I've been wanting to say for the longest time (and just haven't gotten around to it until now) that I feel a genuine debt of gratitude to the companies who gave me loans so that I could complete both a Bachelor's and a Master's by the age of twenty-five. If it weren't for them, either I wouldn't have been able to attend school at all, or I would've needed to devote myself to earning and raising the money myself in advance, which would probably have taken many, many years.
When I first thought to write about how I love my loan companies, it had not occurred to me that some people would be demanding a free college education for anyone who wants it. I guess now I ought to address them in some way.
Well ... let me just point out that formal education is not free. Professors need salaries. Campuses need classrooms and libraries. Institutions need administrators. These things cost money. They cost a lot of money.
I do not hold to the idea that anyone who wants anything of value has a right to get it for free. If you want something that's worth a lot of money, you should have to work hard for it. This is why I am so deeply grateful that some businesses were willing to loan me large sums of money in advance of my having to work hard, because they trust me to pay them back with interest now that I'm done.
Sure, they did it on the basis of statistical calculations, not because they knew me personally, but nonetheless, they chose to put their faith in me and my ability to make something of myself career-wise. I am deeply grateful for their act of good faith and I am happy to uphold my end of the bargain and pay them back with interest so that they can continue in the business of making it possible for people who are not independently wealthy to get a post-secondary degree.
As I think about it, it seems kind of absurd for people who want greater social mobility to be attacking student loan companies. Such companies make it possible for anyone to pursue a college degree (well, except undocumented immigrants, the illiterate, etc.). Some people think the government (i.e. tax-payers) should simply foot the bill for everything, but to me, it seems much more logical and fair that the individual who receives the benefit of the college degree should be the one paying for it. I mean, honestly, why on earth shouldn't they?
Oh ... and ... I also have a burning need just to say: undying gratitude notwithstanding, those f***ing student loan companies are a big fat pain in the *ss to deal with.
Okay. I'm done.