This blog is about living the American Dream at the dawn of the new millennium! I am a nameless, mid-20s, bottom 150 Law School Graduate who finds himself marginally attached and awash in a sea of overeducated but underpaid, indentured peers who feel, and were, duped by the promise of a better life through debt and modern chemistry. Let's get to the point. The Law School Industrial Complex is a scam that has destroyed a generation out of greed. Vendettas were once legal and the pursuit of one was seen not only as moral, but necessary. This newly minted lawyer is going to continue the practice. DON'T GO TO LAW SCHOOL YOU MORONS! Ce qui suit est ce qui reste!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Microlending: Higher Ed Students = Developing World

At first, when one imagines the prototypical American college student---it would accompany some kind of feeling of success---or at the very least not begging.



Not really the case anymore, as this article points out, there is now micro-financing for college degrees

My favorite snippet? The opening reads:

"Heather Coleman had racked up almost $18,000 in debt before she posted her tuition "help wanted" sign on the Internet." 


BUT BY USING THE MICRO-FINANCE OPTION?


"The efforts netted her $8...She'll start repaying her loans in a few months, and she still plans on attending law school."

That's right.  Still plans on attending because when you're already 18K in the hole, might as well throw another 100K onto the pile.  To quote Luke Wilson in Anchorman, after having his remaining arm ripped off by a bear---THIS IS GETTING RI-GOD-DAMN-DICULOUS!!!




Child Soldier in Western Africa or Grad Student on the East Coast?...Lines surprisingly starting to blur....(not really).



*See artist's original and page

Of course, the go to site for this particular development buzzword, micro-financing, is probably still Kiva.com (which does have a pretty good record).  As a concept, micro-finance was originally designed to provide positive, trust based lending/development practices in poorer communities in the second and third worlds who would be overlooked by the larger donors and NGOs---the idea was that such a system would allow for people to move beyond a life of daily struggle to survive in terms of food, water, and shelter...or, for our purposes, help first world kids do book learning.



I haven't looked at the numbers of this school based manifestation, in terms of cost/reward/participation, and some readers out there may automatically recognize "micro-financing" as the system that gained notoriety a few years ago when Muhammed Yunus won a nobel prize for his organization's efforts (no, he did not invent the idea).  Yunus also recently criticized the corruption of the system he had envisioned saying that stricter regulation was needed or greed would take hold, gee where have I heard that before...hmn...law school & higher ed as a whole maybe?....but whatevs shit happens.



On one level, micro-financing education in the first world is rather clever (as scholarship/fellowship competition etc. is getting mighty fierce nowadays).  On the other level, there are societal concerns I have for a system that has to rely on what is essentially a form of charity, at least as I read how this sponsor my degree site works, in order to survive.  I may delve into this emerging trend later, I honestly just don't feel like typing out a longer post on the pros and cons of this (there are many on both sides of the coin).  I wonder if there's gonna be a competition for prospective donor attention between hip college set and second world entrepreneurs...I guess it'll come down to whoever gets Angelina on their side...

Stay tuned! Stars in our eyes cause we're having a good time!

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