How Much Should I Borrow for College cover

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Media Comments

Here's what the "The Miami Student" at Miami University (Ohio) had to say:

"The editorial board of The Miami Student supports the mission of "How Much Should I Borrow For College?" . . . The board views this book as useful to high school students, current college students and their parents.

. . . Because these salary numbers are based on government research, students are given honest facts about what they can expect from a future job. The board encourages students to look at "How Much Should I Borrow For College?" as an opportunity to learn about possible future job outcomes . . ."

--read the whole thing at:

Here's what the Wall Street Journal said:

"Steve Talbott, a journalism professor at Cleveland State University who is researching the cost of education and student-loan debt, says he urged the College Board to take down the "misleading use" of the $800,000 number a year ago. Others have voiced their objections to the College Board figure via letters and blogs."

--read the article at:

Here's what columnist Jim Gallagher wrote in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

"Steve Talbott, a former business reporter and part-time college teacher, authored a guide titled "How Much Should I Borrow for College."

The answer, he says, depends on your career choice. A monthly payment of 10 percent of income is the "comfort zone." Payments over 15 percent are the "danger zone."

If you think you'll start work earning $30,000, you can borrow up to $20,800 and stay in the comfort zone. A $50,000 salary justifies borrowing $34,700.

Of course, that assumes you'll find a job.

Talbott's e-book is a cheap, practical guide to figuring this out. It's $7.99 at"

-- read Gallagher's column at:

Steve Talbott appeared on NPR radio station 90.3 WCPN "The Sound of Ideas" with Marvin Krislov, president of Oberlin College, and Dr. Belinda Miles, executive vice president of Academic and Student Affairs of Cuyahoga Community College (at the time of the broadcast she was president of the Eastern Campus of Tri-C):

-here's the podcast link:

-and here's the video feed:

Steve Talbott was quoted in Wendy Donahue's column in the Chicago Tribune in answer to the question "Your college freshman has racked up a mound of credit card debt. Who should pay it off, and how?"

Expert advice

Excessive credit card borrowing can unhinge all the plans that students have laid to pay for their education, ultimately forcing them to leave school, said Stephen Talbott, a former financial reporter and editor for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and author of the e-book "How Much Should I Borrow for College?" So, Talbott suggests paying off the debt for the student, if you can, to save on interest costs. "But set up an arrangement with them to pay back the money over time," he said. "Actions have consequences, and students should not feel free to open your wallet at whim." This is an opportunity to help a young adult grasp a hard lesson in how "easy credit" can mess up a person's life at any point, not just during college. Until you're sure that lesson has been learned, Talbott said, "either confiscate their credit cards or insist on a limit per semester that they can spend."

--read the article at: