In a move that the mainstream media headlines are hailing as lowering student loan rates and ending the “student loan saga,” President Obama signed into law the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013.
Even those who have a casual relationship with math and higher education can tell that this bill neither lowers the interest rate on subsidized Stafford Loans nor ends the saga of student loans as college costs continue to price those who need it most out of education.
American Dream under attack
Education is the only way that people will be able to improve their lot in life. America is supposed to be a place where people can come and move up the socioeconomic ladder. Without an education, that dream dies.
The increasing costs of tuition, textbooks, and fees are far out of alignment with the increase in every day cists of fuel, food and rent. These increases are regulated by the Utah Board of Regents and the Utah State Legislature. As long as the Legislature refuses to fully fund educational needs, the Board of Regents will raise tuition, and it will allow the colleges to raise tuition.
Every year, the Board of Regents approve tuition increases –so that by now, it is as certain as death and taxes.
Instead of making the economy stronger through inventions and innovations, America will suffer the indignation of falling further behind in education, and people will be forced to work 75 hours a week at two different jobs to make ends meet, as McDonald’s recently pointed out on a budget website for its employees.
While the math is as fuzzy as a Wall Street investor’s logic, this act does not truly lower the student loan rate. As late as June 30, students could have borrowed money for 3.4 percent. The rate for subsidized Stafford Loans is now at 3.9 percent. In between, the rate doubled temporarily to 6.8 percent – a number that could not stand even in the face of bipartisan pissing matches.
However, the actual effect of the act is to increase student loan interest rates over the next decade to as high as 8.25 percent for graduates. In essence college students will be getting the shaft for as long as the interest rate is tied to the 10-year Treasury note.
Future Wage Slave
Unless students take a stand now and in 2014, they can expect to become the wage slaves of the future. People who are in debt do not have a choice about the jobs they take, the food they eat or the places they live. They are only able to accept what is given to them and hope that the person dishing out the food will honor a request for more.
Take control of your future and the future for your children. As long as you are silent on the issue of tuition increases, government will be happy to use your future wages and the money that you pay back in interest to pay down a deficit that you had no hand in accumulating.
Remain silent, and I will look forward to working with you on the line at McDonald’s. I need more fries, please!
Shad is an avid defender of math and language use. He also knows that as long as people are silent, they will have to hope that someone else saves them. There is no Superman. There are only those who are passionate who make a difference.