Student Loans TER Podcast

Last semester I had the opportunity to interview people here in the USA with regard to student loans and what they mean for them in their situations for TER Podcast. During my time here I have also had many conversations with others I regularly see due to using the local taxis here in Athens, Ohio. The insight they have provided is invaluable and I am very grateful that they have taken the time to share. After the recording was concluded for these interviews I engaged in a conversation with another person, who drives for one of the local taxi companies, and she talked about her situation regarding student loans. During this conversation she indicated that her son did not want to undertake further education, he didn’t want to end up with a loan like his mother. These personal accounts are thought provoking to say the least.

The overriding thought for me, at this time, is the importance of being informed. Our values and beliefs help determine decisions we make, but how can we make informed decisions if we do not have access to understanding what options we actually have to choose from. I have two questions floating around in my head at the moment.

  1. What will the impact be in the future if the decision about what to study comes down to a financial decision and passion and interest are no longer part of the equation?
  2. And consequently, what will happen to disciplines that are not financially justifiable but are culturally significant?

I hope you find the podcast informative.

2 Comments

  1. annadelconte says:

    Nathan’s comment – “Don’t do it. It’s a scam!” I feel sickened at the thought of these poor kids being conned into taking out these enormous inescapable loans. I feel especially sorry for those students who are not understanding the enormity of their debt and keep borrowing too much for not just their University courses but their day to day living. The teaching of financial literacy in schools is more important than ever!

    • dbatty1 says:

      Thanks for commenting Anna. Yes, the teaching of financial literacy is important. Understanding what one is accepting with regard to loans and their final impact needs to be understood. The interesting thing about money management is that it can be impacted on by personal and family values around money along with peer pressure. There are so many factors feeding into this issue. Having just listened to the interviews again I still have so many questions. What would I do if I was a 17 year old wanting to attend university, but did not have the financial means? I am not sure. It is possible I would just get the loan as I would see the need for getting a degree as the most important thing. Complicating this issue is that most first year students live on campus, well at least here in Athens (even those who live in walking and traveling distance), which again adds to the cost of education – not to mention the other pressures that require finance as a young person.

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