3 Inspiring Ted Talks for Student Loan Borrowers


Ted Talks are amazing. They cover everything from history to philosophy to religion to science to finance, making it so incredibly easy to wrap your head around complicated topics and ideas in a relatively short amount of time. Is it any wonder that there are Ted Talks specifically focused on student loans?

It really shouldn’t be.

If you’re interested in learning more about the student loan crisis and the system that helped to create it, then these 3 videos are a great place to start.

1. How College Loans Exploit Students for Profit

Presenter: Sajay Samuel

Length: 11 minutes, 48 seconds

This video is great because it puts the student loan crisis into a perspective that everyone can understand. College used to be seen as a public good, and as such tuition costs were kept low. Now, a college degree is seen as a consumer product, and as a results costs have exploded, burdening today’s graduates with more than $1.4 trillion in student loan debt. To put things back in order, Samuel has an interesting idea: Link tuition costs to a degree’s expected earnings, so that students can make informed decisions about their future and their ability to make a living.

2. An Ultra Low-Cost College Degree

Presenter: Shai Reshef

Length: 10 minutes, 48 seconds

Shai Reshef is the founder of the University of People, and online degree program where students can earn a number of degrees without paying standard tuition costs. By limiting costs to simply paying for processing fees and exams, students can earn real-life, accredited college degrees more cheaply than if they attended any other online or in-person course, meaning that you can graduate free from college loans. The video explores the principles that Reshef had in mind when founding the school. Available degrees include:

  • Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and MBA in Business Administration
  • Associate’s and Bachelor’s in Computer Science
  • Associate’s and Bachelor’s in Health Science

3. The Battle Between Your Present and Future Self

Presenter: Daniel Goldstein

Length: 15 minutes, 59 seconds

Okay, so this one doesn’t directly relate to the topic of student loans or college. But out of all the videos listed here, this one might well be the most valuable for you to watch. In it, Goldstein introduces the concept of the two selves that dwell within each person: The Present Self, in control of the now, and the Future Self, who exists in all moments outside of the present. The battle between the present and the future holds sway over all aspects of your life: From health to happiness to romance to, of course, finances (and student loans). Watch the Ted Talk below and you’ll come away with a new way of viewing your fight against student loans.

The Bottom Line

So what do you think about these Ted Talks? The first one, by Sajay Samuel, offers a great analysis of just how we got in the student debt crisis that we are in today; the second by Shai Reshef offers some hope about how we can change the future of earning a college education; and the third by Daniel Goldstein offers a glimpse at why it is so difficult to prioritize long-term happiness (in the form of a debt-free life) by sacrificing short-term discomfort (in the form of less money now).

I personally loved the last Ted Talk the best, and found it inspiring. What about you? Are you ready to cut your expenses, get serious about student loan repayment, and start working now for a much happier and healthier future self?


About Tim Stobierski

Tim Stobierski is the founding editor of Student Debt Warriors. A freelance writer and editor with a passion for teaching people about all things personal finance, his goal is to help parents and students tackle their student loan problems so that they can live happier, healthier lives. Tim's writing has appeared in a number of publications, including The Huffington Post, The Hartford Courant, Grow Magazine, and others. His first book of poetry, "Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer," was published in 2012 by River Otter Press.

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