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Author Topic: Inflated Cost of College Education Lawsuit  (Read 493 times)

Galway Eagle

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Inflated Cost of College Education Lawsuit
« on: January 11, 2022, 11:08:52 AM »
Any chance MU would get named? Seems like they're only going after extremely wealthy elite schools but have to imagine a lot of class action attorneys are licking their lips at similar suits

https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/lawsuit-nw-notre-dame-u-chicago-schemed-to-reduce-financial-aid-for-students/2725763/?_osource=SocialFlowFB_CHBrand&fbclid=IwAR18yepjlgGflqmMDn1SJM3ujmjNIT_FfiRDqaF8FOloHciaXl6PusrK-nM
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Fluffy Blue Monster

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Re: Inflated Cost of College Education Lawsuit
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2022, 11:46:54 AM »
It depends on how much Marquette shares this information and "conspires" with other schools to limit aid.  My guess is that they don't really do this because some of their top competition for students are University of Wisconsin schools and the like, and not top elite universities nationwise.
“True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else.”  -Clarence Darrow

Billy Hoyle

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Re: Inflated Cost of College Education Lawsuit
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2022, 12:50:53 PM »
another class action that will be thrown out.
“If you’ve had three doses of the vaccine, you shouldn’t live your life in fear of it. You may well get it at some point but it probably won’t knock you out more than a couple of days, like the seasonal flu.” - Gov. Jared Polis (D -CO)

MU Fan in Connecticut

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Re: Inflated Cost of College Education Lawsuit
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2022, 12:54:50 PM »
This seems like a sour grapes lawsuit. 

Yale for example, it's my understanding that if you are middle or lower class and are accepted they will make sure it's very affordable for you.   

JWags85

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Re: Inflated Cost of College Education Lawsuit
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2022, 01:22:44 PM »
This seems like a sour grapes lawsuit. 

Yale for example, it's my understanding that if you are middle or lower class and are accepted they will make sure it's very affordable for you.   

Yea, ancedotal to be sure, but I knew 2 kids well from my HS, as well as a neighbor of my Grandma's in the city in Milwaukee who attended Princeton, Brown, and Harvard respectively.  I think the most any of them paid was about 25% of tuition when all was said and done.  My Grandma's neighbor was lower economic class, but my 2 HS peers were solidly middle to upper middle class, not the bracket that would normally be considered traditionally financial aid dependent.

There is much to scoff at the Ivies/near Ivies about (grade inflation and legacy favoring come to mind) but affordability of education isn't top of the list.

MU Fan in Connecticut

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Re: Inflated Cost of College Education Lawsuit
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2022, 01:35:34 PM »
Yea, ancedotal to be sure, but I knew 2 kids well from my HS, as well as a neighbor of my Grandma's in the city in Milwaukee who attended Princeton, Brown, and Harvard respectively.  I think the most any of them paid was about 25% of tuition when all was said and done.  My Grandma's neighbor was lower economic class, but my 2 HS peers were solidly middle to upper middle class, not the bracket that would normally be considered traditionally financial aid dependent.

There is much to scoff at the Ivies/near Ivies about (grade inflation and legacy favoring come to mind) but affordability of education isn't top of the list.

I agree.

Billy Hoyle

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Re: Inflated Cost of College Education Lawsuit
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2022, 01:55:44 PM »
This seems like a sour grapes lawsuit. 

Yale for example, it's my understanding that if you are middle or lower class and are accepted they will make sure it's very affordable for you.   

At Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, if one's family's reported income is under $65k they pay nothing. My wife's sister only paid for room and board over her four years at Harvard and would pay even less now. Princeton lays it all out for students:

https://admission.princeton.edu/cost-aid/how-princetons-aid-program-works

Yale claims that with aid they're less than the average net price public schools in every state.
“If you’ve had three doses of the vaccine, you shouldn’t live your life in fear of it. You may well get it at some point but it probably won’t knock you out more than a couple of days, like the seasonal flu.” - Gov. Jared Polis (D -CO)

GB Warrior

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Re: Inflated Cost of College Education Lawsuit
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2022, 02:43:20 PM »
I already paid off my loans, so count me out of the class action lawsuit. But my wife might be job hunting at Jesuit Unis when it's time to send my kids to college.

Billy Hoyle

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Re: Inflated Cost of College Education Lawsuit
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2022, 03:15:05 PM »
I already paid off my loans, so count me out of the class action lawsuit. But my wife might be job hunting at Jesuit Unis when it's time to send my kids to college.

a brilliant move if you can make that happen. I once worked with a woman who put six kids through a Catholic college with tuition remission. She liked to say she was the second highest paid person on campus (after the hoops coach).
“If you’ve had three doses of the vaccine, you shouldn’t live your life in fear of it. You may well get it at some point but it probably won’t knock you out more than a couple of days, like the seasonal flu.” - Gov. Jared Polis (D -CO)

Disco Hippie

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Re: Inflated Cost of College Education Lawsuit
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2022, 02:13:04 PM »
Came across this WSJ article a couple of weeks ago but waited to post until now.   Given it's urban setting and rise of MKE, is it realistic MU could position itself as a viable alternative or is NYU's brand strength too strong to overcome?  And not just NYU but other private schools like it that are significantly more expensive.  BU is one that immediately comes to mind but there are many others.  MU may be considered outrageous in its bubble but compared to NYU and their ilk, MU is a bargain.   What more can MU do to position themselves as such and are they willing or is it a fool's errand?   WSJ is behind a sub wall but will try and post text later.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/nyu-college-graduate-parent-student-loans-11639618241?mod=Searchresults_pos1&page=1

EDUCATION
NYU Is Top-Ranked—In Loans That Alumni
and Parents Struggle to Repay
By many measures, the elite Manhattan school is the worst or among the worst for leaving families and
graduate students drowning in debt; ‘It feels like I’m kind of trapped’
By Melissa Korn and Andrea Fuller

Five months after Kassandra Jones earned her master’s in public health from New York
University in May 2019, she still hadn’t landed a job in the field. She was staring down a
six-figure student-loan balance and had to pay for rent and food.
So she sold her eggs. Again.
Ms. Jones first harvested her eggs before starting at NYU in 2017 to help pay for moving to
the city, she said. She received a $12,500 annual scholarship and relied on $131,000 in
federal loans to cover the rest of her tuition and expenses. She has given her eggs five
times, including to an NYU fertility clinic, earning $50,000.
Now 28 years old, Ms. Jones is working freelance on public-health campaigns for
nonprofits making about $1,500 a month, which isn’t covering her living expenses, she
said. She is applying for new jobs and considering leaving the field. “There are definitely
moments where that number just looms as this tunnel that doesn’t have a light at the end
of it,” she said of her debt. “It feels like I’m kind of trapped.”
That feeling is familiar to many recent alumni of NYU, which has an ignominious
distinction. By many measures, it is the worst or among the worst schools for leaving
families and graduate students drowning in debt. Many of its graduate-school alumni
earn low salaries, despite their expensive degrees.

At its core, the debt burden among NYU graduates like Ms. Jones stems from federal Plus
loan programs. A number of prestigious private universities point families to the Grad
Plus and Parent Plus programs to bridge the gap between high prices and meager
scholarships.
NYU parents and graduate students collectively borrowed $3.4 billion in federal Plus
loans over the past decade, more than at any other university in the U.S., public or private,
a Wall Street Journal analysis of federal Education Department data found.
Among the Journal’s findings:
‘It feels like I’m kind of trapped,’ says NYU graduate Kassandra Jones of her student debt.
PHOTO: DESIREE RIOS FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
NYU skimped on scholarships for needy undergraduates. During the past school year, NYU covered about 62%
of undergraduates’ financial need, on average. That was the lowest percentage of any private school with at
least a $1 billion endowment that publishes the figures.

As a result, parents of NYU undergraduates often relied on Plus loans to cover costs. Parents of 2018 and 2019
NYU bachelor’s degree recipients who took out Parent Plus loans borrowed a median $74,000, according to the
most recent data. That’s more than at 99% of four-year colleges in the U.S. for which federal data are available.

For NYU’s graduate students, the university’s advanced degrees often don’t pay off. In 40 out of 49 programs,
NYU graduate students who took out federal loans borrowed more than they earned two years out of school.
By that measure, NYU had more graduate programs with high debt loads than any other U.S. university with
published data. The debt and earnings figures are medians for 2015 and 2016 graduates, the most recent data from the education department.

NYU spokesman John Beckman
said those numbers don’t reflect progress the school has
made since its current president took the helm in 2016 and emphasized affordability
initiatives. For instance, he said, NYU has increased its aid budget and is covering full
financial need for this fall’s first-year undergraduate class, lowering their potential debt
burden and that of their parents.
The Education Department doesn’t publish data on programs with a small number of
graduates. Mr. Beckman said that because NYU has so many large programs, more of its
figures are made public and the data put the school “in a disproportionately
disadvantageous light.” He also said NYU receives so much Plus money in part because its
total enrollment is among the largest in the country, at around 52,000 students.
NYU says it has tried to put its costs more within reach. It has slowed the growth of
undergraduate tuition rates, trimmed its energy use and looked for less expensive
suppliers to shave down the budget at the notoriously pricey school in Manhattan’s
Greenwich Village, where undergraduate tuition and other costs can top $320,000 over
four years. Undergraduate students are borrowing less than $20,000 this year, on
average, down from $24,600 in 2016, the school said.
Many of its solutions to making NYU more affordable put the burden on the students to
pinch pennies or find more funds. Among the university’s suggestions: Finish school
faster; sign up for a website to find babysitting gigs; live with a senior citizen; eat fewer
meals.

“They like to think that they have made a lot of headway on college affordability,” said
Caitlin Zaloom, an NYU professor of social and cultural analysis whose book, “Indebted,”
details the struggles families face in paying for college. “There’s a lot of smoke and
mirrors.”
A Wall Street Journal investigation has detailed how some of the nation’s wealthiest
schools rely on the easy money of Plus loans. Some have capitalized on their brand-name
cachet to expand pricey graduate programs and increase tuition costs, turning the
programs into cash cows while leaving students in low-paying fields to take on six-figure
debt. Plus loans have become the fastest-growing segment of federal student debt and a particular burden on low-income families.

The government limits loans to $31,000 for undergraduates who are dependent on their
parents. By contrast, graduate students and parents of undergraduates can borrow
through Plus loans up to the full cost of attendance. As a result, debts for those borrowers can balloon to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Needy students

NYU administrators say they would like to offer more aid. But the university, one of the
most selective in the nation with prestigious programs in law, business, medicine and
film, has a “substantially less robust financial base than many of our peers,” said Mr.
Beckman.
It is more dependent on tuition than many others with similar financial means, according
to university financial records.
The school closed out fiscal 2021 with a $5.8 billion endowment, among the largest in the
U.S., albeit much smaller than those at Ivy League schools. Last year, NYU’s per-student
endowment was roughly $82,000, in the same ballpark as at George Washington
University, Baylor University and Boston University, according to an annual survey by an
industry group. Among the nearly three-dozen private schools with similar per-student
endowments, the median Parent Plus debt was highest at NYU.

The school said that the neediest students get priority and that the share of scholarship
recipients whose parents took out Plus loans fell to 18% from 25% over the past few years.
University officials said they increased the average undergraduate scholarship to $48,000
from $30,000 a year in the past five years.
The Journal’s analysis found that 46% of NYU families who recently borrowed through the
federal Parent Plus program were low-income. That is one of the highest rates among
wealthy private schools. At about half of such schools—those with a $1 billion endowment
or higher—less than a quarter of Parent Plus borrowers came from low-income
backgrounds.
Kimberly Swald is one of them. The single mother of three children said she was earning
around $40,000 working for an insurance company near Utica, N.Y., when her son,
Demetri Lopez, started school in 2018. She has $34,000 in loans from her own bachelor’s degree and is on track to borrow more than $140,000 in Parent Plus loans to help Mr. Lopez pursue his NYU computer-science degree.

Mr. Lopez qualified for a federal Pell grant, which is earmarked for low-income students,
and received a $31,400 annual scholarship from NYU. He appealed for more money
throughout school, he said, and on occasion received a few thousand dollars more. Still,
Mr. Lopez, now a senior, borrowed more than $29,000 in federal loans. He is interning full time while taking a regular course load and said he hoped to help his mother repay the debt. “I’m going to die with this debt,” Ms. Swald said, but “I try not to show him how worried I am.”

She said she tells her son as he nears graduation: “Keep doing well, don’t lose focus.”
John Sexton, NYU’s president from 2002 through 2015 and now a member of the law
faculty, wrote in a 2014 essay that he hoped to move the school’s financial aid “from paltry
to acceptable to excellent over time.” He added: “Fortunately, the relative inadequacy of
NYU’s financial aid has not discouraged students—even financially challenged students—
from choosing NYU.”
Dr. Sexton declined to comment through a school spokesman, as did his successor and
current president, Andrew Hamilton.
This year, NYU received more than 100,000 undergraduate applications; it admitted just
under 13%.

“Because in New York and across the country students have so many choices, it doesn’t
feel wrong to me for NYU to offer a set of programs even with significant cost,” said Ellen
Schall,
dean emeritus of NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, who
now heads a committee Dr. Hamilton formed upon his 2016 arrival to address
affordability. “And then we do what we can to offset those costs, where we can.”
While leading NYU, Dr. Sexton often praised as “industrious” undergraduates who held
two or three jobs while in school, saying their actions showed just how much they valued
the NYU experience. He wrote in 2014 that he was “humbled by the sacrifices these
students and their families make to seize the opportunities of an NYU education.”

Finish faster

One major recommendation from NYU’s affordability committee was to have
undergraduates save money by giving up a semester or year of school and finishing early.
At the time, 20% of NYU students already finished in under four years. The student
newspaper said pushing more to follow that timeline was “a gimmicky slap in the face.”
Emily Miller completed NYU one semester early, in December 2020, but isn’t sure it saved
much money. She received a $29,000 annual scholarship to pursue her bachelor’s degree
in film. She worked 20 hours a week and dropped her meal plan after freshman year. She
applied credits from high-school courses.

Still, she borrowed $27,400 from the federal government, and her mother, who earns less
than $70,000 as a marketing manager in Dallas, took on more than $105,000 in Parent
Plus loans. “I don’t want my parents to work until they’re 80,” said Ms. Miller, 22, adding
that she regrets putting such a burden on her family. “I made an unwise decision to go to
NYU.”
Last spring, the student government recommended in its annual budget proposal that
NYU increase financial-aid packages commensurate with increases in tuition and fees.
Currently, as a student progresses, the annual scholarship NYU offered upon admission
stays the same and the gap in funding grows.
A written response to the student government from the central administration, reviewed
by the Journal, said the move would cost too much, at least an extra $20 million annually.

The administration offered bullet points detailing how it had redesigned the aid form to
make costs and awards clearer, offered counseling appointments to explain scholarship
terms to students and improved the appeal process. It also said the school was spending
$1 million to combat student hunger.
“It’s a lot of talk, and not a lot of action,” said junior Ryan Carney, 20, the Student
Government Assembly’s director of finance. He said the presence of a budget line to help
students who can’t afford to eat suggests NYU’s other efforts don’t go far enough.

“We respectfully but completely disagree,” said Mr. Beckman, the university’s
spokesman. Even the wealthiest schools are grappling with student concerns about
affording food, he said. “NYU seems very much in line with this national issue.”

Debt-earnings gap

NYU launched a fundraising campaign for financial aid in 2013, ultimately topping its
target and raising $1.3 billion.
A large chunk of the expanded scholarship pool went to students with high earnings
prospects. In 2018, NYU announced it would begin covering full tuition for its medical
students, regardless of financial need, thanks to a $450 million gift. The medical schools
at Columbia University and Cornell University have eliminated loans only for students
who qualify for financial aid.

Bernadette Boden-Albala, who was a senior associate dean at NYU’s School of Global
Public Health at the time, and now heads up the public-health program at the University
of California, Irvine, said it was great that the medical school could offer free tuition to all
its students. She also thought: “What about everybody else?”
NYU’s 2015 and 2016 public-health graduates who took out federal loans borrowed a
median $106,000 for the degree, the Journal’s analysis of Education Department data
found; half earned roughly $61,000 or less two years after graduation. That is one of the
biggest gaps between debt and early-career earnings of 124 public-health master’s
programs with published data, the Journal found. Roughly three-quarters of the
programs had a median debt load lower than median earnings.
“Not everyone seeking an advanced degree is going into a lucrative field, and universities
have no control over how our society values particular professions,” said NYU’s Mr.
Beckman. He said providing a high-quality education is expensive, no matter whether the
field pays graduates well.

Ms. Schall, who leads NYU’s affordability committee, said a number of its graduate
schools have addressed affordability. That includes the business school, which increased
scholarships for military veterans, she said, and the law school, which enhanced its loan
repayment program for graduates who take on low-paying public-service jobs.
“It’s sort of a school-by-school effort,” she said, “so it requires more time and more
nuance.”
An NYU master’s in publishing leaves recent graduates with median debt nearly triple
that of the school with the next highest loan burden for which the Education Department
released data. At NYU, the graduates borrowed a median $116,000 and earned a median
$42,000 two years out.

Amanda Orozco, 29, graduated in 2019 with $157,500 in debt and a publishing job she said
paid $36,000. She said the program wouldn’t have been as appealing if the school had
been more transparent about graduates’ financial prospects. Her classmates often
complained among themselves about the cost, asking, “Where does all this money go?”
she said.
‘Misplaced Priority’
Under Dr. Sexton, NYU opened campuses in Shanghai and Abu Dhabi and a network of
smaller satellite locations, and it unveiled plans to develop millions of square feet in
Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Jon Ritter, a clinical associate professor of art history and former member of the
university senate’s finance committee, said the development projects were “a misplaced
priority” that “put other things ahead of addressing student debt.”
Dr. Sexton drew heat for a program, earlier reported by the New York Times, which
provided star faculty and administrators with low-interest and sometimes forgivable
loans to buy vacation homes. As of 2013, when the board voted to limit the program to
primary residences, the school had $72 million in loans outstanding to 168 individuals.

Some current and former faculty and administrators said the tenor has changed under Dr.
Hamilton, who wrote to NYU students and staff soon after his arrival in 2016 that despite
the school’s financial limitations: “We cannot be content with the status quo.”
He detailed plans to rein in tuition increases and add more low-cost housing options. Still,
he said, there was “no magic wand” to solve the affordability problem given the school’s
high-cost location and low per-student endowment.
Dr. Hamilton tapped Ms. Schall to lead the new affordability steering committee, with
other members including students, faculty and administrators from across the university.
Their task: Solicit ideas, study their feasibility and try to make NYU more affordable for
more students.
Cutting tuition was an unlikely option, as more than half of undergraduates pay full
sticker price. From 2016 through 2019, the affordability committee largely came up with
suggestions for what students could do to make the math work.
One initiative the committee pursued was a home-share program that paired graduate
students with senior citizens who had spare bedrooms. Only about two dozen students
signed up, the university said.
The committee urged faculty to rethink the number of required books for courses,
promoted a Facebook
page alerting students to food left over from campus events and
publicized links to websites where students could apply for external scholarships. NYU
also made it easier for students to pick a smaller meal plan.
It was a source of some frustration for Erica Silverman, who received her undergraduate
and graduate degrees in 2014 and 2017 from NYU and served on the steering committee
during its first year. “We can’t only ask students to take steps to change affordability,” she said.

Ms. Schall said the school wasn’t just pushing students to change their behavior. She said
NYU looked at all elements of the cost structure and that its biggest move—limiting
tuition increases—didn’t require students to do anything differently.
The affordability committee hasn’t met since 2019, waylaid by the pandemic, Ms. Schall
said. She expects the group to reconvene later this school year.
The school said it would urge students with financial challenges to talk to its aid office for
help. It doesn’t encourage students to donate their eggs to make ends meet, as Ms. Jones
has done, said Mr. Beckman, the spokesman: “This is a highly unusual approach.”
Ms. Jones said that she is considering another egg donation, with money so tight, but the
procedures took a toll on her body. The money would cover living expenses, she said, and
provide a cushion when loan payments, paused during the pandemic, resume in February.
Her income is low enough that she won’t need to make payments, but she worries about
the balance ballooning as interest continues to accrue.
She built a strong network at NYU, Ms. Jones said, and hopes there will be more payoff
from her studies if she stays in the public-health sector. But her slow start and unsteady
earnings—combined with the debt load that now tops $167,000, including undergraduate
loans and interest—raise doubts in her mind, she said: “It just makes the degree seem worthless.”






« Last Edit: January 17, 2022, 02:18:25 PM by Disco Hippie »

real chili 83

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Re: Inflated Cost of College Education Lawsuit
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2022, 06:59:28 PM »
Big a$$ post ^^^^^^^

Chico’s and ‘82 are jealous.

warriorchick

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Re: Inflated Cost of College Education Lawsuit
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2022, 07:56:05 PM »
Came across this WSJ article a couple of weeks ago but waited to post until now.   Given it's urban setting and rise of MKE, is it realistic MU could position itself as a viable alternative or is NYU's brand strength too strong to overcome?  And not just NYU but other private schools like it that are significantly more expensive.  BU is one that immediately comes to mind but there are many others.  MU may be considered outrageous in its bubble but compared to NYU and their ilk, MU is a bargain.   What more can MU do to position themselves as such and are they willing or is it a fool's errand?   WSJ is behind a sub wall but will try and post text later.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/nyu-college-graduate-parent-student-loans-11639618241?mod=Searchresults_pos1&page=1

EDUCATION
NYU Is Top-Ranked—In Loans That Alumni
and Parents Struggle to Repay
By many measures, the elite Manhattan school is the worst or among the worst for leaving families and
graduate students drowning in debt; ‘It feels like I’m kind of trapped’
By Melissa Korn and Andrea Fuller

Five months after Kassandra Jones earned her master’s in public health from New York
University in May 2019, she still hadn’t landed a job in the field. She was staring down a
six-figure student-loan balance and had to pay for rent and food.
So she sold her eggs. Again.
Ms. Jones first harvested her eggs before starting at NYU in 2017 to help pay for moving to
the city, she said. She received a $12,500 annual scholarship and relied on $131,000 in
federal loans to cover the rest of her tuition and expenses. She has given her eggs five
times, including to an NYU fertility clinic, earning $50,000.
Now 28 years old, Ms. Jones is working freelance on public-health campaigns for
nonprofits making about $1,500 a month, which isn’t covering her living expenses, she
said. She is applying for new jobs and considering leaving the field. “There are definitely
moments where that number just looms as this tunnel that doesn’t have a light at the end
of it,” she said of her debt. “It feels like I’m kind of trapped.”
That feeling is familiar to many recent alumni of NYU, which has an ignominious
distinction. By many measures, it is the worst or among the worst schools for leaving
families and graduate students drowning in debt. Many of its graduate-school alumni
earn low salaries, despite their expensive degrees.

At its core, the debt burden among NYU graduates like Ms. Jones stems from federal Plus
loan programs. A number of prestigious private universities point families to the Grad
Plus and Parent Plus programs to bridge the gap between high prices and meager
scholarships.
NYU parents and graduate students collectively borrowed $3.4 billion in federal Plus
loans over the past decade, more than at any other university in the U.S., public or private,
a Wall Street Journal analysis of federal Education Department data found.
Among the Journal’s findings:
‘It feels like I’m kind of trapped,’ says NYU graduate Kassandra Jones of her student debt.
PHOTO: DESIREE RIOS FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
NYU skimped on scholarships for needy undergraduates. During the past school year, NYU covered about 62%
of undergraduates’ financial need, on average. That was the lowest percentage of any private school with at
least a $1 billion endowment that publishes the figures.

As a result, parents of NYU undergraduates often relied on Plus loans to cover costs. Parents of 2018 and 2019
NYU bachelor’s degree recipients who took out Parent Plus loans borrowed a median $74,000, according to the
most recent data. That’s more than at 99% of four-year colleges in the U.S. for which federal data are available.

For NYU’s graduate students, the university’s advanced degrees often don’t pay off. In 40 out of 49 programs,
NYU graduate students who took out federal loans borrowed more than they earned two years out of school.
By that measure, NYU had more graduate programs with high debt loads than any other U.S. university with
published data. The debt and earnings figures are medians for 2015 and 2016 graduates, the most recent data from the education department.

NYU spokesman John Beckman
said those numbers don’t reflect progress the school has
made since its current president took the helm in 2016 and emphasized affordability
initiatives. For instance, he said, NYU has increased its aid budget and is covering full
financial need for this fall’s first-year undergraduate class, lowering their potential debt
burden and that of their parents.
The Education Department doesn’t publish data on programs with a small number of
graduates. Mr. Beckman said that because NYU has so many large programs, more of its
figures are made public and the data put the school “in a disproportionately
disadvantageous light.” He also said NYU receives so much Plus money in part because its
total enrollment is among the largest in the country, at around 52,000 students.
NYU says it has tried to put its costs more within reach. It has slowed the growth of
undergraduate tuition rates, trimmed its energy use and looked for less expensive
suppliers to shave down the budget at the notoriously pricey school in Manhattan’s
Greenwich Village, where undergraduate tuition and other costs can top $320,000 over
four years. Undergraduate students are borrowing less than $20,000 this year, on
average, down from $24,600 in 2016, the school said.
Many of its solutions to making NYU more affordable put the burden on the students to
pinch pennies or find more funds. Among the university’s suggestions: Finish school
faster; sign up for a website to find babysitting gigs; live with a senior citizen; eat fewer
meals.

“They like to think that they have made a lot of headway on college affordability,” said
Caitlin Zaloom, an NYU professor of social and cultural analysis whose book, “Indebted,”
details the struggles families face in paying for college. “There’s a lot of smoke and
mirrors.”
A Wall Street Journal investigation has detailed how some of the nation’s wealthiest
schools rely on the easy money of Plus loans. Some have capitalized on their brand-name
cachet to expand pricey graduate programs and increase tuition costs, turning the
programs into cash cows while leaving students in low-paying fields to take on six-figure
debt. Plus loans have become the fastest-growing segment of federal student debt and a particular burden on low-income families.

The government limits loans to $31,000 for undergraduates who are dependent on their
parents. By contrast, graduate students and parents of undergraduates can borrow
through Plus loans up to the full cost of attendance. As a result, debts for those borrowers can balloon to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Needy students

NYU administrators say they would like to offer more aid. But the university, one of the
most selective in the nation with prestigious programs in law, business, medicine and
film, has a “substantially less robust financial base than many of our peers,” said Mr.
Beckman.
It is more dependent on tuition than many others with similar financial means, according
to university financial records.
The school closed out fiscal 2021 with a $5.8 billion endowment, among the largest in the
U.S., albeit much smaller than those at Ivy League schools. Last year, NYU’s per-student
endowment was roughly $82,000, in the same ballpark as at George Washington
University, Baylor University and Boston University, according to an annual survey by an
industry group. Among the nearly three-dozen private schools with similar per-student
endowments, the median Parent Plus debt was highest at NYU.

The school said that the neediest students get priority and that the share of scholarship
recipients whose parents took out Plus loans fell to 18% from 25% over the past few years.
University officials said they increased the average undergraduate scholarship to $48,000
from $30,000 a year in the past five years.
The Journal’s analysis found that 46% of NYU families who recently borrowed through the
federal Parent Plus program were low-income. That is one of the highest rates among
wealthy private schools. At about half of such schools—those with a $1 billion endowment
or higher—less than a quarter of Parent Plus borrowers came from low-income
backgrounds.
Kimberly Swald is one of them. The single mother of three children said she was earning
around $40,000 working for an insurance company near Utica, N.Y., when her son,
Demetri Lopez, started school in 2018. She has $34,000 in loans from her own bachelor’s degree and is on track to borrow more than $140,000 in Parent Plus loans to help Mr. Lopez pursue his NYU computer-science degree.

Mr. Lopez qualified for a federal Pell grant, which is earmarked for low-income students,
and received a $31,400 annual scholarship from NYU. He appealed for more money
throughout school, he said, and on occasion received a few thousand dollars more. Still,
Mr. Lopez, now a senior, borrowed more than $29,000 in federal loans. He is interning full time while taking a regular course load and said he hoped to help his mother repay the debt. “I’m going to die with this debt,” Ms. Swald said, but “I try not to show him how worried I am.”

She said she tells her son as he nears graduation: “Keep doing well, don’t lose focus.”
John Sexton, NYU’s president from 2002 through 2015 and now a member of the law
faculty, wrote in a 2014 essay that he hoped to move the school’s financial aid “from paltry
to acceptable to excellent over time.” He added: “Fortunately, the relative inadequacy of
NYU’s financial aid has not discouraged students—even financially challenged students—
from choosing NYU.”
Dr. Sexton declined to comment through a school spokesman, as did his successor and
current president, Andrew Hamilton.
This year, NYU received more than 100,000 undergraduate applications; it admitted just
under 13%.

“Because in New York and across the country students have so many choices, it doesn’t
feel wrong to me for NYU to offer a set of programs even with significant cost,” said Ellen
Schall,
dean emeritus of NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, who
now heads a committee Dr. Hamilton formed upon his 2016 arrival to address
affordability. “And then we do what we can to offset those costs, where we can.”
While leading NYU, Dr. Sexton often praised as “industrious” undergraduates who held
two or three jobs while in school, saying their actions showed just how much they valued
the NYU experience. He wrote in 2014 that he was “humbled by the sacrifices these
students and their families make to seize the opportunities of an NYU education.”

Finish faster

One major recommendation from NYU’s affordability committee was to have
undergraduates save money by giving up a semester or year of school and finishing early.
At the time, 20% of NYU students already finished in under four years. The student
newspaper said pushing more to follow that timeline was “a gimmicky slap in the face.”
Emily Miller completed NYU one semester early, in December 2020, but isn’t sure it saved
much money. She received a $29,000 annual scholarship to pursue her bachelor’s degree
in film. She worked 20 hours a week and dropped her meal plan after freshman year. She
applied credits from high-school courses.

Still, she borrowed $27,400 from the federal government, and her mother, who earns less
than $70,000 as a marketing manager in Dallas, took on more than $105,000 in Parent
Plus loans. “I don’t want my parents to work until they’re 80,” said Ms. Miller, 22, adding
that she regrets putting such a burden on her family. “I made an unwise decision to go to
NYU.”
Last spring, the student government recommended in its annual budget proposal that
NYU increase financial-aid packages commensurate with increases in tuition and fees.
Currently, as a student progresses, the annual scholarship NYU offered upon admission
stays the same and the gap in funding grows.
A written response to the student government from the central administration, reviewed
by the Journal, said the move would cost too much, at least an extra $20 million annually.

The administration offered bullet points detailing how it had redesigned the aid form to
make costs and awards clearer, offered counseling appointments to explain scholarship
terms to students and improved the appeal process. It also said the school was spending
$1 million to combat student hunger.
“It’s a lot of talk, and not a lot of action,” said junior Ryan Carney, 20, the Student
Government Assembly’s director of finance. He said the presence of a budget line to help
students who can’t afford to eat suggests NYU’s other efforts don’t go far enough.

“We respectfully but completely disagree,” said Mr. Beckman, the university’s
spokesman. Even the wealthiest schools are grappling with student concerns about
affording food, he said. “NYU seems very much in line with this national issue.”

Debt-earnings gap

NYU launched a fundraising campaign for financial aid in 2013, ultimately topping its
target and raising $1.3 billion.
A large chunk of the expanded scholarship pool went to students with high earnings
prospects. In 2018, NYU announced it would begin covering full tuition for its medical
students, regardless of financial need, thanks to a $450 million gift. The medical schools
at Columbia University and Cornell University have eliminated loans only for students
who qualify for financial aid.

Bernadette Boden-Albala, who was a senior associate dean at NYU’s School of Global
Public Health at the time, and now heads up the public-health program at the University
of California, Irvine, said it was great that the medical school could offer free tuition to all
its students. She also thought: “What about everybody else?”
NYU’s 2015 and 2016 public-health graduates who took out federal loans borrowed a
median $106,000 for the degree, the Journal’s analysis of Education Department data
found; half earned roughly $61,000 or less two years after graduation. That is one of the
biggest gaps between debt and early-career earnings of 124 public-health master’s
programs with published data, the Journal found. Roughly three-quarters of the
programs had a median debt load lower than median earnings.
“Not everyone seeking an advanced degree is going into a lucrative field, and universities
have no control over how our society values particular professions,” said NYU’s Mr.
Beckman. He said providing a high-quality education is expensive, no matter whether the
field pays graduates well.

Ms. Schall, who leads NYU’s affordability committee, said a number of its graduate
schools have addressed affordability. That includes the business school, which increased
scholarships for military veterans, she said, and the law school, which enhanced its loan
repayment program for graduates who take on low-paying public-service jobs.
“It’s sort of a school-by-school effort,” she said, “so it requires more time and more
nuance.”
An NYU master’s in publishing leaves recent graduates with median debt nearly triple
that of the school with the next highest loan burden for which the Education Department
released data. At NYU, the graduates borrowed a median $116,000 and earned a median
$42,000 two years out.

Amanda Orozco, 29, graduated in 2019 with $157,500 in debt and a publishing job she said
paid $36,000. She said the program wouldn’t have been as appealing if the school had
been more transparent about graduates’ financial prospects. Her classmates often
complained among themselves about the cost, asking, “Where does all this money go?”
she said.
‘Misplaced Priority’
Under Dr. Sexton, NYU opened campuses in Shanghai and Abu Dhabi and a network of
smaller satellite locations, and it unveiled plans to develop millions of square feet in
Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Jon Ritter, a clinical associate professor of art history and former member of the
university senate’s finance committee, said the development projects were “a misplaced
priority” that “put other things ahead of addressing student debt.”
Dr. Sexton drew heat for a program, earlier reported by the New York Times, which
provided star faculty and administrators with low-interest and sometimes forgivable
loans to buy vacation homes. As of 2013, when the board voted to limit the program to
primary residences, the school had $72 million in loans outstanding to 168 individuals.

Some current and former faculty and administrators said the tenor has changed under Dr.
Hamilton, who wrote to NYU students and staff soon after his arrival in 2016 that despite
the school’s financial limitations: “We cannot be content with the status quo.”
He detailed plans to rein in tuition increases and add more low-cost housing options. Still,
he said, there was “no magic wand” to solve the affordability problem given the school’s
high-cost location and low per-student endowment.
Dr. Hamilton tapped Ms. Schall to lead the new affordability steering committee, with
other members including students, faculty and administrators from across the university.
Their task: Solicit ideas, study their feasibility and try to make NYU more affordable for
more students.
Cutting tuition was an unlikely option, as more than half of undergraduates pay full
sticker price. From 2016 through 2019, the affordability committee largely came up with
suggestions for what students could do to make the math work.
One initiative the committee pursued was a home-share program that paired graduate
students with senior citizens who had spare bedrooms. Only about two dozen students
signed up, the university said.
The committee urged faculty to rethink the number of required books for courses,
promoted a Facebook
page alerting students to food left over from campus events and
publicized links to websites where students could apply for external scholarships. NYU
also made it easier for students to pick a smaller meal plan.
It was a source of some frustration for Erica Silverman, who received her undergraduate
and graduate degrees in 2014 and 2017 from NYU and served on the steering committee
during its first year. “We can’t only ask students to take steps to change affordability,” she said.

Ms. Schall said the school wasn’t just pushing students to change their behavior. She said
NYU looked at all elements of the cost structure and that its biggest move—limiting
tuition increases—didn’t require students to do anything differently.
The affordability committee hasn’t met since 2019, waylaid by the pandemic, Ms. Schall
said. She expects the group to reconvene later this school year.
The school said it would urge students with financial challenges to talk to its aid office for
help. It doesn’t encourage students to donate their eggs to make ends meet, as Ms. Jones
has done, said Mr. Beckman, the spokesman: “This is a highly unusual approach.”
Ms. Jones said that she is considering another egg donation, with money so tight, but the
procedures took a toll on her body. The money would cover living expenses, she said, and
provide a cushion when loan payments, paused during the pandemic, resume in February.
Her income is low enough that she won’t need to make payments, but she worries about
the balance ballooning as interest continues to accrue.



No.
Have some patience, FFS.

forgetful

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Re: Inflated Cost of College Education Lawsuit
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2022, 10:07:46 PM »
No.

This made me laugh. Scrolled through the quoted part for the better part of 4-days just to see a..

No.

Kudos, and thanks for the laugh.

warriorchick

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Re: Inflated Cost of College Education Lawsuit
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2022, 11:56:49 AM »
This made me laugh. Scrolled through the quoted part for the better part of 4-days just to see a..

No.

Kudos, and thanks for the laugh.


FTR I had to delete part of the OP because adding my response made it exceed the max length of characters allowed.
Have some patience, FFS.

Billy Hoyle

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Re: Inflated Cost of College Education Lawsuit
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2022, 12:25:41 PM »
Came across this WSJ article a couple of weeks ago but waited to post until now.   Given it's urban setting and rise of MKE, is it realistic MU could position itself as a viable alternative or is NYU's brand strength too strong to overcome?  And not just NYU but other private schools like it that are significantly more expensive.  BU is one that immediately comes to mind but there are many others.  MU may be considered outrageous in its bubble but compared to NYU and their ilk, MU is a bargain.   What more can MU do to position themselves as such and are they willing or is it a fool's errand?   WSJ is behind a sub wall but will try and post text later.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/nyu-college-graduate-parent-student-loans-11639618241?mod=Searchresults_pos1&page=1



it's highly unlikely. MU's location (Midwestern bias) and ranking will prevent them from being able to attract kids who want to be in NYC or on the East Coast in general. There are too many other higher ranked options out East for kids to consider as an alternative: Fordham, Gtown, BU, Northeastern, BC, the NESCAC schools, etc. And, if they want to leave the East Coast there are already pipelines to Wash U, Northwestern, Michigan, Duke, Miami, Tulane, Madison, and other schools in NYU's conference. Considering NYU's top ten ranking, many of those kids have a realistic chance to go up Broadway to Columbia and Barnard, or to other Ivy schools and get the large aid packages those schools offer, which will make them cheaper that MU.

Perhaps with the massive growth in our endowment (thank you Father Wild!) we'll be able to provide greater aid packages but we still lag significantly behind a lot of East Coast schools.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2022, 12:39:47 PM by Billy Hoyle »
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Disco Hippie

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Re: Inflated Cost of College Education Lawsuit
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2022, 05:31:12 PM »
it's highly unlikely. MU's location (Midwestern bias) and ranking will prevent them from being able to attract kids who want to be in NYC or on the East Coast in general. There are too many other higher ranked options out East for kids to consider as an alternative: Fordham, Gtown, BU, Northeastern, BC, the NESCAC schools, etc. And, if they want to leave the East Coast there are already pipelines to Wash U, Northwestern, Michigan, Duke, Miami, Tulane, Madison, and other schools in NYU's conference. Considering NYU's top ten ranking, many of those kids have a realistic chance to go up Broadway to Columbia and Barnard, or to other Ivy schools and get the large aid packages those schools offer, which will make them cheaper that MU.

Perhaps with the massive growth in our endowment (thank you Father Wild!) we'll be able to provide greater aid packages but we still lag significantly behind a lot of East Coast schools.



That's fair, but so many folks on this board seem to think that rankings don't matter anymore and don't negatively impact enrollment.  If that's true, MU should be more competitive with these other schools.  Yes they can't offer as much aid as Ivies and their ilk but they shouldn't be compared to them anyway.   Maybe NYU isn't a great example either, but places like BU, Syracuse and Fordham and GW are schools that MU has the potential to steal a few students from.   Particularly if the students are from families that wouldn't qualify for any aid beyond merit, which I believe most schools award on a need blind basis.