Regardless of whether students are worried about the economy or could care less, today’s economic woes affect everyone. Most Temple students are not experts on the economy, but they can understand how the crisis has caused a worldwide slowdown in financial markets.
Because financial situations vary for each Temple student, the levels of economic distress differ as well. Though some students aren’t fazed by any effects that would cause them to care about the economy, others are reacting to the downwardly spiraling economy in many ways.
Despite signs that the economy is in a recession, Daniel McIlhenny, assistant director of Student Financial Services, said the process of obtaining student loans has not changed.
McIlhenny said he is unaware of any changes that have occurred in qualifying for most student loans. He said the federal government still provides loans the same way it did prior to the economic slowdown.
“We try to counsel students to utilize the state and federal loans available before seeking alternative ones,” McIlhenny said. “The federal government has recently raised loan levels to make it easier for parents and students to pay.”
Students perceive the economic crisis based on their current situations.
“I guess in the back of my mind I know [the economy is ]going to affect me unless we do something, but because it’s not at this moment, I don’t think about it,” said Sabra Walter, a sophomore psychology major.
Walter is not alone in her apathetic feelings about the economy.
Sophomore information science and technology major Jesse Steinberg doesn’t consider how the current economic conditions will alter any career plans for his future.
“It might change things like my salary or location or something, but I don’t know,” Steinberg said. “I just can’t think that far. This money being lost in stocks is healthcare money going down the drain, and it’s a waste. Although my parents pay my tuition, it doesn’t really affect my daily life.”
Sophomore biology major Harry Davis said the crisis on Wall Street is an eye-opener.
“I feel like before all this came about, I didn’t know much about the economy or the presidency and all that kind of stuff, but now that we’re in a crisis, the common person needs to know what’s going on,” Davis said. “We are paying more for tuition each year, and since I pay half of the college bills, I’m working harder and harder to make up that money. I feel like I won’t be able to have any fun during my summers anymore. They will just be wasted.”
Sophomore film and media arts major Richard Gardner has considered studying a profession that will guarantee a job after graduation.
“The economy is the main thing I worry about,” Gardner said. “I’m in film and that’s not exactly guaranteed, so I’m deciding between that and nursing. It isn’t what I want to do, but it seems like a steadier job.”
This year, Gardner has experienced difficulty receiving a loan for his tuition. He has personally been affected by the downturn in the American economy.
“I didn’t get to pay on time this year because I kept getting denied, so I [had] to borrow money from my sister,” Gardner said.
Gardner said he cannot obtain federal student loans.
“All of my loans are from private companies. I don’t qualify for the federal ones,” he said.
McIlhenny said receiving a loan is contingent upon a family’s income status.
“It may be more difficult for some families [to afford school] at their current income status or due to other financial obligations that they might have,” he said. “Everything has a direct effect on how much students and their families have available for loans.”
He also stresses the importance of managing debt responsibly.
“Students should just be proactive into their schooling, finances and budget, and don’t live beyond their means,” McIlhenny said.
The Wall Street dilemma may affect which presidential candidate students select at the polls on Nov. 4.
For Gardner, the decision seems to be unanimous.
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John A. Dailey can be reached at email@example.com.