I actually made an argument for debt over the weekend. And lost.
Here's the background. My son's girlfriend, Megan, is a college freshman studying to be a teacher. She is doing the right thing attending a junior college and will then switch to a local state college after two years. Two years at the junior college, two years at the state school, a teaching certificate and then making whatever a starting teacher makes these days which is not bad.
The problem is limited financial aid like in zero. Not exactly true as she has a scholarship that covers tuition but after that, zip.
The good thing is that junior college is cheap compared to a state school and super cheap compared to a private school. But still there are books, car insurance, lab fees, and so on.
So if anyone qualified for student loans or aid, it would be Megan. Went over this weekend to see Marc off as he is deploying to Guam for four months (18 hours flying in a plane where you can stand up in one place on the whole plane and your station is about the size of a refrigerator box--no thanks).
Also heard about the Megan situation so did what I always do--jump in. Look up the student loan office at the college, get a name, number and so on. Go online and find the form for student loans and so on and so on. Loaded for bear.
So out to dinner with Marc, Megan, a few pilots and navs and another parent and then over to a pilot's house for a few hours of video games (which I don't get but they seemed to have fun). Few words with Megan--got all this information, you certainly qualify, so on and so on.
Nothing. No interest. She had it all figured out.
Take six courses. (I was already pretty impressed. I never took six courses in one semester, one year I barely took six courses in the whole year.) And work 32 to 35 hours a week. What? That's nuts. The French work only 35 hours a week by law and the vast majority of them do not go to school full time. Most don't work either but that is another story.
So two part time jobs and a full (actually more than full) student load. Why? Why not borrow a couple of grand, get a subsidized interest rate and sit back and relax?
At that point I was more schocked at myself than at Megan. Here I was giving somebody an out for something she didn't want out of.
Megan told me she gets bored if she is not working or going to school so the heavy load; school and work, kept her active.
Plus she doesn't want any debt when she gets out of school.
Wow. What a shock--somebody that wants to work hard, overly hard in my estimate, to reach a goal that much quicker without acquiring a bunch of financial baggage in the process.
Hats off to Megan.