Friday, October 20, 2006

The Irony of Google Ads

If you are willing to accept ads as a necessary cost of paying for the internet then Google ads seem like a great idea, an excellent way of linking people's interests with possible consumer goods. That being said for some blogs such as...well...say...this one Google ads generate ironic recommendations-quite simply, a lot of loan ads on a blog with a less than favorable inclination to crushing student debt.

The ad that has been on the site during my last couple of click throughs has been the following:

"Private Student Loans $1K-$200K
Instant Decision Loan For Tuition, Rent, Etc. Pay After Grad.

There's lots to say on the topic of private (or "alternative) student lending. There have been some good articles on the subject recently and based on the calls I get from reporters it seems to be the new hot topic within student debt. Setting that aside I just wanted to pass along the quote prominently featured on's website from a university financial aid administrator:
"Education Finance Partners helps students bridge the gap so they can afford the education they are destined to have."
What does that mean? (For the record, I'm not sure the word "afford" has much place in a discussion about $200,000 of loans.) But really what does "education they are destined to have" mean? I think it means that students should pursue their "dreams of education" regardless of what it costs. That seems like bad advice to me, especially when we have a higher education system with a wide variety of quality options at different prices. When it comes to paying for college we ought to encourage students and parents to be thoughtful about the consequences of debt. This would seem to suggest the opposite, that people dismiss any consideration of cost to seek out their "destiny." I suppose there's a lot more demand for private student loans when people just focus on their destiny rather than their debt.

No comments: