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  • Ensuring that Higher Education is not ‘commodified’
  • Posted By:
  • Chris J
  • Posted On:
  • 17-Oct-2016
  • Commodification and commercialization of higher education is a common fear worldwide. Saying ‘No’ to the commodification of education is an essential as this will make higher education easily accessible to all sections of society.

    Education is a right and should not be accessible to only those of the higher income group. With the focus being on increasing revenues, you have problems leading to weakening of access to education and also student debts. Making money seems to have become a priority as compared to scholarships and grants.

    Completion and Access

    The repayment plans and the doubling of the Pell Grants can be seen as a boon for those who could not access higher education due to financial reasons. The Higher Education Department is keen on taking the required steps to ensure that higher education can be easily accessed by all sections of the society. Knowledge is essential for each individual and focusing on this, it is essential not to let education combine with the money factor.

    Steps taken to ensure no commodification of Higher Education

    The government is adapting different measures to make higher education easy and affordable.

    * Loan Repayment Options:

    The Obama Administration has proposed an act known as the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, which offers students easy options for the repayment of their student loans. This act:

    1. is able to forgive any student loan after a period of 10 or 20 years for those in the Public Service Department. In other words, those who have been repaying their loans on time can have the balance of their loans waived off by the government in 20 years. For those in Public Services, like nurses, teachers or the military can get their loans waived off after only 10 years.

    2. Choosing the option of paying 10 percent of the income, the borrower is required to pay the 10 percent after the basic. This repayment option is different for different families, depending on the number of family members. This option has made it possible for unlimited borrowers to qualify for this scheme.

    3. Most of the loans have now become ‘direct loans’, being delivered and collected by companies which are private and under a contract. The subsidies have ended, freeing a number of borrowers.

    * Expanding the Pell Grant:

    The expansion of the Pell Grant is one way to ensure that more students are able to complete their higher education. Students are also applicable for rewards depending on the number of credits taken by them. Students who are from the lower-income bracket can earn this money from the third semester of the academic year, ensuring that they are able to take classes even in summer.

    The ‘On-track Pell Bonus’ rewards $3000 for those who manage to get 15 credits in every semester of the academic year. This grant seems to be ideal for those students who wish to opt out of higher education due to financial problems as this does not require to be paid.

    With the above few steps taken, the students graduating will not only be the privileged few from the higher income group but also the lower and middle class.


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