“So, what if the Internet started serving as a University? No books, no exorbitant tuition, local meetups for affinity groups, teleconferencing, etc. Sounds crazy, but at least that idea is more realistic than setting yourself up for a financial catastrophe.”
My friend, Corey, responded via IM:
So true. Problem is getting recognized as a quality method of education and recognized for producing results. I mean, if Wikipedia can do it. Anyway, your series on student debt is great. I’ve been looking at ways of getting rid of my debt in under 4 years and reading some of the ideas you’ve posted has actually been a motivating factor in getting it solved.
I wouldn’t be assembling the information if I didn’t think it could help – and it’s very good to see that friends understand that there’s a bit more to my life than tech. Regarding consolidating her loans, Alice (Foeller) Hohl also submits:
I’ve been paying $220 a month for a long time, via autodebit. Any time Sallie Mae offered to lower my payment when rates went down, I would request that it remain the same, so more went toward the principal. Recently my family and I went on a strict budget, and all the money from my freelance work has been going into a separate account. One day I checked my Sallie Mae account and saw I owed less than $1,000, but that I would end up paying more than $2,000 if I continued the monthly payments. I wrote a check that day with funds from my freelance work. My savings account certainly doesn’t earn as much as I was paying in interest, so it was better to write that check than save the money and keep paying on the loan.
And Noelle Kehrley wrote:
I waited a couple of years after to high school to go to college. I made a deal with my parents, If I remained on the honor roll – they would pay for the semester. I applied for a merit scholarship each semester to supplement. I was very lucky to have this kind of help available, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do the same for my children.
…and that’s what’s so sad about this entire student loan situation. It’s past the point of lunacy for people who aren’t privileged enough to have “rich” parents (or if they’re not poor enough, for that matter). Why bother to help people who can’t afford to go to college if you’re also not willing to help people who won’t be able to afford life AFTER college?
America’s educational system is failing us – from the top down. This may not be apparent today, or tomorrow, but when the “global economy” becomes an absolute reality – we’re going to wish we had done more to teach our citizens, giving them the tools to truly compete in a market that exists beyond these borders.