Category Archives: Financial Aid

Navigating the Thickets of Student Loan Counseling

TG’s critique goes on: Each module “imagines borrowers are tireless text processors,” while delivering a “bulky and ultimately ineffective user experience” that was often “generic to the point of uselessness.”

In short, this may be the only dose of financial education that teenage borrowers get when making one of the most important financial decisions of their lives. But the counseling offers a dizzying amount of facts and not all that much advice about how much to borrow, in what way and when. “It’s a life-altering decision being made with minimal information at a time of maximum distraction,” said Jeff Webster, the TG executive who led its research.


Student Debt: A Calculator Focused on College Majors

Debt burdens vary a lot across majors, not surprisingly. In the sixth year of repayment, typical drama, music, religion and anthropology majors are still devoting more than 10 percent of their earnings to loan repayment. Other majors with fairly high early repayment burdens include philosophy, psychology and education. By contrast, engineering, computer science, economics and nursing majors are paying 6 percent or less of earnings in their sixth year.


How the Government Exaggerates the Cost of College

Taking into account financial aid — some of which comes from the colleges themselves, some of which comes from the government — the average tuition and fees were $12,460 at private colleges last year and $3,120 for in-state students at public four-year colleges, according to the College Board. At those prices, college is an investment with an excellent return for the vast majority of students who graduate.


Duke: $60,000 A Year For College Is Actually A Discount

In 1984, it cost $10,000 a year to go to Duke University. Today, it’s $60,000 a year. “It’s staggering,” says Duke freshman Max Duncan, “especially considering that’s for four years.”

But according to Jim Roberts, executive vice provost at Duke, that’s actually a discount. “We’re investing on average about $90,000 in the education of each student,” he says. Roberts is not alone in making the claim. In fact, it’s one most elite research institutions point to when asked about rising tuition.

But just where exactly is all that money going? Michael Schoenfeld, Duke’s vice president of public affairs, says for part of that answer, you need to look up: “For the first time in probably anybody’s memory, there will be two cranes hovering over the main campus quad.” Duke is in the process of renovating its library and dining hall; $8,000 of the $90,000 Duke spends on each student goes into building and maintaining physical infrastructure on campus.

Source: Planet Money : NPR.