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When student debt dwarfs future earning power

October 26, 2008

Nice story on bankruptcy. ("Personal debt is public's problem," Consumer Confidential, Oct. 22.)

While Mr. Shelbourn is coping with excessive credit card debt and medical expenses, he faces an enormous problem in coping with his student loans.

Simply put, too many students, who are obviously quite young and naive when they start college, fail to measure their future economic potential versus the size of their future debt.

Higher education is very expensive, and just as expensive, in undergraduate years, for future teachers as it is for future doctors and future corporate lawyers.

They may leave school with the same debt, but the lawyer has a good shot at paying it off, the teacher doesn't.

I have seen school loan guidelines occasionally in the press, but not often enough. Students need to know that if they're looking at $40,000-a-year jobs, they probably can't afford $150,000 in loans and should plan their careers accordingly.

Maybe at some point, our country will get its priorities straight and fund higher education and develop healthcare financing to ease these problems, but I'm not holding my breath.

David Hurwitz


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