College Can Teach You A Lot Of Things–Common Sense May Not Be One Of Them

The Daily Caller posted an article today about Samuel Garner, a bioethicist at a Washington, D.C. nonprofit.

The article reports:

Garner’s tale of woe and world-historical budgetary stupidity begins — as he tells it, in excruciating detail — when he was a high school senior. He was a “consumer” of the “vacuous platitudes” on college brochures, and so he excitedly applied to Connecticut College — a school which currently charges a comprehensive fee of $62,965 per year.

“My siblings and I had the privilege of expecting we would attend private colleges,” Garner explains, even though his family had become “financially stressed” when he was in high school.

Mr. Garner financed his education with federal education loans. He admits that he never read the papers he signed for the loans and had a rude awakening later after getting his Master’s Degree when he discovered that he had amassed $200,000 worth of loans. He currently makes $70,000 a year and is expected to pay $1,500 a month on his student loans.

The article further reports:

The Daily Caller will not go into Garner’s harrowing tale involving possible “auto-default,” his grandmother and a speech he gave “at one of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s student debt press conferences.”

There are a few questions I have about this story. Where were mom and dad? Did they attempt to teach their son fiscal responsibility? Did he even check with his parents before signing the loan papers? The fact that he is $200,000 in debt is the result of choices that he made. I wonder if private colleges would lower their tuition and costs if fewer students were willing to attend them because of the cost.

Two of my children went to state colleges, one went to Cooper Union (which was free at the time). It was understood that the cost of a private college (even in the 90’s) was out of reach. All of them have degrees and are using those degrees in their current occupations. The only one with any kind of student debt is the law school graduate. College does not have to bankrupt you or your children, but you do need to be realistic about what you can afford. If you can afford a good private college, that is wonderful; if you can’t, make allowances. Mr. Garner’s situation is the result of his own decisions. He has no one to blame but himself. Elizabeth Warren is attempting to gain political points by taking advantage of people who want things they cannot afford and expect other people to pay for them. That is not consistent with the idea that is America, nor is it a direction that America needs to travel.

It should be noted that Mr. Garner is not willing to enter a more lucrative field because he feels he has dedicated so much to his current field. Again, Mr. Garner’s problem is the result of his own choices.