To The Daily Sun,
Back in the days of the Seabrook nuclear plant's building we became familiar with the idea of C.W.I.P. — construction-work-in-progress charges. I still keep an old Gov. Gallen election sign that's pro-Gallen and anti-C.W.I.P. Utilities wanted to expand by building expensive plants and getting construction money through rates charged to consumers.
There could be no end in sight, this financing plan. Wonderful for the utility, very tough on the consumers who do need our electricity, so are captive.
Now, I wonder if so-outrageously high student debt is not a failure of similar financial-planning thinking. Our higher educational institutions, competing for students as businesses do for customers, expand their campus extras, those showy amenities (what some people call furbelows) that let them compete. Students pay higher tuition and higher and higher to cover the campus's costs. Students and their families are captive, because numbers show that adult financial security is more likely with a college degree.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren's new student loan bill that allows people to refinance their student loans at a low rate, an option currently denied to most borrowers by federal rules, would help to alleviate the problem. We should encourage our Republican Sen. Ayotte and our Democratic Sen. Shaheen to sign on to the bill. New Hampshire students are among the most indebted in the country. But in the long run, we need affordable or free four-year degree institutions. Community colleges give the basics for two years without the alluring live-in and furbelow promotions. Four-year institutions, especially public ones, should fix their business heads and renew their vows to provide an affordable education, cut back on showy extras that get put in place and then need maintenance just as a more-than-basic house does.
Lynn Rudmin Chong
- Category: Letters
- Hits: 251