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Student loans the crushing debt
The cost of a college
education is rapidly rising, far more than the cost of inflation
more than even the cost of healthcare, but I don't hear a peep about it in the media
The policy of student loans is a total
failure, I mean a trillion dollars of debt?
The colleges need to justify what it is they're doing with our tuition dollars and our taxpayer dollars
It is becoming more and more and more expensive to go to college.
You are seeing the potential of an economically lost generation.
And the average debt for a college senior right now is over twenty five thousand dollars.
It's time for congress to stand for the rights of student loan borrowers.
Because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because
they chose to go to college.
I was sitting and waiting for my AP psych test and I was freaking out
everybody's super nervous
My phone rings and I'm like, "Oh it's my dad, he's totally going
to make me feel better."
He's says, "Where do you want your stuff
it's in the back of my truck" and I said "What do you mean?"
And he said, "Well Josie" (my stepmom) "told me to pick
you or her so where do you want your stuff?"
And I was like "Oh. OK, I feel like crap now."
So I was thinking, "What am I going to do?"
It was always like you're going to college no matter what, even if
you have to scrape gum off the ground
you're going to college.
So what I decided I'm going to go to a 4-year
university, I want to go a big school.
It wasn't until later I realized, "Oh my gosh
I'm paying for this."
I have a two thousand dollar loan, a four thousand dollar loan
a three thousand dollar loan and then the eighteen thousand dollar loan.
And then I have a school direct plus
that's like two thousand dollars.
Federal loans I think since the late seventies
you haven't ever been able to declare bankruptcy.
That's across the board on federal loans.
But until 2005 you could declare bankruptcy on private loans.
The moment that they put the bankruptcy protection in,
schools had no incentive to keep tuition low
they started to go sky-rocketing out of control because they were
backed by the federal government and they would always get their money, no matter what.
It's different than any other debt that we have, you can discharge your credit card debt
your home loans, your medical debt; you cannot get rid of
your student debt. It sticks with you forever.
I would like to see tuition freezes until we can figure out where
--you know really open up the budgets-- and see where money is going.
If you paid more teachers to have smaller classes, people would
learn so much more and the teachers would care more.
So they have plenty of money but it's just not
to subsidize the cost of education for students.
I don't think the students want it
Every school wants to compete with each other to be the most
prestigious, the most beautiful school, when in fact students
just want a simple education for as cheap as possible.
If you've got three classes and it's four hundred students
each I'm sure you're not like, "Oh let me go through everbody's test."
But if you just put something into it, you know, put in
what we put in. We really care about our grades so for you
to just push us to the side well then why am I even here?
Does the money that students put in to their
tuition, do they actually get it back?
If you look at tuition between 1979
and 2010, it's increased 175
percent in private colleges and
220 percent in public universities and colleges.
The only problem is the ratio of professors to
students has stayed the same at 7 per 100
However the number of administrators has increased
from 3 to a hundred to 6 to a hundred.
So it appears that a lot of this extra money that students pay for
tuition is not going into the classroom to
improve their education but is going for administrators.
Several years ago I was holding up hearing approval
to build a fitness center at
Northern Arizona University, because they were going to charge the
students three or four hundred dollars a year
to pay for the fitness center. A gym.
Like a spa on campus.
And I said, "You know what? You want to build your fitness center then
charge a fee for those who
want to use it and have that pay for the fitness center.
Don't make every student on the campus pay this."
And the administrators tell me, "Well we have to be competitive. We don't have a
fitness center we can't get all these extra students." I said, "Why do you want all these extra
students? So you can build more buildings and come here looking for more money
and increase tuition more to pay for them?"
It's all money all the time. I feel like-- it sounds weird--
but if you want to get an education money shouldn't be a part of it.
We would probably have a better campus
not because it's beautiful but because we've got smart people.
You shouldn't worry about how it looks, you should
worry about if it's actually doing what it's supposed to.
We're trying to grow both the west and polytechnic
campus because there's the opportunity for growth
on those two campuses with the expansion
of residence halls and the new residence halls and the new rec center.
You see my financial aid you look at it with your own eyes. You see how much I'm coming
from, how much I make, how much I don't make and
how much is in my bank account. You literally have the paper in front of you
and you ask a kid who doesn't have a job
who has a thousand dollars in her bank account that's in her savings
and like two dollars in my checking account and they say, "OK
so we want you to pay thirty-six thousand a year."
My loans will continue to grow faster
than any salary or wage ever can.
It has cost me my family, it has cost me my
friends, it has cost me two potential marriages,
and of course I've shied away from having children because I simply can't afford it.
I currently make eight dollars and fifty cents
an hour as a cashier at Ace Hardware.
I'll be forty-five thousand dollars in debt by the
time I graduate.
I am freshly enraged about the
state of our education system in the United States.
I just called the U.S. Department of Education regarding
my bill that I pay on every month and I have been for the last decade.
After I graduate, I think I will have about forty-thousand dollars in debt.
Facing turning sixty-two and knowing
I have another thirty years to pay on my student
loans is daunting.
My goal you could say right now is to hopefully graduate with two degrees
in psychology and global health, get an
MBA with emphasis in hospital management.
I'm an administrative intern for Maricopa Integrated Health System.
I learn things like payroll
scheduling, scheduling protocol, working with
patients, meeting doctors-- things like that.
I kind of get a feel for exactly I want to do. "Thank you so much."
Selling tickets over here
I work for the athletic department at Arizona State University "If you want to buy a ticket I can sell
you a ticket over here"
I manage five houses and I also make sure that
groceries and all day to day plans are met.
When I was actually left alone, it was a big shock.
My first semester I kind of cried
a lot.
Not just because they were gone but because
there was so much pressure on me.
Every morning I had to wash my own clothes
make my own food, do pretty much everything
by myself. Alone.
I think of myself as a Dad.
They are my children, because every single week
I am responsible for every single thing that happens inside this house
and outside this house.
I have to make sure that my sister gets her books that she needs for her assignments.
So that they are done every single week.
I want to be an important person someday. I want to make some kind
of a change. My parents always wanted me to be a doctor
they always wanted me to have a big degree. They always wanted me to be
the best person I can possibly be.
When I think about it in my situation
right now, it's really hard to focus on always school, school, school.
Even though it's a really important thing. I'm working, I'm studying
I need to get good grades. You need to have a good G.P.A. when you get out of undergrad
because it's important in your job field.
Graduation rates are highest
at the highest income levels.
So regardless of your aptitude, if your
family is making a hundred and fifty thousand dollars and above
in family income, your chances of graduating at the undergraduate level--
seventy-five percent. If you're under thirty thousand dollars
it's twenty-five.
Just to be honest, I would not be able to do anything if it wasn't for the scholarship.
It's my lifeline right now. It means everything to me.
If someone hears my story, one of my teachers hears my story and she says
"Why are you in class? You should be out working or something."
Study and get A's. You want to get a great job? Leave college
with a G.P.A. that's high. I don't know what the answer is I don't want to deny anybody the right
to go to college, but I think everybody should understand
what they're getting into and what they're going to leave with.
It's not the dream that college was in the
1960's when I went to college when it was a true
ticket to prosperity. Things have changed.
My loans me have caused me to have to fight every single day to be able
to pay my bills. If I didn't have that student loan, I would be able to go out
in search for a new job. I think we need to listen to the millions because
we need to be heard.
I don't think it's fair that education is placed on the
lower end of the spectrum when it comes to being recognized
as something that everyone needs.
They haven't been able to help me in any way.
I looked into their hardship plans and their
disability deferment plans and
for one reason or another I was always
ineligible and that begs the question: If someone with
brain cancer is ineligible for the hardship program then
who the hell is eligible for the hardship program?
I'll definitely be over a hundred thousand dollars in debt by the time
I graduate so I'll be paying that off for the rest of my life.
When I was a junior, my mom got diagnosed with cancer.
Junior year I'd be going to school and I would drive to
Mayo Clinic after school to spend
time with my mom, that's just what my daily routine was.
So then my senior year came...
OK.
So you know those nightmares you used to have of, well I always
had them, of both my parents dying? That was the
biggest nightmare that I'd ever have and that my mom would die too that was
the scariest thing for me to go through.
Before I graduated-- it was April 29th--
I had my whole family out there and
she had gone through a couple surgeries, emergency surgeries, because she
had internal bleeding from one of her biopsies.
So my whole family flew out there and
everybody got to say their goodbyes and
my sister and I were there in the room when she took her last breath.
I wanted her to go knowing that I could
achieve what I wanted and that
I was going to be OK.
That's just what I kept repeating to her, "I'm going to be fine.
You need to be OK."
I had to pack up in a few days and put it in storage, everything.
And that's when I was living in the dorms
that was the hardest time because I didn't have anywhere to go.
I didn't have any place to call home.
I didn't have parents. It was all bad.
And that was the first time I was like, "You know I need to get a job
I need to be able to support myself. I'm never ever
going to put my family through what I was put through when it comes to finances.
I'm making my life now. This is my life and I just need to do it.
I didn't question
can I not make it through school? Can I not finish? Do I have to
go work? It was just second nature, I needed to just do it.
And I need to come out of it on top and be an inspiration to those
that have no idea.
In reality I work thirty two plus hours a week
at one location, one store, you know, one job.
I started as a sales associate, then a keyholder
then a floor supervisor, now I'm assistant manager.
So I've worked my way up but that's pretty much the top
that I can get. So balancing the thirty hours of work
that I do, over thirty hours, and then
my fifteen hours of credit-hours that I'm in school,
I am always just staying up
late at night at two o'clock in the morning, pulling all nighters.
I am an intern for marketing for ASU
athletics so I do the football and basketball games, which is so fun.
I do on-site promotions making sure that all of our corporate sponsors who have
booths set up or onsites set up that everything is going OK.
I'm willing to look at it as, I'm willing to sacrifice this time in my life
to school, to work, for happiness in a couple years.
Everyday I think about money. When I wake up it's
about money. It's just stressful, I get paid on Friday and I'm living
on forty dollars for the next couple of days, which is, substantial.
I'm going to make it through, but I don't want to feel like that anymore.
I want to be able to know that I'm going to have a career that's going
to give me something other than living paycheck to paycheck.
It's just one after another of something I have to pay and it's hard.
You may have to work, you may have to take out loans, you may have
to accelerate your program of study.
The federal government only allows x number of dollars to go to students in
federal assistance or grant assistance. Those are the rules.
It's increasingly seeming that students who went to school are actually in more trouble than students
that didn't because they don't have that hundred thousand debt on their back when they graduate.
My education is just something that I have to do. It's something that
needs to happen. I don't think that I've ever hesitated and been like
me dropping out of school-- well I'm going to have to start paying my loans back, so why not just stay in school?
Pell grants. Student loans. What these have done is they've allowed college administrators
to jack up the tuition. It's a very simple process. If these loans weren't being subsidized
at dirt cheap prices, and if students weren't getting all these grants, then
the administrators wouldn't be able to charge ridiculous rates for tuition they'd have to be competitive
and charge lower rates.
The bottom line is, throughout the United States, there has been an
erosion of state support
for higher education at public colleges and
universities and that oweness that responsibility has shifted
to students. Three years ago
when we look at that the state's budget cuts about two-hundred and
sixty-five million of those budget cuts came in higher education.
I feel like it's almost like a company it's almost like a business.
You're education has turned into business rather than being--
you know, you should be looked up to because you're
going to school and you're doing the right thing. And I almost feel like I'm getting
punished with these bills and with these late fees and
everything that comes. Half of the stuff that adds up to your tuition
I have no idea where it goes, you know what it adds up to
technology fee, what does that even mean?
Schools have become degree factories and not academia places of higher education
where great minds come together to talk.
It shouldn't be like a company, it shouldn't be like I'm a machine, it shouldn't be like I'm just everybody
else, it should be more personal it should be more hands-on.
Why are you not helping me? Why aren't you helping the other around me?
When it comes down to it, I can do it, but those people that really can't, there's people in worse situations than
I'm in and they're in school. But why won't
you even talk to us? Why won't you even have the dignity
to sit with me one on one and tell me the truth
and tell me the answers and tell me why this why that.
If it's out of their control then so be it and there's nothing that we can
be angry for, but we don't know that because
we haven't heard anything.
It's not the same system it was ten, twenty years
ago that a lot of people remember. We're coming out now in so
much debt that it's difficult to fathom.
I can hardly afford to live on my annual salary and pay back my student loan debt.
Education may have set my mind free, but my student loan debts
have shackled me for life.
I earned this and right now, all it is, is a piece
of paper. It's not getting me any jobs or anything.
They need to realize that this is crushing the
"American dream" for people and it's going to hurt.
We have no idea what the effect of so many student debtors will be ten years from now
on the American economy and that's what I'm afraid of.
So when you go out there with your degree, because everybody else has a degree, you get less money or
instead of being a barrister with your law degree, you are a barista at Starbucks.
That's the way it goes. And that's the reality of the situation.
As a country, what do we value in education
and how does that help us be a better society?
Be a better society for this state, this country and
actually the world.
They could take away everything, my room, my hair, shave my head
I don't care, but you can't take away my education.
Education is the one thing they can never take away. They can cut off your leg, your arm but
they can't take away your education.
If we want to be successful, I think that we need to have educated
young men and women to run this country.
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Scholarslip: A documentary about the student debt crisis

5805 タグ追加 保存
Wonderful 2014 年 4 月 20 日 に公開
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