ONTD Political

Darren/People Photoshoot
ennifer_jay 25th-Dec-2012 10:30 am (UTC)
So many feelings regarding the intersection of class and higher education, but everyone here articulated them much better than I.

Cool story time:
I got a lot of grants in undergrad because of my independent status, but I still walked away from a public university $30k in debt after 5 years. I feel like - no, I definitely know - I took out more loans than I needed, but I didn't have anyone explain it to me that I didn't need to take all of the loan money being offered to me (first generation college student, poor as fuq, no parents, etc.). I didn't figure that out on my own until my junior year, I think? They started giving me whatever the loan is where they charge you interest while you're in school (rather than freezing it until after you graduate) and I was like "da fuck is this?" I called them and they said "oh you can pay it now, or let it add to your current loan (which would cause interest on top of interest), but you can also return it~~," so I returned it.

I firmly believe the loan companies take advantage of clueless students, or students who are too worried about schoolwork (I remember they sent the letter regarding my interest money being due about mid semester) this way.

But I still didn't know how to decline certain amounts of loans, or how much I would even need really (I lived on campus all 4.5 years, and my last semester I lived at home since I was student teaching). Plus the last few semesters they would cut the refund check before the semester even started, so you couldn't determine how much you needed to return because they were already putting it into your pocket. Like kitschaster said: Nothing more than a money-making scheme, frankly.

It was - and still is - extremely confusing. I feel like I could be $10k less in debt if I had known how to decline some of the extra loan money that I didn't need.

I just finished my first semester of grad school and I'm still clueless as to how the whole loan system works. All of them are grad school loans from the government, again. I'm pretty sure I don't need the amount of money they're offering me, so I think I'm going to give some of it back this semester (if I can figure out how?). But to be honest, I have a lot of anxiety so having one less thing to worry about (money) just lessens my overall anxiety and lets me focus on other things (like schoolwork).

And honestly, my opinion about it now is: what's another drop in the bucket at this point? And I've seen this attitude with a lot of my generation as well. I feel like older generations (like my grandmother, or even our parents) freak out about being in (school) debt, because that wasn't a ~thing when they were our age, but to our generation, it's almost a rite of passage.

I feel like this is very all over the place and disjointed, so I apologize. I just have a lot of thoughts about the American higher education system combined with a lack of education regarding it, so.
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