Let's Keep Student Loan Interest Rates Low & Higher Education Affordable

ilina ewen & sons
My sons and me at my alma mater
Help me understand why educating our youth is a political issue. Sure, education per se does not fit within a the literal realm of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” but I think it warrants an assumed position therein. When we live and work and grow in an educated society, we all stand to gain. Are we not all lifted up by an educated populace? You don’t need me to point to research and studies that support this notion.

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My husband and I have been saving for our children’s college education since before they were born. We have the benefit of having worked in the financial services sector, giving us a significant leg up in the financial planning department. We knew exactly how to calculate future needs and had some knowledge about how to invest our money. I do not take my financial literacy for granted and wish it were something taught in our schools before kids stretch their wings. My husband and I will have saved for 18 years in an effort to give our sons a good, solid education. We fully expect them to go to college. In fact, we probably take that for granted. I was raised in similar fashion and am beholden to my dad for the seed he planted and for the sacrifices he made. My husband grew up the very opposite of me; he was the first in his family to go to college and paid his own way. And in case you are wondering, yes, my father paid for me and my brother to go to college. Graduate school was on our dime.

And I will be paying off that debt until my own sons, ages eight and six, go to off to college themselves. Note that I finished graduate school in 2001. Sure, I went to a private school that cost an obscene amount of money. I had some grants and scholarships to defray the expense, for which I am thankful. And yes, it was my choice; I knew what I was getting into. I am fortunate to have locked in an extraordinarily low interest rate, making my payment schedule long but feasible. I cannot imagine facing a mountain of debt without a realistic payment plan. I’m lucky that my goals aligned with my opportunities.

Let’s support our future leaders (and parents and workers and teachers for that matter!) and keep student interest rates low. We all benefit. If rates go up, we will see a society further divided, with higher education marked for only the wealthy. Classism, couple with racism as an obvious byproduct, will divide us, making us the United States no more. For goodness sake, we don’t need anymore division of wealth, work, and power in this country.

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?

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