As I sit back in my favorite chair, with my laptop resting on one arm and a cool glass of lemonade with ice cubes on the other, I decided to reflect on this semester and what I have learned, and how far I have progressed throughout my college experience. Perhaps what triggered all this reflection was a quote in my student day planner, a free scheduler that the student union gave out last year to help us get though the weeks of hard base studying and testing. This day-planner is a bi-product of all the cut backs that are in part, thanks to all three levels of government, particularly the British Columbian neo-liberal government and the sudden drop in attendance over the last year.
__”When considering private and public sources of borrowing, the average student debt upon completion of a four-year bachelor degree is $32, 200.00″__
I guess I’m the “ideal type” of student considered by the government because I can afford to pay my way though college and university without the use of loans and bank debt that are all to common now. The sudden hike in tuition fees had not stopped me from enjoying my post secondary education. A matter of fact, now that I think about it, it has greatly enhanced my experience because there is less competition from students who now cannot afford the price and are no longer in the student body. A sad way of thinking about it? You see, I have paid as I go. I never borrowed and I only paid for what I could take per semester. So far, I have completed my second year and I’m completing the first leg of my third year and my cost as of now: including the up coming term, is $9, 000.00. Substantially far less than what a student loan would of cost had I borrowed! I have no debt.
Perhaps there is a lesson here? May be several, now that I’m thinking about it? You see, on one hand, I had to start a carrier before I could undertake such a venture in college. This means that I had to marry my job, and then proceeded on with college while working; leaving out the family and children part for later: possibly never? On the other hand, we have students, or people who are in lower class economic status, who are brilliant and would, if given the opportunity, the college education would most certainly take them out of that class and moved them in to a more successful lifestyle. However, their chances of survival now are now very minimal because they would be the one’s who will carry the student debt. With Chartered Banks now in control of issuing the student loans, a new phrase has emerged in the neo-liberal lexicon: family-credit. This means that credit is not just a primary benefactor to the student, but the credit evaluation of the family, strictly asset based and co-signed.
My estimated investment into my post secondary education will be approximately $20,000.00 without interest and credit checks. My friend will have accumulated over $55, 000.00 of debt, from compound interest, bank fees and service charges, well over a 12 year period.
I guess the appeal here is to parents who wish their children the golden opportunity to give them the chance to partake in post secondary education by setting aside money for trust funds and saving accounts so that the financial burden will not be so bad as they embark into that world of privilege and enlightenment. So come on people, get your kids into college–not factories. My rant is done 😉