Students who attend online universities, more specifically universities that are considered for-profit universities, have reportedly seen more problems related to student loan debt after completing their degree program then students who attend traditional colleges and universities, as the default rate on student loan debt for students who are attending these for-profit universities is much higher. While student loan debt is not only confined to students who attend online university courses or for-profit institutions, it may be more necessary for young men and women or nontraditional students to seek out financial aid from scholarships and grants if they plan to attend these types of institutions, as there is some worry about why the default rate for students coming out of these institutions is so high.
While some accredited institutions argue that online universities can be helpful in preparing students not only to transition into the workforce but they also can give a quality education as online institutions can connect students with professors and peers from across the nation and potentially open a more diverse dialogue in terms of class discussions and learning experiences. Furthermore, online institutions can offer convenience in cases where traditional college classes will not fit into an individual’s schedule or in instances where a student may not be near a major university and cannot attend on-campus courses easily.
However, since we are seeing higher default rates from these for-profit universities and some online institutions, this has led to questions as to whether these programs are helping students when it comes to transitioning into the workforce, if these universities are seen as accredited by potential employers of these graduates, or if online institutions or for-profit colleges are simply not giving students the education that is needed to find employment that will allow them to pay off their debts.
Typically, online universities or for-profit schools are, in some cases, is said to be just as expensive or more costly than traditional colleges, meaning both public and private institutions, so the argument that these schools may require more money is one reason why some of these students who are graduating may be seeing a higher default rate but a higher cost is not always a factor. Also, there are some who wonder whether the simple fact that our job market is still bleak and unemployment remains quite high is the cause behind these high default rates, but there are those who wonder why private and public colleges and universities are not seeing levels of student loan default at a similar rate.
While each student’s situation will be different, those who plan on attending for-profit online universities or educational institutions that are seeing these higher levels of student loan defaults may want to start their search early when it comes to looking into free forms of financial aid like scholarships and grants. Some students may fill out a FAFSA form, which could lead to free grants from the federal government, but looking into options like scholarships that are available specifically for students based on what they’re studying, their ethnicity, or even their income are just a few of potential options that may help these young men and women or nontraditional students avoid borrowing and the risk of defaulting after graduation. Students can contact the financial aid offices at these universities or simply research online to see what specific financial aid options are available for their situation, and while this may take some time it may be well worth it if a graduate is able to avoid problems related to debt after getting their degree.