Severus (polystyrenehart) wrote in poli_issues,

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College "Preferred" Lenders

Here is a topic that all college students can relate to, or at least those of us who don't come with silver spoons and wads of cash in our pockets. 

There has been a story evolving on NPR (and I can only assume elsewhere) that many college financial aid offices around the country have received kickbacks of varying degrees and forms.  These kickbacks have come from student loan lenders.  

Why should this be important?  Everyone in a bureaucracy receives kickbacks right?  Well, that may be true for all you conspiracy theorists but for the rest of us that isn't the case.  What is the case is that most of these kickback-providing loan providers find themselves on the college "preferred lender" lists at the colleges with which they have provided kickbacks!

Preferred lenders is a list of lenders that the school provides students and parents of students as a way of making the search for decent and honest lenders a little easier.  This list, however, is not what the list is suppose to be.  Instead, it seems that the Preferred Lender's list has found its way to becoming a list of those who pay the most to receive the most.

This should show that even though the college is there to provide you with an education with which you are to better yourself and the society in which you live.  It is NOT here to HELP you get that.  This is for several reasons, not all of which are pure profit driven.
First, is the purely profit part.  Yes, many (like the ivy league schools) are selling spots on the List to see their profits increase.  That comes without doubt.  However, there is a second reason.

Colorado is the best example.  I haven't heard of any examples of this List spot selling in any Colorado university but schools there have been finding it difficult to pay for anything.  The state sponsored universities have seen their funding cut dramatically and at the same time has capped the increases the universities are allowed in tuition.  This leaves the schools in weird positions.  Most of the professors have not seen raises in 5 years.  This means, after inflation, they actually make less than they did 5 years ago.  They have had to cut departments completely, cut classes, and cut the basic services to students.  Where else can such schools find funding?  You guessed it.  Sell what they can. 

Call your congressmen, and women.  Tell them how disappointed you are in the lack of oversight and the lack of proper funding for state universities.  State sponsored colleges and universities are in place to enable poorer individuals the opportunity to thrive.  This becomes increasingly difficult if those same colleges are forced to enter the capitalist market and sell themselves, and you, to the highest bidder.
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