Student loans interest rates will double on Monday from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent since U.S. senators headed home for a Fourth of July recess without passing a bill that would have prevented interest rates from doubling on student loans next week. “Rates will revert back to pre-2008 levels, jumping from 3.4 percent back to 6.8 percent, unless Congress takes action,” reported Red Alert Politics on Friday, June 28, 2013.
On Friday, before Congress went for a holiday recess, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor joined Republican and conservative interns and college students on the Senate side of the Capitol steps to protest the anticipated doubling of federally subsidized student loan interest rates. The protest was a last-ditch effort, as the rate hike will take effect on Monday, July 1.
But why would Congress want to take action?
While the American educational system is amazing in many ways, the reality is that it is in fact a big money business and following the trail of the money earned through outrageous student loans interest rates leads most likely from the rich to the rich.
Finger pointing between Republicans and Democrats and talking about false campaign promises by President Obama do not change the fact that student loan interest rates are for those middle or low-income families who need the money to go to college or a university.
As the past few years have shown, the gap between the higher classes, who don’t need student loans, and lower classes is getting wider and wider.
From the home mortgage crises to student loans, there appear to be no signs that Congress or anyone else is interested in diminishing this gap but rather making it wider. And what better way to do it than to increase student loan interest rates for those classes that depend on them.
Or think they depend on them.
Maybe it is time for emancipation.
Students, especially from lower or middle income families are told that the only way out is getting a degree. The reality is that many employers are more interested in an employee who has work experience than a degree. Ideally, employers prefer new and young employees with an education and work experience.
And work experience does not include work experience at McDonald’s but work experience in a field that is related to one’s future job.
And the American educational system is offering that possibility, except it is not being promoted.
Two year colleges offer a variety of certification programs that teach actual skills, unlike the often reality-removed universities where teaching and true learning has become an endangered species and professors have to deal more with politics than with teaching and teacher’s assistants take over a professor’s job. Yes, even professors have to deal with their own issues.
Why pay a university tens of thousands of dollars in tuition fees and books with a 6.8 interest loan when a more useful education can be achieved in a much shorter time with an actual learning experience for only hundreds of dollars?
Certification programs in all fields can be accomplished in as little as six months to one year. For example, colleges offer Cisco preparation programs and after taking a test, being certified in any of the computer sciences fields opens the door to a great part-time job.
The amazing thing about getting certified is that it does not take a student loan, employers love it, and the path to a university is still open, much cheaper, and much more useful.
The only problem with going to a two-year college, actually learning something, and getting work experience is the fact that it is not party time but being an adult time.
So, as student loans interest rates are doubling on Monday, maybe it might be a great opportunity for some students to reassess whether getting a loan from the government in order to pay outrageous university educational fees is really worth it.
Congress can argue and debate and eventually not come to a conclusion as long as it wants to. In reality, education should be equivalent to emancipation. But would Congress really want that?
Emancipation only comes through independence, not dependence on some false promises of getting the best education or out-of-this-world interest rates on student loans.
Just ask Bill Gates.