Thursday, 6 November 2008

Pity Parade

Last week I mentioned an ad made by MUSA promoting universal student allowances; and I want to comment on a couple issues the ad raised for me.

The ad refers to our national "student debt". I assumed it meant student loans. But it means debt: credit cards, hire purchases, mortgages, finance deals, personal loans, overdrafts... and student loans.

In general, it's students' choices to get that finance, with the vast majority going on expensive electronics, cars, clothes and alcohol. So many students are incapable of managing their own finances that they spill over into voluntary debt. They only "need" that money for groceries because their own money's gone on alcohol. Don't show me that pity parade.

There is a very small minority of students who really do have no money, and they should get financial help. But they are a very small minority.

If you go straight to university out of high school, you have no idea of the value of money; of budgeting; of bills and rent and the cost of life. You're out in the big wide world for the first time, and the world has a lot of pretty things... with price tags that you can avoid with finance deals.

And thus the debt mounts up.

And having a universal student allowance? That's just the way to even more irresponsible spending by students. I think students should have a break before uni, to save up some money and understand the world a bit before you plunge idealistically into studying a world you've never experienced. It would have been a lot better for me if I had.

And when you moan about NZ's "harsh repayment scheme": if you live economically it can be done. If you compare student loans here to in the States, we're so much better off. Not to mention — interest-free! Booyah.

(Update: New MUSA ad released)

Total words today: 5152.
Total words overall: 16,667. Yee-ha!

1 comment:

Siska said...

I agree with you in so many ways. I was SO not ready for uni.
How I wish I could go back and do it all over again.
Oh well
Theirs always next year.