Tuesday, February 8, 2011

College Freshmen

They are experiencing record levels of stress. (I can't imagine why....) According to the New York Times:
Every year, women had a less positive view of their emotional health than men, and that gap has widened.
Campus counselors say the survey results are the latest evidence of what they see every day in their offices — students who are depressed, under stress and using psychiatric medication, prescribed even before they came to college.

The economy has only added to the stress, not just because of financial pressures on their parents but also because the students are worried about their own college debt and job prospects when they graduate.
“This fits with what we’re all seeing,” said Brian Van Brunt, director of counseling at Western Kentucky University and president of the American College Counseling Association. “More students are arriving on campus with problems, needing support, and today’s economic factors are putting a lot of extra stress on college students, as they look at their loans and wonder if there will be a career waiting for them on the other side.”


Unknown said...

Maybe the problems begin at home and the community - lack of stability, predictability, and support. Children are growing up too fast these days and are not emotionally ready. It creates unstable young adults, in my opinion. Women no longer feel they have the choice to stay home, nor are they given the tools to choose this option. Not all women feel comfortable taking on a career and competition, but they feel they should.

If students are complaining about taking on too much, having to work and go to classes, then it shows benign neglect on the part of parents. I worked 20 hours a week and took 15-17 credits a semester(80's), and felt that hard work paid off - nothing worth doing is gained easily. It wasn't just me either, my roomates and peers where of the same mind, and this was a regular public university.

You work with students(I think?), so probably have a better idea. Maybe I am just too old fashioned or cold hearted, but I think these students need to get over it, and do what they have to do.

elena maria vidal said...

Hi, Alexandra! Oh, no, I don't work with students at all, not anymore. You make some great points. I had to work the way you did when I was in college. My senior year I overdid it and became quite ill with pneumonia. It was a challenge to get an education and it was not handed to me on a platter.

The North Coast said...

No matter how much financial stress the rest of us labor under, people who have incurred massive college debt are under much more.... and it will never go away for many of them.

If I could make one major policy change in this country, it would be to allow people hopelessly buried in college debt in amounts as much as $300K to bankrupt out; and simultaneously shut down the root cause of the malaise, which is the Sallie Mae-Stafford-private student loan machine, forever and for good. All we have accomplished by making it possible for students to borrow unlimited amounts of money is to massively inflate tuition and trigger the formation of low-quality for-profit schools whose graduates can't even get certified in their chosen fields.

Most of all, we have created a new, permanently impoverished underclass of people who have spent years in school but are so buried in debt that they will never get free in their lifetimes and often will not be able to practice in the professions for which they trained because of delinquent loan payments- delinquent because they are impossible to meet on a $10 an hour job.

As matters stand at the moment, you cannot get bankruptcy relief for ANY college loan, even a private loan, and you moreover have none of the rights that other classes of debtors have. Creditors can use tactics in collecting college debt that were outlawed for every other form of debt back in the 60s. Missed payments often result in "collection" fees of 25% of the loan balance, which is how an original balance of, say, $11,000 balloons to $80,000 in a couple of years of unemployment, or a $250K med school debt becomes $1,000,000.

Help stop the destruction of our young people, and write to your congressmen and senators. For stories on just how people are being destroyed by college debt, go to www.studentloanjustice.org.

Most of all, counsel your youngster against incurring college debt in ANY amount, or from taking advantage of "aid" such as Pell and other grants, that will cause him or her to borrow to pay for what the grant doesn't cover. Nothing is free, people, and government "aid" for college is one wicked Trojan Horse.

Unknown said...

It does require flexibility, and this wouldn't apply to most students will only seek a four year education at expensive private, nitch, or Ivy League school, but there are ways for the average person to avoid massive college debt. You just have to educate yourself and be creative. The information is found easily online. Parents only need to do a bit of research, and think outside the box.

One common scheme is to attend community college for the first two years and then transfer to a four year institution. Another scenario is CLEPing out of as many classes as possible(homeschooling the courses). We plan to homeschool college via CollegePlus, which will save quite a bit. They'll miss the "college experience", but they'll have degree in hand, and little if any debt. Working internships takes care of the "who you know" employment factor.

Many allied health degrees can be earned via hospital colleges - you work toward your degree while employed. This has the added benefit of job security.

Necessity is the mother of invention, and demand will fuel alternatives. The success of places like CollegePlus is just one example of the demand for frugal more efficient educational alternatives...love those free markets.

elena maria vidal said...

Thank you for your insights, NC.

Alexandra, I LOVE the idea of college plus. To me, the whole college experience is one worth missing!