Skip to comments.Duke Grad Student Secretly Lived In A Van To Escape Loan Debt
Posted on 06/09/2013 1:47:23 PM PDT by thecodont
By the time Ken Ilgunas was wrapping up his last year of undergraduate studies at the University of Buffalo in 2005, he had no idea what kind of debt hole he'd dug himself into.
He had majored in the least marketable fields of study possible English and History and had zero job prospects after getting turned down for no fewer than 25 paid internships.
"That was a wake-up call," he told Business Insider. "I had this huge $32,000 student debt and at the time I was pushing carts at Home Depot, making $8 an hour. I was just getting kind of frantic."
Back then, student loans had yet to become the front page news they are today. Ilgunas could have simply deferred his loans or declared forbearance. He also could have asked his parents (who were more than willing to help) for a leg up. He could have thrown up his hands and gone to grad school until the job market bounced back.
Instead, he moved to Alaska and spent two years paying back every dime. And when he enrolled at Duke University for graduate school later, he lived out of his van to be sure he wouldn't have to take out loans again.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/technology/businessinsider/article/Duke-Grad-Student-Secretly-Lived-In-A-Van-To-4587684.php#ixzz2VkomCLBJ
(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...
He’ll always be known as ‘the smelly one’ in class.
The primary reason these are the least marketable degrees is because of how they're taught. A rigorous history program should produce some of the best researchers and analysts. Similarly, a demanding English program should spawn some of the best writers. Both skill sets are highly valued in virtually any endeavor.
Mr. History major guy needs to man up and pay it down.
OK, I went ahead and read the article...I guess he did pay the loan off after all. But now it’s time to get a real job and a real house.
Good for him!
I am sick and tired about all the dam*ed propaganda in the mass media about student debt. A LOT of students have run up debt over the years to get through school.. and were ever so very very very thankful they were trusted by the banks (now, the govt since O seized the entire industry!)...
and most repaid their loans ... as they promised to repay them.
I can understand a lender giving a student a postponement in full or part if the kid can’t get a job upon graduation. HOWEVER, many graduates won’t work at all if they aren’t given zillion dinero jobs with all kinds of perks. Many of us in the OLDE DAYS repaid our student loans, sometimes with difficulty, even if we only got low-paying jobs. We just adjusted our cashflow to honor our commitments, is all.
NOW THEN, a quick aside.
A few years after my graduation, I was serving on a very large lender’s credit committee. Part of the duties were to interview customers or clients who wished to appeal any loan turndowns. I got the reputation of being “soft’ on smallish loans where there was a real need, such as emergency health issues (yes I know, adults should plan ahead.. but anyway I am just telling you the way I was). S, ON one of my days as chairman, in comes this nice young lady, a recent LAW SCHOOL graduate. Her credit score was south of 500, mostly because she has stiffed any and all lenders.. including several student loans, entirely. SO I was waiting for her to appeal to my “well known soft spot” ... indeed I tried to lead her there, asking if perhaps anyone in her family was experiencing any needs that maybe she was helping out with, etc... sort of pushing the envelope you could say, but trying to lead a horse to drink. Nope. Her explanation for not repaying thousands of dollars of student and other loans was...... are you sitting down?.... was...... (drum roll).....was.... “that I figured out that if I repaid my debts, it would lower my standard of living!!!!!!!!”
WOW!!!!! SUCH AMAZING BRILLIANCE we are graduating from our law schools!!!!!!
Anyway, she did not get her big loan for her new super-sized BMW luxury car.
(NOTE: my personal 15 +/- year old car, the one with the big ugly gash in the side, was parked in the lot as she walked into the bank.....but I DID repay my student loans!!!!!!!!!!!!! as did millions of other people.)
So you didn’t read the story?
He moved to AK for two years and paid it off.
I know a guy who parlayed his history degree into a very successful (and lucrative) job as a trader at the Chicago BoT. But then, that was back in the day.
Besides being a good researcher and writer, a student who does well in a competent college-level history and English program should have a good idea as to how the world works, how humans behave and what he should want out of life.
Liberal Arts is a SCAM; they say they’re helping you and imparting, but you know what? YOU ARE A SUCKER.
They’re milking you, and the ONE reason you are there is to provide artificial (read: subsidized) demand for some type of crap that the free market rejected.
It’s the exact opposite of what the profs tell you that it is.
There should be no such thing as gov’t-provided students loans for such pabulum, cuz it never enhances their earning power.
That, or such loans should be erasable via bankruptcy.
Thanks for your story.
“...and most repaid their loans ... as they promised to repay them.”
“We just adjusted our cashflow to honor our commitments, is all.”
Common sense and honoring one’s commitments weren’t so rare a generation or so ago, but these days, to see them is like finding rain in the desert.
I agree with this.
If done right a degree in History or English should be very marketable. The same is true of a degree in Philosophy which among other things teaches logical thinking.
The Left have ruined these degrees
What was the “secret” part about living in his van, and was it to save money, or “escape” something?
American media seems to be getting more tabloid like all the time.
Liberal Arts are a waste of time. Might as well join the military. Learn some self-respect, and get tuition help.
See post #7
I tell you though, sometimes I wonder if these colleges are price gouging the hell out of students. You can give the argument “Well people don’t have to go to College” Yes, and they don’t have to drive as well, but when a gas station price gouges, every politician in NYC (especially Chuck Schumer) is holding press conferences in front of the gas station screaming how he is going to fine the gas station out of business.
Yes I know these schools need to make a profit, but I look at a school like NYU here in New York city who I learned is *the* largest real estate owners in the entire New York city area and for the past few years have been driving out small businesses by raising their rents through the roof which is why you now see high end fashion stores all over the place like Little Italy, Greenwich village, SoHo. I couldn’t believe how many till I went down there last year, Bleecker street looks like Rodeo drive now and I find it funny coming from such a “capitalism is evil” liberal school such as NYU. They’re typical libs, corporations “are evil” yet they are the ones doing the very thing they claim “evil corporations”. How many jobs has NYU created? To me all they seem to be doing is putting people out of business.
taking liberal arts is NOT a waste of time.
I was forced into taking lib-arts core in college and had no idea what ‘physics’ was. But I had to take it, and so...
Next think you know I scrapped everything and started a full bachelors degree in physics. I never would have known how F@#$ing cool it was unless they had made me take it.
But was it in a van down by the river?