Why Just Student Loan Interest Rates are Only the Smallest Issue for Our Country’s Education – Part 2
In our last entry, we started taking a look at how, while everyone seems to be concerned about the interest rate of student and personal loans, the real issues seems to go unnoticed: No matter how cheap personal loans or student loans become, as long as the cost of tuition in the country remains exorbitantly high, education in the country will become more and more prohibitive for its residents. In fact, we discussed how, pushed by the need for funds, several colleges and universities are not only restricting access to local students, but are actually seeking out students from other states and even from abroad, as long as they are able to pay for tuition, which in turn makes it even harder to attain for the local youth.
Now let’s keep taking a look at how serious this problem is and how it can have devastating effects on the country’s education system.
Delving deeper into this issue, we find that the problem is far more pronounced in four of the major fields of education: Science, technology, engineering, and math, also known as STEM. Together, these fields account for even more than half of the economic growth of the country, which gives you an idea of just how problematic having issues with them can be. Not only STEM provides graduates with the greatest earning potential, but also, due to the high level of education that they require, also have the most protection in case of unemployment. In general not only people who graduate from STEM careers contribute the most to the economy, they are also the ones most capable of repaying their personal loans.
However, despite of the importance of STEM jobs, studies show that more than 20 percent of these jobs are taken on short-term periods by foreign workers on temporary visas. Even worse, after learning all the trades of these jobs, most of these highly skilled workers go back to their countries to create highly successful companies there instead of here.
Naturally, as times change, so do the methods for teaching and the possible solutions for this problem. On one hand, it is necessary for the government to increased its funding on higher education to help those who can’t afford a personal loan. However, we need to consider other methods, like finding new ways to distribute knowledge, like on the web for example, as many lectures are distributed nowadays. This can also help reduce some costs, which also contribute to the ultimate goal of getting the most revenue while at the same time imparting knowledge and skills that are of quality and that will help students in the long term.
All in all, you now surely have a fairly good picture of how interest rates on personal loans and student loans are just the tip of the huge college affordability iceberg problem that every family at some point will have to face in this country. So, in order to keep the country going strong and educated, we need to push for measures that make education accessible for anyone willing to pursue it. Until we succeed, students will continue to be in huge personal loan debts, while the country’s companies will continue to falter due to the increasing lack of local talent.