For many NW students who go on to graduate school, financial aid is essential. However, recent changes to government loan policy could negatively impact these students’ ability to afford further education.
The New York Times reported that as part of the debt ceiling deal reached over the summer, graduate students no longer have access to subsidized student loans, and most of the incentives for on-time payments have been eliminated.
For senior Aaron Appel, paying for graduate school completely out-of-pocket is not an option.
“I would be more likely to go if there were student loan incentives,” Appel said.
Financial aid can be the deciding factor when determining where a student will attend.
Junior Elisa Banninga plans on going to law school. Her top choice is the University of Nebraska, mainly due to the in-state tuition that she would receive. Banninga plans on taking out student loans if necessary, whether or not they are subsidized.
“If I get no form of financial aid, I’ll probably go into a corner and cry somewhere,” Banninga said.
Financial aid is also part of the decision-making process for junior Natasha Fernando, but there are also other factors she’s taking into consideration.
“I have a group of schools that I would like to attend, and whichever one of those has the best program and financial package overall will be my pick,” Fernando said. “Financial aid does matter in that sense, but so does the academic rigor of the graduate program.”