Friday, August 20, 2010

Born in the USA, part 3

A few of us linger after lunch, digesting, talking. Usually nothing of importance. This particular afternoon, it's higher education.
"I like the British system better."
"You only know the British system." But, then again, I only know the American system. Mainly. I have learned some.
"Well, I'd hate to graduate with so much debt. The average debt for graduates in the US is something like two hundred thousand dollars."
Cue the sigh. "Only medical students would come out of college with debt like that. That can't be more than 5% of the student population. The majority of grads would have maybe a few thousand dollar debt."
"Oh, well, I was under the impression that everyone had lots of debt because your education isn't paid for like it is here."
One of the professors nearby decides to join in at this point. "Actually, it's true that the average debt for US students isn't that high. In fact, I just recently read an article that said nowadays the amount of debt a graduating student has from the US or the UK is pretty equivalent." He turns to me. "Does that agree with what your perception is?"
I simply nod.

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