Opinion

Rethink support of federal student aid

Comments (9)
  1. D says:

    So, would you be an advocate of “You can go to college, but only if you and your family have the money to pay for it up front and in full every year” ? Sweet, because that will create a much better system than what we have right now.

    You criticize and offer zero solutions.

  2. Joe says:

    Well thought out and clearly articulated. As a fellow student, I whole heartedly agree.

  3. Katie says:

    “To put it bluntly, a student majoring in art history should not be given federal aid because the evidence shows that they probably won’t be able to pay it back.”

    Can you please list the source you based this claim off of? Do not make bold claims without citing your sources.

    1. Benjamin Levine says:

      Of course! And I should have been clearer in the article but my overall point was not to specifically target Art History but overall discuss degrees in the humanities, which pay less. Also, I’m not bashing Art History or any other major in the humanities as being useless; all I’m saying is when dealing with loans the ability to pay them back actually matters. So, when looking for the ability to pay back a loan it is only logical to look at the average starting salary of a college graduate, among other things (such as skills learned through both education and work experience).

      Yahoo Finance claims that Art History ranks as the 20th worst paying college degree at an average starting salary of $39,400 and an average mid-career salary of $57,100.
      http://finance.yahoo.com/college-education/article/110196/20-worst-paying-college-degrees-in-2010?mod=edu-continuing_education

      The Huffington Post claims that Art History ranks as the 12th worst paying college degree at an average starting salary of $38,300 and an average mid-career salary of $53,300.
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/28/the-13-worst-paying-colle_n_911809.html#s317449&title=Art_History

      CBS News claims that Art History ranks as the 12th worst paying college degree, citing the same statistics as the Huffington Post.
      http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505145_162-37246205.html

  4. Amber says:

    What are the statistics for your major? What specific career goals are you striving for and what do the statistics show for your possible future salary?

    Also, are you one of the few students who receives absolutely no financial aid from the government (no loans, no government grants, etc.)? I obviously am not trying to pry into your financial situation, just asking you to think about yourself and others before you make such bold statements.

    1. Benjamin Levine says:

      Asking personal questions are fallacious and try to distract the debate from the actual issue.

      I know exactly what my financial situation is and I will not mention what it is here but it has absolutely no impact on what I stated in the above article because what I was discussing was economics, something not influenced by emotions. Federal education assistance, for every single student, needs to be completely phased out because it is raising tuition prices and hurting the education system. That isn’t a bold statement, it is just simple logic.

  5. Emily says:

    Ben-
    Elementary and Secondary Education starting salaries are well below most of those you listed for art majors; would you suggest that we phase out education, if those degrees will also not make enough money to pay back student loans? Your argument is inherently flawed.

    1. Benjamin Levine says:

      I wish you would have read my article. Or at least have tried to understand the overall point.

      I will repeat what the point of my article was: All federal student tuition assistance should be phased out. For everyone, regardless of one’s major (whether you’re an art history major or a business student). See, when I was discussing “art history” as a major that should not receive a loan I was trying to point out one of the problems of federal assistance: It does not work like a loan actually should. Because of that — not taking into account the ability to pay it back — student debt has skyrocketed and now we have a president thinking about relieving $1 trillion of it. That is ridiculous. But I was not saying only art history majors should not receive loans. I was just pointing out one of the problems with federal aid.

      So, to say my argument is inherently flawed because of that specific part of my article proves to me you didn’t read the whole thing or completely missed my overall point. To be sure, I will state it one more time: Federal tuition assistance — for every single student in America — should be phased out. Prices in tuition will fall and college will be more affordable. And the world will not implode nor will education majors cease to exist.

  6. Emily says:

    Ben,

    This was a very well thought out article and I agree with you. It may be tougher for people to go to college without help from the government, but as demand starts to fall, colleges will have to begin to lower their prices. Additionally, there are private loans available and students can work more hours or take a year off before college to work if continuing education is really important to them. Thanks for the information!