It should be a little easier. Just a little easier.
– Matt Kelley (played by John Connolly in The West Wing)
At the other side of this whole grad school experience, I’ll have a substantial pile of student loans awaiting me. Sometimes, late at night, as I drift off to sleep, I hear what I imagine to be scribbling in the ledger of my account.
This isn’t one of those posts where someone who made an informed decision complains about that same decision and vilifies some “other” in the face of having to deal with the consequences of that choice.
It is a post to say, it should be a little bit easier for anyone entering public service attending any school.
From state schools to private, on the other side of the diploma, the jobs we want those who have been trained up public service taking are not the jobs that will ensure a timely repayment of their loans or the development of disposable income that can be used to drive a more diverse sampling of the economy.
In the end, that’s what we want them to do.
Eight days ago, the financial aid office sent me sent out an e-mail blast for those student who will be taking on student loads for the next academic cycle regarding the passage of the Budget Control Act of 2011. Two provisions of the law were flagged as being of particular interest:
Elimination of the subsidy on Direct loans made to graduate students
Direct loans to graduate students beginning with the 2012-13 academic year will no longer be subsidized. While the total amount that students can borrow will remain $20,500 per year, the full amount will be unsubsidized, meaning interest will accrue from the time the loan disburses.
Elimination of the upfront fee rebate on Direct Unsubsidized and Grad PLUS loans beginning with the 2012-13 academic year
Loans borrowed prior to 2012-13 had an origination fee of 1% for Direct loans and 4% for Grad PLUS loans. However, .5% of the Direct fee and 1.5% of the Grad PLUS fee were suspended and were waived if a borrower made their first 12 monthly payments on time. Beginning with loans for the 2012-13 academic year, these upfront rebates have been eliminated.
I’m not in favor of lump-sum forgiveness of student loan debt. This post from the Freakanomics Blog explains why better than I ever could.
I am in favor of making it a little easier. It should be easier to attract folks to public service, to keep them there, and to help them live the kind of life suitable to someone who dedicates their time to serving others and the society.
Yesterday, President Obama announced a plan to help relieve student loan debt. It is a step in the right direction – a small step. We’ve a bit more of a walk ahead of us.
If you haven’t already and you’re heading to college or sending someone to college, pick up Anya’s Generation Debt.