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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Fuddgate
Some assembly required
08:45 AM on 07/03/2012
I recently worked with a young woman- one of the most beautiful I've met in years! Who is a graduate in psychology from CU Boulder. She is interviewing frantically with little success. I don't even know what her student loan debt is. We were working at a crummy test grading job. You need to have a Bachelor's just to qualify for a lousy $11/hr. They haven't given anyone a cent of a raise in 4 years! I still have a few thousand in student loan debt from getting a Medical Assisting certificate. I haven't failed to make the monthly payment on this loan- It's only $65/month. I can't imagine having 100K or more to pay! Grim is the word!
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09:38 AM on 07/03/2012
I don't believe that for one minute. I went to school with a sexy-looking grad student from Asia. Profs were falling all over themselves to accomodate her.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Fuddgate
Some assembly required
02:08 PM on 07/03/2012
I beg to differ. I didn't go to school with her but she would give Helen of Troy a run for her money! She might not be in that much trouble financially, but she wouldn't be working at that crappy $11/hr job if she was loaded!
07:12 PM on 07/04/2012
What does the sexy-looking grad student from Asia have to do with Fuddgate's comment? I understood Fuddgate's comment to be about a woman who already had her degree, not about someone who was still pursuing her graduate degree, so the profs aren't really relevant.

Beautiful, sexy women still end up in crappy jobs. Being gorgeous isn't actually a ticket to a high-paying job, even with good academic credentials.
08:40 AM on 07/03/2012
Did you ever think of mentioning that it is predominately men who are committing suicide?

Or do you just want to gloss over the gender issue?
GHO
Sooner or later you run out of other peoples money
10:15 AM on 07/03/2012
Anecdotes aside, how do you make that claim when, by the author's own admission, thee has been no study linking student loan debt to suicide, let alone linking it by gender?
10:55 AM on 07/03/2012
There is tons of data linking suicide rates to gender. Are you denying that data exists?
08:38 AM on 07/03/2012
The enablers and encouragers of kids who should not go to college, those who tell them everyone is a winner, the people who set these kids up for failure - blame them.
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
RDWidner
A Libertarian by nature. A free man by act of God.
08:35 AM on 07/03/2012
I know that personal responsibility is a dirty concept for many liberals but it is the only solution. If you cannot afford a college education there are financial assistance programs including grants and scholarships. There are part time jobs available through the college financial assistance office. In the end it is up to the individual to know what they are borrowing and to keep it under control.
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09:36 AM on 07/03/2012
Since when is working hard to get a college education not the very definition of personal responsibility? Students go on to college because they believe that this is the path to future success. They work hard, get their diplomas and then take the next leap. In the past, this was the formula for success, and one of the surest ways to a better future. The kids who go to college are not the kids who are avoiding anything.
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
RDWidner
A Libertarian by nature. A free man by act of God.
09:56 AM on 07/03/2012
The kids that borrowed too much for college and kill themselves rather than pay back the debt are avoiding something now aren't they?
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
RDWidner
A Libertarian by nature. A free man by act of God.
11:18 AM on 07/03/2012
The person who kills him/herself over debt are the ones that we are speaking about. It is pretty clear they are avoiding something.
09:52 AM on 07/03/2012
The loan companies are corrupt, and hide what you're truly going to have to pay. Simple as that, if everything were clear as day, this wouldn't be as huge a problem, but you must not be very familiar with the student loan scam/problem. Tricking people is how they got away with it, it isn't the students' fault.

Trust me on this one Mr. Libertarian cowboy. Also, nice of you to play blame the victim on a story about people killing themselves over debt, realllly nice.
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
RDWidner
A Libertarian by nature. A free man by act of God.
10:05 AM on 07/03/2012
That is all just B.S. The Truth in Lending Act requires that you are informed of what you are borrowing. Student Loans are at a government subsidized lower rate than the market. There is no excuse for you to not know what you are borrowing.

In the case of suicide the victim is also the perpetrator. They murder themselves. It is a cowardly act that causes their families years of pain and anguish. Save your sympathy for them.
10:13 AM on 07/03/2012
Blaming the victim is the American way now.
HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
themodernleader
08:05 AM on 07/03/2012
   The unrepairable debt of our young people and middle aged people is astonishing to me.  Tenants are short on their rent because their checks are garnished.  My niece's husband owes 175,000 dollars and declares himself an indentured servant.  My one son will no reveal to me how much debt he has accumulated and he lacks self-confidence and self-esteem. I finished paying the debt for one son who was 36 years at the time.
   I council young people not to attend college unless they can survive the experience without going a penny in debt.  This corrupt predatory capitalism is creating an X generation of citizens with absolutely nothing of value because the system is corrupt and overwhelmed with debt.  What an outrage to our young people who can not even declare bankruptcy.  What an insult to human dignity.  What degradation to the most fundamental human values and human decency.  Unrestrained finance is a poison to public policy.
   Aristotle's forgotten findings still are relevant: "In any state individuals who are too richly endowed tend to wax arrogant....  Neither tyrannies nor oligarchies have proved long-lived." (THE POLITICS)
08:45 AM on 07/03/2012
Try counseling them instead. ;)
HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
themodernleader
10:06 AM on 07/03/2012
  Thank goodness there are smart ones who can advise.  Thanks.
02:04 AM on 07/04/2012
Yeah, sure wish someone would have "counseled" me. The only "counseling" I received from my parents, high school guidance counselors, university advisers and professors was "Go to college, the loans are at a low interest rate and they'll pay for themselves once you get that good job when you graduate...." and then I graduated into the great recession.

Firstly, compounding interest is never "low," no matter how small the number is. Before you know it, your balance is capitalizing on itself. You think, "I'll sell my car, get another job, cut out all entertainment, scrimp on utilities, eat Ramen, etc., etc., etc. and then I'll be able to pay off my loans." By the time you do that, your balance has already capitalized, your payment has increased and if you have private loans, your variable interest rate jumped through the roof and negated most of the payments you've made over the last 6 years.

So, while your hindsight is helpful to future students, there are 36 million of us trying to put food on the table even after working multiple jobs (if we're lucky enough to find them). I think a little more than a counseling session is needed to resolve a $1 trillion (and counting) problem.
02:05 AM on 07/04/2012
themodernleader,

Beautifully stated.
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Jsens3
07:40 AM on 07/03/2012
Practicing law I had clients who were overwhelmingly indebted to the IRS. There were a couple of avenues they followed, that while problematic, worked somewhat. The first was to work and get paid under the table; they second was move to Canada. I don't know if the Canada move would work anymore. People in these bad situations have to use some imagination. It isn't easy.
07:37 AM on 07/03/2012
Yoder had been a graduate student in organic chemistry at Illinois State University but after incurring $100,000 in student loan debt, he struggled to find a job in his field. Later that night, Jason, 35, left the family's mobile home...

Can anyone guess why a 35 year old is living with his mom, continuing to wrack up debt to get more educated in a field he can't find a job in? That's right folks he was a professional student. Working was never the goal. Learning strictly for the sake of more education was the goal. If the author is going to use examples she should pick better ones than this.
08:47 AM on 07/03/2012
I find your presumption offensive. I don't think you are in any position to judge someone else's ambition or situation. Your comment is flippantly directed at someone who has suffered a tragedy.
05:53 PM on 07/03/2012
You are sorely lacking in basic critical thinking skills. If you took the time to actually look at the situation in realistic terms you would see the simple explanation for this man's "plight" .
10:27 AM on 07/03/2012
I question your summary and find you to be heartless.
05:51 PM on 07/03/2012
I find you to be a simpering whiner but that is besides the point. If you took the time to look at jobs in his field you would find a plethora of openings. He would actually have to apply for them and I know how taxing that is for a professional student.
07:25 AM on 07/03/2012
We need a national student debt strike. The Iceland solution to the bankers' greed is the way out of this mess.
02:14 AM on 07/04/2012
The Occupy Student Debt group is trying to get 1 million student debtors to commit to voluntary default and then default en masse. The problem is that many are to frightened to do this due to the severe consequences of default: Revocation of professional licenses (how can we be expected to pay our loans when our ability to work has been taken away from us?), revocation of driver's licenses (in some states, including Wyoming), tax refunds withheld, garnishment of wages, harassment of the debtor and their families, friends, workplace and neighbors, destroyed credit for life (no buying, renting, etc.), garnishment of Social Security Income in one's elderly years... the list goes on and on. Oh, and if you are a government employee, you will lose your job.

They've been given far too much power.
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
sillygames
06:49 AM on 07/03/2012
Why are Americans accepting any laws that get passed forcing the poor and middle class into eternal poverty.
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
LHoney
REINSTATE GLASS STEAGALL!!!
09:02 AM on 07/03/2012
Because we are greatly un/misinformed and most don't learn about these traps until their leg is stuck in one...
03:59 PM on 07/03/2012
Not to mention that the rules of this huge, nonsensical game are have become so complicated that you'd need specialized training to know how to even find out where the rules are posted. You almost need a degree to find out whether or not you can afford to get a degree.
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09:26 AM on 07/03/2012
we've been divided and conquerored.
02:16 AM on 07/04/2012
Yep, they've turned us against each other. For some reason, we're still pointing fingers at each other regarding issues that none of us had anything to do with. Take student loan debt for example...
oil patch
if you voted obama, you are to blame
06:46 AM on 07/03/2012
College is an investment, study wisely...it seems foolish for anyone to major in any liberal arts and expect anything but debts and more school. This comes from personal experience, if i could do it over I would study science or business (there is no reason i couldn't have had a real major and still studied what i wanted).
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
sillygames
07:01 AM on 07/03/2012
Why, would you study science. Yes, I agree it maybe the wave of the future in China or another country. But, I just don't see Corporations willing to hire Americans for these jobs.

Once, the middle class has lost of it's purchasing power the Corporations will cry FOWL again, go to the American Congress and BEG for more money they don't need.

Congress has allowed a small segment of the population to LEGALLY confiscate all the Wealth.

Our own government has destroyed their own country.
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07:01 AM on 07/03/2012
The first guy in the story was a STEM major and pursuing even more education. I understand your point but people need to start realizing this has gone beyond helping people make better choices. We have a systematic problem and doesn't matter what major you choose.
07:42 AM on 07/03/2012
He couldn't "find" a job in a field highly prized by Com-Ed and countless Chicago companies? I found 5 job openings requiring a degree in organic chemistry in a 10 second Google search in Chicago. No sir/ma'am this man had no intention of ever working. He wanted to stay in school forever.
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Zachary W
06:43 AM on 07/03/2012
#1 Reason why I am having to return to get another undergraduate degree... Graduated from Northern Arizona U in Political Science & Criminal Justice with the intent to go to Law School after working for a few years to save up some money. Couldn't find a decent job in Phoenix and ended up working for a LARGE internet company in one of many of their warehouse distribution centers. Making $12 and hour with no REAL chance to move up. I was working along side people that where extremely over qualified for the job but unlike me they had families and are forced to follow the money... I was fortunate enough to escape the undergraduate program with very little debt (perks of public school) but knew all to well the risks of going to law school in this economy... I have many "acquaintances" that swear it is soooo EASY to get hired out of law school BIG CATCH those acquaintances parents own their own firms.

An undergrad degree is not what it use to be, IMHO it is the equivalent to what a high school diploma was a decade ago... My suggestion to anyone is to think reasonably, the government and corporations do not give a damn about putting the middle class into more debt. Sadly, this is the way America works. The growing separation between the high, middle and low is going to one day destroy this country.
10:31 AM on 07/03/2012
The middle is getting squeezed out so one day in the not too distant future their will only be an underemployed indentured servant class and the obscenely wealthy.
06:32 AM on 07/03/2012
I racked up some student loan debt in graduate school and it would have been much more had I not failed and had to leave. Sometimes that failure still stings me to this day, but it forced me on to a different life path where I was able to pay off the debt. If I had "succeeded" I would have finished my PhD probably $50-60K in debt having a hard time finding employment and not even breaking $40K a year for many years even if I had gotten a respectable job in my field. It's sad to me reading this article that my failure was "lucky". This country needs to be fixed, but I don't know how or by who everything seems so far gone.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Sighedeffects
Sighed Effect
06:03 AM on 07/03/2012
I went to the number one public university in the world. I stopped looking for work 2 years after graduating... After I was turned down at a pet food store chain, a coffee franchise and Target. I depleted all of my savings. If my deferments run out, maybe I can take some online classes to be classified as "in school" - otherwise, I will default. I already depleted all of my savings.

I was going to do more post-graduate studies, but another $20k in loans just seems pointless (but what's another $20k, really? Not like I'm going to be able to start paying back anything.) So much for the American dream... I feel like I should have known better than to try and move out of my caste.

To all the hopeless grads out there... You are not alone. I don't know if that's a consolation or not...but I do know it helps to know the situation is not your fault. It's happening to a lot of people. Don't beat yourself up... Just keep watching tv series on Netflix and drinking alcohol.
oil patch
if you voted obama, you are to blame
06:42 AM on 07/03/2012
Women studies?
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07:08 AM on 07/03/2012
If you read the story, you will see that one of the people in this story, the one who commits suicide, was studying organic chemistry. Is organic chemistry a liberal art or a science? It is becoming increasingly clear that it doesn't matter what major you have, the economy applies to you too.
08:58 AM on 07/03/2012
If you didn't graduate from U.C. Berkeley, you didn't go to the number one public university in the world. I did. Graduated in 1988 and have been teaching since 1990. Life is good when you have a degree from Cal.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
cerebrogasm
The sleep of reason produces monsters. - Goya
05:09 AM on 07/03/2012
Student-Loan-Repayment-Servitude is now frightening families with college bound children to re-think just how high they want to set their educational goals - exactly as planned by the upper class - threatened by an educated electorate - determined to dumb down those that just may challenge their plutocracy. Not willing to end up suicidal over crushing debt visited upon naive students, months after graduation, the next generation will simply avoid higher education - and just work the machinery of the nation - and never dream that they too, at one time in this country's history, could have had a better life.
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Jsens3
08:19 AM on 07/03/2012
You may have a point, but it seems to me that the elite who runs the colleges and universities, public, private and for profit, have had a heavy hand in creating this mess. Look at the salaries of tenured college professors who may teach a few hours a week, or the astronomical salaries of college presidents. They have succeeded in convincing too many in the middle class that a degree, any degree, is a ticket to middle class economic status. It isn't true, and it never has been. After Sandra Day O'Connor graduated from law school the only jobs she was offered were secretarial. And that was way back in the day!
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
cerebrogasm
The sleep of reason produces monsters. - Goya
09:38 PM on 07/03/2012
Agreed. I never warmed up to the tenure system - the original idea of tenure was to alleviate professors to pursue their research without worry of dismissal - which - can also work in just the opposite direction - how many professors have you had that were poor teachers or never on top of their fields? Once you remove competition from the equation - you invite complacency. You're also dead-on about the insane salaries given to college administrators - too many of them are in it for the money alone - they could care less that their student body is piling on personal debt that they'll never be able to repay - majoring in subjects that offer little assurance of future employment. Too many colleges and universities are staffed by less than ideal employees - which can't be fired - kinda like having government jobs in most Western cultured countries.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
niumarmion
a temporary being
04:08 AM on 07/03/2012
The young are the most venerable in a predatory society, not just to the loan scams, but also to the addictive and poisonous phood supply, to pushers, and then to the prison industrial complex.
06:45 AM on 07/03/2012
"Venerable"?
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
AllShookUp
Hug A Hater
07:41 AM on 07/03/2012
Would "vulnerable" make you happy?