Our View: Loan reform a stimulus for students

Our View

In short: Recent reforms to student loan policies will make college more affordable and make student loans less predatory.

Student loans can be a risky thing. If you don’t qualify for federal loans and Pell grants, you have to turn to banks to fill the gaps in the cost of your education.

Now, students don’t have to rely on banks as often unreliable and inefficient middlemen between them and their money. New reforms make sure that federal student loan money goes directly to students, not to banks that will pass even more costs along to students.

Opponents of the reforms are arguing that it will kill jobs by reducing the amount of money that private student loan corporations make. Fortunately, increased access to education helps improve the lives of far more people than a few bankers.

President Obama has emphasized the importance of not only the traditional four-year universities but also two-year community colleges. Obama signed the bill at Northern Virginia Community College, a sign that he wants to reach out to all students, especially those who don’t have the resources to go to schools like Alabama.

While many students at four-year universities take out a monstrous amount of loans, this new reform will help everyone who is seeking to get ahead in today’s increasingly competitive and difficult job market. Improving access to education improves the access that businesses have to the best talent around. Better-educated workers make everyone’s lives easier.

The addition of more funding for Pell grants will also increase access for people who would not normally be able to afford education, even with loans. This money is not a waste, as some claim; it’s a reinvestment into America’s future. Access to a college education, which is becoming necessary for an increasing number of jobs in our changing economy, is something that should not be limited to those with nice savings accounts or good credit. Every American should have the opportunity to achieve based on their merits, not their economic standing.

Perhaps the most relevant aspect of the bill for us as students is that loans will be forgiven after a period of time. After 20 years of paying your bills on time, any outstanding loans will be forgiven using money saved by keeping banks out of lending. That timeframe is cut in half for students who go into teaching, nursing or the military.

This added provision for students seeking jobs in public service will encourage many to follow their love instead of going after what they believe might get them the most money. Education and nursing are fields that require significant investment but don’t make as much money as other fields. Despite this, teachers and nurses are very valuable to society and this investment in them shows a dedication to helping all Americans.

Not just bankers.

Our View is the consensus of The Crimson White’s editorial board.