Student Debts are About to Get Deeper

Our economy is crumbling, and things just got worse for Bachelors degree-hopefuls, especially those in Massachusetts. Last year, the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority secured over $500 million in educational loans. This year, they’ve announced that they will not be offering loans for the upcoming academic year.
None. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. They didn’t cut their $500 million budget to, say, $250 million. They exed the loans altogether.
MEFA secures loans for 40,000 students who live in Massachusetts, or who attend school there. Unfortunately, this year, the financing authority could not secure the money. Executive director Tom Graff blames “disruptions in capital markets.” So, just like that, 40,000 students are sh*t out of luck.
MEFA is the first to make headlines, but any financing authority could also be treading on thin ice. Which means that students across the country could be forced to drop out of college, or sell their souls to finance a degree that can cost upwards of FORTY GRAND per year at top-notch schools like Carnegie Mellon, Tufts, NYU, and Notre Dame.
When I was in college, I played my cards right, and managed to get through my degree with almost no debt, and decided to pursue a Master’s, rather than join the work force right away. With our declining economy, I am currently paying dearly for that decision. Sure, I have a MA, but with hundreds of thousands of workers being laid off across the country, I don’t have the experience to compete. I’ve been applying for job after job, to no avail. Even the number of job openings in dwindling, because companies are being forced to cut corners left and right.
So, MEFA has set up a hotline for students to call, but I’m not sure how much good that can do. It’s a scary time to be a college student in America. Bernie Pekala, director of student financial strategies at Boston College, spoke out about the current MEFA crisis: “[Students and families] have less obvious choices right now. They’re going to have to look at circumstances and try to come up with alternative financing options if they have utilized this as their main option or only option in the past.”
Many students are going to have to put their education on hold. Many others will complete their plans of study, and come out with a deep debt and fewer job opportunities available. I’d like to know if anyone out there is being effected by crises such as lack of financial aid, student loans, or the job market. Of course, there will be a lot of changes for the country soon (e.g. the upcoming election). Hopefully, things will take a turn for the better…asap.

Sadness: Bernie Mac Dead at 50
Sadness: Bernie Mac Dead at 50
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