Sunday, December 20, 2009

Why is 23K the magic number?

Sandy Baum claims, "…While the sticker price for attending college continues to climb, the net cost — after taking into account grants and discounts — is actually lower now than five years ago." (I'm pulling this quote from a poster here from Jacques Steinberg's NYT piece).

What is she talking about? Can anyone explain this claim to me? I know Edububble is confused by the continued numbers that supposedly demonstrate an accurate reading of college debt.

Truth is, we've all been sold a bill of goods. Edububble also brings up how many of us are deliberately misled. He's following one of my favorite blogs - Temporary - and mentioned a number of comments there about employment promises. Apparently people think that schools lie about the success rates of their graduates. Gasp! How could that be? I mean, it's like thinking The College Board is filled with sycophants who want to hide the truth from future borrowers by spinning numbers just the right way. Welcome to the student debt trap. 


Cryn Johannsen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nando said...


Are you aware that a past dean at the very low-ranked Ave Maria School of Law was making in excess of $365K in 2007?

The school is ranked in the fourth tier by US News & World Report. Tuition is also $34,900 per year. The chances of a graduate from such a school getting into a good-paying legal (or nonlegal) job are miniscule. But yet, the ABA continues to accredit more of these diploma mills.

Thanks for referring to the Edububble article citing my letter to Tom the Temp. I also like the picture you used on this post.

Take care,


Cryn Johannsen said...

Nando - you're quite welcome. I am happy to cite your letter. It's important to get the word out about these shams. The more we raise hell, the better. As you and I both know, there is no coincidence in fact that a past dean used to make 365k a year and this crappy school charges nearly 35k a year. Shame on the ABA - they are contributing to this major fiasco. Keep coming back, keep raising hell, and join us in our forthcoming protest. It's time that we all rise up and say: enough is enough!

Anonymous said...

That is a great cartoon Cryn, it really exemplifies how I feel, crushing debt for a medical education. Now if only I had parents I could move in with.

Anonymous said...

IMO, $23,000 is the magic number because, to the general public, it really doesn't seem so bad. That's about the cost of the average car - if it were a car loan you'd have to pay it back in 3-5 years. But considering it's a student loan you get 10 years to repay. When you think of it that way, it's not such a big deal. Unless of course, you're broke, unemployed, and your degree doesn't do a damn thing for you.

What I'd like to know is who the heck only owes $23K? No one I know owes only $23K. I know of grads who owe $100K or more for a Bachelor's degree, and not from private schools. So if $23K is the average, where do these people get their numbers?