Paying for College

A Proactive Approach to Student Debt

I was having a discussion the other day with a friend who was telling me about a mother she knew who was agonizing about her son's college enrollment decision. The son had just been accepted to New York University but the financial aid being offered by NYU, plus the family's financial situation, would mean that the son would have to accumulate almost $200,000 in student loan debt, assuming that he could graduate in four years, to attend NYU.

A four-year graduation cycle is becoming harder to accomplish these days due to any number of reasons. Regardless, graduating from college with debt approaching $200K is both absurd and obscene, in my view. One has to wonder how long it would take a young person just out of college to pay off that level of debt, if indeed it would ever be paid off.

I'm not aware of the young man's (and family's) final decision about enrolling at NYU. Keep in mind that NYU is legendary for its sky-high costs and inadequate financial aid. In a previous post, I cited NYU's Tisch School, where current yearly costs exceed $75,000. The math is easy in order to see that a four-year tour at Tisch will cost more than $300,000. At that level, it's also not difficult to calculate how one can get into miles-deep debt

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