Bankrupt students require immediate attention

What does it mean to be a citizen in the 21st century? The complex decisions facing every contributing member of society, from voting to raising kids demands reading literature unheard of in the past. Such is our responsibility.

As a consequence, higher education has become readily available as a responsibility for all citizens. No longer is the university life the privilege of the bourgeois, but a good available for all to purchase.

The shift in education’s purpose has not been without uncomfortable baggage. Accompanying the increasing student populations, rising tuition has made college into a multi-million dollar industry. The only issue with rising costs is picking up the tab.

In such a situation, there are generally two sources of funding: government and private citizens. Because college is beneficial to the poor as well as the rich, the lower classes have to seek private lenders to pay for schooling. While there are varying degrees to which the government and private lenders cantilever, today’s situation is more dire than ever.

A recent article in The New York Times describes case after case of college students who, have to pay for school with private lenders, have been led into fiscal no man’s land because of it. The article recaps some of the impossible financial situations of college students that would rival any television loan consolidation commercial. Yet these college students are only in their 20s.

We believe that such a state of affairs is ridiculous. What 10 years ago would have lead a scholar into a higher paying job, has become little more than a gateway into inescapable poverty.

The treasure of an educated citizenry can benefit everyone, but currently the price for that treasure is exceeding what consumers can pay. It is unacceptable that the search for education would lead those who do not know better into economic despair.

If it is the fault of universities and the financial aid department, we support a drastic increase in the funds going to researching this matter. Already, there has been increasing news coverage and government investigation into universities’ participation in scandals involving lenders and their students’ loans.

Investigations such as this, as well as enhanced media coverage can get these issues out to the student more quickly. Hopefully, when the news breaks about these scandals, students can learn from the mistakes of their peers, and be a bit more savvy the next time they’re asked to fill out a loan application.