Missouri Higher Education Loan ATTACK
A disjointed editorial about MOHELA, Missouri’s pseudo-public student loan lender, appears in the Lake Sun Leader today. The author argues that somehow the lending agency is responsible for declining student performance in the University of Missouri system.
I have no love for MOHELA or the lavish payments I provide them from month to month. But I will never understand this notion that a college education should be free. It’s one thing to argue that MOHELA mismanages assets (there is a lot of evidence to suggest this is true), but another thing to argue that the lending agency does not provide affordable financing options to students with essentially no credit history (for example, MOHELA’s current rate of 3.80 percent on Stafford Loans is a full two percentage points lower than the prevailing 30-year mortgage rate for a $100,000 mortgage in Saint Louis). Perhaps part of the reason why MOHELA remains on the verge of insolvency is the public insistence on cheap debt for too long. (I love the anecdotal accounts of students using student loan money to buy cars and pay down credit card debt … apparently, though, that’s not why such funds are drying up).
But I wholeheartedly agree with the author that educational performance in the state is declining.