Studying For A Graduate Degree At An Elite US University Mark1199. “Pursue your dreams but remember, you may be saddled with debt for life.” A slogan with which some universities considered elite in the United States could use to promote their offer of masters.
A recent investigation carried out by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has revealed how some universities, such as Columbia’s, promote graduate programs, whose federal loans are six figures, which graduates later cannot pay because they can not find jobs that achieve cover the debt.
According to the data provided by WSJ, recent graduates of Columbia University film programs who obtained federal student loans had an average debt of $ 181,000 (approximately 152,000 euros). However, two years after obtaining their master’s degree, half of the borrowers were earning less than € 25,350 a year.
Columbia has more highly indebted graduate programs in underpaid fields than any of the other colleges that make up the prestigious sports conference, Ivy League – Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Pennsylvania (UPenn), Brown, Princeton, Cornell and Dartmouth-.
43% of the people who contracted a loan to pursue a postgraduate degree in these private universities, had not paid any of their original debts. Studying For A Graduate Degree At An Elite US University Mark1199
The WSJ article has exposed – taking as an example the case of a film student – how universities considered elite continue to inflate their graduate prices because students can apply for unlimited federal loans.
This has as a result that many of them end up incurring a debt for these master’s degrees of up to 250,000 euros that they have to pay with salaries that are below 50,000 euros , in the best of cases. Now, if the loan is not repaid in the 20 years stipulated for them, it is the taxpayers who will bear the losses.
And it is that at least 43% of the people who contracted a loan to study a postgraduate degree in these private universities, had not paid any of their original debts or were behind in payments almost two years after graduating.
The debate that has been formed in the networks about this issue goes in different ways. On the one hand, there are those who accuse prestigious US universities of having turned their master’s programs into what they qualify as ” cash cows ” , referring to a slang term commercial.
In this case, the criticisms are directed at how universities offer a product – the masters – for which I have disbursement is very small while generating a constant return of profits, surpassing that initial item with growth. This is precisely the case because, as has been stated, the debts do not fall under any circumstances on the universities but ultimately on the taxpayers.
Schools are allowing students to obtain loans of 250,000 euros for a Master of Fine Arts, for example, when it is one of the sectors with the lowest employability and, from the educational world, they describe this situation as a “scam.”
The point is that pursuing a master’s degree in the United States, especially for international students, seems to promise a job that is worth the investment made by students, but nothing is further from the truth.
At these universities, many professional writers support themselves not by writing books and articles, but by teaching students in MFA ( Master of Fine Arts or Master of Fine Arts) programs who have borrowed tens of thousands of dollars to learn to earn a living writing books and articles, resulting in a uroborus.
Other criticisms that have been generated around this question is that from the universities themselves they use an almost gymnastic rhetoric to convince students and professors that they are not “predators” – predatory – (a qualifier they use to refer to these universities). But, one wonders, how an MA ( Master of Arts or Master of Arts) that lacks funding, nor is it focused on the industry and whose graduates end up in debt and rarely work in that field, can be qualified differently.
There are hundreds of graduate programs in Fine Arts that train people for careers either as writers, actors, or artists. Many of them charge exorbitant tuition leaving graduates with substantial debt . The problem is that no one tracks how much students borrow to attend these programs, or how much they earn after graduation. The same is true for most other master’s programs, such as law schools, among others.
An example of such prestigious “predatory” programs is offered by the Pepperdine Caruso School of Law (private university in Malibu, California). According to its page , “the online Master of Legal Studies program allows non-attorneys to develop superior legal experience and credentials to advance in their chosen field,” but the result of such studies is a debt, not a certificate. professional to practice.
What these programs have in common is that they use attractive marketing for young people and, furthermore, they have practically no external pressure that forces them to ensure that the education they offer will be of high quality and will lead them -the graduates- to jobs that pay enough to finance student loan payments.
The federal Grad Plus loan program does not set a fixed limit on how much graduate students can borrow.
As mentioned in the WSJ, to these problems it should also be added that, although undergraduate students have faced crazy loan balances for years, it is now graduate students who are accumulating the largest debt loads.
Unlike undergraduate student loans, the federal Grad Plus loan program – created by Congress in 2005 – does not set a fixed limit on how much graduate students can borrow. The Grad Plus has become the federal student loan program fastest growing and has reached a charge interest rates to 7.9% in recent years .
The battle of the American government
In the face of “predatory” for-profit universities , the Obama administration fought a battle to end it . The Obama administration’s rules on for-profit colleges were based on two statistical measures of individual programs . First, how much money typical program graduates should spend on student loan payments each year, and second, how much they earn in the job market two years after graduation. If the result of that “debt-to-earnings ratio” was too high for several years, meaning that graduates need to spend too much of their income to pay off loans, then the program is not eligible for federal financial aid.
Along these lines and under one of its promises during its election campaign, the forgiveness of student debts , the Joe Biden administration announced just a few days ago that they are approving more than 1,800 loan forgiveness applications for student borrowers that attended three different schools: Westwood College, Marinello Schools of Beauty and Court Reporting Institute , all of them for profit. Borrowers will have 100% of their loans canceled , receiving approximately $ 55.6 million (about 47 million euros) as student debt relief.
Regulation directs Secretary of Education to discharge federal student loan debt in cases of college misconduct
For this, the United States Department of Education is using the regulation of “borrower defense to repayment” or “defense of the borrower to repayment” , also known as “borrower defense” or “defense of the borrower”, to grant this condonation. Under the Higher Education Law, the Secretary of Education has the authority to pay off the debt of borrowers who were defrauded or misled by their college or university.
This borrower defense regulation is a key tool for the department to protect borrowers from having to pay a debt that should be forgiven due to the actions of “predatory” universities. The regulation directs the Secretary of Education to forgive federal student loan debt in cases of college misconduct.
This regulation has been in existence since 1994 and the borrower’s right of defense has been written into every federal Direct Loan borrower’s promissory note since then, its further use being catalyzed by a single catastrophic event: the 2015 collapse of Corinthian Colleges, Inc. ., a large, for-profit university chain with a history of fraud and misconduct toward its students, which ended up shutting down its 28 campuses for good .
While the US government is moving forward to fulfill its promise to forgive student debts, there is still a long way to go. From the Debt Collective union , which fights to cancel 100% of the federal and private loans that students have taken out and demands that education in the United States be completely public. Studying For A Graduate Degree At An Elite US University Mark1199