I have been wanting to do this post for quite a while, but I never really had the place to put it. Now that my Forward to Happiness blog is taking the role of a blog for hard truths, it is perfectly fitting. Today's focus is on Student Loans, or ...imagine the voice of John Oliver... the soul sucking, class system creating, voluntary enslavement of our generation. When student loans were created, they were created to...
"SEC. 101. For the purpose of assisting the people of the United States in the solution of community problems such as housing, poverty, government, recreation, employment, youth opportunities, transportation, health, and land use by enabling the Commissioner to make grants under this title to strengthen community service programs of colleges and universities..."
Public Law 89-329
And, that is what people think when they take the loans. That is the story that our parents told us about using the loans. That is what we tell our KIDS about using the loans. We all tell them that EDUCATION is the key to success, and, if you can't afford it, you should take student loans in order to be successful in life. We tell them that student loans provide a ticket to break the class system of our society to allow the poor to become rich, but is that really what happens? I say no...from personal experiences and common logic.
First, I grew up poor, and I did not have the money to go to a good college right out of school...that is another lie, btw...any college will increase your skills set, which is all employers look for in candidates (said as a person who has trained people). So, I took out student loans. Did I know what I wanted to go to college for...not a clue, but...again ANOTHER society lie..I was told that if you ever stopped going to college you would never go to college so it was best to go to school till you know. This lie is CURRENTLY being followed by my older daughter, against my advice, as she secures more and more public debt to take classes that she states OUTRIGHT is not a career interest for her but simply her exploring.
So, over the years I gathered a LARGE student loan debt, borrowing the max to allow me to not only go to college but do so while not WORKING a whole lot, which I believed was best...and again, I hear this lie...to allow me to focus on my education.
Then, I completed my college studies and found...much to my surprise...no one was interested in hiring someone with AN EDUCATION. They wanted someone with EXPERIENCE, which I would have had....had I actually worked more and studied less. However, after over 100 applications I secured a job (also based on the part time work I had done over the years) and began working my way up the career ladder.
And so...I was successful, financially, right? WRONG. I had student loan debts that needed to be paid. So, after getting a "professioal" job making career money, I was left with a NET that was lower than if I had started working at MCDONALDS without a degree, instead....and, now, I will be paying that debt collecting interest and growing for the rest of my life.
The reality, also, is that rather than dissolve the class system, student loans are, perhaps, the greated support OF it. As I began working in student loans, I found two types of co-workers. One was like myself...working our asses off at a professional job and netting barely enough to exist, and the second was those who came to college from families of money that paid their college. They could net ALL of the pay, without student loans. SO, the end result is that the RICH become RICHER, while the poor that is taking student loans get POORER.
For this reason, I believe that no student should be allowed to pay all of their college years on student loans, alone. Either they have a job to pay for a portion of the college debt (and gather work history...which is kinda the point), or they should not be allowed to get the student loans....or, better yet...banish student loans, completely. Then, students would join the work force, early, start with REAL life and appreciate the value of their schooling. This would ensure they choose classes they want to do as a JOB, as they are PAYING for it, and it would ensure they graduate with skills and on a solid footing for their career and their life.