During the ongoing debt ceiling and budget debates, the in-school subsidy for Stafford Loans has been targeted as a way to decrease federal expenditures. If you're a graduate or professional student with subsidized federal student loans, also known as a subsidized Stafford Loan, the government pays the interest on those loans while you're still in school. This subsidy is one of a number of items being considered for elimination in the FY 2012 budget by the House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Subcommittee.
If the subsidy is cut, the average PhD student who borrows $8,500/year while in school would see their total debt level increase by $9,497 by the time they leave school (as demonstrated in the chart below).
To To find out what you can do to act on this issue, keep reading.
Legislators are searching for ways to reign in the deficit. According to a report released by President Obama's Deficit Reduction Commission, elimination of this subsidy would save taxpayers $5 billion by 2015, and $43 billion through 2020. These savings, however, come at a significant long-term cost.
Eliminating the in-school interest subsidy for graduate-professional students makes post-graduate study more expensive by increasing students' debt level. Students, university administrators, advocates and others in the higher education community are worried that if post-graduate study is more expensive fewer students will choose to obtain advanced degrees, thereby restricting the supply of human capital needed to fuel long-term economic growth.
And that's the crux of the argument: short-term savings versus long-term growth.
What can you do to help save the in-school interest subsidy?
It's not too late to help save the in-school interest subsidy. There are two things that you can do today to act on this important issue:
You can use the NAGPS Legislative Action Center to write congress and encourage continued funding of the graduate and professional student in-school interest subsidy for Fiscal Year 2012.
Share Your Story
If you will be directly affected by the elimination of the in-school interest subsidy, or if the elimination would have affected your decision to pursue post-graduate study, send your story to Mary Winn, chair of the NAGPS Legislative Concerns Committee via the online testimonial form or at firstname.lastname@example.org. The more input NAGPS has from students, the more effective our advocacy efforts will be.
Back in 1993, NAGPS created a National Graduate-Professional Student Appreciation Week in order to increase awareness of the vital role that graduate and professional students play on campuses and in communities throughout the country. This year, Graduate-Professional Student Appreciation Week (GPSAW) was held April 4-8, and we continue to hear about the great events put on by institutions across the country to recognize their graduate and professional students. Here are a few of the events held last week for GPSAW:
- Free Breakfast to kick off the week
- Jorge Cham (from PhD Comics) Comedy Event
- Research Symposium
More than 40 institutions from across the country celebrated or recognized GPSAW - was your school one of them? Click here to see the complete listing of schools that celebrated GPSAW, and make sure to e-mail me if your school celebrated GPSAW but isn't on the list. Also, if your school put on GPSAW events, I would love to hear about them - drop me a line!
Since the inception of GPSAW, it's been customary for graduate professional student organizations to request proclamations in recognition of the week from their local and state governments. This year, the governors of Arizona and Texas and the city council of Pittsburgh were some of the government officials recognizing GPSAW - click here to see the proclamations.
Did your campus miss GPSAW this year? Are you interested in making sure that this doesn't happen again, and that you join the ranks of campuses recognizing this important week? We've assembled several resources to help you organize a GPSAW on your campus, full of ideas of things to do, templates for proclamations, and so much more! Simply click here to access our GPSAW web site where you'll find all of these resources. Graduate and professional students play an important role on our campuses - it's important that we raise awareness about what we do as a group, and we want to help you to accomplish this goal. Please let me know if there's any questions that we can question or information that we can provide to help you (or your organization) organize a GPSAW - I look forward to adding your institution to the list next year.
Happy Belated Graduate-Professional Student Appreciation Week!
NAGPS President & CEO
Greetings GradShare Blog Readers!
In the coming weeks and months, you'll be seeing periodic blog posts from several officers of the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students (NAGPS). What is NAGPS and what are we doing on GradShare's Blog? NAGPS is the only organization in the United States representing all graduate and professional students nationally, and we've been doing so since 1987. Our organization is entirely volunteer-run, and we are all graduate and professional students ourselves. We'll be posting on the GradShare Blog in the future because we're genuinely interested in issues regarding your experience at graduate school and we want to engage directly with as many students as possible.
NAGPS' mission is threefold, and essentially focuses on building a network of student leaders to share best practices and interact, providing resources for students, and advocating for graduate and professional students. As a result, our blog posts are going to span the many areas that we cover as an organization. From examining the potential effect of proposed legislation, to letting you know about upcoming NAGPS activities where you can network and share best practices, to informing you about valuable resources that you can take advantage of as an NAGPS member, we are going to do our best to keep you informed about everything that is going on in the world of graduate and professional students. Let us know how we're doing - drop our Director of Communications a line with requests for blog posts, questions about NAGPS, and feedback on existing posts.
In between blog posts, there are plenty of ways that you can interact with NAGPS. The best way to do so is to visit our web site - www.nagps.org. We post all information about upcoming events here, as well as summarize benefits and give you ways to interact with your legislators about pressing issues regarding graduate and professional student education. Looking for a job? Check out the NAGPS Job Bank, which pulls together job postings from a multitude of resources. We also have a presence on social networking platforms, including Twitter (@nagps, @nagpslcc and @GRADjobsNAGPS) and Facebook (facebook.com/nagps). We're eager to interact with you and to hear about your issues and ideas!
Look for more from NAGPS in the coming weeks. We're excited to be a part of the GradShare Blog and we plan on providing you with valuable content that will help improve your life as a graduate or professional student. Stay tuned!
President & CEO, NAGPS
Students residing in universities across the nation refer to the campus as their HOME. Their residence is more than just a place to sleep and eat. So, it becomes the task of every campus to provide exciting, active communities that promote a student's personal and academic well being.
Surveys conducted at many leading universities indicate that students living on-campus tend to make higher grades than those living off campus, graduate earlier than off-campus students, are more involved in outside activities than off campus students and 43% more likely to finish college than those who never live on campus.
A community center on campus provides a good platform for students by improving their self-confidence, personal self-esteem, artistic interests and also let them experience change in philosophy, values, political views, and career goals. The next blog article would focus on the story of the Family Resource Center - a one of a kind model in the nation...
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Networking is the key for maintaining contacts with people who might be helpful to you and your career. The reverse could also be true in some cases. It is also an extremely rich source for increasing one's knowledge-base. Various student organizations in schools across the country offer mentoring programs where freshers are introduced to seniors, alumni, faculty to provide guidance and advice. We can see that lots of social networking sites have sprung up over the past decade.
Networking is not just about meeting people and exchanging business cards; it is about building good relationships. There are many professional and volunteer organizations that have student chapters. They provide a good opportunity to meet people from the industry. Never pass up a meaningful conversation...you never know where it will take you!
Once your foot is in the door, the opportunities seem endless. Through many interviews, I have personally realized that it isn't always what you know but rather who you know. It's been just 2 weeks I finished school, but I have started to realize how valuable it is to network within your industry because often times it does boil down to who you know! Remember, the beauty of networking is to gain access to the knowledge and information that will allow one to advance.Tap into those connections - family, friends, alumni - they might probably lead you to someone who wants to hire you...