|photo credit: Bryan Thomas for The Chronicle|
To help prevent these kinds of problems for coming generations, I think it is important for graduate students to think about loans for graduate school differently. I suggest that you must think about school loans in the same way one might think about a loan if starting a business. You have to be strategic, careful, committed, devoted, and ambitious. Like a young entrepreneur, you have to eat, sleep, and breathe your "business," and figure out ways to make a profit with the start-up money you were given. The government is not a cash machine.
On the other hand, student loans have reasonable interest rates compared to other kinds of loans, so it may be a good calculated risk. But you must think of it as a risk, and you must plan plan plan, like a business, on how you will make good on that loan. This is especially true for grad students in the humanities, where there is no set professional track (contrasted with professional schools like law and med schools), and less and less opportunities to succeed in the traditional tenure track academic career path. Maybe in these days, when education doesn't seem to be helping graduate students to get jobs or make more money, the government should make you formulate some kind of "business plan" before you are approved for a student loan -- any thoughts on this?
Check out the article here, and let me know what you think about these issues!
HAPPY FRIDAY! (Sorry for the doom and gloom.)