Raising the Bar: Maintaining a GPA to Maintain Student Loans

I’m currently a junior in college. My tuition is being paid for by a combination of financial aid from the government, scholarships from my college, and of course, student loans. In fact, my loans are twice the size of the government aid and the scholarships combined. Good times.

I’m hardly alone. Actually, countless students have it a lot tougher than I do. However, I believe it’s entirely reasonable to demand a student maintain a certain GPA to hold onto that loan(s). Now, I wouldn’t plan on being Nazi-ish about it, but some guidelines would help the system on the whole. After all, us college students are under enough stress before our financial backing is being threatened.

I think the first time a student borrows (out of high school, starts college late) they should not have high school GPAs considered. I’ve just seen too many people do average or worse in high school only to completely shift once hitting college, and vice-versa.

It’s not necessarily that I want to see these loans taken away from struggling students, but perhaps a reward given to those that succeed admirably –lower interest rates, perhaps. If you’re GPA is over 3.5, the student gets a certain interest rate. If it’s between 3 and 3.5, then another rate and so on. I think a GPA of 2.0 would be when the loan should be in danger of being taken away. Consistently hard working students don’t walk in with a 1.5 GPA. College is challenging and forces responsibility on the students, but it’s not that hard.

But what if a student has an “off” semester? What if they have an especially difficult semester? These are reasonable questions because it happens. I would think it acceptable to give the student an additional semester prior to threatening a loan withdrawal. But again, with 2.0 as the level before the student runs into trouble, most dedicated students won’t fall below that, much less for two semesters.

I have to go to class to maintain my government aid; I have to maintain a 3.5 GPA to hold onto my scholarships, it seems reasonable that I should have to hold a certain GPA to earn my right to a student loan (which grants special interest rates apart from normal loans). After all, if I don’t go to class, I owe the government that money for the financial aid.

College is tough. That’s a fact. Being a college student, I know it first hand. I know how one obnoxious teacher or one misfire on a test can destroy your GPA, so the restrictions I’m proposing on the student loans are not set to make the average student’s life more stressful, it’s simply a mechanism for taking away loan money for students that are wasting it and making interest rates higher for the rest of us.

Student Loans Should Not Have GPA Requirements

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