Financial disclosure statements would make student loan process more transparent

By Daily Illini Editorial Board

When the price tag on a University of Illinois education soars to nearly $100,000 for in-state residents over 4 years, are the skills and knowledge we acquire even worth the price? Well, Illinois Student Senator Tony Fiorentino is helping us answer that question by introducing a resolution, which passed unanimously Wednesday, that would require the Office of Student Financial Aid to send financial disclosure statements to any student who receives University loans.

While many students factor in expected family contributions, available resources location and area of interest to determine their college of choice, the nearly 60 percent of students who borrow annually consider the possible accumulation of student debt above all.

So, by implementing a mechanism that would allow, or almost force, students to view their financial disclosure statements, we, along with the Illinois Student Senate, hope to make the student loan process more transparent.

We want students, more so than their parents, to see the numbers in front of them. We want students to acknowledge the burdens that can arise from student loans if they aren’t properly maintained. Or, as Fiorentino said in a Daily Illini report, “What this resolution does is it merely requires us to tell students the truth.”

And, beyond simply raising students’ awareness of the student loan process, as well as of the repercussions associated with student debt, we hope this resolution strengthens the collaboration between students who take out loans and consequently accumulate debt and the departments on campus that handle student loans.

Whether students realize it, taking out student loans is an enormous financial responsibility and burden. Accordingly, we hope that making the student loan process more transparent will help students make more informed decisions.