Wednesday, December 16, 2009

American Student Assistance – Student Loan Guarantor and "Public Servant"

Student Debt Statistics

Go to the bottom of page 1 and onto page two of this link. This table shows the percentage of graduate students borrowing, by degree program.

As you can see, more law students – as a percentage – go into student debt than any other graduate degree program. Even a higher percentage than medical students! This is sobering. (Perhaps, there is a higher percentage of rich kids who go to medical school, and can simply rely on parents or a wealthy spouse to pay for their education.)

The chart shows that 88.60% of law students borrow money for their graduate level program. You read that right - EIGHTY-EIGHT POINT SIX PERCENT!! This same table shows the average law student debt load was $80,081. This is based off info from 2007-08.

About AMSA

American Student Assistance® (ASA) is a non-profit, federally funded student loan guarantor that was founded in 1956. Guarantors traditionally assist the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to insure private lenders against the risk of default on college loans. But ASA champions a new role for the nation’s guarantors, one that better meets the needs of today’s students and families. [Emphasis mine]

From the bottom of this page, you can access their Corporate Brochure. (Coincidentally, if you print this eight-page document off, you will have an emergency reserve of toilet paper.) You can see on page 2 where their CEO talks about “focusing on delinquency and default prevention.”

On page 4, you can see where these vultures refer to themselves as “counselor to borrowers, service provider to the U.S. Education Department, consultant to financial aid professional, partner to lenders and public servant to society.”

One question: how in the hell can you refer to yourselves as public servants to society?!? You partner with the most egregious, insidious snake-oil salesmen – the upper echelons of the higher education industrial complex – and you are performing a public service?!?!? I guess strapping generations of motivated young people with massive student loan debt is a service – of some sort.

Page 5 notes that they help students make “the first step toward building good credit…” Read: “We help students by helping them bury themselves in student debt.” Yeah, that’s a GREAT way to help people! It’s also a tremendous way to start off one’s working life. Buying a home, getting married, and having kids can wait. You have an investment to pay off!!

Also, look at the bottom of page 5 – Delivering on public purpose:

As a nonprofit organization, helping students complete a successful program of college financing and repayment offers a variety of compelling public benefits, including a well-educated and fiscally responsible workforce.

Don’t forget to add well-educated, low-paid, financially insecure workforce.

If you have the stomach to peruse these materials further, you can see that the company purports to be concerned with saving tax monies.

These numbers only begin to convey our results: averting thousands of borrowers from student loan default problems…improving the performance of our partners’ portfolios…and saving our taxpayers millions – proving it pays to Think About Tomorrow. [Emphasis mine]

Yes, because you certainly care about taxpayers.

In the final analysis, the ASA is looking out for the interests of corporate executives and banksters. Just look at how they liberally employ corporate doublespeak, i.e. “counseling,” “wellness programs” and “compassion.” These vultures don’t give a damn about the student borrower. They simply want to make CERTAIN you pay back your loans.

Their primary purpose is to insure the private banking cartel against the risk of default on college loans. Just because they use “compassionate language” to describe their role DOES NOT make them different or unique from the other “non-profit, federally-funded student loan guarantors.”


  1. First off, I'm a black man. By your screen name, I imagine you are a minority also. I saw the charts and on the second page, it shows that many more minorities are ending up in the hell known as large student loan debt.

    Higher education is a trap for most. This is what I tried to tell my niece. Of course, she didn't want to listen to someone with minimal college exp. Then again, I don't have much debt and I have a decent-paying job. I get treated with respect, and I don't have much stress on the job.
    Keep up the good fight! I am going to refer others to this site.

  2. Dear Anonymous above me,

    keep up the fight. I was in a similar position to your niece. Several years ago, I was a bright and aspiring prelaw student dead set on law school. My cousin, who didn't have a bachelor degree, was warning me about the dangers. The fact that she didn't have a bachelor degree was enough to discount her advice in my eyes. Now years later, I'm seeing that she's right.

  3. I guess these are the fruits of law schools' drive for "diversity." MOre minorities in law school = more minorities falling into large student debt. ANd the deans and administrators make out like bandits.

  4. I went to one of your sister blogs earlier. It looks like law students take out, on average, a little more than $90,000 for those attending private school.

    How can people continue to defend this industry?

  5. If you're wondering who is defending the industry, you won't find the answer here.

  6. Yeah, law school may be expensive, but think of all the “lawyer like thinking” skills you get for a mere $90,000.

    At my LS students generally fell into 3-camps:
    1. Parents paid for full attendance—no debt.
    2. Scholarship, a couple full rides, but very few students received more than $5,000 per year.
    3. Students paying full tuition, without parental help.

    From my experience, the median debt would actually be quite a bit higher than the average of $90,000. Because the students in #1 have no debt, and students in #2 have less debt, it makes the debt carried by students in #3 look much lower. Therefore, if you are going to be in #3, you don’t have a realistic picture of your debt upon graduation.

  7. To the poster above,

    Well put. I had many classmates who went $115K+ in debt for a law degree from Third Tier Drake. There were also others who went at no cost - to them. Some received scholarship money (including a few for full tuition). And many paid full tuition, with no help from their families.

    So the median debt would be quite a bit higher than $90,000 for students attending a private law school.

    Law schools like using averages, because it softens the blow. Plus, who knows, MAYBE some prospective law students would forget law school if they knew that they might end up $130K in debt for a "legal education."

  8. I wish more white people got caught in debt servitude. In fact we should round up all 'whites' and ship them off to antarctica! They like the cold don't they? hahaha. I bet antarctica won't be winning any dancing or basketball competitions anytime soon right?! hahah. Racism is so cool right!?

  9. You know, I was thinking about this last night. What is the percentage of each class that pays full sticker price? Something like 60% (throw out the folks with rich parents and the scholarship peeps)? I really can't see someone in camp 3 (as defined above) getting out of law school with less than 150K at probably 75% of all law schools. That is some ridiculous debt. Am I right about this estimate? I mean the figures thrown out show 90K or so, but for the large majority it seems like it should be more like 150K. Thoughts?

  10. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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  12. These loans should not be guaranteed!! The solution is so obvious. By guaranteeing these loans there is no risk for the lender so letting some kid have 100k for a TTT is a wise investment. If there were no guarantee then maybe these stupid loans wouldn't get made in the first place.

    Someone tell me why I'm wrong!!

  13. @8:29,

    You are correct. These loans CLEARLY should not be guaranteed and backed by the federal government. Under the current sick system, it is financially wise for banks to get on board in the student lending business. It is very lucrative, as the banks are not taking on any risk.

    The fact that 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(8) makes student loans NON-DISCHARGEABLE essentially puts the entire onus on young, naive students - for their decision. Yet, are not the banks and "regulators" in better control of information, including future earnings potential? Also, the students are often just faithfully following the dogma that was pounded into their heads since infancy, i.e. "Higher education is the key to your success and future upward mobility."

    What is sickening is that those with gambling debts, and those who engage in other forms of frivolous spending, can have their debts discharged in bankruptcy proceedings. This just shows the extent of the MORAL BANKRUPTCY of the system in place.

  14. this doesn't surprise me anymore. I see genuine war veterans sleeping under bridges and i wonder who really benefits of military loans nowadays ?

  15. helps students pay down student loan debt. It's a student loan gift registry created by four moms concerned about the huge student loan debt crisis headed our way. Not good.

  16. I meant the debt's not godd. The website could maybe help a little.

  17. I guess these are the fruits of law schools' drive for "diversity." MOre minorities in law school = more minorities falling into large student debt. ANd the deans and administrators make out like bandits.

  18. Getting higher education is become more difficult and you shared post on important issue. Thanks for sharing "Student Debt Statistics"

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  19. Although it is very touching and wrong, it is the hard truth about law schools. I wouldn't thank you enough for shedding light on such a sensitive thing, i wish that many people will see your blog. Top quality help with writing custom essays is always offered by the most professional experts, you should always give us an opportunity to prove our custom services worth it.
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