NYU Students Protested Their Loan Debt Load the Wrong Way

NYU Students Protested Their Loan Debt Load the Wrong Way
NYU Students Protested Their Loan Debt Load the Wrong Way

Students at New York University graduate with an average of $33,487 in debt, according to U.S. News & World Report, putting it among the schools with the highest debt load per graduate in the country.

But a group of NYU students is determined to do something about it.

No, I don't mean that they're going to actually do something about it -- like transferring to schools they can actually afford. Instead, they're holding a "Casualties of Debt" demonstration -- complete with its own Facebook group boasting 293 attendees.

The Huffington Post reports that "The demonstration, which was hosted by MTV's Andrew Jenks and NYU Local editor-in-chief Charlie Eisenhood, was designed to raise awareness for the debt crisis at NYU ... After a number of people had gathered, Jenks instructed students to write the amount of debt they will have accrued once they leave NYU on white T-shirts with red dollar signs distributed by volunteers and stand still for a moment."

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No word yet on how the white T-shirts were paid for.

But here's the thing: Protesting the amount of money you decided to borrow in order to go to NYU is sort of like moving to New England in the middle of January and then holding signs protesting the cold temperatures and abundant snow.

NYU students have a legitimate concern -- the amount of money that they're borrowing is insane -- and the way that they should handle it is to vote with their feet. Transfer to another school. Deprive NYU of its source of revenue and save yourself in the process. But voluntarily borrowing huge amounts of money to give it to a school while simultaneously shaking your fist at it doesn't help anyone.

There's a more subtle reason students ought to steer clear of NYU that goes beyond the practical impact of the huge debt burden: Any college whose financial aid office instructs students on how to borrow nearly $100,000 to pay for a bachelor's degree couldn't possibly care about the well-being of its students. To me, that makes NYU an institution worth avoiding.

Zac Bissonnette'
sDebt-Free U: How I Paid For An Outstanding College Education Without Loans, Scholarships, Or Mooching Off My Parentswas called the "best and most troubling book ever about the college admissions process" by The Washington Post.