The U.S. government and some student loan programs offer scholarships and loans to help students finance college.
But students in these programs often face steep interest rates and often have to make difficult choices between borrowing money and pursuing a career, said Michelle DeSantis, director of programs at the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
“The fact that the government has been able to put up the interest rates is pretty amazing, and the fact that it has the discretion to set them at what’s appropriate, it’s pretty incredible,” DeSantsonsaid.
For students in the medical student scholarship program, it can be especially hard.
While the interest rate for the medical scholarship is low, it is much higher than student loans, DeSantonsaid, who is also a graduate student at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, said.
If you’re not sure whether you’re eligible for a scholarship or loan, De Santis said, ask your loan servicer or student loan servier for information about your debt.
If you can’t get the information, ask questions in person.
“The student loan is just one of the ways that the system has gotten away from its role in providing support for students to get into and graduate from college,” De Santsonsays.
Students in medical student programs can also apply for loans from the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP), which is similar to the student loan program in the U