographically diversifying population. When white guys held most jobs a white woman had some uniqueness. But not any more.

black sea,

She was prepped into believing in college as the gateway to prosperity by the rhetoric of the mainstream media and by academic researchers who point to higher incomes among college graduates on average. Education has become an element of the national secular left religion. Worship enough years in the educational temple and the keys to wealth and prosperity are yours. College recruiting staffs do not need to lay the groundwork for this mythology. The myth gets drilled into the heads of American kids growing up.

The problem with the myth is two fold:

- Higher IQ enables people to do college work and higher IQ enables people to do more valuable jobs. The mainstream media totally ignores this fact, keeping lots of young naive kids in the dark about the main reason why the college educated do better.

- Specific skills taught in a small subset of college majors (engineering, econ, accounting, medical) have far greater value. If she'd majored in petroleum engineering her first job would have paid over $80k per year. Of course, she might not be smart enough to get a petroleum engineering degree. But an RN was probably within her level of ability and would have paid her at least double what she's making now.

Your point about her living in SWPL meccas is well taken. Should could do better in Dallas or Houston with lower living costs. Probably better job prospects too.

Crunchie said at May 30, 2010 9:56 AM:

Hundred grand in debt and a womens studies degree. Whatever man is stupid enough to take her bloody well deserves her.

sg said at May 30, 2010 3:43 PM:

"The truth is that she wanted an Mrs degree, someone who valued access to her pussy enough to take on her debt as well."

Hilarious, a lib chick looking for an Mrs. degree. Oh the irony.
Chicks who want to do that need to have something to offer, like at a minimum, chastity.
Guys looking for those types are more likely found at BYU not NYU.

sg said at May 30, 2010 3:48 PM:

"But an RN was probably within her level of ability and would have paid her at least double what she's making now."

Yeah, but nursing means conscientiousness and providing a useful service to others.

Where is the flair and panache in nursing?

sg said at May 30, 2010 3:52 PM:

Ha, someone has a facebook page:

I came to NYU to get my M-R-S degree, but sadly I realized everyone was gay!!


You can't make this stuff up.

Sycamore said at May 30, 2010 5:14 PM:

Randall's more right than Black Sea in this instance. The community is at fault for constantly snorting and mainlining high-test bologna, and starting the girl young on same. The university is certainly an epicenter of such nonsense, but by itself, isolated, it would have far less power to delude. But when an entire community is 100% consonant - religious - about the Power of Education and the manifold Living Death of IQ Idolatry, the individual is designed not to resist; she is designed to cohere. (And without the Truth of this blessed Edifying Power, our aborigines and !kung would forever remain under-represented in the quantum physics professoriate, which will not be the case for more than another decade now, Om Mane Padme Hum.) It's just and good that the girl know there are temptations in life, pyramid schemes and such, eerily cheap used cars, which she must have the character to resist, but it isn't right for *every* sector of her community to barrage her with disinformation from the age of five.

O Monks, the wages of Hereditarianism is Death. If thy eye offend Thee, pluck it out.

Matt@occidentalism.org said at May 31, 2010 8:40 AM:

Randall, you are right. White women are not particularly diverse.

I am, however, going to disagree with you. There are plenty of white women in the diversity industry, and the reason they are so important is that they represent white people critiquing other white people. If a diversity department was full of non-whites only, then white people would look and realize that they are under attack by non-whites for being white. Thus white women play an important role.

mm said at September 25, 2010 12:25 PM:

I'm not too worried about any young female paying off her debt to college. Trust me, women have the marketable "tool" to work this out. Men, on the other hand, I feel a bit more sorry for.

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