Student debt weighs down future graduate

Student debt weighs down future graduate

There are 3 comments on the Hampton Roads Daily Press story from Feb 29, 2008, titled Student debt weighs down future graduate. In it, Hampton Roads Daily Press reports that:

Carrying a lot of financial baggage as she starts her adult financial life, Ashley Cheeks needs some help with the heavy lifting.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Hampton Roads Daily Press.

Dick Ambrose


#1 Mar 4, 2008
To: Janet Kidd Stewart

Your article about Ashley Cheeks, "STARTING OUT, DIGGING OUT" was published in my local newspaper, Daily Press, on Sunday, March 2, 2008. I have a nephew in the same financial situation as Ashley. There must be millions of such kids in the same situation. If someone would just tell these kids the truth about the consequences of debt, perhaps they will come to realize that debt will make them financial slaves. They will never have a life that is truly their own. Their lives will forever belong to financial institutions.

I find it criminal that these kind of kids (there must be millions of them) are "counseled" to go into debt for future jobs that are not commensurate with the debt the kids will be burdened with. These kids should be required to be "counseled" by neutral, independent financial advisors as to alternative educational funding and job opportunities. Even individuals going bankrupt are required to have independent financial counseling. Additionally, school employed "Financial Counselors" should be restricted in much the same way as Pay Day Loan businesses are being restricted because the Counselor's interests are primarily with the school and not the student. It would probably be in the public's best interest if school employed "Financial Counselors" were outlawed all together.

Here is an example of an alternative. On I-95 south out of Richmond, Virginia there is a big sign outside Maverick Trucking offering starting pay for drivers of $52,000. That job pays $15,000 more than Ashley's community service opportunity. Plus, this driving job gives someone like Asley a more realistic chance of paying her debts off in a reasonable length of time.

Another example is an article by James Heaphey, "TOO MANY DEGREES, TOO FEW SKILLED EMPLOYEES". It was published in the Daily Press on April 8, 2002. It talked about careers starting at $30,000 in apprenticeships and eventually working up to over $100,000. The article goes on to explain how German workers had to be imported to fill jobs here in Virginia. Those jobs had pay up to $125,000 for senior workers! I wonder what these unfilled jobs are willing to pay in 2008?

If someone really wants to go to college can't they save their money by working at one of these unfilled high paying jobs and pay cash for a college education in the future? Of course none of these school employed "Couselors" will tell these kids about alternative opportunities. Their school would terminate their counseling employment.

The entire higher educational decision process should probably start with High School Counselors. They should be required to counsel students about the consequences of debt and high paying alternative job opportunities.

Hopefully, if you continue articles such as Ashley Cheeks, maybe it will help wake kids up to alternatives of a life of debt enslavement.

Keep up the good work.

Dick Ambrose


United States

#2 Mar 5, 2008
What a nightmare! My advice for students? Work like hell to avoid debt...

A good example of an actual college student doing this can be found in this article at...http://www.eastbayexpress .com/2007-08-15/news/campus-co st-coping/

The site he uses is called Barefoot Student and can be found at... m

London, UK

#4 Mar 26, 2014
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