Good news for students…for now? Not so fast…

Student Loan-AmericanDream

Awaiting President Obama’s signature is a bill that will reduce the costs of borrowing for millions of students.

Don’t get completely happy about it; the bipartisan legislation links student loan interest rates to the financial markets. This means that at current market rates, students obtain lower rates now but, once the economy improves, rates will tick upwards and in synch with market conditions.… [Read more]

Hand-to-Mouth, Paycheck to Paycheck

Broken piggy bank

Yesterday it was reported that 76% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. According to Bankrate.com’s survey reported by CNN, “Fewer than one in four Americans have enough money in their savings account to cover at least six months of expenses, enough to help cushion the blow of a job loss, medical emergency or some other unexpected event, according to the survey of 1,000 adults.… [Read more]

The next big financial bubble can be popped.

Senator Elizabeth Warren

Education can be an individual’s or a nation’s greatest investment. We talk about the disparity between the  public education provided to students with fewer economic resources and those who have greater financial means. We also talk about gender differences in that young women are often steered away from  Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields of study.… [Read more]

Campaigning on College Grads’ Prospects

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If you’re a regular reader of this site you know that education is a frequent topic. Though the nation’s economy is slowly improving, its current state – fueled in large part by the unwillingness of some of our elected officials to boost job prospects – has, in part, resulted in greater competition for jobs available to debt-saddled graduates.… [Read more]

Borrowing from the Money Store

Student Loan Debt Burden

In case you aren’t painfully aware that the student loan situation has gotten terribly out of hand, consider this: the average college graduate owes $25,000 in debt—what do you say to someone in that situation? Add to this the sublime impossibility of finding a job (days and days spent, dozens of CVs sent out… it’s like a ritual of sorts) and the proliferation of unpaid, or “for credit/experience/exposure” internships, and moving back home to your parents seems like more of a dire necessity than a sensible decision.… [Read more]

How The Rich Are Increasing Your Student Loan Debt

graduationpicture

If you’re one of President Obama’s fifteen million Twitter followers, you may have seen his #dontdoublemyrates tweets lately. The controversy stems from the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, which, among other things, reduced the fixed interest rates on newly originated subsidized Stafford loans for undergraduate students only, from 6.8% in 2007 down a sliding scale until they hit 3.4% in the 2011-2012 school year.… [Read more]

G.R.O.U.C.H. Says Snot-Nosed Kids Can Get Their College Money from Mommy and Daddy, or Join the Damn Army!

Lester Smelgerson of the Greater Regional Organization of Uninformed Citizen Hotheads (Picture public domain from Library of Congress)

Today, Mr. Schmalfeldt yields his column space to guest writer Lester Smelgerson, Vice President of Communications from the Greater Regional Organization of Uninformed Citizen Hotheads (G.R.O.U.C.H.)

What in the gosh, darn hell is wrong with these snot-nosed college kids we got today?  Do they think everything’s gotta be handed to them on a silk pillow, tied in a pretty little pink ribbon and bow?… [Read more]

Stumped, Part One: What’s The Real Crisis in American Education?

CalvinHobbesHateSchool

The school year’s coming to a close, so it figures that many of us here at BNV have been weighing in on the state of education. And as well we should. It’s one of the only issues — in fact, possibly the only one — that tangibly affects each and every one of us in ways that we have to face up to every single day.… [Read more]

There They Go Again…

American Incomes Can't Keep Up With Tuition Increases

Just when you thought they had all the various groups of vulnerable citizens adequately disenfranchised, the Republican Party decides to stick it to students as well (now, they are attempting to stick it to women and children instead. I’ll explain in a minute). How can these guys and gals possibly get re-elected? It’s a mystery to many thinking folks.… [Read more]

Rethinking the Four Year Degree

College

Education is going to be a hot button issue during this election cycle. The GOP will call President Obama an elitist for insisting the youth of America learn stuff. Liberals will yell that the real elitists are rich white kids who get into Harvard and Dartmouth on legacy merit alone while the poor and middle class try to compete.… [Read more]

Talkin’ ’bout My Generation: Stop Bankrupting Our Future

BoA not one more dollar

On Wednesday, April 25th, the youth and students of America are taking action and sending a message to big banks and Wall Street: they need to stop destroying our climate and bankrupting our future. It is a nationwide day of action against both crippling student loan debt and Bank of America, the number one financier of the coal industry AND the number one fore closer on American homes.… [Read more]

Van Jones Talks American Dream, Economy, and Social Movements

Rebuild The Dream Van Jones

On Friday I had the privilege of attending a talk by Van Jones at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC and wanted to report back on what Van Jones said about achieving economic justice. While the talk was designed to promote Jones’ new book, Rebuild the Dream, many topics were covered and there was a question and answer session at the end.… [Read more]

Forgive Me, Please

student_loan_debt_correct

A few days ago, I logged into my student loans account to pay my monthly bill.  I was confused and surprised to find that my $80,000 balance was at $0. I spent twenty minutes attempting to figure out how my loans were paid off, gave up and went to bed.

That night I dreamt of men in suits being sprinkled with fairy dust and pressing the delete key for automatic student loan forgiveness across the world.… [Read more]

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

National_Debt_Clock2

Last week I applied for a house loan.  I used my credit score only, and therefore only my income, because my husband’s credit is not the best.  In the end I was denied a loan because my debt to income ratio was too high at 54%.

Meanwhile, “The 2011 United States public debt-to-GDP ratio was about 69.4%”.   … [Read more]

Student Loan Forgiveness Act Introduced in Congress

Forgive Student Loan debt

US House Representative Hansen Clarke from Michigan introduced HR 4170, or the Student Loan Forgiveness Act, on March 8th, a bill that is extremely important in this economy, especially to the Millennium Generation.  If passed, the bill would forgive outstanding student loan debt to any person who makes consecutive payments of at least 10 percent of discretionary income for ten years.  … [Read more]

I Don’t Know _ _ _ _ About Politics!

NoPolitics

That is the truth. I’d like to pretend that I know what is occurring in the world around me, but I really don’t. Recently I got into an argument with a close friend about how oblivious I appear to be with regard to what is going on in the world around me.  In her opinion, I should be more concerned about current politics. … [Read more]

The American Dream?

Student Loan-AmericanDream

We are spoon fed a dream growing up in America that is akin to a grandiose fairy tale.  We are programmed to believe that the corporate ladder is there to be climbed – and if we sweat and bleed enough, one day we will reach the top of it victorious.  It is ingrained in us that the path to reach the top of the highest mountain is to buckle down and study, avoid excessive idle time and make sure to pad our academic resumes with lots and lots of meaningful extracurricular activities.  … [Read more]