Originally Posted by FFOX
The problem is that people take this 'loans are evil and scary' attitude way to far. I unfortunately know a lot of people I went to high school with who started college, ran out of money and dropped out to save for college. Now most are making terrible pay and are not in a better situation to pay for college. Student loans are 'interesting' in that they are probably one of the first grown-up decision a person will face if they choose to go to college (in the USA). The unfortunate reality is that a lot of people will need to borrow student loans in order to pay for college.
My three roommates during college have all completed the first year of their first (professional) engineering jobs. They go to work during the day, go out on the weekends and meanwhile are paying off their student loans. It sounds a lot like our time in college, except for they were borrowing student loans then instead of paying them off now.
Your last sentence is also interesting. Unfortunately I don't have time to fully comment, but I will say it is extremely misguided.
I'm not advocating against loans. There are things in life that are worth the debt. Two major milestones that are worth going in to debt for: 1. Schooling in a profession you intend to pursue as a life career. 2. A house over your head that will grow in value as you maintain and upgrade it through your life.
Yes, my friends and I all graduated with engineering oriented degrees and got good jobs. We go to work, we pay our loans, we have a little left over for fun. We all lived carefully through college so as to not have massive debt coming out. As far as I know, none of my friends or I are in over 30k. For those that are wondering, it comes out to 400 or so a month depending on your rates. There isn't much left over for savings for the future or retirement once all the bills are paid.
A word of warning, the average salaries colleges list for recent graduates do not list standard deviation, which is very large. A few guys got 6 figures right out of college, the rest of us are much much lower. Don't be surprised if your first job comes in at 20k under the "average" that your college told you.
As to my sentence about learning a profession and not having fun, that is a mindset to ensure your success. You will have fun, you will meet people and make friends; there will be social times. No one should go into college thinking it is a time to have fun and party. That is a failure waiting to happen.