The report discusses Ryan Durosky, a graduate of New York University. He received a Bachelor’s degree in business from NYU and graduated with $275,000 in debt (including loan interest). He regrets the decision of attending such a high price school, since he passed up a full scholarship at a lesser name institution. Following a lay off from his post-graduation job, he admits he wasn’t thinking about future consequences.
When I first read the astronomical number, I was aghast. $275K?!!! On what? Yes, NYU is very expensive (I’m a graduate of their Master’s program), but total student debt would be more in the price range of $200K. Where did this extra $75K come into play?
Take a look at the blog comments under the video. A commenter found his profile on LinkedIn. Here is Ryan’s profile. Now take an even closer look. Do you notice something very expensive … perhaps a semester abroad program in Florence, Italy?
Well, I’m very divided on Ryan at this point. In the CNN interview, he admits to not being financially responsible at 18 years old. But what happened to 19, 20, 21 and 22 years of age? That’s where I’m a bit confused. Also, it seems as if Ryan took out everything in loans: tuition, fees, books, room and board, living expenses, etc. It seems as if he didn’t contribute a dime to his education. That would’ve been fine … provided his parents were footing the bill.
Thus, I believe Ryan’s story is one of financial irresponsibility and neglect. And the irony of all of this is he received a Bachelor’s in business. I hope he learned his financial lesson and it makes him a better businessman.
Ryan seems like a more responsible young man now. He lives in Pennsylvania and commutes four hours total a day to his job in Manhattan so he can live cheaply. He also has paid $12,000 down on his college debt.
Ryan did say one thing that keeps resounding in my head. When the reporter says, “You talk about the American Dream.” Ryan responds, “It’s almost become an American Nightmare.”
My heart does go out to Ryan because so many others are in the same situation. I graduated with a Master’s from NYU last year. I completed my degree in two years, as fast and as cheaply as possible. I used approximately $15,000 of my own money toward tuition, received around $8000 in Dean’s Scholarships and I was a commuter student — no room and board expenses. I rarely bought books, utilizing the library and the Internet. And I still graduated with a significant amount of debt. Not anywhere near Ryan’s, but still a significant amount that I must pay out over the course of 10 years.
A federal government student loan, even a subsidized Stafford loan, doesn’t have an excellent student loan rate as it did several years ago. In fact, college loan consolidation is nearly impossible, which drives up the monthly payment. This is one of the main reasons Ryan and others like him are in this position. The monthly payments are now stifling, such as Ryan noted, his first bill was $1020. This is not uncommon.
Many student loan monthly payments are $700. That is more than a mortgage payment for most first-time condo or co-op buyers.
As Ryan sadly states he had an American Dream of getting married, buying a house and having children. It’s a simple dream, but he doesn’t feel it’s tangible anymore.
What do you think about Ryan’s situation? Is the American Dream still possible in this country for graduates with crushing student loan debt?
Please let us know.
~ the WPC team
© White Picket College, 2010