Student loans harder to come by

Flagler forgoing approximately $1M in operating revenue this year

By Lindsey Williams |

Universities across the nation have felt the immediate effects of the turn the economy has recently taken.

Even with the $700 billion bailout plan passed by legislators on Oct. 3, private institutions have been hit hard with the recent “fix” for the economy.

This “fix” generally zaps funds that support and finance institutions.

Students at these schools feel the weight of this financial burden no less.

“People are being forced to work two or more jobs just to cover their cost of living,” said Nick Shannon a sophomore at Flagler College.

“That’s not even including books, tuition, and other college expenses.”

Shannon pays for his college tuition with the help of student loans.

He worries about accessing scarce student loans and paying off his inevitable debt.

Flagler senior Rachel Williams’ experience with student loans is no less trouble-free.

“I am knee-deep in student loans,” she said.

“When I graduate in December, I will have at least $10,000 in debt to pay.”

The current market crunch has narrowed the flow of loans provided by loan companies such as Sallie Mae.

More money is needed to grow the economy while higher education is put on the back burner.
The question then becomes what balance — if at all possible — can be achieved to appease both the suffering economy and the suffering college student.

“I cannot speak to the question of balance, but I can say that education [K-12 and beyond] needs to be a much higher priority than it is now,” said Flagler College President William T. Abare, Jr.

“Investing in higher education is an investment in the future of our country. It is one of the economic engines of our state and our nation. The repercussions of reducing or withdrawing support for education today will be felt for years to come.”

With the current crisis that the economy must overcome, Flagler is making adjustments as well.

“Flagler is not immune to the current economic crisis,” Abare said.

“We are affected primarily in the expected return on our endowment. Because of the sharp decline in the stock market, we have decided not the take the draw that we would normally take on our endowment.”

Abare says this means the college will forego approximately $1 million in operating revenue this year.

“There will be no adjustment in tuition second semester to offset the loss in revenue from the endowment,” he said.

Students who depend on loans to foster professional goals may need patience as the struggling economy may continue to affect students’ ability to acquire a student loan and pay it off.

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