Grad Students Get the Shaft

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In a game of chicken, the more radical side usually wins. This was the case in our debt-ceiling fiasco that has ended and a crisis avoided. The radical right also known as the Tea Party loonies were prepared for Armageddon.

Who can blame them? They hate paying for your kids going to school. They hate the idea that they contributed to a transportation infrastructure that they will never get to enjoy completely. I mean … come on … why do I care if Alaska gets a bridge? I probably will never use that bridge, right?

Ever since President Obama was elected, Republicans have been preparing for a doomsday scenario. They have been hoarding gold, stock piling on guns and ammunition and fighting like hell to create an economic apocalypse.

Keeping that in mind, then, one can understand why the “Budget Control Act of 2011” was such a contentious issue that led to a compromise at the eleventh hour. Even Majority Leader Boehner could not rally his troops to support his own plan … that speaks volumes and at the end … it sends a clear message of who is and is not in control.

While the rich get to enjoy their tax break at least for another two years, it is graduate student like myself and future ones that will get the shaft next year.

Beginning next July 1, 2012, “graduate students who get federally subsidized loans would see the interest on those loans begin to accrue while they’re still in school.” As USA Today reports, “Currently, that interest doesn’t begin accruing until the students graduate. That saves lots of money for doctoral candidates, medical school students, law students and others in long-term graduate programs.”

The logic does not make much sense. It is not like graduate students are asking for a free ride. They will pay back the original loans plus interest once they graduate. Even if they wanted to avoid those loans though, they cannot.

Bankruptcy rules prohibit or at least make it extremely difficult for a student to default on those types of “priority” loans. Graduate students are full time students that do not work, usually, thus they are being punished while they are going to school when we have little to no income. That is why we need the loans!

So, what have we learned? It is okay to tax students while they are trying to achieve the American Dream but the ultra rich … let them have a pass this time.

  • Jessnzack

    I saw it is time students stood up to our congress and raised hell. I am working on my Master’s in Social Work and I can tell you this I will graduate with a total of about 98 grand in loans to work a job making 35 grand a year. Why would I do this? Because I need that degree to help people and I want to help others. So now I have to pay even more to do that. Screw You congress. Let see how America responds when Dr. and Lawyers and Therapists are harder to come by.