USA Today – Susan Tompor
“Here’s something student loan borrowers don’t want to hear: The Equifax data breach now could cast a shadow on applying for some college loans, too. After the Equifax data breach hit in early September, many consumer watchdogs —including the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. PIRG — advocated that consumers consider putting a freeze on their credit report if they felt their Social Security number and other data had been compromised.”(more)
Education Next – Alexander Holt and Jason D. Delisle
“Say you’re a 3rd-grade public school teacher with $50,000 in student-loan debt. The federal Stafford Teacher Loan Forgiveness program sounds like a great idea: teach for five years while you make monthly payments right-sized for your income, and the government will forgive $5,000 of what you owe. But then comes the fine print. Accepting the $5,000 resets a different loan-forgiveness clock—the one that would have erased your outstanding debt entirely after 10 years, since you’re a public employee. To access that benefit, now you’re stuck with another decade of payments, or 15 years in all. It’s hard to follow, and would be even if the explanation were not buried in Section 8 of the “Public Service Loan Forgiveness Employment Certification” form in the third paragraph of the subsection titled ‘Other Important Information’.”(more)
USA Today – Teddy Nykiel
“College prepares students to be everything from accountants and teachers to government workers and health care technicians, but not all students learn basic money management skills. Here’s advice for this year’s graduates on how to succeed financially.”(more)
The New York Times – Ann Carrns
“Whether the speaker at your college graduation is the Apple chief executive Tim Cook (M.I.T.) or the actress Eva Longoria (Knox College), the event signals the end of your undergraduate career — and moves you that much closer to having to repay your student loans. Most federal student loans come with at least a six-month grace period, a time during which you don’t have to make monthly payments. For spring graduates, that means repayment is likely to begin sometime in November or December. That gives new graduates some breathing room — to find a job, rent or buy an apartment, or buy a car — before starting to make payments. But many borrowers, despite studying hard to earn a degree, are uneducated about the type of loan they have, how long it will take to repay, what their monthly payment is likely to be and other important details, according to research from Prudential Financial. So they may be caught off guard when it comes time to begin repayment.”(more)
News Herald – Juliann Talkington
Even though psychologists have been talking about a lack of correlation between college degrees, course grades, and job performance for decades, most companies continue to rely on these credentials and marks to make hiring decisions.
In the past couple of years, however, a few companies have broken rank. Google, a Fortune 500 technology firm, and Ernst and Young U.K., part of one of the world’s largest accounting firms, have publicly announced they no longer require college degrees for employment.
Google’s chairman said the company is more interested in an applicant’s skills, ability to think in a logical way, work ethic, breadth of experience, public speaking abilities, and creativity. Ernst and Young said they are interested in talented individuals regardless of background.
This transformation is due, in large part, to free access of information through the Internet. Over five years ago Bill Gates, a founder of Microsoft, suggested that traditional university education, especially at fixed-place institutions will no longer be necessary, since most of the content will be available online for free.
The college experience is under additional pressure, because college costs are rising at a rate higher than inflation and a college degree no longer guarantees a solid middle-class income. In fact, the College Risk Report (collegeriskreport.com) suggests that the rate of return on most four-year college degrees is worse than 2-year degrees and in some instances worse than no degree at all.
There is a small group of students who receive full ride scholarships to attend college. For these students, the costs are so low that the four-year degree makes financial sense.
Some people assert that college is an excellent place to make contacts. This may be a valid claim for students who are outgoing and takes advantage of all the clubs, speakers, professors, and research opportunities available at a school, but is probably not the case for most students who meet few people outside their dorms and classes.
Without a traditional college education, strong K-12 schooling is imperative since this will be where kids learn basic skills, hone public speaking abilities, refine creative thinking, and develop logical problem solving capabilities. Work ethic can be developed at school, home or in extra-curricular activities like sports. Breadth of experience can occur at school or through outside clubs and activities.
This new employment paradigm suggests we need to worry more about high quality K-12 education and less about college.
The Seattle Times – SARAH SKIDMORE SELL
“The stock market is up, unemployment is down but things aren’t rosy for all Americans. A new analysis of government data by the Consumer Federation of America found that the number of Americans in default on their student loans jumped by nearly 17 percent last year. As of the end of 2016, there were 4.2 million Federal Direct Loan borrowers in default, meaning they’ve not made a payment in more than 270 days. That’s up from 3.6 million at the end of 2015.”(more)