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PhD/PsyD New Tax Bill Issues

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by SallyStudent, Dec 16, 2017.

  1. MAClinician

    MAClinician Masters level clinician

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    Looking at the OP's posting history, I reckon the OP is getting an MSW, not a Ph.D.
     
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  3. SallyStudent

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    I pretty much stopped reading the responses when I realized that people who do not know me, my background or my intentions were going to be so excited to make assumptions and jump to conclusions. My post must have been like Christmas morning to them. In a group of fellow graduate students/mental health professionals, I suppose I thought that others might understand my plight, but I was wrong. I think I saw someone say something about being "willing to make the sacrifice" to enter a funded program. Believe me, I'd LOVE to be able to completely submerse myself in academia and graduate debt-free. That's the dream, right? It isn't an option for everyone, though. I don't even have the privilege of being able to make such a sacrifice. I recognize that if it isn't an option, maybe graduate school isn't a good choice. Maybe. Then again, nobody knows my circumstances. I'll spare you my personal story but FWIW, my plan has never been to take out six figure debt and live like a celebrity, then hand the bill to the taxpayers. By the way, I happen to be one of those taxpayers, too. My refund every semester, after tuition is paid, is $1,300 (I attend a state school). Subtract books from that amount, and I have less than $1,000 to last me 4 months. I'm not exactly living in a New York penthouse. I work, though, so my loan refunds are kept in reserve for emergencies.

    Someone mocked me for saying that I made my major life decisions/commitments (student loan choices) based on the rules at the time. Apparently they disliked the word, "rules." Insert any other word or phrase that you find suitable. Circumstances? Opportunities? State of affairs? Ways of doing things? Established programs? Isn't this how we make any decision, big or small? We assess the situation, analyze the options, weigh the pros and cons and do our best to make the right decisions, knowing that as human beings, most big decisions come with risks, but we're making the best choices we can given our situation and every bit of information we've been able to gather? How is this funny or stupid? Nit picking another's word choices and intentionally taking them out of context is a tactic that I used to argue with my parents decades ago, when I was a teenager.

    I'm possibly wrong, but according to my calculations, after 10 years of loan repayment, I believe I will probably have my loans paid off, anyway. I hope to not even need forgiveness. I saw PSLF as a safety net, and so does my husband. After learning about it from the financial aid office, it was the last bit of information that tipped the scale in my decision to return to school. The rabid dogs who jumped on me for asking a tax bill question didn't know that, though. In their minds, their use of tax dollars to fund their educations in the form of stipends and tuition waivers (which ultimately come from tuition paid with student loans by people like me and grants awarded to the university, which come from the government) is morally superior to my use of tax dollars to borrow money. The only difference is that I must pay back the taxpayer... with interest, and theirs is not only free, but their tuition waivers are tax-free. And we're both working, we just have different employers. Seems a bit ironic to me.

    Based on my skimming of the thread, I see that nobody has any answers with regard to the tax bill. By all means, though, carry on by telling me about how much more righteous your taxpayer supported, funded education is than my taxpayer funded loan, which is helping to pay for others' funded programs, like yours.
     
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  4. sb247

    sb247 Doer of things

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    I said largely...and economically speaking we were absolutely closer back then. The notion that everyone is owed a retirement, healthcare, education, food, housing, etc by their neighbors is ridiculous
     
  5. sb247

    sb247 Doer of things

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    The point of pslf is that you weren’t intending on paying it all back. If you are going to proudly not care about criticisms of the program get the details right
     
  6. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member

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    Assistantships are often tax funded in some way, true. Here’s the issue to me.

    - in the assistantship system, there are few spots at any given university, the university has to choose carefully how to allocate them.

    - because of that, the university has to be careful to make a good choice.

    - to get federal funds, a professor has to demonstrate sufficient scholarship, often, individually, to warrant it. It’s often in the context of a research grant. Or, maybe the student has to teach classes as a ta. Point being....

    - an assistantship is a job. In exchange, you get paid and tuition paid for.

    - the student taking out loans and having taxpayers pay for it is a very different scenario. Nothing regulates who does this. The schools and programs that people in the thread were referencing exist largely because of student loans, federally backed student loans. This is uncool because...

    - the faculty has no incentive to be good or compete really.

    - the students don’t need to be carefully selected. You can let in as many as you can rationalize to an accrediting body.

    - there’s often no consideration of field dynamics. Ie what are the needs of the field?

    So, in the latter situation....

    - we are subsidizing schools that are subpar and programs that may only exist to make money for said programs. This includes paying professors that otherwise would not qualify to be professors, and basically all of the employees of said university.

    - I’ll add argosy is at least partially owned by Goldman Sachs. Why do we want to funnel huge amounts of taxpayer money to Goldman Sachs?

    - the student decides for the taxpayers what the taxpayers need to pay for them to go to school and that the degree they’ve chosen is necessary.

    My point is not that it’s bad that students may be subsidized by the gov. I think we should incentivize students to choose fields that are of public benefit. That Jane high iq is subsidized to get a PhD in physics which takes 6 years and isn’t particularly high paying afterwards is necessary to get her to do that instead of coming up with faster ways to mine bitcoin.

    However, the way our student loan system currently works is that a person could go to a fully funded PhD program, max out loans to subsidize lifestyle, work ten years in a PSLF qualifying location and dump that off on the taxpayers. I know at least one person that did exactly this. Why should he be able to decide that? Why do we need to buy him a new car?

    PSLF also is geared at lawyers. That’s an interesting game.

    Maybe a solution would be that there are PSLF qualifying institutions. You get your degree at one and work in a PSLF environment, the gov pays some calculation of proportion of tuition at the time you attended and a stipend for living expenses regardless of how much you take out? That way, schools that exist 98 percent off student loans don’t get accredited for the program and students can’t be developmentally delayed or monumentally selfish and take 300k out.
     
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  7. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist
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    Anything can be ridiculous when reduced to overly simplistic terms to justify an ill conceived theory. I mean, if you don't like the country, you can always move to one of those nations with a functioning libertarian govt. Oh...wait, that's nowhere, ever.
     
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  8. Pragma

    Pragma Neuropsychologist
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    Yes there is definitely a difference between a funded program (tuition waiver and stipend paid by a grant, for instance) and a student loan. That tuition waiver and tiny stipend equate to a pretty small income relative to the amount of work that people do in those programs. I'm pretty sure I clocked 80 hours per week, and was also prohibited from working elsewhere.

    I hear you @SallyStudent on the "not living large" point. It isn't like I assume that you are taking out loans so that you can keep shopping at Whole Foods and lease your Ferrari. Tuition costs at some of these institutions have skyrocketed and that is a phenomenon that folks who went to school 20 years ago never had to deal with, even if they paid out of pocket.

    But if I had any issue with your original post, it was that you seemed to think that PSLF was a guarantee. It never was - there were always disclaimers and it was always indicated that the program could be taken away at any moment. So to think of it like "changing the rules" is a perspective that a lot of folks are not going to get behind.

    A minor point - when you said that in 10 years you would basically have your loans paid off - that would assume that you are using the standard repayment plan, in which case, it makes no sense to even sign up for PSLF in the first place. The entire point is to pay as little as possible so that you have a balance of loans to be forgiven. it is inherent in the payment structure of PSLF - you either pay the standard 10 year amount, or you pay an income-based amount. No other types of payments qualify.
     
    #107 Pragma, Dec 20, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
  9. sb247

    sb247 Doer of things

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    “But everybody does it” isn’t at all a defense of it being appropriate
     
  10. foreverbull

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    This forum attracts some extreme opinions, and anytime student loans come up, it becomes a shark feed, which I'm sure you weren't aware of beforehand.

    In person, I honestly can't think of a single psychologist colleague who both holds extreme views and patronizes others to their faces rather than simply offering reasonable advice and answering a question without a dose of judgment/assumptions on the side. My graduate training did not send folks out into the field assuming anything about peoples' experiences without context or encouraging black-and-white views about various issues, and Counseling and Clinical programs encourage a healthy dose of self-awareness around how our words can affect others. Being "direct" seems to be falsely equated with patronizing and judging in this forum sometimes (the word "stupid" comes to mind that has been used in here), and generally it happens when people feel strongly about a topic.

    Know that this isn't indicative of how things are with most psychologists; this forum is "unique," I would say, and we do not all hold extreme views in here, despite appearances.
     
  11. smalltownpsych

    Psychologist

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    Given the type of reaction that students on this board have when told that their plan for graduate education is flawed or that the FSPS schools are problematic, maybe other psychologists refrain from confronting this head on when in person. To me that is understandable. I don't personally see anything extreme in the opinions posted here and I am someone who went to a PsyD program and took on too much debt partially because I came from a "disadvantaged background". I see the "you are extreme" as a way of trying to counter the argument without needing to refute it.
     
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  12. DrDude2004

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    Argument from @WisNeuro is more like.. "Nobody does it, nobody has ever done it"
     
  13. Pragma

    Pragma Neuropsychologist
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    Probably one of the most level-headed posts in this thread.

    I work at times with students from FSPS. They always want advice and seem constantly on edge. The programs sound downright abusive to them. I feel bad for them and give of my own time as much as possible to help them navigate the terrible situation they are in.

    But whose fault is it? Who should pay? How can we prevent this in the future?

    Polarized political positions are not constructive in this discussion and I find it very sad how quickly posters here devolve into assuming things about other posters based on an opinion they have on student loans.
     
    #112 Pragma, Dec 22, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
  14. psych.meout

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    It's an argument that there are no functioning libertarian governments, because they don't actually work. Well, at least they don't work in the 20th or 21st centuries.
     
  15. psych.meout

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    This is a perfect example of tone trolling. You don't like the opinions and facts presented, so you criticize them as "extreme" and "patronizing."
     
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  17. sb247

    sb247 Doer of things

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    it's an argument that they aren't popular as the masses prefer taking money from the producers...nothing more
     
  18. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist

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    Good news: the "first in, first out" clause was removed. It probably doesn't seem important to students, but it would be devastating to anyone's retirement.
     
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  19. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist
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