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Posted by Mike on August 01, 2002 at 20:42:59:
In Reply to: Re: Student Life posted by Dynamo on August 01, 2002 at 12:13:08:
I know people who werent able to afford college. I just about managed it myself (Thankfully rents and the general cost of living werent as bad in those days) I had the very occasional night out but did resent those who blew most of their grant on "socialising" and didnt take their studies seriously (most of these people eventually dropped out) because it gave a bad name to those of us who were serious about our studies and wouldnt have been able to go to college but for the grant. In the same way as I resent those who dodge taxes or abuse social welfare.
Personally I would replace the grant system with a subsided government loan which would be available to all (i.e. without means testing) and which would be sufficent to cover all living and tuition expenses of those studying full time away from home. Once one graduated and found employment this would be repayable as a percentage of ones income.
Such a system would have several advantages
1) It would be rather pointless abusing it as there would be a payback eventually
2) It would make the opportunity of third level education available to virtually all regardless of income
3) If one couldnt find work straight after graduating (If for example there was an economic downturn as during the early-mid nineties) one wouldnt have to worry about repayments or interest until they found work.
4) Those who dont avail of/qualify for third level wouldnt be spending as much taxes subsidising those who do.
5) It would strike a be far more effective at assisting the disadvantaged while doing more to promoting responsibility and self reliance (The two dont have to be contradictory)
6) Students would not be forced to work excessive hours to finance their studies but at the same time there would be an incentive to do a reasonable amount where possible.
7) Less college places taken up by those "only there for the beer"
8) More incentive for students to work harder
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