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Old 03-07-2011, 05:20 PM
KatherineLee88 KatherineLee88 is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Iowa, USA
Posts: 25
Default Re: First credit card- good for credit rating??

Originally Posted by DavidBibby View Post
Please check the spelling of my name. It's David Bibby, not Biddy.

Without the help of parents college should be paid for by grants, scholarships, and WORK.


So for me... I'd prefer to work my way through school and have NO debt while I build and add to my marketable skills (work experience), rather than have no work experience and a degree.

There are people I work with, making less than I do, but have $100k in student loan debt. I can't help but wonder... "how is THIS winning?"
Firstly, sorry about misspelling your name. That was a lack of attentiveness on my part.

I definitely understand how for some students working during college will work well for them and be a good strategy. For some students, it's a horrible strategy. I graduated with 37k in debt from a public university and I don't regret a penny of it, but then that's because I'm also fortunate enough to now have income as a Graduate Research Assistant for the next five years while my university also pays for my PhD - obviously this is not the case for most students that go on for higher degrees. I know I would be whistling a different tune if I didn't have income of at least 22,000/year.

However, for students that are not fortunate enough to have parents pay for their school or are still short on funds after grants and scholarships, student loans are still a great option for many. The reasoning? Because the types of jobs college students during their education are typically entry-level service industry jobs that do nothing to advance his/her career. I'll give you a real example of how a friend of mine hurt herself by trying to graduate without debt.

Amanda is one of a few friends and aquaintances I know that tried to finance their education as they wre IN school. She stressed so much about taking out loans. She worked 30+ hours a week on top of a full-time student schedule, got sub par grades, and graduated with a degree that she found hard to use because while she was working her butt off at the bakery down the street while getting Bs and Cs in her class, her classmates that were paying for college with loans were focusing on their studies and getting As and other awards/achievements.

How do you compete with that? Great... you have much less debt than them, but you find yourself as a less competitive applicant for a job after graduation.
This strategy is not conducive to actually LEARNING something in college and making the most out of your education.

Student loans can help pay for the tuition and cost-of-living. I do not regret financing my ENTIRE four year bachelor degree on student loans. I have $37,000 in debt, but I also went to school to FOCUS ON SCHOOL and what it would do for me in the end.

As for my particular close friend that tried to finance herself through college... she flipped through 3 community/state colleges in the process (since she was picking a school because of the price tag instead of actually WANTING to go there and hated all three). She ended up taking 6 years to graduate with a 4-year degree, but was a FULL-TIME STUDENT for 11 semesters (5.5 years).
She now has a major in Communications (which to me, shouldn't have taken almost 6 years). She has found herself unemployable in her field because she didn't get amazing grades compared to her overachieving classmates. She didn't take the time to do internships during college like some of her classmates to get her foot in the door since she was so busy with working - and when she did try, she didn't get any of the six internships she applied for... but at least she got her foot into the door of Breadsmith Bakery 6 years ago. She's an assistant manager there and is making $12/hour. But... at least she graduated with no debt! I guess she was successful, except for the whole unemployable in her field thing... hmmmm.

Meanwhile, people like me who worked internships/jobs in the summer for 20hrs a week or worked 5-10/hours a week in a research laboratory/internship during the year for experience only seemed to have figured out the system well. I was not worried about a paycheck, and that worked out wonderful for me. In fact, I could list several of my classmates that worked at the most 10/hrs a week for experience in a job rather than a paycheck, financed his/her education through loans/grants/scholarships, and now they're doing fine either in med school, grad school, or an entry-level position.

There. That's my cautionary tale. I do not regret ANYTHING I did financially during my four years at college. I didn't stress about money constantly - just focused on what I was there for. Was the best four years of my life (thus far ).

If a student wants to finance there way through without taking loans - power to them. If they find that it's a constant source of stress, their job isn't related to their field in any way - they're just setting themselves up for failure. It's great to have no student loan debt when you graduate but if it leaves you unemployable after, such as my friend Amanda, then they may as well just never got a degree in the first place and work 40 hours a week at Breadsmith.
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