NYU Students Protested Their Loan Debt Load the Wrong Way Students at New York University graduate with an average of $33,487 in debt, according to U.S. News & World Report, putting it among the schools with the highest debt load per graduate in the country.

But a group of NYU students is determined to do something about it.

No, I don't mean that they're going to actually do something about it -- like transferring to schools they can actually afford. Instead, they're holding a "Casualties of Debt" demonstration -- complete with its own Facebook group boasting 293 attendees.

The Huffington Post reports that "The demonstration, which was hosted by MTV's Andrew Jenks and NYU Local editor-in-chief Charlie Eisenhood, was designed to raise awareness for the debt crisis at NYU ... After a number of people had gathered, Jenks instructed students to write the amount of debt they will have accrued once they leave NYU on white T-shirts with red dollar signs distributed by volunteers and stand still for a moment."

No word yet on how the white T-shirts were paid for.

But here's the thing: Protesting the amount of money you decided to borrow in order to go to NYU is sort of like moving to New England in the middle of January and then holding signs protesting the cold temperatures and abundant snow.

NYU students have a legitimate concern -- the amount of money that they're borrowing is insane -- and the way that they should handle it is to vote with their feet. Transfer to another school. Deprive NYU of its source of revenue and save yourself in the process. But voluntarily borrowing huge amounts of money to give it to a school while simultaneously shaking your fist at it doesn't help anyone.

There's a more subtle reason students ought to steer clear of NYU that goes beyond the practical impact of the huge debt burden: Any college whose financial aid office instructs students on how to borrow nearly $100,000 to pay for a bachelor's degree couldn't possibly care about the well-being of its students. To me, that makes NYU an institution worth avoiding.

Zac Bissonnette'
s Debt-Free U: How I Paid For An Outstanding College Education Without Loans, Scholarships, Or Mooching Off My Parents was called the "best and most troubling book ever about the college admissions process" by The Washington Post.

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Crystal Macmillan

NYU is a good school. That would look mighty fine on a resume especially when no matter where you go to school, the chances of you finding a good job are next to nothing, but many of those students were told that a good school amounts to good job prospects, which has been true for many people I know. Too bad you need a rich mommy and daddy to get it. I've actually had employers cringe when they found out I had a degree, they call us flight risks. I've been looking for a job for a year, since I graduated, nothing. Even if you managed to go to school for 20k in debt you'd be defaulting sooner or later, I can go on forbearance for two years on my federal, but after that I'm up ***** creek and by that time the interest will have accrued not so nicely.

April 27 2011 at 3:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What can you say about people who protest about something which they freely chose to do, who now DEMAND, yes DEMAND, that somebody else get them off the hook. They wand somebody ELSE to come in and save them from themselves, from their own foolish actions, which, oh dear, they now regret and have buyer's remorse. Poor babies. This is pathetic and deplorable. These silly young people, moreover, are not some inbred hayseeds from Mississippi who lack a vital chromosome who are functional morons - no - these are sophisticated students of one of America's premier selective universities, New York University, would you believe. These are middle class, upper middle class kids who could pay off their loans by just asking Mumsy and Daddykins, but are too proud or embarrassed to ask. And what does this say about Mumsy and Daddykins? What did they teach these spoiled brats? Oh yes, self indulgence, avoidance of responsibility, and how to suck their thumbs. What an appalling spectacle.

February 20 2011 at 12:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Heard you on the Dave Ramsey show and loved it! Got your book in the mail today and your stories about all the little ventures you had as a kind reminded me a lot of things that I did. Love your content and message, consider me a new reader!

Now on the topic of this article, it just shows how insane people are these days. I have a niece graduating HS this year and while she has a lot of work to do on her personal motivation, 1 reason I purchased Debt Free U was to give to her and her family. I mean in the end, the same textbooks are used in these classes correct?

February 19 2011 at 7:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The problem isn't NYU, and that's why transferring is not going to make a difference in a lot of cases. The fact of the matter nowadays is if you want to go to college, unless you're a kid from a well-off family or manage to get scholarships, you will leave school with a bunch of debt because almost all of them cost a ridiculous amount and absolutely all of them cost more than they're worth. That's one thing--the other is how most of us, talking about people who are now in our 20s and many who are a couple decades older, have been lied to for years and years and years about the benefits of going into debt to attend college, especially the best colleges such as NYU. I've tried my best to teach people from my own unfortunate experience that if they can't afford college they shouldn't go and would be better off working any entry level customer service job even if it's McDonalds to gain work experience (which is ALL employers care about now) vs borrowing for school, and so many people just don't believe me. It's not about feeling entitled for all of us; it's about being brainwashed all our lives and then being incredibly frustrated when it's not true. It feels like being scammed out of 5 or 6 figures, which is basically the case.

February 17 2011 at 11:25 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

liberals, raised by liberals, complaining about paying back borrowed money. It all makes sense if you are a liberal.

February 17 2011 at 10:47 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply


Big story is that this is endemic throughout the country. College debt is somewhere around $900 Billion and its not dischargeable in bankruptcy. I know some grad students who have some debt that by the time they pay off the debt they'll be getting their first social security checks. Ticking time bomb as return on investment is not there for most so will not be able to pay off.


February 17 2011 at 7:29 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Grow up and be accountable. I agree with comment before, why are you entitled? What a joke

February 17 2011 at 7:29 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

good aricle. this is the result of the "entitlement attitude". if you have not planned for the cost by saving or other means, go to a school you can afford. think of it like a car. i would sure like a bentley - but i drive a chevy. stop feeding at the public trough. when you default on your student, the tax payer picks up the tab. that is me and as long as i am forced to pay for others, i will drive my ten year old chevy.

February 17 2011 at 6:48 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

It's not that different than having a loan on a home that is now underwater. Schools lie and lie and lie about the employment opportunities for their grads, right up until graduation. The fact going around now is that there won't be employment opportunities for ten years. They may not be able to pay because our government keeps piling on horrific debt for one stupid war after another.

February 17 2011 at 4:21 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

NYU has some nerve -- what do the kids there get books lined with gold leaf or something??? It's a college, the same 101's that are taught elsewhere for cheaper are the same at NYU. It's that accrediation process -- NYU is asking lux and rolls royce prices for same old same old some place else. Shame on NYU -- my daughter rec'vd literature from this school. It's a hype. NYU tells it's students that with a NYU degree they can get a job anywhere. What a lie? and they tell it to a 18 year old.

February 17 2011 at 3:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply