Michigan State University

A welcome reality check on the subject of student loans

"It is not uncommon to read stories about college students who say, “I woke up one day and realized I had $50,000 in outstanding student loans and had no idea how I got there.”  And yet nobody would accept at face value someone stating, “I woke up one day driving a Mercedes and had no idea how I was $50,000 in debt.”  

Finally, some straight talk on the subject of student debt from Donald E. Heller, dean of the College of Education at Michigan State University, via Valerie Strauss' The Answer Sheet at the Washington Post -- Is the $1 trillion student loan debt really a crisis? Right now, thousands of families are considering financial aid offers -- most of which include loans. Heller cuts through the media madness surrounding student debt with a look at the facts of the situation, the value of a college degree, and what the future will hold. It's a welcome reality check in the face of the hyperbole from the headlines to the White House hyperbole. If you and your family are looking at a financial aid award which requires some indebtedness, don't miss this! You can see the entire column here

James Conroy, New Trier Township High School, Winnetka, Illinois

Each month we feature a high school college counselor so you can get to know them -- their pet peeves and personal heroes -- but also so you can learn something from all that they know about applying to college.

This month we welcome James Conroy, Chair of the Post-High School Counseling Department at New Trier Township High School in Winnetka, Illinois. A graduate of Michigan State University, where he received a B.S. in political science, Conroy also holds a Masters in Guidance and Counseling from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  Born just outside Boston, Conroy later moved with his family to Grosse Pointe, Michigan, but a trace of the Bay State remains in his speech. Conroy and his staff counsel about 2,000 juniors and seniors each year at New Trier, where he has been a tireless -- and bracingly honest, we suspect -- advocate for college applicants for the last twenty-six years.