Monday, November 02, 2009

Do you have student loans? If so, you should pay attention to this...

I've been saying this for a long time. People think students couldn't afford college without federal student loans. In reality, federal tuition assistance programs make college far, far more expensive.

Before federal tuition involvement, a decent summer job could pay for a year's tuition. Yet the government wanted to make college more "affordable", so it started various federal tuition programs. As a result, college students don't have to have a summer job, and can live the high life while in college, paid for by student loans. But then they have to spend the next 10-20 years paying off tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, before you count the interest. If they didn't have that debt, instead of paying interest they could invest that money and earn interest. Or put a down payment on a house.

Why has college gotten more expensive? I certainly don't think it's because the quality of education is any better. I'm quite convinced the opposite is true. The government's good intentions of providing students with more for less backfired on both fronts. Just like it did with Fannie/Freddie/CRA and housing. Just like it did with Social Security and retirement.

And just like it's going to do with health care.

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