The Student Voice Of Contra Costa College, San Pablo, Calif.

The Advocate

Loans reach capacity, prevent graduation

By Mickalea Manuel, Staff Writer

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Another school year is winding down. Graduation caps and gown orders have been made and preparations for finals are less than a month away.

As people build up the joyous feeling of completion as the semester’s end comes closer, they tend to neglect the amount of debt that also builds.

Debt can even prevent students from achieving completion and receiving their degrees.

College isn’t cheap.

If people are able to get financial aid, it won’t cover everything which is why student loans exists.

But what happens when the financial aid is maxed out and people are up to their necks in student loans?

Although college has a four-year time period, most students don’t necessarily finish in that amount of time.

Life gets in the way for most students, whether they are working to survive and pay for college or get delayed by trying to fulfill requirements.

I have a friend who is currently attending a CSU and graduated last year.

She was so proud to be walking the stage after a very stressful four years between trying to balance work, internships and school.

She had finally reached her goal, the goal most of us are striving and killing ourselves to receive: a college degree.

It is a piece of paper with the graduate’s name and major he or she perfected throughout their academic career. This is needed in order to go out and get a job so he or she could start to pay back what is owed for obtaining this paper that signifies achievement.

The long hours of studying — blood, sweat and tears — weren’t enough to purchase a degree from the university.

Only paper of monetary value could fulfill this request to receive a paper of academic accomplishment.

This friend of mine had one more class left to take. It is a class that has nothing to do with her major but a requirement of the school.

The excitement of graduation didn’t last long once she noticed how this one class would be a reason she would not yet receive that piece of paper she worked so hard for.

She soon learned the reason was because she didn’t pay enough.

Her financial aid maxed out and her student loans exceeded her eligibility.

What do colleges expect students to do once they are unable to meet those financial requirements?

With classes costing a lot per unit, how was she to pay for a class, including tuition and other fees?

She found a way to take that last class, but to her surprise, she is no longer able to view her grade.

Restrictions were placed on the school’s web access because of a balance of thousands of dollars due to the university.

She bought all the books and supplies required for that last class, but when it was time to receive her grade that was not an option.

She has yet to receive a degree that is rightfully hers because the school has decided she hasn’t paid enough.

I don’t believe colleges should be allowed to establish restrictions to their students.

We need more ways than financial aid and loans to fund education for students who lack the money.

Schools shouldn’t prevent students from viewing their grades and not allow them to graduate due to fees.

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The Student Voice Of Contra Costa College, San Pablo, Calif.
Loans reach capacity, prevent graduation