Student Loan Crisis is now upon us and we need some reasonable solutions. Furthermore, we need them to be implemented immediately. This problem is a two headed monster – rising student loan debt and escalating college costs. Did you know that the average student loan debt is $27,000 per student according to Forbes. These issues are compounded by shortfalls in the education budgets at the state-level across the nation. Let’s first address an easy solution to the budget shortfalls before addressing the student loan crisis.
Universities are for the most part giant-educational bureaucracies. They, bureaucracies, are like a cancer, they must grow to survive. Moreover, the only way to stop the cancer is to cut out the malignancy. Thus, every university, especially every state-funded university should have to have it’s budget reviewed by outside independent auditors for the big three. Those would be waste, fraud, and redundancy.
One can only imagine how much of these can be found at any college by a consulting firm such as Accenture, Boston Consulting Group, or Bain & Company. Colleges should be required to “take a look under the hood” every two years before raising taxes or tuition.
Now back to the issue at hand solving the student loan crisis. I bet very few people know that student loan funds are deposited directly in to the students personal bank accounts. Giving eighteen year-olds access to cash and asking them to be responsible with it is akin to giving a pyromaniac unlimited access to gasoline and matches! It’s just not a good idea, but that’s what the government does – unbelievable!
A small minority of students may use the money for its’ intended purpose. On the other hand, the vast majority are going to buy beer, pizza, and spring-break road trips. Some students have been know to pay for cosmetic surgery with their student loan monies. Perhaps they should enhance their knowledge before their looks.
So what’s my solution?
Student loan funds should be directly disbursed in the name of the student for their intended purpose. The student submits a bill for college tuition the government pays the college directly. The students need housing and food? Then the government pays the university directly for the dormitory and meal-plan. Don’t want to live in a dorm with a meal-plan, fine but no student loan money for it. Textbooks, the government pays the bookstore directly.
If the student needs extra money they can get a job at the local Starbucks, wait tables, or get some other part-time job.
My plan will reduce waste, fraud, and abuse of student loan funds. In addition, it brings efficiency back to the use of the government’s funds.
One more thing we will limit the types of degrees one can obtain with student loans, but we’ll save that topic for another article.
Cary Michael Cox