Student Loan Rant: Times Have Changed
I’m pretty active in some Dave Ramsey/Budgeting Facebook groups. These can be extremely helpful, but also can show how people are at varying levels of understanding. This is particularly true of the cost of college/university and how times have changed. One woman said that she was trying to prepare her daughter (a freshman in highschool) to get set for college. They have two other young ones so they can’t just give her everything. The woman was worried because she said school cost 25K a semester just for undergrad (her estimation is off but more on that later) and her daughter wants to become a pediatrician. This requires undergraduate and medical school.
The responses? Unbelieveable.
What followed was a shocking display of how much adults DO NOT GET IT. And the worst part to me was that this included older MILLENNIALS. The group older generations love to hate. A woman who graduated college in 2009 was high-and-mighty at first. Saying how she went to an in-state school and there was no way her dorms were “that expensive” when I said that dorms are about 10K a year on average. So I asked her what her alma mater was. She told me. And I then proceeded to look up the current room and board of that state university. The cost of living is now $10,648. She was FLOORED. She took back all of her ranting and was just in total shock. So yes, TIMES HAVE CHANGED. The original poster was overestimating by saying 25K per semester, but 25K per year is still quite accurate. And what kind of high-school graduate is earning 25K income right away?
Yes, it IS different now, even than only 10 years ago…
And that… THAT is what is so frustrating. What I wish I could tell every high-schooler. That older people (even ones who aren’t THAT old), including their own parents, DO NOT GET IT. They do not understand that college is INSANELY expensive even if you go to a “cheap school.” There is no such thing as working through school without scholarships. Times have changed. Scholarships & grants are 100% needed for financial success in college. The key is to work really hard in high school, to apply for as many scholarships as you possibly can, and to work during your time at school. It CAN be possible to not take out student loans for undergraduate, but it may become very difficult to do so if you plan to go through a medical school program.
So if you are in a situation where someone talks about how “they did it” in a school and claim how “affordable” in-state school is, CALL THEM OUT ON IT. Ask them what year they graduated, where they went to school, and what the cost was. I’m not saying to be rude. I certainly was not. I was very respectful and simply asked her what her alma mater was and then gave her the information. What I’m trying to do is give others the understanding that times have changed. The cost of a college degree vs the return on investment has shifted dramatically. And people need to get this. Students are being fed this lie that they need to spend 100K+ out of pocket to get a degree that *might* earn them that salary a few years after graduating.
If you are reading this and you’ve got student loans, I’m there with you. That’s at least a part of what this blog is currently about. That is why I link undebt.it on every single page of mine. I want people who were never taught the impact of student loans to see how to start a debt snowball/avalanche and pay off those darn loans, and to not be discouraged when older adults (who again, DON’T GET IT) talk about how affordable school is. School is only affordable if you have a lot of scholarships. So work your booty off in high-school to get good ones. Don’t just trust what others say, because times have changed, and if you want to be successful, you need to do research on your own.
Hi, my name is Rachel Smith. I’m a personal finance nerd, Aldi connoissuer, book lover, yoga enthusiast, and budgeting wiz. I was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska but currently call Michigan home. I want to help people with their finances and eating healthy on a tight budget (no matter what your cost-of-living area is!)