Host Francesca Rheannon talks with Alan Michael Collinge about [amazon-product text=”THE STUDENT LOAN SCAM” type=”text”]0807042293[/amazon-product] and with AprilÂ Norhanian about [amazon-product text=”College Is For Suckers: The FIRST College Guide You Should Read” type=”text”]1440119201[/amazon-product].
The most oppressive debt in U.S. History
Is the higher education industry is sacrificing students to the bottom line? We look at the issue from two angles: student debt and whether students are getting what they pay for at four year colleges.
The average college senior graduates with about $20,000 in student loans. And for graduate students and those getting degrees in law, medicine and business, the debt load is much higher. Alan Michael Collinge knows. He’s still paying off his loan twenty years after graduation–and it’s almost doubled in size, due to interest, penalties and fees. Like many others, he was forced into default. And he says that’s the way the system is supposed to work–from the point of view of the lender. The system is rigged against students and parents, reaping huge payoffs for lenders like Sallie Mae and corrupting college financial aid officers. Meanwhile, student loan debt is the only kind without any legal protection at all: debtors can’t declare bankruptcy on their loans and they can have their wages, disability pay and social security income raided by the lenders for payback. Alan Michael Collinge’s book is THE STUDENT LOAN SCAM: The Most Oppressive Debt in U.S. History – and How We Can Fight Back. He’s also the founder of StudentLoanJustice.org.
College is for suckers
April Norhanian thinks she got gypped by higher education. After college, she couldn’t get a good job. So she went to graduate school, of course. But that didn’t help much, either. Unable to get a good job as a Web designer (what she studied in grad school), she ended up as a college recruiter.
She says her experiences as a college consumer and recruiter showed her that American colleges are little more than “a commercial product that’s not always relevant or effective for the pursuits of career seekers” –and may not be worth the price of the student loan debt they saddle graduates with. Norhanian says, if you want a good job, there are a lot of other places to get the credentials and training, for a lot less money.
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Of course, if you want a four-year vacation at “Club Ed”, you can pay the premium prices for high-end college fitness centers, fancy dining commons, and state of the art dorms.Â April Norhanian’s book is COLLEGE IS FOR SUCKERS.