# WSJ Journal highlights FA students with crushing student debt

#### TSwizzle

##### Let's Go Brandon!
The WSJ put out an article about the crushing debts incurred by some Fine Arts students at Ivy league schools. Unfortunately the WSJ article is paywalled but the gist of it is covered in the Daily Mail;

Students pursuing graduate degrees at some of the nation's most prestigious universities are being slammed with loan debt of up to $200,000, yet most only earn$30,000 two years after graduation. A recent Wall Street journal article detailed the strife students faced in highly competitive programs that leave them financially crippled and wondering if the degree was worth being saddled by six-figure debt. The Wall Street Journal cited Columbia University as one of the main perpetrators of charging inordinate tuition fees and offering little financial help or guidance in return. Recent film graduates had a median debt of $181,000 while making a median income of$30,000 just two years later. 'There's always those 2 a.m. panic attacks where you're thinking, 'How the hell am I ever going to pay this off?' ' said 29-year-old Zack Morrison, of New Jersey, who graduated from Columbia in 2018 with a Master of Fine arts in film. He currently owes about $300,000, including accrued interest, and earns between$30,000 and $50,000 a year as a Hollywood assistant with independent film side gigs. After the Wall Street Journal article was published, Morrison shared it on Facebook and wrote 'I disagree with the notion that masters degrees 'don't pay off' or the idea that the school doesn't provide the necessary training or skills to succeed . . . These loans are the real deal though, but it was a decision I made for myself before starting the program. At the end of the day, I hope this article is read as a criticism of the insane costs of higher education and a gig economy that still pays its workers wages that were set in the 1980's.' Columbia MFA theater student Brigitte Thieme-Burdette, 31, earned an annual scholarship of$30,000, but still has to borrow $102,000 in federal loans. She is set to graduate in 2022. Another student, Patrick Clement, 41, was also in the film MFA program and graduated in 2020 with$360,000 in debt. 'As a poor kid and a high-school dropout, there was an attraction to getting an Ivy League master's degree,' he said.

DailyMail

WSJ Article paywalled

This system is fucked up.

Interestingly, the WSJ was actually touting FA degrees as being a good thing just a few years ago;

Think that art school dooms graduates to a life of unemployment? The numbers paint a very different picture.

"Artists can have good careers, earning a middle-class income," says Anthony Carnevale, director of Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce. "And, just as important and maybe more, artists tend to be happy with their choices and lives."

#### atrib

##### Veteran Member
Something has to give here. People are being conned out of money and saddled with huge debts.

Kids should be free to study whatever they want to study. And private colleges should be allowed to charge whatever they want to charge for an education. There is almost always a middle-ground solution for someone to go to school to study what they want without taking on crushing debt that severely inhibits their ability to become financially successful later in life. The problem we have with student debt in the US stems from a couple of reasons, in my opinion:

1. There is very little education on financial management at the high school level. I think every student should be taught the basics of responsible financial management at an early age so they they can become educated consumers as students, and so they possess the tools to effectively accumulate wealth during their working lives.

2. The government should not be in the business of underwriting tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars of loans to 18 year olds who have no collateral. This would never happen in the real world (ideally), and it amazes me that people with no credit history and no income are allowed to borrow such large sums of money.

For me personally, I had parents who taught me the value of money. I chose to go to a reasonably-priced state school for undergrad engineering because of how much less I would have to spend there (as compared to an "elite" school). I also had help from my parents to cover some of the costs, and I worked part-time to cover the rest. My MS and PhD education was fully funded by fellowships and assistantships, and I had practically no debt when I was done. I had to live like a destitute monk and work part-time during my school years, but it was worth it.

#### TSwizzle

##### Let's Go Brandon!
Something has to give here. People are being conned out of money and saddled with huge debts.

Kids should be free to study whatever they want to study. And private colleges should be allowed to charge whatever they want to charge for an education. There is almost always a middle-ground solution for someone to go to school to study what they want without taking on crushing debt that severely inhibits their ability to become financially successful later in life. The problem we have with student debt in the US stems from a couple of reasons, in my opinion:

1. There is very little education on financial management at the high school level. I think every student should be taught the basics of responsible financial management at an early age so they they can become educated consumers as students, and so they possess the tools to effectively accumulate wealth during their working lives.

I agree with you there.

2. The government should not be in the business of underwriting tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars of loans to 18 year olds who have no collateral. This would never happen in the real world (ideally), and it amazes me that people with no credit history and no income are allowed to borrow such large sums of money.

I think the government lending large sums of money (tax dollars obviously) is a huge part of the problem. To allow a young person to go hundreds of thousands of dollars in to debt is just absurd.

For me personally, I had parents who taught me the value of money. I chose to go to a reasonably-priced state school for undergrad engineering because of how much less I would have to spend there (as compared to an "elite" school). I also had help from my parents to cover some of the costs, and I worked part-time to cover the rest. My MS and PhD education was fully funded by fellowships and assistantships, and I had practically no debt when I was done. I had to live like a destitute monk and work part-time during my school years, but it was worth it.

I would hope this is more typical of what goes on. Both my kids are going to state schools and I am paying the bulk of it. There is no way I would let my kids get into hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt for their education.