Thursday, June 30, 2005
Johnny Comes Marching Home--to Loans
My most recent column tells the story of Anthony Allwein, who enlisted in the army, served in Iraq, and just found out they won´t pay back his student loans. The story is about all the young people for whom the military is their best, or only, option to pay for higher education, a deal that is looking tougher and tougher as the war drags on. It also points up what I think is a pervasive problem--people don´t have the best info about the college financing game, so they make expensive mistakes. Kathy Allwein told me that when her son went off to school, they didn´t know the difference between federal loans (which the army would have covered) and private loans (which come with higher interest rates, and which the army refused to pay back). The situation is getting more complicated every year, with people´s futures at stake.