Friday, December 23, 2011

Follow up to "Charts by LTSP’s poster boy for student debt"

I just received a very important follow-up question about my seminary debt.
The question was: “How much of that debt was incurred because of seminary? How much from college? And how much from other graduate courses of study?”
While I have 80,000 dollars worth of student debt only 66,125 was incurred by my time at LTSP earning a Master of Divinity. The remaining 13,875 was incurred at the University of Cambridge while earning a Master of Philosophy in Divinity.
My degree at the foremost English speaking university in the world (take that Oxford) cost me 13,875 dollars a year. This is all inclusive, food, lodging, etc.
In contrast, LTSP cost 22,041 all inclusively (not counting an extra 6,000 dollar non-governmental loan that got me through the last semester which I did not included in any of my calculations because I am currently not in the process of paying it back).
Note well, at Cambridge I was an out of country student, paying in dollars at a time when our currency was worth very little against the pound, and it still cost over 8,000 dollars less a year than did my seminary education.
But back to addressing the question/statement about my previous post. “How much of that debt was incurred because of seminary?" After all as the reader who asked this question pointed out, “If we're going to take a good hard look at what the church asks of us and expects of us in terms of our education, it's helpful to know how much debt comes from each part of the picture.”
So, to answer the question, what percentage of my pie chart A is from seminary debt? 41%. Likewise, in pie chart B 31.5% of what I earned this last pay period went to paying off my seminary debt.
It is worth pointing out Seminary generally doesn’t let people in without a Bachelor’s degree, so undergraduate debt could be included in the educational costs of becoming an ELCA pastor.

1 comment:

Molly said...

Chris, thank you for your blog post. As the financial aid person at another Lutheran Seminary, I am constantly aware of the debt loads that students are undertaking to answer their call. I love that 1) you are realistic about your debt load 2) realistic and timely about repaying it and 3) open about where you are in your life at this time. I hope that others can find your take on student debt (a burden, but not crippling) and find solice in the fact that others out there are surviving!