Student loans harder to come by

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by Ted Modrich | July 10, 2009 • As the summer months fly off the calendar, more college students begin applying for their yearly student loans, and much like the warnings issued last winter stated, they’re becoming harder to obtain, thanks to the recession and ensuing credit crunch.

Hindsight is the official blog of Minnesota 2020. Hindsight gives the run down on the news that jumps out at us on the issues that matter. Often times these stories show us how much further we need to go to have the progressive policy realized in Minnesota.

Federal student loans, with their locked-in interest rates are excellent for students, but often not enough. Students and parents then turn to student loans from private banks, with higher, variable interest rates. Now that available credit has diminished, many students and their cosigners are denied loans, and if they’re accepted, their interest rates are even higher than usual. Compounding the problem, the average price of tuition continues to increase. Federal stimulus funding has limited the increase in Minnesota this year, but Governor Pawlenty’s unilateral budget cuts and our continuing budget problems will only result in more frequent and larger increases. More and more young people are forced to delay their dreams, or attend cheaper, less prestigious schools.

Students are not asking for college to be free of charge, they’re just hoping to not leave school in debt up to their eyeballs. If we want the best and the brightest to lead our state and nation, and continue to innovate and move us forward, we need to make quality education more affordable and accessible. High-quality, affordable education should be a right for all, not a luxury for the privileged few.

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