Student loans: Their purpose

The government is scared of being accused of making university education the preserve of an economic elite, but it’s coming close to mis-selling student loans as a result. Loans are there to ensure that no one is stopped from going to university by their financial situation. It’s the government’s duty to impress this upon students: student debt is a last resort, not a default. If your family can help with either fees now or your first mortgage later, you shouldn’t assume that the second is the better choice. ~ Carola Binney

An interesting concept. I think many see student loans not as the last option, but as the only option. If student loans are meant to be the last resort, then that means the majority of students shouldn’t need or use them. However, that’s not the case – more than 60% of the students who attend post-secondary education take out loans and 57% graduate with debt. Even more interesting is that the majority (70%) of people who struggle to pay back the loans say it’s because it’s harder to make ends meet over the past four years.

I don’t think it’s enough to lower the cost of college. We need to address this from multiple fronts: it’s going to need a cultural shift, not just a financial shift, to sooth this ailment.