You all know me here. I’m the guy that has relentlessly pushed for the government to do something about the crushing level of student indebtedness in this country. I have argued that students should be more easily able to discharge their debts through bankruptcy. I’ve implored law schools and universities in general to stop bilking their own students and saddling them with nearly insurmountable debt obligations.
But in the immortal words of Switch from The Matrix: “Not like this.”
This morning, the New York Post reported on a situation that even I cannot support:
Trina Thompson gave it the old college try, but couldn’t find work. Now she thinks her sheepskin wasn’t worth her time, and is suing her alma mater for her money back.
The Monroe College grad wants the $70,000 she spent on tuition because she hasn’t found gainful employment since earning her bachelor’s degree in April, according to a suit filed in Bronx Supreme Court on July 24.
She graduated in April, hasn’t been able to find a job in a scant five months during the worst recession since the Great Depression, and now she wants a refund on her education?
No. This is not what we have been fighting for. This is a horrible bastardization of the entire student loan bailout philosophy.
After the jump, I feel like Marx (or Engels) rolling around in a grave while Lenin turns communism into a totalitarian proposition.
The point of the student loan bailout is not to give people refunds five months after their post-graduate education fails to lead them to a magical pot of gold during a global recession. Instead, the point I (and others) have been trying to make is that in the middle of a recession the still rising cost of post-graduate education is crippling young, educated people and actively preventing them from building positive economic and social wealth. It’s pretty hard to start your own business or “hang out a shingle” when you are already six figures of debt in the hole.
And for at least the federal portion of student debt — since the government is already bailing out banks and auto makers — it could be stimulative for the government to lessen the burden it is placing on its own educated and motivated citizens.
Unfortunately, Thompson’s lawsuit seems to be based on disappointment during her difficult job search that has only lasted five months:
“They have not tried hard enough to help me,” the frustrated Bronx resident wrote about the school in her lawsuit.
“She’s angry,” said Thompson’s mother, Carol. “She’s very angry at her situation. She put all her faith in them, and so did I. They’re not making an effort.
Do we want to live in a world where people can successfully sue their schools, simply because they don’t have a job five months out?
I don’t think so. We need to do something about the level of educational debt in this country. We don’t need angry lawsuits every time things don’t go quite according to plan.
JOBLESS GRAD SUES COLLEGE FOR 70G TUITION [New York Post]
Earlier: Bankruptcy Won’t Discharge $350,000 of Student Loan Debt for Law Graduate
Minnesota: Protects College Students, Sticks it to Law Students
Student Loan Bailout. We Are So Going to Make This Happen