Bad Grades, Bad Loans, Bad Idea

My husband and I used to be in the Student Loan business. Kind of. We had one client, our son, who was progressing his way, semester by semester towards a four year Bachelor of Science degree. He started at a community college, where, ironically I now teach, and he eventually transferred to Kansas State University.

Our “loans” were not really meant to be repaid, but rather were generously (we thought) granted contingent upon good grades. The term good grades can mean vastly different things to different students, parents, and loan granters. Our definition was: at least a C in each class, with possible allowances for subjects I would have trouble passing, like physics or advanced calculus.

About seven semesters into this business arrangement, he experienced a rough semester, followed by a second. The banking side of our relationship took over and we ceased financial support. We no longer felt this was a good loan risk. The student loan industry felt differently and advanced him thousands of dollars, leaving him with student loan debt after he dropped completely out of college.

Loaning a poorly performing student money to continue school is bad business for both the student and the loaner. How can one expect a person who is unable to attend class, submit the required work, and ultimately pass a class ever to complete a degree? Probably the same way the banking industry expected home owners to make outrageous mortgage payments with inadequate earnings.

Now in my fifth full-time year of teaching at a community college, I see many of my students struggle to work jobs, arrange daycare, or play a demanding sport and still succeed. I see students borrow money and use it wisely, but also see students borrow money and sleep late, miss class and merely shrug their shoulders with indifference at the suggestion they change their ways. Continuing to loan money, especially with government backed loans, to those lazy students is an American slap in the face to all those hard working, American Dream chasing students who get by on six hours of sleep, or less, and excel by virtue of their work ethic and pride. To all those student loan applicants ,” If you can’t pull a ‘C’ average, get a job, not a loan.”

People also view

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *