助学贷款的陷阱

助学贷款的陷阱
How college loans exploit students for profit | Sajay Samuel

今天 四千万美国人为了跟上新经济的趋势而背上债务
Today 40 million Americans are indebted for their passage to the new economy.
穷到无法支付自己的大学学费
Too poor to pay their way through college,
这些人的负债总额已超过一万亿美元
they now owe lenders more than one trillion US dollars.
的确 他们尽可能找到工作
They do find what jobs they can get
来偿还以个人名义担保的债务
to pay off a debt that is secured on their person.
在美国
In America,
即使是破产的赌徒也有重来的机会
even a bankrupt gambler gets a second chance.
可是几乎不可能发生在美国
But it is nearly impossible
的是想要还清自己的助学贷款
for an American to get discharged their student loan debts.
以前在美国
Once upon a time in America,
上大学不意味着要负债毕业
going to college did not mean graduating with debt.
我的朋友保罗的父亲 受益于退伍军人法
My friend Paul’s father graduated from Colorado State University
毕业于科罗拉州立大学
on the GI Bill.
他那个时代
For his generation,
高等教育是免费或收取很少费用
higher education was free or almost free,
因为当时高等教育被认为是一种公益事业
because it was thought of as a public good.
现在 不是了
Not anymore.
当保罗也从 科罗拉多州立大学毕业时
When Paul also graduated from Colorado State University,
他是通过兼职才付清攻读英文学位的学费
he paid for his English degree by working part-time.
30年前
30 years ago,
高等教育的学费定价合理 大多数人都能支付得起
higher education tuition was affordable, reasonable,
你欠下的债务在毕业的时候也能还清
and what debts you accumulated, you paid off by graduation date.
现在 就不可能了
Not anymore.
保罗的女儿也同他们一样 去了科罗拉多大学
Paul’s daughter followed in his footsteps,
不同的是
but with one difference:
五年前 她是背负巨大债务
when she graduated five years ago,
从科罗拉州立大学毕业的
it was with a whopping debt.
像凯特那样的学生只能贷款来完成学业
Students like Kate have to take on a loan
因为对于大多数美国家庭来说高教学费太过昂贵而负担不起
because the cost of higher education has become unaffordable
即便是那些能够负担得起的家庭也是很大一笔支出
for most, for many if not most American families.
但那又怎样呢
But so what?
借钱支付高昂的学费读书
Getting into debt to buy an expensive education
如果能用借钱学到的知识 毕业工作挣钱
is not all bad if you could pay it off
来偿还当初贷款的债务 倒也不错
with the increased income that you earned from it.
但是事实上
But that’s where the rubber meets the road.
2001年 大学毕业生年收入的百分之十
Even a college grad earned 10 percent more in 2001
也比她在 2013年的收入多
than she did in 2013.
所以
So …
学费越来越贵
tuition costs up,
公共资金支持越来越少
public funding down,
家庭存款越来越少
family incomes diminished,
个人收入越来越低
personal incomes weak.
所以这也难怪为什么有四分之一的学生
Is it any wonder that more than a quarter of those who must
无法偿还他们学生时候的债务
cannot make their student loan payments?
最坏的时代也可能是最好的时代
The worst of times can be the best of times,
因为根本原因相继涌现 让你无法忽视
because certain truths flash up in ways that you can’t ignore.
我今天想说其中三点
I want to speak of three of them today.
1.2 万亿的助学贷款债务
1.2 trillion dollars of debts for diplomas
非常明显地证明了
make it abundantly obvious
高等学位已经变成了 可以购买的消费品
that higher education is a consumer product you can buy.
我们口中的教育 变得的跟经济学家搞的经济一样
All of us talk about education just as the economists do now,
看做一种来提高人类自身收益的投资
as an investment that you make to improve the human stock
以类似工作培训的方式来实现
by training them for work.
这种投资将人排序分类
As an investment you make to sort and classify people
以帮助雇主更轻松地挑选雇员
so that employers can hire them more easily.
美国新闻与世界报道对大学进行排名
The U.S. News & World Report ranks colleges
就像消费者报道为洗衣机排名一样
just as the consumer report rates washing machines.
措辞辛辣粗鲁
The language is peppered with barbarisms.
教师们被称为 业务提供商
Teachers are called “service providers,”
学生们则是 消费者
students are called “consumers.”
社会学 莎士比亚 足球和科学
Sociology and Shakespeare and soccer and science,
就是商品内容
all of these are “content.”
学生贷款有利可图
Student debt is profitable.
但学生不是受益者
Only not on you.
你的负债意味着学生贷款工业的利润增加
Your debt fattens the profit of the student loan industry.
两大学生贷款供应商
The two 800-pound gorillas of which —
Sallie Mae 和Navient
Sallie Mae and Navient —
去年公布的赢利共12亿美元
posted last year a combined profit of 1.2 billion dollars.
就像房贷一样
And just like home mortgages,
学生贷款也可以任意捆绑或分割
student loans can be bundled and packaged and sliced and diced,
并在华尔街出售
and sold on Wall Street.
大学和学院
And colleges and universities
那些投资于证券化贷款的学校
that invest in these securitized loans
便可从中双重获利
profit twice.
首先是从你缴纳的学费
Once from your tuition,
然后再从债务利息中获利
and then again from the interest on debt.
为了获取巨额利润
With all that money to be made,
令人震惊的是 一些高等教育企业
are we surprised that some in the higher education business
开始打虚假广告
have begun to engage in false advertising,
用欺骗的方法高价出售
in bait and switch
冠以教育之名 行以剥削之实
in exploiting the very ignorance that they pretend to educate
第三
Third:
学位品牌化
diplomas are a brand.
许多年前 我的老师曾写道
Many years ago my teacher wrote,
当学生被当成消费者的时候
“When students are treated as consumers,
上瘾和嫉妒就会应运而生
they’re made prisoners of addiction and envy.”
正如 消费者不断购买更新版本的苹果手机
Just as consumers can be sold and resold upgraded versions of an iPhone,
人们也可以购买各种教育
so also people can be sold more and more education.
大学是新的高中
College is the new high school,
我们早已深知这点
we already say that.
但是 我们可能就此打住么
But why stop there?
各种证书 新证
People can be upsold on certifications and recertifications,
硕士 甚至博士学位不断推销出去
master’s degrees, doctoral degrees.
高等教育也是一种地位象征
Higher education is also marketed as a status object.
买一个学位
Buy a degree,
与买一辆雷克萨斯轿车或一个路易威登包一样
much like you do a Lexus of a Louis Vuitton bag,
都能彰显你的与众不同
to distinguish yourself from others.
然后你就成为别人嫉妒羡慕的对象了
So you can be the object of envy of others.
文凭是一种品牌
Diplomas are a brand.
然而这些真相 通常都被恼人的商业宣传重重掩盖
But these truths are often times hidden by a very noisy sales pitch.
没有哪天我们不会听到
There is not a day that goes by
那些搞政治的家伙在电视上游说
without some policy guy on television telling us,
说 大学文凭是非常重要的
“A college degree is absolutely essential
它能助你搭乘中产阶级的向上电梯
to get on that up escalator to a middle-class life.”
通常此言论的证据就是大学溢价
And the usual evidence offered is the college premium:
大学毕业生的收入平均 比高中毕业生的收入高出56%
a college grad who makes on average 56 percent more than a high school grad.
让我们更仔细地看一下统计数据
Let’s look at that number more carefully,
因为从表面上看
because on the face of it,
听起来和实际上大学生毕业做咖啡师收银员
it seems to belie the stories we all hear
的故事大不相同
about college grads working as baristas and cashiers.
每一百名注册高等教育的人里面
Of 100 people who enroll in any form of post-secondary education,
有45名学生未能及时毕业
45 do not complete it in a timely fashion,
这有很多原因 经济因素也囊括其中
for a number of reasons, including financial.
而那些顺利毕业的55人中
Of the 55 that do graduate,
有2人找不到工作
two will remain unemployed,
18人大材小用
and another 18 are underemployed.
所以 即使大学生挣的比高中生多
So, college grads earn more than high school grads,
但他们的收入能支付昂贵的学费吗
but does it pay for the exorbitant tuition
还有上大学的那几年不能工作的薪水损失呢
and the lost wages while at college?
现在 甚至经济学家都承认
Now even economists admit
只有对能完成学业的来说 大学才是值得的
going to college pays off for only those who complete it.
那是因为高中生的薪酬被不断压榨
But that’s only because high school wages have been cut to the bone,
这种现象已存在数十年
for decades now.
几十年来
For decades,
拥有高中学历的人们
workers with a high school degree
无法平等地按劳取酬
have been denied a fair share of what they have produced.
一旦他们得到了自己应有的报酬
And had they received as they should have,
那么对许多人来说 上大学不是个划算的事儿
then going to college would have been a bad investment for many.
大学溢价的原因
College premium?
是高中折价
I think it’s a high school discount.
三分之二的在校大学生并不能找到适合的工作
Two out of three people who enroll are not going to find an adequate job.
前景也并不光明
And the future, for them, doesn’t look particularly promising —
甚至是彻底灰暗的
in fact, it’s downright bleak.
而正是这些大学生们
And it is they who are going to suffer
他们将遭受助学贷款的各种磨难
the most punishing forms of student debt.
也正是这些大学生们
And it is they,
好奇又有些可怜
curiously and sadly,
成为大肆广告的大学溢价的对象
who are marketed most loudly about this college premium thing.
这样的市场营销不仅是讽刺的
That’s not just cynical marketing,
更是残酷的
that’s cruel.
那么我们应该怎么做呢
So what do we do?
如果学生和家长把高等教育看成消费品 会怎么样
What if students and parents treated higher education as a consumer product?
似乎大家都是这样想的
Everybody else seems to.
然后 就像其他的消费产品一样
Then, like any other consumer product,
你会要求知道你到底购买了什么产品
you would demand to know what you’re paying for.
当你购买药物的时候
When you buy medicines,
商家会标出一系列的副作用
you get a list of side effects.
当你购买高等教育这个产品时
When you buy a higher educational product,
学校也应该设置提示标语
you should have a warning label
以供消费者选择
that allows consumers to choose,
从而理性购物
make informed choices.
当你买汽车时
When you buy a car,
汽车经销商会告诉你每加仑油 可以行进的英里数
it tells you how many miles per gallon to expect.
但谁知道
Who knows what to expect
从加拿大学术研究的学位中 我们能得到什么效果吗
from a degree saying Canadian Studies.
当然 这仅只是一个例子而已
There is such a thing, by the way.
如果有一个专门的应用呢
What if there was an app for that?
将专业的花费和预期的收益联系起来的app
One that linked up the cost of a major to the expected income.
取名为收入基准学费或IBT
Let’s call it Income-Based Tuition or IBT.
就你们来做好了
One of you make this.
(笑声)
(Laughter)
评估你的现实条件
Discover your reality.
(笑声)
(Laughter)
当然这样做有三大优势
There are three advantages,
收入基准学费应用的三大优势就在于
three benefits to Income-Based Tuition.
任何人都可以判断出
Any user can figure out
列出的大学学位或专业能够带来多少收入
how much money he or she will make from a given college and major.
这样 人们充分了解后
Such informed users
就不会成为商家广告
are unlikely to fall victim to the huckster’s ploy,
和各种销售手段的受害者
to the sales pitch.
而做出更加明智的选择
But also to choose wisely.
如果大学的学费比将来收入要高出15%
Why would anybody pay more for college
那何苦还要上大学呢
than let’s say, 15 percent of the additional income they earn?
第二个好处是
There’s a second benefit to Income-Based Tuition.
将花费与收入相连
By tying the cost to the income,
强制学校合理收费
college administrators would be forced to manage costs better,
用创新方式来推行
to find innovative ways to do so.
例如
For instance,
不同专业的学生学费大概相同
all of you students here pay roughly the same tuition for every major.
这很明显是不公平的 需要进行调整
That is manifestly unfair, and should change.
学工程的比学哲学的
An engineering student uses more resources
运用更多资源和设施
and facilities and labs and faculty
需要更多实验室和教职工
than a philosophy student.
结果就是等于哲学专业的学生
But the philosophy student, as a consequence,
在补贴着工程专业学生的学费
is subsidizing the engineering student.
但是 谁又挣得更多呢
Who then, by the way, goes on and earns more money.
为什么两个人付相同的费用
Why should two people buy the same product,
买相同的产品
pay the same,
享受的服务只是别人的一半或者 三分之一
but one person receive half or a third of the service.
实际上 一些专业的毕业生
In fact, college grads, some majors,
要拿出25%的工资付学生贷款
pay 25 percent of their income servicing their student debt,
与此同时 其他人只需花费5%
while others pay five percent.
只有将不同专业更适当地定价 才能结束这种不平等现象
That kind inequity would end when majors are priced more correctly.
当然 定价的数据
Now of course, all this data —
在座的会有人做这个 对吧
and one of you is going to do this, right?
所以数据需要合理设计
All this data has to be well designed,
也许需要公共会计师事务所来审计
maybe audited by public accounting firms
避免统计欺诈
to avoid statistical lies.
我们都对统计略知一二
We know about statistics, right?
尽管如此
But be that as it may,
收入基准学费的第三个 也是最大的好处是
the third and biggest benefit of Income-Based Tuition,
美国公民避免担心由于购买瑕疵产品
is it would free Americans from the fear and the fact of financial ruin
而遭受经济损失
because they bought a defective product.
也许 最后
Perhaps, in time,
美国人会重新发掘
young and old Americans may rediscover,
就如人们之前所说
as the gentleman said earlier,
好奇心和对学习的热爱
their curiosity, their love of learning —
会让人们学习自己所爱的
begin to study what they love,
也热爱自己学到的
love what they study,
由激情所引导
follow their passion …
用才智的积累
getting stimulated by their intelligence,
沿着探索的道路追寻真正想了解的未知
follow paths of inquiry that they really want to.
毕竟 埃里克和凯文就是这样的
After all, it was Eric and Kevin,
两年前
two years ago,
就像大多数年轻人那样
just exactly these kinds of young men,
他们启发了我 并跟我一同工作
who prompted me and worked with me,
现在我们仍在一起工作
and still do,
研究美国负债学生的情况
in the study of indebted students in America.
感谢您的倾听
Thank you for your attention.
(掌声)
(Applause)

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