Guest Column: Florida cannot be on the fence about education

By Zyana Morris

The title of this article is probably a no brainer as elections carry on in full steam. To top it off, business activity has always been one of the healthy strong points of Florida as far as economic growth is concerned. And yet, if figures and warning signs are anything to go by then this is one of the crucial things over which Florida, cannot be on the fence. There is little doubt about the economical flux that the US is in and almost every economist has presented a varied view of the reasons.

The one thing over which the majority has been in agreement has been about Florida’s need to facilitate student loans a lot better.

For example, this move by Florida in 2014 was definitely a noteworthy move.

Dunston’s lesson, though, is about scaring students into making good financial choices. Nationwide, student loans total more than $1.2 trillion. And schools now face punishment — even closure — by the federal government if the rate is too high.

You’re not going to borrow more than the amount of money you need to attend, Dunston tells the students. “You’ll be offered more. You don’t need it.”

Broward College, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., launched this class six years ago, just one effort aimed at preventing students from taking on so much debt that default on their loans. And, starting this year, the school began trying something else: barring students from borrowing more than they need.

The school stopped accepting unsubsidized loans — those are the more expensive federal loans that require students to begin making interest payments right away. (The federal government pays that interest on subsidized loans while a student is enrolled).

Broward, along with 28 other community, four-year and online colleges around the country, is trying the subsidized-loan-only approach as part of an experiment with the federal government to cut down on student debt. Subsidized loans can wait until after a student graduates for payment.

And while the federal experiment limits access only to federal unsubsidized loans, Broward has gone even farther — it has stopped accepting private loans, too.

Dunston is in charge of monitoring student loan defaults for Broward College, with a student population of more  than 60,000.

“We want to assure ourselves that they understand what the hooks are on the back end of these programs,” Dunston explains.

About 75 students were in his class on a recent day, listening as he tells them the story of a young woman concerned about how her $137,000 student debt might affect her chances of getting married.– O Conor

There are definite factors attached with student loan and it is important that Florida starts taking its student woes more seriously. Currently Florida has numerous businesses with too many jobs outsourced. A lot of said workforce can be utilized locally if the state funded universities start facilitating the students better over higher tuition fees.

Zyana Morris is a passionate health and lifestyle blogger who loves to write about prevailing trends. She is a featured author at various authoritative blogs in the health and fitness industry.

One comment

  1. Ron Baldwin · ·

    I started working part time in 1947 at age 14, well 13 and 8 months. Minimum wage was 40 cents an hour, raised in 1949 to 75 cants an hour. My mother insisted I open a saving account at a bank, and deposit half of all earnings. She was a single mom with two children doing clerical work for a large insurance company. When it came time to go to college in 1951 I enrolled in Northeastern University in Boston and had saved enough to pay my first year college costs. Northeastern was a commuter school and I lived at home. Tuition that first year was $450 and the freshman year was 30 weeks long. Imagine that. $15 a week. Northeastern was a co-op university where we went to school 25 weeks a year, worked at a co-op job 26 weeks a year, and had a whole week for vacation. My co-op job paid my colllege costs and I continued to work part- time jobs whenever I could. I married my wife in my senior year and had enough saved to pay for an MBA at Syracuse University with the help of a fellowship from SU. Along the way we had our first child (of five) and ended up with no debt and $600 in the bank.

    Today that would be impossible. Tuition is way past $30,000 a year at Northeastern In the 1950’s there were no student loans. And university Presidents were nowhere near the high six figure incomes they now enjoy.


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