Student Loan Credit Crunch Coming?

If you’re thinking of attending an expensive college, but don’t have access to huge sacks of cash, you may have a problem says USAToday:

Not only are some lenders closing up their student loan programs, but the home equity that many parents counted on as a college tuition “ATM” has dried up.

Last week, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., introduced legislation that would raise loan limits for federal student loans. Similar legislation was introduced in the House. But the limits are unlikely to be increased by the time students start college this fall.

Families that are worrying about paying the cost of the college their child wants to attend should talk with the financial aid office as soon as possible, says Phil Day, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. Financial aid administrators may be able to help families find other sources of funding.

“If there are going to be some gaps,” Day says, “you want to know what those gaps will be.”

Is this affecting your college plans?

Credit woes may hinder college-bound [USAToday]
(Photo:CAP)

Comments

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  1. forgottenpassword says:

    YAY! for having a mediocre job & living a simple life where I dont feel the need keep up with the joneses by buying a nunch of junk I dont really need to make me happy!

    I hate debt.

  2. Boatski says:

    Community Colleges ftl.

  3. TheBestMaxEver says:

    Yea@forgottenpassword: Yeah good for you — No need to want to better yourself. I know I sure did waste my time becoming a nurse and a teacher. Who needs a stupid Master’s Degree anyway? Wasn’t that so elitist of me of me? Hope all is well at the Capital One Call center. Enjoy your cubicle prison and life of mediocrity.

  4. katylostherart says:

    i’m so glad i paid my taxes this year SO I CAN GET NOTHING BACK EVER IN THE FORM OF SOCIAL SERVICES.

  5. Dead Wrestlers Society says:

    @Boatski: Yeah, I think a lot of the women I work with are encouraging their future college kids to start out at comm college for a year or two and then enroll in a 4 yr university. If all the credits count, it sure saves a lot of money.

  6. r081984 says:

    Just go to a community or state college for the 1st year.
    Get straight As and transfer to the school of your choice.

    Does anyone know what this means for those who will need to consolidate their loans this summer?

  7. Boatski says:

    @Dead Wrestlers Society:

    That’s what I am doing right now. Although the school I want to go to I just can’t afford.

  8. tamoko says:

    @TheBestMaxEver: Smack down!

    I’m starting grad school in January of 2009, and this whole situation has me slightly spooked.

  9. Snarkysnake says:

    Yippee ! Great news…

    This means that the rate of education inflation will have to slow down.The reason that tuition and fees have gone up so much more than the nominal inflation rate is that easy credit has stuffed the pockets of these incoming classes with more money than they would otherwise have.Thus, colleges are simply charging what the traffic will bear. With less money available,they will have to cut back and charge less to remain competitive and cover fixed costs. This will help parents like me that fund our kids education out of our own pockets vcause we will be better able to predict what the costs will be and hopefully see some real competition for students.And to the people in the financial aid office :Take your nosy FAFSA and stick wher the sun don’t shine.

  10. forgottenpassword says:

    @TheBestMaxEver:

    BETTER MYSELF!??!?!? Ugh! *shivers*

    I just want to make enough $$$ to survive, pad my savings & enjoy the simple things I enjoy. No need to better myself. I’m just fine the way I am now.

    Btw… I have found my comfortable mediocre job niche, which allows me to screw around about 5-6 hours a night & pretty much do whatever I want (including going metal detecting, playing around online, hanging out with a friend, watching tv/cable & just about anything else I can think of). Doing actual work maybe 2 hours a night.

    And it doesnt involve working with computers or on a phone.

    I’m just saying you dont have to get into debt to get a very nice-paying job to live a reasonably happy life.

  11. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    How will this impact those who are pursuing higher degrees such as Masters? Same, if not worse, I assume?

  12. stereogirl says:

    @pinkbunnyslippers: that’s what i’m wondering. i’m 2 years away from a doctorate i can’t have them pulling back the cash now!

  13. utensil42 says:

    @forgottenpassword: Although this may not be your intent, you seem to have something against people who go on to higher education. I’m working on a Ph.D., not because I want to make more money (which I may in several years, but right now am dirt poor), but because I love to learn and want to remain in school so I can study something I’m passionate about. Do you think that the kids who are in college because they actually want to learn are just keeping up with the Joneses?

  14. forgottenpassword says:

    @utensil42:

    No, I have something against the idea that you have to go into debt & buy a bunch of junk (you dont really need) to make yourself happy in today’s society.

    Going to college has been drilled into people’s heads for years & years now. SO much so that a lot of people come out of college & end up working mediocre jobs anyway. I mean, if You CAN do it & end up where you want & be happy, then thats’ fantastic.

  15. Traveshamockery says:

    Ironically, this will probably slow the cost increases in education. Schools keep cranking up tuition costs because they know that everyone will just borrow more money. Once enrollment is down after a few years, they’ll lower (or just stop increasing) the price so more people can attend.

    Basic economics – hopefully it plays out that way. Of course, it really screws the people who couldn’t go to college for those 3-5 years before the adjustment occurs, which is the bad part.

  16. Ilovemygeek says:

    Personally, I went to college on a full academic scholarship so I never had to worry about any student debt. I knew a lot of complete and total morons in school who were up to their eyeballs in loan debt and spent most their time drinking and partying and not going to class. My guess is that they’re still paying off debt to this day and probably never even finished with their degree.

  17. katylostherart says:

    @r081984: yeah this doesn’t always work though. sure you can get some of the real basic pre-requisites out of the way, but a lot of community colleges have gone down the popular vocational training path. kind of in the YOU TOO CAN BE A GRAPHIC DESIGNER EVEN IF YOU SUCK AT ART! thing.

    the CC i last went to sucked. it had almost nothing. and since the credits weren’t even guaranteed to transfer the cost of wasting about $4-6k, while cheaper at the time, doesn’t matter in the long run if they don’t transfer. on top of that, the cap on credits even available to take in any major is low. the first major i wanted they didn’t have. the second one they had two classes beyond what credits i’d already taken and gotten accepted in tranfer. it wasn’t enough for part time which isn’t enough to get student aid or even have to stop paying a former student loan. so it wasn’t my fault i couldn’t take more but i had to deal with it. this was one of the “best” CCs in the country.

    woohoo, they failed. CCs work for the really broad subjects that should, in my opinion, be covered for free in high school as part of trying to not raise stupid children. subjects such as gym, reading and writing at a 12th grade level and all the maths they don’t make the stupid kids take to coddle them. the expensive part after CC is still 3-4 years of a full scale university tuition.

  18. katylostherart says:

    @forgottenpassword: a college degree is the new highschool diploma and a masters is the lowest you really need for an edge these days. it is difficult to make a decent or even menial living in many areas of the country without a college degree. this is compounded by the fact it is difficult to even get that degree on a subsistence living which you need the degree to improve.

  19. AmbroseP says:

    @forgottenpassword & @TheBestMaxEver: Do we all really need to be asses to each other? Some people go to college. Some people enter the workforce. And the military goads some people into service (but that’s another spiral, so I’ll save the rant).

    With my academic scholarship and the fact that my university adopted a loan-free aid program, I don’t expect this to affect me much. Of course, I’m thankful for having dodged what might have been a fatal financial bullet.

    As for grad school, most of the science programs I’ve looked into pay me to get a doctorate so I don’t expect to take out much, if not anything, in loans. Though I will have to live on the penny, but that won’t be a problem. Living simply is the best! (And yes, you can live simply even if you go to college!)

  20. SkiAliG says:

    This whole loan crunch has really interfered with my plans to attend graduate school in the fall. I’m not sure which college senior can afford to pay $40K a year for a graduate education, but I’m sure not one of them.

    So I’m getting a job and deferring. Hopefully I’ll be able to get back in a year.

  21. stinerman says:

    @r081984:

    Stafford loans are based on the 91-day T-bill + 2.3%, which is hovering around 4% total. This rate resets every June, AFAIK. Mine are around 6.6%, and will be cut to around 4%.

    If you are going to consolidate, wait until after June. Your consolidation loan will be fixed at the weighted average of all your loans.

    There is an added problem. Stafford loans disbursed after July 1, 2006 are fixed at 6.8%, which is a pretty scummy rate based on the today’s market.

    You can read more about it on the Wikipedia page.

  22. Rupan says:

    @tamoko: Same here. I am finishing up my bachelors in December this year and planning on grad school in January.

    I already have some student loan debt and I am going to be adding more when I start the masters. If I can’t get it then I’m not sure what I am going to do.

    Every job in my field that is a higher position than my current one says the same thing. Bachelors required, Masters prefered. Gotta love it.

  23. mac-phisto says:

    as an alternative to community colleges – check out local branches for larger state & private universities. many times you can get your 4-yr degree while living at home (which saves room & board which are often 50% or more of education costs). even if you can’t get a full 4-yr from the branch, transferring to the main campus is often easier than if you’re transferring from another school, 100% of the credits go with you, & you can continue to benefit from internal finaid & scholarships that you may qualify for.

  24. lemur says:

    @utensil42: I’m working on a Ph.D., not because I want to make more money (which I may in several years, but right now am dirt poor), but because I love to learn and want to remain in school so I can study something I’m passionate about.

    Same here. In my book, the love to learn and passion about your topic should be the main reasons to be in grad school. I’ve been in environments where people were there mainly for future money. That cheapens the whole thing. They basically don’t care whether they are doing anything right or learning proper methods. They just want to get in and get out with the highest possible GPA (it does not matter whether that GPA was justified or not) so that they can finally get a high paying job and a mansion, yacht and golf course membership.

  25. Coelacanth says:

    @r081984: The problem with that is that many private universities don’t want to take CC transfer students. This is regardless of demonstrated achievement, as several of my classmates were denied admission to MIT, Caltech, Harvard, Stanford, and other places despite of being exceptionally well-qualified (4.0s, community service, leadership positions, independent research – some were published authors.)

    CC transfers to state universities are much more seemless and likely. At least in California, that means that UCLA, SD, and Berkeley were all very attainable.

  26. mduser says:

    @stinerman: I guess I lucked out by consolidating when I did (2.87% fixed).

  27. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    @lemur: Who are you to say whether or not a person’s reasons for pursuing a higher degree “cheapen” that pursuit? Just because one person’s justifications for going back into academia don’t necessarily align with yours doesn’t mean you have to be snarky about it. So what if my excuse is that I want a yacht and a country club membership down the line and getting an MBA is the easiest way to ensure that cash flow? Who are you to judge?

    The people who are constantly playing “keep up” aren’t the ones you should care about…worry about yourself.

  28. sarahplum says:

    I went to a community college after one semester at a public university. I discovered that I could graduate with an AA in the program of my choice, transfer into the school of my choice as a junior, and graduate WITH my Master of Teaching in three years.

    Not only was my tuition at community college 1/4 of the cost of the public university, but it was accessible, and I found myself learning a lot more than I have thus far in the crowded classrooms of my current university. Granted, my core classes are wonderful here, but Gen Ed? I’d much rather be in a class of 25 than a class of 125 where you are nothing more than a number.

    For most high school grads, it’s now more worthwhile to investigate the guaranteed transfer programs from state community college systems to state universities. My state (Virginia) has an especially good program, with guaranteed transfer credits, junior-standing, etc.

    They’re even trying to get a bill passed wherein if you went from community college to state university, your tuition would stay at the same rate (not fees, etc., but your tuition) as it was at the community college, sort of as an added “Thanks for having faith in us!” from the system.

  29. stinerman says:

    @mduser:
    I’d say that’s reasonably good. :-)

    A few years back the T-bills were very close to 0%, which is why you got such a great rate. My government-backed loans will end up netting me about 4%, while I have a private loan that tracks the prime rate.

    My fiancée got the bad end. She’s stuck at 6.1% for the foreseeable future unless someone will consolidate her consolidation…which I don’t think happens.

  30. modenastradale says:

    This is a good development. Possibly devastating for individuals in the short run, but in the longer run it hamstrings the universities’ ability to drive up tuition. College tuition have been soaring far above the inflation rate every year, and I believe it’s because the availability of easy credit to students has shown the schools lots of profit potential. (Oh, schools are nonprofit, you say? Ha!)

  31. @Dead Wrestlers Society: Students do have to check on transfer credits (although typically CCs have agreements with state Us to ensure the credits transfer), but I teach at a CC, and a lot of students come back and tell us that the survey courses at the CC are MORE rigorous than the ones they get at the state 4-years, even the flagship. All of our classes are taught by professors, not TAs, survey classes are small, and teaching skills are what counts for hiring and promotion, not publishing (and we’re evaluated not just by students but by peers). And since all we do is first- and second-year courses, we do them well.

    Not that every CC is awesome, but they are a good value and the teaching is often top notch.

  32. Techguy1138 says:

    @TheBestMaxEver:
    Well yes yes you are being elitist.

    What if forgotten password really WAS working at capital one doing phone work. It really seems like you have something against people who don’t have a higher degree.

    I know people who went to college for something they love and now are looking at LIFETIMES of debt. Their parents co-signed on their loans and now everyone is declaring bankruptcy so they can keep a home.

    The cost of education is prohibitive. I got lucky I worked my way through college and only had 10~15k leftover. I got a decent job and paid it off in a year.

    My friend went into the military then left to work. 9 years later we make very similar salaries because he has NINE years of work experience. I only make more than him because :
    1 I live in CA and it is more expensive than rural MA in every way.
    2 I have 5 years or work experience, working my way through grad school.

    3 I have a masters degree in a scientific field that is in demand.

    It’s going to be many years before I get wealth parity with him.

    When he needs to “better” himself he reads books, goes camping ,sees a play or shoots things.

  33. shortcake says:

    I had an interesting discussion with a professor at a state university this weekend. He said that now, more than ever, it takes students more than four years to graduate. So, when most parents take tuition and multiply it by 4 to determine the cost of college, he said they should be doing it by 5 or even 6, depending on the school’s average time-to-graduation rate. At least half the people I know took more than four years, so he may be on to something. I think that that sort of thing will catch people by surprise, especially if they are already having trouble funding their or their children’s educations with this credit crunch.

  34. brianala says:

    These days, going to college is no longer an either/or proposition. I suspect you’ll begin seeing a lot more people who, like myself, had to enter the workforce right after high school but chose to borrow to go to college anyways.

    I worked full time and went to school full time for many years before I got my degree, but I would not have been able to get the good job I have otherwise. I couldn’t completely pay my way so I had to get loans to cover tuition, but the job I was able to get has enabled me to more than cover the price.

  35. Ragman says:

    @r081984: Not all universities transfer in your GPA. Something to consider if you think you’ll need your lower division courses to bolster your graduating GPA. Especially if you are looking at jobs or programs that have a 3.5 or 3.7/4.0 GPA requirement for new grads.

    Texas is really good about the community college to 4 year school transfers – they switched to a common course numbering system in the 90s and have 2+2 transfer guides for transfer students. Some universities will also accept a core reqs certificate from a CC in place of their own core reqs. The downside is that the state is really pushing for students to be full time and graduate in 4 years, which makes it annoying for non-traditional students at universities.

  36. AD8BC says:

    @InfiniTrent: @Snarkysnake:
    Agreed… I couldn’t have said it better myself. A few years of these people not able to afford college and not able to get loans, and the enrollment will drop, and simple supply and demand will kick in.

  37. lemur says:

    @pinkbunnyslippers: The people who are constantly playing “keep up” aren’t the ones you should care about…worry about yourself.

    People in graduate school are not “islands unto themselves” each living into their own little personal ivory tower. The value of graduate education comes in good part from what one brings to the graduate community but also from what others bring to the community. This is precisely why prospective student should visit the departments they are applying to before they decide to go there. They should talk to faculty and students.

    The reason why people undertake graduate studies has real consequences later on the quality of their work. I’d rather my planes and bridges be designed by an engineer who has a passion for the subject and aced all his classes because he really understood the topic at hand. And I’d rather not have to rely on the one who had a so-so grasp of engineering but badgered his way into higher grades and got out of there as fast as possible because money comes first.

    As for who I am. I’m someone who has done undergrad and graduate studies in engineering, has taught and also has worked in the industry as a consultant and as a salaried employee and interviewed people for engineering positions. In all of those situations I could see a clear difference between those who were in it mainly for the money and those who had passion. It is fine to seek money but wanting money is by itself not enough to make a good engineer. Passion must come first.

  38. lemur says:

    @brianala: My wife did just that. She got all of her degrees up to the M.A. while also working. At the same time she worked her way up the chain of command inside the organization. This is definitely something people should consider.

  39. KarmaChameleon says:

    As someone who works in financial aid (I work for a well-known technical school), I can tell you it’s only going to get worse before it gets better. A lot of lenders have gone out of business or have scaled back tremendously, it’s all a domino effect from the subprime mortgage mess. We lost all the lenders we’ve worked with in the past at my school. Probably the worst change has been that Sallie Mae has gotten out of the subprime student loan market. SM is the devil, of course, but they are the 800 lb gorilla of the student lending industry. We are scrambling to find alternative funding for students, and it’s been hard. More reason not to fuck your credit up, because Stafford Loans alone never cut it for pricier schools.

    A good tip I can give those of you out in the workforce is to contact your HR department to see if your workplace offers tuition reimbursement. A lot of employers, particularly larger ones, are offering it. Most will only reimburse your tuition for classes relating to your job duties, but even if you want to do something entirely different, things like Gen Ed are usually covered.

  40. milk says:

    @forgottenpassword: I’m content with mediocrity, too. I quit school after two years because I was bored with it. My ambition just wasn’t there, and I certainly wasn’t spending more money on something that wasn’t getting me all hot and bothered about life. Now I’ve got a cushy state job that pays me more than a private company would (considering my limited experience), and I actually learn interesting things through my work. In a couple years I’ll buy a little piece of suburban heaven and pop out some kids who aren’t spoiled little bastards, all the while basking in all those holidays the real world has to work. It sure is nice having a guaranteed two weeks paid vacation at Christmas and free health insurance.

  41. brianala says:

    @pyxopotamus: I was bored with school after two years, too, but I kept going because I knew it would be worth it. Now thanks to my limited (but valuable) experience I’ve got a cushy private company job doing consulting for the state (and taking up slack for their own mediocre workers), and I actually learn interesting things through my work as well as get to apply all the interesting things I learned in school.

    I won’t have to wait a couple years to buy a little piece of suburban heaven since I have more than enough to do so now, although I have reservations about popping out kids (spoiled or no). Since my client is the state, I get to bask in all the same holidays you do, plus unlimited sick days, two weeks paid vacation, free health insurance and dental, plus annual bonuses.

    So, in other words what I really mean to say is: Thanks to all the mediocre workers for keeping people like me employed!

  42. odoketa says:

    I have a colleague who works in higher ed, who told me his college was looking at using peer-to-peer lending websites as a possible avenue around the fact that students may not be able to get funding in the fall. It’s an interesting way to maintain liquidity, but the interest rates will be through the roof.

  43. thadrd says:

    The idea that you need a college degree to succeed in the workforce is complete bunk. Colleges are BUSINESSES they need your money, and have done a great job at convincing everyone that they need a degree or they fail at life.

    If you’re smart and ambitious, you can do quite well for yourself if you learn a trade and stick with it.

  44. I heartlessly say “bring on the credit crunch”. I don’t know who started the idea that one should take on massive amounts of debt to get a degree. I see it in parallel with taking out a loan on a bigger house or car than you can afford. It’s foolish.

    Personally (I recognize that every student’s situation is unique) If I had gone to the private school that I wanted to, I’d have 3 times the debt I have now. Would I have gotten 3 times the education at the private school? Absolutely not.

    If the US wants to stay “competitive” in the global economy, shackling the incoming workforce with massive amounts of debt is not the solution.

    @AD8BC: Oh and yeah a lack of funds/students will slow education inflation too. Supply and demand is great stuff.

  45. KarmaChameleon says:

    @Michael Belisle: I used to do data entry for a shady consolidation outfit, and I saw some unbelievably crazy shit in terms of loans people were taking out. I saw people taking 10 grand in loans to go to CC. I’m not saying that everyone with massive amounts of student loan debt is trying to game the system, but there’s a lot of it out there. At my school, I have to routinely talk people out of taking the max for Rent & Living because they think it’s “free” money and have this idea that loan money should pay for their car payments, child support payments and shit.

  46. ChuckECheese says:

    @Ilovemygeek: Actually, some studies have shown that your partying frat-buds are probably doing better financially and in their careers than you hard working and smart people. Just look at our president! All we want is a beer-drinking, fake-Texas-talking person who is holding up the left end of the bell curve.

  47. Galls says:

    This will fix the tuition bubble.
    -
    With the debt cycle slowing, no longer can the private institutions gouge their customers as the supply and demand curve will soon drastically correct.

  48. modenastradale says:

    @KarmaChameleon: That might be true in some cases, but the fact is, the cost of attendance at most schools has simply spiralled out of control. At my school, the annual tuition + housing rent charged by the university *exceeded* the maximum budget by about $8,000 per year. The school said the shortfall would have to come out of pocket, which for many of us meant taking a third tier of loans with “alternative” lenders — at nosebleed rates.

  49. TechnoDestructo says:

    @tamoko:

    I’m glad I’ve only applied to relatively cheap state schools, and that one of them, I should get in-state tuition. Plus I’ve got the GI bill. But damned if this couldn’t make it a tough first year at least.

  50. @KarmaChameleon: I have to routinely talk people out of taking the max for Rent & Living because they think it’s “free” money and have this idea that loan money should pay for their car payments, child support payments and shit.

    That’s also a good point that I think you’re getting at: it’s up to the student to say no. Somehow, we arrived at a mentality like “Because I’m a student, I have access to a virtually unlimited line of credit. And I don’t have to pay it back until I’m rolling in the big bucks.”

    Credit availability isn’t helping with this attitude because there is a systematic failure of someone (counselors? parents? financial-aid offices? the government?) to educate young, impressionable students about responsible finance (cf. yesterday’s Are you smarter than a 12th grader?).

  51. alstein says:

    There’s always the Air Force. The GI Bill is one of the best programs out there.

  52. @modenastradale: The school said the shortfall would have to come out of pocket, which for many of us meant taking a third tier of loans with “alternative” lenders — at nosebleed rates.

    I obviously don’t anything about your situation, but generally I can think of at least three alternatives. What about

    1) taking fewer classes and working more?
    2) another school that isn’t so expensive?
    3) working full-time in a modestly paying job for a year or two, and then coming back?

    Taking out a back-breaking private loan is not the only option. It’s simply the most immediately convenient and socially-encouraged option.

  53. the_wiggle says:

    @katylostherart: yes. and many employers won’t even allow non-degreee holders to apply for entry level management training classes, never mind the actual position.

    @lemur: laudable ideal. now if there were more concrete ways to encourage it in actuality.

  54. Squot says:

    @Michael Belisle: I was actually at this point, and unfortunately have private loans that I’m currently working to pay off.

    I go to a state school, I take 12 credit hours, and tuition is still roughly 8 grand a year. The stafford isn’t anywhere near that.

    You drop back your credit hours? The Stafford poofs.

    Now, however, I’m working fulltime as a Marketing Assistant, and am making enough that I can afford to get my own apartment and pay off roughly 15-25k on my loans, plus get myself out of the ~5k debt that I’m in before I leave school; and this is largely because of my school experience.

    My loans are huge – I don’t just have monkeys on my back, I have elephants, but I’m throwing 25-50% of what I make at my debt at every turn, and I hope to be 100% out of debt with 10-20k in the bank before I’m 35. (I am currently 23.) and -that- is with only making less then 30k per year.

  55. @thadrd: “and have done a great job at convincing everyone that they need a degree or they fail at life.”

    Unfortunately, at a community college, I have a lot of students who DID learn a trade and stick with it, and they get to a certain point in their career where the company says “We want to promote you, but we require a degree for that position.” So they’re in my class trying to finish credits as fast as humanly possible.

    My suggestion: If you go right into the workforce, take advantage of tuition reimbursement, or get your butt to the local CC, and go class-at-a-time and knock off your distribution/gen ed requirements so that if you DO reach that point, you’re halfway done and maybe already have an associates degree.

    It’s absurd for businesses to require BAs for things that used to require a high school education and a show of competence, but it’s the reality of the American work world today.

  56. justseth says:

    I generally wouldn’t accept community college transfers. I believe the quality of education there is lower, and on your cv you have to state you did community college for 2 years. I think employers look down on that. I don’t think there are any positives to community college.

    Everybody I know at my uni who came from community college came very unprepared for real university. I know a guy who lost a year because he couldn’t take physical chemistry when he needed to because the school didn’t want his community college units for prerequisite classes. And that leads me to something else – you may think you are saving money – but there is a huge chance that they will not accept your transfer units, and you may lose a year. It is up to the department. This same guy I know who lost a year had to retake an organic chemistry class and several math courses. Pointless.

    I think the whole saving money at community college thing only works for pointless major studies anyway (communications).

    If you study something worthwhile (engineering, science) they are less likely to accept your units but you can get a decent job after school or, like me, not have to pay tuition as a graduate student – and instead get paid by the department.

  57. littlealbatross says:

    @justseth: I think that is highly variable. The CC I’m in has the best program in the state for the AA I’m working towards (Sign Language Interpretation) and the school I’m thinking of transferring to has already said that they will accept my credits and is working with me to take the best classes.

    I think your transfer comment has less to do with the community college and more to do with the school. Like it has been mentioned above, many states have agreements where they accept an AA or AS to complete all the lower-level classes as long as you stay in state. I know my state does. I think the better advice would be that if you plan to go to a CC, research the school and plan ahead, then work with the school you want to transfer to to make sure that you’re taking the correct classes. If your friend would’ve done that, he probably wouldn’t have taken classes that weren’t applicable or he could’ve taken the correct classes for cheaper if they were available.

  58. Marce says:

    “Families that are worrying about paying the cost of the college their child wants to attend should talk with the financial aid office as soon as possible, says Phil Day, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.”

    Make sure you have access to your student’s file first if you’re a parent. Some schools interpret the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to mean that no one but the student gets access to the file if the student hasn’t made provision for it first. (Hooray for protecting students’ identities and aid!)

  59. ltlbbynthn says:

    How about bringing back manufacturing jobs to America? Seriously, there are people who just aren’t meant for college, but that doesn’t mean they should be poor their whole lives. It’s a joke to believe EVERYONE should be going to college. That leads to all the damn worthless go-nowhere jobs than nonetheless require a degree. For what? To drive a bus?!? You have to be joking.

  60. @justseth: You must not be in a state where transfer credits are standardized. Many states have a statewide system where CCs and state 4-years get together on what the requirements for a transferrable course are, and then guarantee the credits.

    (The only sticky wicket students run in to is that some classes are transferrable as Gen Ed but NOT in-major, and they are sometimes confused about this despite available advisement.)

    Statistically, students who leave my CC for the 4-years tend to out-perform their 4-year classmates in their junior and senior years. (And incidentally, in summer classes I get Ivy League students home for the summer knocking out Gen Ed requirements in my classroom, and they DO get accepted as transfer credits.) But it is a matter of state standards and of CC (and uni) culture; some CCs are where burnouts go to, well, burn out more. My classes are a mix of high school students off to elite colleges knocking off Gen Eds because they’re done with APs, single moms and blue collar workers working towards a degree, first-in-the-family-to-college inner city and farm kids starting slow before going OFF to school, blue-collar children saving money for two years, and burn outs who suddenly woke back up.