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College Talk Blog

How Students Can Get Even with Congress

It has not escaped student and parent consciousness that Congress is paying more attention to internal political battles than the people who elect them. Last week those we elected chose not to act to prevent the doubling of student loan interest rates for undergraduate students at a cost of an additional $4,000 or more in student loan interest per student.  This is troubling on three fronts.
  • The first is the impact of doubled interest rates on the ability of students to repay their loans and move on with their lives, buy homes and have children of their own.
  • The second is the depletion of parent home equity and retirement accounts as they help them... and
  • the third is the general lack of proactive action for our country in terms of producing large numbers of well-educated citizens to move research, commerce and technology in our country forward.
Students and their families can get even by realizing that it is not business as usual in the financing of their futures. To do well in spite of Congress (and vote accordingly) is the best revenge. They can get even with Congress by paying attention to which legislators have been helpful to them and voting the others out of office.
Students and their families can take steps to purchase a quality higher education that does not come at the expense of their financial well-being by:
  • being true consumers and choosing quality colleges at the best prices
  • aggressively seeking not only low prices at colleges but scholarship offers
  • systematically applying for college scholarships before senior year of high school and continuing that practice through college
  • looking for great summer jobs and paid internships over the summer
  • borrowing as little as possible and paying the interest while the student is in college
  • taking full advantage of college job placement services while in college 
  • paying at least $100 per month extra when the student goes into repayment
These steps will help families have lower student loan debt levels so that students can move forward. When students who have graduated begin to marry and start a family, they can rid themselves of the necessity to participate in government student loan programs by purchasing prepaid college plans for the next generation in their families freeing themselves forever from the whims of Congress when it comes to student loans.

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