Matthew Harris (glowing_fish) wrote in damnportlanders,
Matthew Harris

Student loan debt is increasing so where is all the money going? Not to me!


I don't think we need graphs and charts to illustrate this, but student loan debt is going way, way up. I have heard different figures. I actually heard a figure of over 1.2 trillion dollars, which is more than is in this chart. Of course, this chart is two years old, and the higher figure might include such things as private loans, and also the interest on the loans.

But there is a lot of student loan debt. There is a lot even compared to ten years ago.

Where does all this money go? I have a degree in Higher Education Policy, and I have NO IDEA.

Starting this January, I worked for two terms and the start of a third one as a community college instructor in a small Oregon town, in one of Oregon's smaller and poor community college districts. For my work, I was paid about 20-30 dollars an hour (the job was salary, not wages, and the amount of time that I was "working" is kind of hard to estimate). This is pretty nice, besides I was only working 6-12 hours a week, and there was no medical insurance or other benefits. So for a person with a Master's Degree, its not exactly a major haul. Of course, salaries in higher education vary across the state, but if you look at that chart and see how much student loan debt has gone up--- employee salaries have not been increasing at that rate. So where is all the money going? Not to us poor adjunct instructors working on a contract basis, and without health insurance or other benefits.

If I had to guess I would say it is going to:
1. Capital costs (look at how much PSU has built in the last decade)
2. Health insurance/pensions/interest payments/bonds/etc that don't stop from getting higher
3. There are a lot of people in higher education who are getting paid well: professors and administrators.

Anyway, student loans suck. Discuss!

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