Shaun L. McKay On The Financial Challenges That Students Face Today

Shaun L. McKay

December 3, 2020

Dr. Shaun McKay

Many Students Are Wondering How They Can Afford To Go To School Today

In today’s world, people say that the gateway to a successful future is to invest time into college or university. While this is a great option for some individuals, this does not make college costs less expensive for individuals that enter through their doors. The reality is that many students cannot afford to go to college without taking out loans that they will have to repay after they graduate, regardless of the job market or life circumstances that may await them. This can lead to several serious issues, and one of the industry experts, Dr. Shaun L. McKay is here to talk about the financial challenges facing many students today. Balancing school, work, daycare (where appropriate), transportation, food insecurity, and living arrangements are all but a few aspects of what we hear as disadvantages for students attending colleges and universities.

Dr. Shaun L. McKay Discusses the Issues Regarding Student Loans

The reality is that the higher cost of education has far outpaced the rate of inflation. Dr. Shaun L. McKay understands that many students have no other option besides taking out student loans. Sadly, the interest rates on these loans are incredibly high. It is not unusual to see students taking out loans with a five to seven percent interest rate. It can take up to 30 years for students to repay these loans, and most individuals in the repayment category fall upon hardships. Parents are also involved when they take out a Parent Plus Loan to cover the costs of those in their respective families attending College. Furthermore, Dr. Shaun L. McKay knows that many students are looking for alternatives, but there might not be many options available to those who would like to attend college. Student loans cannot be included in bankruptcies. The push for increased advanced certification and degrees to obtain jobs is now the norm. The reliance upon student loans remains the primary source of funding education as well, and other grants/scholarships have not kept up with the costs of attending these institutions.


Dr. Shaun L. McKay Reviews the Limited Scholarship Opportunities for Students

There are some cases where students might have scholarships that can help them pay for college but rarely have we seen scholarships and grants fully cover the majority of a student body for the duration of their academic experience. For Dr. Shaun L. McKay, there are two separate options that students need to know about. The first involves merit scholarships, where individuals receive scholarships that are based on their qualifications. The second type is need-based scholarships, where people apply for financial aid based on their income. Unfortunately, these options are few and far between for most students. Dr. Shaun L. McKay understands that this has to change to make it easier for people to go to college in the future. There is also an entire category of students that may not qualify for scholarships or grants due to not having the required GPA or the mere fact that there is only so much funding available for these students. Hence, they remain on the outside looking in. These are the students that are working two and three jobs to maintain living expenses while attending college.

Dr. Shaun L. McKay Explores the Issues of Loan Forgiveness Options


Students are also wondering about loan forgiveness options. Dr. Shaun L. McKay knows that this might sound like an attractive option to some; however, very few people are actually able to take advantage of these options. Dr. Shaun L. McKay knows that it can be attractive to refinance; however, this is a common reason why so many people cannot get loan forgiveness. When people refinance, their loans are no longer owned by the government. Instead, they are now owned by a private company that will not be as forgiving as the government.

This item was part of the President-elect’s education campaign platform discussion and is an area that should be advanced with specific recommendations for targeted categories of student debt and areas of study. Policies developed in this area must also cover whether this is a grant or if it should be considered taxable income. This can be a redline situation that further complicates the students’ financial situation. Student Loan debt if/when in default is another area for review by the incoming administration. Once students are categorized as being in the default, they are treated differently by the Federal Government. 


These students can then find themselves not completing the ultimate goal if successfully engaged in gainful employment to cover living expenses as those wages can then be garnished, etc. A well designed and thoughtful career pathway and appropriate educational funding to States and Localities from the Federal Government will aid in the funding industry-specific or research provided by educational institutions. Additionally, Federal Student Aid reorganization needs to occur for low-income students to focus upon certificate and degree completion aligned with the industry’s available jobs. This requires that advising and career alignment be advanced as part of all students’ orientation process, whether they are taking online, hybrid, or face-to-face classes.