A Reflection on Student Loans

After I graduated in 2003 I was on auto-pilot. I was not ready for prime time after I got my degree from UC Riverside. I applied for graduate school but the people who were supposed to sign my letters of recommendation never bothered to and they never had the fortitude to tell me they were not going to sign them. Maybe it was a good thing that I did not go to graduate school then.

It took me five years to realize I should enter the teaching field, but the economy crashed and it took me another two years afterwards for me to start on my subject tests so I could enter a credentialing program. When I passed my second out of third subject test I was thinking I should start the program now.

I realized that Cal Poly Pomona needed extra requirements such as prior involvement in education like how the plumbers union asks only asks friends and family members of plumbers in order to get in. So I investigated Western Governor’s University. It sounded great that I could do most of my coursework at home at my own schedule mostly, but they had some prerequisites before I was able to start the process. So I got delayed for a good year and a half in trying to meet the prerequisites that I finally met.

Now the cost of college is going up thanks to congress and President Obama. I put both sides at fault because President Obama blew the piggy bank and Paul Ryan is too austere for his own good. I do recognize that it costs six billion to fund the subsidy, but if progress can not be made we can meet each other halfway at 5.1 percent.

I am expected to borrow $10,000 and with the unsubsidized rate it is going to be a regressive 56 bucks in interest each month. Perhaps I am spoiled by my fixed 2.875 percent rate from my degree I am still paying for, but if tax cuts for the wealthy do not need to be paid for how come student loan subsidies have to be paid for? At least with my low yet reasonable rate I am still able to pay down that loan abet slowly.

I understand we want people to follow their dreams, but dead end degrees cost both the taxpayer and the student big time. Not all degrees are dead end degrees, but if the student is not going to do much with the degree then we are going to cause more problems in the long run. One of my Facebook friends is a big advocate of the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics fields where if you enter in a field that has ties to these sectors you will do very well. History or Sociology may not give people the big pay, but I would not be as selective when people choose bachelor degrees in various humanities fields.

When we have limited resources we have to make sure we can give people the maximum opportunities for the least possible price. I would like to see better counseling services so we can maximize the opportunities for both the students and the taxpayer. We need to ask students the big question, what profession or what job opportunities do you expect if you obtain this degree? It may be nice to have a barista at Starbucks that you can chat about Election 2012 with, but that is a waste of potential.

I would like to see the student loan system restructured to state, the more you borrow the higher the interest. Borrow from 0 to 15k in a year you would get a 3.4 percent rate, anything from 15001 to 30k would be like 4 percent, anything 30001 to 50k would be 5 percent, and 50001 and above would be 6 percent. So if you borrow 16500, the first 15 thousand would be at 3.4 percent and the last 1500 would be at 4 percent. The more you borrow, the more you would need to pay.

And since we can not escape these loans with bankruptcy, we should make these loans easier to pay off. We do not want to cripple people to where they end up causing more trouble than they are worth. And we give banks lower rates than students, what a crime.

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