Starting next fall, Tidewater Community College in Virginia will require its students to go beyond the normal requirements for obtaining federal loans.
Federal loans will be based upon a realistic view of the students’ financial status before and after college. The amount of money a student has and will make post-graduation will determine the amount of money they are loaned.
Students will also have to complete personal budget worksheets and a loan repayment plan detailing how they plan to make their monthly payments considering their budget.
I feel as if these requirements will have more cons than pros if it were adopted into universities across the nation.
On the positive side, this will indeed show students what their finances may actually be like. Let’s face it. Every student who comes to college is not going to major in a career field that makes enough money to support themselves sufficiently and paying the government back is definitely out of reach.
Some students get these huge amounts of loans and really have no idea if they are going to be able to pay them back. That’s why I feel this system will help students understand how much they really need vs. how much they want. It allows them to see how easily they can create more debt than they are capable of paying off.
The bad part about this plan is the fact that it is virtually unpredictable. No one truly knows how much money a loan may consist of so no one can assume they will have the perfect plan to pay it back.
Every year, each career field seems to increase the amount of requirements needed to work. This means that more money must be invested into teaching the students. You cannot make a payment plan for a job that is not guaranteed, and for loans that have no set price on them in the first place.
You have no idea what will transpire while you are in college and you have no idea what career field you will be in when you graduate; students tend to change their mind frequently in college.
The traditional way of receiving loans, while it may not be the best, is definitely better than Tidewater’s plan. Everyone is not going to have a payment plan simply because that is more of a future worry.
It is best to find out if a student even makes it out of college before they begin to worry about the loans they owe. Following the logic of Tidewater, based upon the number of students who drop out or flunk out, loans would probably be unavailable all together.