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Repossessing Degrees (jefftk.com)
10 points by degrews on Jan 17, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 6 comments

Seems like this would be the final knife in the coffin for actual education in the US. At long last, college would be nothing more than credential signaling. Who cares what you actually learned, or that you finished all the coursework for your degree, or how well you did in those classes. All that would matter would be: did you pay off those loans?? And now you've actually created a generation of indentured servants.

What's the root problem that's trying to be solved? Allowing people to finally discharge student loans in bankruptcy, or increasing private liquidity in education lending?

This seems like it all reverts to a tax policy in the end, as these loans are guaranteed by the federal government. We either tax everyone (free college, allowing bankruptcy discharge) or individuals (no discharge, pay back loan).

The questions should be: what do want as a society, and "will allowing students to discharge public loan debt cause a greater GDP increase than the loss of tax revenue from them not paying back the loan"

As long as the fed gov is guaranteeing them, it's just "taxes" with extra layers of obfuscation. We pretended they were loans and now people are trying to solve a loan problem instead of a tax problem.

It will become a loan problem if/when the loans are private. And a policy problem at that point if employers can no longer get educated workers.

I've always argued that the most business friendly thing a gov can do is provide highly educated workers at a steep subsidy for businesses to use as human resources. Always astounds me when "pro business" people want to slash education.

Repossessing an asset has nothing to do with punishing the borrower and everything to do with giving the lender something they can sell to make themselves as whole as possible.

Being able to buy a degree at public auction is absurd.

I had this happen, in a small way, after grad school. After I graduated, the university revoked some small stipend I was getting (a few hundred dollars) because I had somehow failed to qualify in the final semester. After that, they refused transcripts until they were repaid, so they pretty much had me over a barrel.

Got the last laugh, though, as they hammered me for donations to the alumni association for the next two decades. Not one penny.

I'm no expert on the topic, but it seems likely to me that there is a significant number of people defaulting on student loans but did not finish their degree program. I'd also speculate that the people who did complete their degree program are less likely to be in default than those who dropped out.

At this point, I would gladly zero out my student loans in exchange for my undergrad and grad schools disavowing me.

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