Mike Davies
June 2016

Accessibility of Federal Student Loans – Video

As the student loan debt continues to grow each year, so does the number of how many borrowers default on their student loans. In the summer of 2015, almost seven million American students had defaulted on loans. This makes up 17% of all federal loan borrowers. This debt crisis has brought up the question of: Should anyone be eligible for student loans? Should every student receive federal student loans, even if they did not do particularly well academically in high school? In short, the answer is yes. Of course everyone should have access to federal loans if they need them in order to afford a college education.

Some arguments could be made for limiting the access to getting student loans. Some may argue that loans should be restricted to students that have proven that they are ready for college or to students who are committing their course of study to majors that are matching up with the current job demands. However, implementing restrictions on who can receive federal aid for college would be detrimental to the well­being of American citizens and a hindrance on the idea of the American dream.

Federal loans allow low ­income students to attend college. This creates opportunity for students who do not have the privilege or means of paying for a college education. It has been proven time and time again that acquiring a college degree is one of the most effective ways to break the cycle of poverty. Providing accessible college education is the best possible way to ensure that people can have a chance to further their learning and have a chance at getting a better paying job. These are things that are key components to the pursuit of the American Dream.

The more educated a country’s citizens are, the more progressive and innovative the society will grow to be. The idea of restricting who gets to go to college based upon high school diplomas and GEDs isn’t going to dictate whether or not the student is prepared for college. These certifications do not reflect the “college readiness” of students. A growing number of students seek a more affordable education that a community college. Unfortunately, the costs of tuition at these institutions have rose. Tuition is going up and the accessibility of financial aid is getting increasingly difficult. These factors are contributing to students defaulting on their student loans.

The idea of restricting federal student loans would be disastrous for the country. This would perpetuate a “picking winners” epidemic, meaning that the fate of young, prospective college students would be in the hands of lenders. Low income students would be forced to turn to private lenders that offer high risk and high interest loans. Having accessible, financial need­ based student loans available to any prospective college student is going to be a much better long­ term investment by reducing the rate of loan default and high risk private loans.

“Recently, the Department of Education (Department) entered into an Agreement with the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) that outlines steps that will be taken to help improve the accessibility of the various documents issued under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program to individuals with visual impairments.  Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Department may not discriminate against individuals with disabilities in federally conducted programs. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires the Department to make its electronic and information technology generally accessible to people with disabilities. The Agreement outlines the steps it will take in a specific plan of action that the Department will implement over the next three years to help meet its Section 504 and 508 obligations to Direct Loan borrowers with visual impairments.” Read Details Here: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/notices/accessibility-statement


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Mike Davies

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