Last week, the yearly tuition increase was announced. For those lucky students who were eligible for Rider Advantage, tuition increases are nothing more than a letter home. Yet for most students, the increase means a bigger loan to take out or another job to work over the summer. Thankfully, Rider understands the current economic state and made the tuition increase the smallest it has been in eight years while raising the amount of money dedicated to scholarship funds. However, many students still rely on loans, whether from a bank or from the state, to pay the difference to go to school here. The state loan program, NJCLASS, offers the lowest fixed interest rate, with flexible repayment options and the opportunity for either students or parents to borrow. However, according to the NJCLASS Web site, the loan will no longer offer in-school deferment of principal interest payments. Although this option is no longer available, “applicants can still apply for a NJCLASS loan by selecting Option 1 (monthly repayment of principal and interest) or Option 2 (quarterly interest payment while in school) repayment” (www.hesaa.org).
Of course, there are many students who get their loans from private banks. The interest rates on loans from these institutions can get very high, which in the end means students will owe, in some cases, double the amount the tuition actually costs. However, President Barack Obama is working to eliminate government support for student loans from private banks and have the government issue loans directly.
With a lot of uncertainty for next semester’s loans, students can rest easy knowing that Rider is on their side by making the tuition increase the smallest it has been in years.
The weekly editorial expresses the majority opinion of The Rider News editorial board and is written by the opinion editor, Nadine Tester.