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With tuition fees soaring, some may argue that the United States is no longer the land of opportunity it used to be – not when it comes to higher education and not if one can’t afford it. What used to be the equal and undiscriminating gateway to the employment world has become more and more a ‘rich club’ under decision-makers’ noses over the decades.

Academic institutions have raised the bar regarding basic enrollment fees, leaving many young aspirational folks searching for ways to make ends meet, before even thinking about housing, bills, groceries, etc.

What used to be the ‘helping hand’ for students and graduates along the way are the many different student loans offered. However, it seems like today they are just not as reliable, affordable, and comfortable as they used to be.

Furthermore, future freshmen need to carefully shop around before choosing the provider that is best for them. Student loans today can, in a sense, become more of a burden on young people than something to lean on.

The gates of knowledge, slowly closing down

How has this been enabled? To truly understand, one must look back at policies regarding gatekeeping of tuition costs. Slowly but steadily, a process started in the 1970s where the fees inched further and further away from the median income throughout time. Lawmakers seemed to have overlooked, sometimes out of ideology. The end result is a situation where tuition at some institutions across the country can span as far as $0.25 million for an academic bachelor’s degree.

This issue seemed to have not raised a fuss for a few decades, due to the sustainability of the student loan programs offered – along with various forms of government and private aid. As a result, despite soaring tuition fees, everyone who was willing and able could somehow manage to raise a sufficient sum for them. Equality was far from reachable, but the opportunity was there for the seizers. Lately, though, funds, subsidiaries, and scholarships are dwindling – leaving student loans the only viable solution.

How student loans became the problem, not the solution

In order to fully grasp the problem, one must understand how student loans have become anything but the stepping stone they used to be. Supposedly, a national program that enables the underprivileged to loan money and return it with a long-term plan and with minimal or no interest rates is ideal as a solution to the situation. The problem is that, with time, rules and regulations are becoming more flex – sadly, allowing some unwanted players to enter the game.

All of that has resulted in a need for future students to carefully find and compare the best student loan companies. It is especially important to beware of dishonest providers as well since that has sadly become a part of this market. A lot of young people around the country, unaware of this situation, find themselves successfully enrolled in an academic institution – but facing debt and not knowing how to handle themselves financially. That way, even those fortunate enough to be able to enter the gates of knowledge do not know how they are going to make ends meet once they exit those gates.

What the future holds for the academic world

It is clear at this stage that without intervention, whether by government or through financial inspection of student loan providers, things are only going to get worse. Until that happens, a word to the wise: anyone considering funding their way through college or university with a loan should do some extensive research on the different terms offered by different bodies.

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