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Senator Warren visits Stonehill

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Photo by Martin McGovern

Photo by Martin McGovern

By Aimee Chiavaroli

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren came to Stonehill College to lead a roundtable discussion on college affordability Thursday, Sept. 3, in the Martin Auditorium.

Although she was running late, Senator Warren came smiling and ready to tackle the topic of discussion.

“Thank you so much; it’s really good to be here,” she said.

She said student loan debt goes up $100 billion every year for students to get an education.

“We need well-educated people in this country…College pushes us forward, but the debt pushes us back.”

Stonehill College is a non-profit college. According to nonproftcollegesonline.com that means the school is supposed to “offer a more affordable degree than for-profit schools. For-profit schools must focus on earning revenue.” Nonprofit schools receive scholarships and outside funding while for-profit schools function more like profit-driven businesses.

While Stonehill is non-profit, many students still bend backwards to pay for their education, take out loans and put themselves in debt after graduation.

Assistant Vice President for Student Financial Assistance Eileen O’Leary at the college said, “94 percent of students received financial aid last year and the college met 64 percent of student need.”

The overall message of the discussion concerned how students need to be more informed about what they are getting into, but at the same time, it needs to be easier for both students and parents.

Patrick Kennedy ’16 said, “I’d be interested to see Senator Warren talk more on private loans because that’s the bulk of where my loans come from.”

Tatiana Andrade ‘17 was a part of the roundtable discussion as a SALT intern and ambassador. SALT is a resource to help students become financially dependent and knowledgeable about loans. She said things need to be simpler and students and parents are being taken advantage of.

In today’s world, college is necessary to enter the competitive job market. Even graduate school and higher pursuits are necessary for some fields.

Although the event was informative, it did not leave students with much direction or advice.

Ryan DiFalco ’16 said, “I was overall kind of underwhelmed by the event to be honest. Even though it was cool to see she cared about the issue, she didn’t really tell me anything I didn’t already know.”

Warren talked about how the U.S. government is profiting off students getting a higher education and how that is wrong. However, there is not really anything we can do because they have already spent the profits.

Senator Warren encouraged students to write to politicians to try to make change at a grassroots level.

While this is a step in the right direction, there is still a lot more that needs to be done.

 

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