Graduate Students Get the Shaft | 10.16.09
Opinion Piece – Friday Rant
As anyone who has gone through the financial aid process knows, Pell Grants are only offered to undergraduate studentsÂ and haveÂ a maximum lifetime limit of 18 semesters or its equivalent andÂ are notÂ offered toÂ Grad students.
So let me get this straight.Â I canÂ toil around in the undergraduate ranks for years until I get my degree but can notÂ attend a four year school, secure myÂ degree in 8 semesters, and then qualify for any grant assistance if I elect to go to Grad school?Â How is that fair?
What are we doing to help the future leaders of our country?Â Oh yeah, we are keeping the interest rates on their federal loans at levels well above the federally mandated yield.Â I think it’s really great that Grad students are paying the mandatory government rate of 6.8% on Grad Stafford loans and not the student market rate of 2.5%.Â And since the federally mandated yield to lenders for Stafford loans dropped to 2.08 percent, which is an earnings cap for lenders, where does the rest of that money in interest go?Â You guessed it, back into the pocket of the federal government to spend frivolously.
If nothing else your graduate degree may give you better insight as to why the system is the way it is.Â Of course that’s assuming you can afford to pay for grad school.
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