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Pay Retail for College? Sucker!

Written by Gary North on October 9, 2012

When we read an article in Forbes with this title — “The Hoax of College” — we know that word is getting out.

We also know that word is not changing potential behavior, which borders on the suicidal.

It is a good article. Here are some gems.

As steadily as ivy creeps up the walls of its well-groomed campuses, the education industrial complex has cultivated the image of college as a sure-fire path to a life of social and economic privilege.

It then told of a pair of starry-eyed undergraduates.

By the time they graduated in 1995, the couple was $194,000 in debt. They eventually married and each landed a six-figure job. Yet even with Kellum moonlighting, they had to scrounge to come up with $145,000 in loan payments. With interest accruing at up to 12% a year, that whittled away only $21,000 in principal. Their remaining bill: $173,000 and counting.

Then they divorced. Each cites the struggle with law school debt as a major source of stress on their marriage. “Two people with this much debt just shouldn’t be together,” Kellum says.

It’s easy to get divorced. It’s almost impossible to get out of student debt.

The two disillusioned attorneys were victims of an unfolding education hoax on the middle class that’s just as insidious, and nearly as sweeping, as the housing debacle. The ingredients are strikingly similar, too: Misguided easy-money policies that are encouraging the masses to go into debt; a self-serving establishment trading in half-truths that exaggerate the value of its product; plus a Wall Street money machine dabbling in outright fraud as it foists unaffordable debt on the most vulnerable marks.

It’s possible to get a B.A. for about $13,000 and a law degree for $6,000. But you must do it online. I know two young people who are doing it. They are paying their own way.

But what about the statistic about $1,000,000 in extra lifetime earnings? It’s a con.

“I call it the million-dollar misunderstanding,” says Mark Schneider, vice president of the American Institutes for Research, of the prevailing propaganda.

Then there is the cost of servicing the debt.

Warped as the numbers are, they don’t begin to account for the hidden cost of higher education: financing it. Borrowing has doubled over the past decade, to roughly $85 billion in new student loans in the 2007–08 academic year, bringing total student debt owed to well over half a trillion dollars. The average borrower went $19,200 into debt for a diploma in 2004, a 58% increase after inflation since 1993, according to the Project on Student Debt.

Does any oif this change minds? No.

Lacking honest input, three-quarters of high schoolers still seek to go on to college, many deluded about the financial prospects it holds, says American Institutes for Research’s Schneider. “Part of the drive is the idea it pays,” he says. “We need somebody making more realistic statements about the risks.”

The risks are hefty. Half of students entering college never earn a degree. Six in ten African-Americans depart without one. “Hundreds of thousands of young people leave our higher education system unsuccessfully, burdened with large student loans that must be repaid, but without the benefit of the wages a college degree provides,” warned a 2004 Education Trust study.

The article is worth reading. I have given you only the highlights. If you are thinking of sending your child to college, you had better read it.

Click the link.

Continue Reading on www.forbes.com

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3 thoughts on “Pay Retail for College? Sucker!

  1. I would like to know where anyone is getting a law degree online at any any law school that is approved/accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). If it ain't you ARE NOT going to be able to sit for the Bar Exam in your State. THEE only exception is in California. The online degree (J.D.) is well over $6,000 for tuition alone. Then there are the books and study aids.. Just look at Taft for example. Also go look at the BAR PASS RATES available online from the California Bar Association. For non-ABA approved schools and for the correspondence/online schools the pass rates are frankly piss poor.

    So Dr. North instead of throwing out the low $$ cost of college as you mentioned in the article NAME these schools. After all if you want your readers to learn not to spend inordinate amounts of money on college then why aren't you telling us the names of these schools so I/WE/US can apply?????

    And to lay to rest anybody's thoughts NO I am not a lawyer. Thought about being one, researched it well, spoke to many lawyers (I was a cop so I saw them daily) and eventually decided that the ability to recoup my investment in time and money in a reasonable amount of time was not going to happen unless I went to one of the Ivy League Law Schools which require LSAT scores of 170 out of 180 or better or your family has a long history of attendance there over the generations and contributes large sums of money.

    So in the end I obtained an MS in Computer Science, make more money than most lawyers, work less hours than most lawyers, and have in fact recovered my costs.

  2. Texas Chris says:

    There are three in Houston where you can get a law degree for +/- $6,000. Ivy League they are not. But cheap? Yes. And right in the heart of the lawsuit capital of the world.

  3. Yes but are they ABA approved? If not you have ZERO law degree that will allow you to sit for the BAR EXAM and become a practicing attorney. Please provide the NAMES of these three schools so I may in fact determine if they are accepted by the Texas Bar Association. Or perhaps you can provide the links. But without the names of these schools your comment rings hollow about getting a "law" degree that lets you sit for the Bar Exam.