Students at Texas Wesleyan and in colleges statewide will continue to benefit from the Hinson-Hazelwood College Student Loan Program.
Proposition 3, approved last November, authorized the issuance of general obligation bonds to finance the Hinson-Hazelwood program.
According to ballotpedia.org, the program provides low-interest loans to students who are not able to finance the full cost of college through other sources.
With tuition on the rise, students are often in need of any aid they may qualify for. Bradden Van Noy, president of the Student Government Association, said Proposition 3 will have lasting effects.
“The passing of Proposition 3 will affect students here at Wesleyan a great deal,” Van Noy said. “I am confident that enrollment here at Wesleyan would have taken a significant hit if the funds from Proposition 3 were not available.”
Garry Jones, secretary for the SGA, said the passage of Proposition 3 will benefit Wesleyan students even more so than other schools.
“Before the passage of Prop 3, Wesleyan students were some of the most benefited from the loan program, and with the expansion of the student loan program, Wesleyan students will continue to reap from its benefits,” Jones said.
Van Noy said a large majority of students at Wesleyan and across Texas depend on financial aid.
“Our students don’t exactly come to Texas Wesleyan because it is the cheapest university in the area,” Van Noy said. “We take on significant financial burden in order to be able to get the unique education that is offered here.”
Others do not agree with the concepts surrounding student loans.
Misty Rushing, anesthesia nursing alumna at Wesleyan, said nearly all college students will require money for college, regardless if they think the system is corrupt.
“Some people believe that the system is corrupt and rigged to keep Americans indebted to the federal government through a system of borrowing and oftentimes predatory lending with little consumer protections,” Rushing said. “We are seeing more college graduates unable to find work, and they are having to default on their loans.”
Rushing said collection agencies and increasing interest rates on defaulted loans create more profit incentives to lenders than assisting borrowers with repayment.
The Hinson-Hazelwood program offers students low interest rates; and with the need for extra funds to pay tuition, several current students still believe financial aid is essential.
“I know that without financial aid I would not be at Wesleyan, nor would the majority of our students,” Jones said. “Although for a small private university Wesleyan is affordable, the fact is that Texas Wesleyan is still not cheap.”
Student loans and other financial aid often also allow students to afford the higher educations they seek.
“Loans and federal aid allow students to attend college when they otherwise may not have the opportunity,” Jones said. “I am glad that Prop 3 passed so that students in Texas can continue to afford to attend college and get ahead in today’s marketplace.”