Posts Tagged ‘tuition’

Newt Gingrich’s Work Study Plan Doesn’t Add Up

November 11, 2011 4 comments

The Republican candidates for president debated at Oakland University just north of Detroit a few days ago, and several students expressed concerns about the current student loan crisis.  Apparently only two candidates had the chance to answer their concerns – Ron Paul, whose opinion I have already blogged about, and Newt Gingrich, who had this to say:

Calling the current student loan program an “absurdity,” Gingrich said he supports forcing more students to take part in work-study programs. It would be a “culture shock for the students of America to learn we actually expect them to go to class, study, get out quickly, charge as little as possible, and emerge debt free by doing the right things for four years,” he said.

Having held a few work study positions back when I was in college, I decided to check Newt’s math.  Many work study positions, including those I held, are paid at the federal minimum wage, and they also have limitations on the number of hours a student can work.  During the school year I was limited to 10 hrs per week so, for example, when I worked in my school’s foreign language lab in Spring of 1998, I made $5.15 per hour (minimum wage in that year – and for many years after) or a grand total of $51.50 per week before taxes.  Tuition at my university at that time?  Approximately $17000 per year.

But let’s pretend those pesky limits on hours hadn’t been there.  To earn my tuition, in an imaginary utopia where there were no taxes, I would have had to work 3300 hours per year, or 63 hours per week – with no time off and while going to school full-time.  And remember, this is if work study wasn’t taxed, which, of course, it is.  Yes, Newt, that seems realistic. Read more…


Mama, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be…Lawyers?

February 3, 2010 Leave a comment

Myself a law grad with crippling student loan debt, I was particularly excited to discover the new-ish blog, Big Debt, Small Law.  The blog is written by a graduate of Seton Hall University School of Law who is, to put it mildly, extremely angry about the career/salary prospects for law school graduates from non-top-ranked schools in comparison to tuition costs.  From the About page:

Today’s law school deans are the modern day “Wizards of Oz.” They know full well (perhaps better than anyone) the gruesome market and long-shot odds that their grads will soon face, yet allow personal greed to trump all tenets of honesty and fair disclosure. And no, you can’t get away with blaming the “recession” for the struggles of your grads. Not here. We graduated in 2005, at the zenith of American economic hegemony, and faced a market not significantly different from what exists today. The truth is this: Small firms in most US markets pay south of 50 K, offer minimal (if any) health benefits, and provide baptism by fire “training” at the expense of clients who can ill afford it.

Read more…