Why Doubling Student Loan Interest Rates Is a Good Idea

graduateBack in the days before children, my husband and I squabbled occasionally on whether or not we should help our kids pay for college. I thought it tremendously important that we do so, him not so much. It’s one of those bridges we agreed to cross when we came to it.

Then we had a kid, looked at our schooling options, and decided to enroll her in private school, despite the economic toll it takes on our family. It’s a sacrifice we’re willing to make for our children, and they’re getting a better education than they would at the local public school.

Side note: The public school would spend more money on our kids than the private school they attend does. This is why I strongly support a voucher system, because choice and competition increases quality of education, not massive sums of money thrown at it.

Anyway. Because we’ve decided to enroll our kids in schools that will actually teach them, rather than give them participation trophies and spend money fighting social issues in the legislature, the importance of paying for their college educations has dwindled considerably for me. In fact, given the state of universities these days, the importance of even going to college at all is highly questionable.

College grads aren’t getting jobs, and at least 85% of them are moving back home with mom and dad. I love my parents a lot, but I would rather share an apartment with three other girls and work flipping burgers or cleaning houses than move back home with my parents after graduation, but to each their own.

Given the fact that college graduates aren’t exactly finding easy employment combined with the precarious student loan business bubble, I can’t really see encouraging kids to go into debt for education unless they want to go into a field that requires it, like medicine or law. Seriously … what’s the point?

There’s been a lot of talk in the news recently about the doubling of federal student loan rates, which completely ignores the real problem: The outlandish cost of higher education these days.

Sarah Lacy over at TechCrunch has an interesting write-up on an interview with PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, who boldly states, “No one pays a quarter of a million dollars just to read Chaucer,” while talking about the outrageous price tag on a Harvard education.

Mr. Thiel is challenging the notion that college is necessary for anyone that wants to be successful by sponsoring the 20 Under 20 Thiel Fellowship, a program that has granted $100,000 to 20 people under 20 years old to drop out of school and spend two years starting their own business. So far, results have been quite impressive.

The fact of the matter is that not everyone needs to or even should attend college. It’s not the shoo-in to a job it once was, so young people should weigh the cost-benefit analysis very carefully before deciding whether or not to enroll in post-high school studies. 

Federal loan rates doubling might make that decision easier for many young people, and I salute those that say, “No thank you,” to a horrendously expensive education just because they think that’s what they need to do. I’d encourage any and all young people to use wisdom, discernment, and practicality when trying to figure out their calling in life

Then again, public schools aren’t really big on teaching wisdom, discernment, and practicality these days. They’re having a hard time just teaching kids to read and do basic math.


This post is part of a weekly conversation with our Moms Matter 2012 political bloggers. To see the original question and what the other writers have to say, read What Do You Think About the Student Loan Interest Rate?


Image via Schlusselbein2007/Flickr

economy, education, in the news, politics


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nicko... nickolleen

Your ignorance is astounding. Getting a college degree is much more about becoming a well rounded critical thinker than gaining skills to make you competitive in the workplace. You clearly do not value independent thought, as your examples show a lack of understanding of the development of the mind. Great idea, make education harder to come by so we can raise a nation of idiots who believe everything they hear on Fox News. Brilliant.

nonmember avatar Sooooo

Sooo you're essentially saying its a good idea to price the poor kids out of higher education? You have no sense of reality.

bills... billsfan1104

I love how the liberals commentators can only "roll their eyes", because they do not have one single intelligent thing to say. I love the liberal commentators who call Jenny names, and trash her, because again, they cannot think of a single argument or point out where they think she is wrong. 

bills... billsfan1104

nickollen, I would suggest you reread what Jenny said.  She is advising for college bound kids to weigh ALL their options.  What is wrong with that??

nonmember avatar Lacy

You are SO clearly not a college student. I have no CHOICE but to take out loans if I want to get ANY kind of degree at all. Keep it to yourself, it doesn't affect you so you really have no right to talk about what is best for me and my peers.

nicko... nickolleen

She's saying to weigh your options because college is not necessarily a shoo-in for a job as it once was. She clearly views education as a path to a job, and doesn't understand the purpose of education, to broaden the mind. Is college for everyone? Absolutely not! But why make it more difficult for people who value education to enrich their minds? And if she is so concerned about public schools not being able to teach reading and basic math, why is she proposing making it harder to get an affordable education? Don't teachers need to be educated? Why would talented, intelligent people become teachers if their student loans have high interest rates and their salaries will be well below the private sector?

nonmember avatar Guest

Everytime I read one of these articles by Jenny ( just for a laugh of course) I see the same ridiculous conservative commenters ( looking at you billsfan). It's like they all have meetings to decide the next ignorant, small-minded, and ridiculous opinions they should have next. That's okay though, as much as it infuriates me to see that people really do have these horrible opinions, it just motivates me to vote for Obama more. Keep on going Jenny and conservative commentators, with your help Obama is going to definetly win the election.

Flori... Floridamom96

The 1%'s "fair share" is to take care of their own. That's everyone's "fair share". It is in no way "fair" to demand that others pay for your wants or needs. That's your "fair share".

Flori... Floridamom96

Wow, nikollen. You're vapidness is breathtaking! If that's what you think the purpose of a college education is then you can damn well pay your own way. And, Lacy, as long as people are demanding a "free" (meaning paid for by other people) education then everyone has a right to an opinion about "what's right for you and your peers". Billsfan is right. Not one single I telligent debate point has been raised by a left leaning poster. It's all been whining, moaning complaints or simply calling conservatives names and telling them to shut up. It's getting depressing that so few here seem capable of debate.

nicko... nickolleen

Vapidness??! How am I being vapid?! I'm floored at people saying posters who disagree with Jenny make no valid points. Are you not reading their posts? If I had the time or inclination, I'd go through each point made and list them here. But that would be a colossal waste of time as it would do no good. Close minded people don't want to see the other side of issues and clearly aren't capable of healthy debate. And as for being categorized as a left-leaning poster, I will support a left or right argument after carefully considering both sides of the issue. I don't jump to one side lightly, my "overpriced" education taught me to be an independent thinker. And don't worry Florida, I did pay for my undergraduate and Master's degrees all by myself!

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