Posts published in August, 2016

Is high student loan debt always a problem?


With student loan debt piling up for millennials, there’s been mounting concern of a loan crisis. But Constantine Yannelis, a former fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, makes the case that many of those loans are a good investment.

Along with Adam Looney from the U.S. Treasury, Yannelis writes in this month’s SIEPR Policy Brief that the vast majority of borrowers with high debt are in a good position to pay it off.  And the research done by the pair holds a few lessons for policymakers considering loan repayment programs.



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4 Things To Do in College To Ensure Your Future

By Oksana Sbitneva

Many people perceive college as a time for reveling in one’s newfound freedom and trying to make the most out of youth before one irrevocably joins the workforce. However, it is also a crucial period in life when you create a foundation of all your future success – or failure. And while having a really good time can leave some pretty pleasant memories, preparing for the future should take precedence.

Here are 4 things you should do when at college – because you probably won’t have a chance to take a shot at them later.

1.    Build Connections

One of the most important assets you may acquire is connections, acquaintances, social ties – and college is one of the best periods in your life to do so. The importance of a well-established and wide social network can hardly be overestimated – especially if you really go out of your way and get in touch with people outside your immediate circle of interests and activities. Later on they may help you find a job, get a contract, provide a valuable insight, get you in touch with the right people – free of charge.

2.    Acquire Additional Skills

Perhaps now you believe that your chosen major is going to become a basis for your future career – but don’t be too sure. Life sometimes takes unexpected turns, and you may be incapable of finding the right job, or get disappointed in your chosen path, or simply find other interests. Use the time of relative lack of responsibilities to acquire additional skills, preferably from other fields of knowledge.

3.    Work towards Your Professional Goals

Don’t perceive your college years as a respite before adulthood when you can afford not to think what you are going to do with your life. The best thing you can do now is to build a plan of what you intend to do in the next ten years and work towards fulfilling it: what job you are going to look for, what skills you will need and so on. Absolute majority of successful people aren’t geniuses: they simply set up a goal and steadily move on towards it. So, if your dreams involve having a time of your life in Dubai or something along these lines, you may want to plan ahead.

4.    Find a Job

Getting a job to pay a part of your college expenses will go a long way in establishing your financial stability. Firstly, the less college debt you have, the better. Secondly, having a real job works incredibly well in building up self-discipline, determination and people skills.

You may ask: when am I going to find time for all this? The answer is simple: if you really want to, you will. If you want something done, ask somebody who is already busy, as the old saying goes – paradoxically, but the less time you have, the more efficiently you are forced to use what little you have. Don’t neglect this principle, and you will be amazed how easy it is to drop things that don’t really matter.

Author’s bio:

Oksana is a student of English literature department and a freelance journalist. As a current student she is interested in trends in education and she would like to share her experience with community.

Should You Take Your Car to College?

by Jane Hurst

When the time comes to leave home for college, if you have a car, should you take it with you? This is a question that many students face. Yes, it is great to have transportation, but sometimes, it may be best to not take your car. There are many things to consider before you take your car with you to college, beginning with school rules. It may be that the school you will be attending doesn’t allow students to have cars. Other things to consider include:
One of the first things to think about is where you are going to park your car. Some schools may not have student parking available. You may also not be able to park near your dorm or apartment. It may be that you will not only have to pay for parking, but that you will have to park so far away that you will end up walking a lot anyway. Another consideration is winter. If you do have a parking area, but it is not covered, you will end up doing a lot of shoveling and scraping.
As a student, you are not likely to have a lot of discretionary income. You may not even be able to afford to have your car with you. In addition to the regular expenses that come with owning a vehicle, there could be added costs that you can’t afford, including parking fees, higher insurance rates because you are driving more, etc. Don’t forget that people will be asking for rides everywhere, and often not offering to pay for gas, so you will be spending more there as well.
Where You are Driving
You need to think about where you will be driving your car. If there are a lot of places to eat on campus, it is unlikely that you will be making many trips to the grocery store. It is the same with entertainment and socializing. Of course, if you want to make trips home or to see a boyfriend or girlfriend, you will appreciate a vehicle rather than having to pay for another form of transportation. Maybe you have a friend who operates a motorfleet. Ask them about doing a comparison on motorfleet quotes, and if they can lend you a vehicle if you need it.
Other Modes of Transportation
Are there a lot of ways to get around near the college you will be attending? If there are buses, subways, etc., there may actually be no need at all for you to bother taking your car to college with you. If it is a small area and everything is near the campus, there is also no need to have a car, because you can easily walk everywhere. In fact, you may be wasting a lot of money because you will be paying for a car that you really don’t need to use. It may be a better idea to just leave the vehicle at home if this is the case.
Other Drivers
If you do decide to take your car with you to college, you need to keep in mind that people are going to be asking to borrow your car. You will need to set up clear rules as to who is and is not allowed to use the car, where they can take it, how much gas they need to put in, etc. It is actually probably an even better idea to just not let anyone use it at all, especially if you don’t have coverage for occasional drivers. If you choose to lend your vehicle to someone, make sure that you know them well, that you trust them, and that they are legally able to drive your car.

Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot. Follow Jane on Twitter!


Lower State Tuition Does Not Just Help Wealthy Students

A report pushes back against the idea that state subsidies lowering tuition at public four-year universities disproportionately benefit students from wealthy families, reports Inside Higher Ed. The research, released under the Brookings Institution’s series of Evidence Speaks reports, finds appropriations from state and local governments used to offset educational costs at public institutions are smaller for students from higher-income families than for those with lower incomes. It also makes the case that low-income students are well represented across types of public four-year universities, including very selective universities, where they represent a quarter of enrollments — a far higher proportion than is the case at most elite private universities.