Life becomes real the moment you graduate High School. Where do you go from there? What do you do with your life? Who do you want to be? Is this even possible? Can I make that happen? Suddenly, the one question you so easily answered as a child becomes the greatest hurdle in life; your ambition and how you will achieve that. Even if your grades pull through good enough to get you a placement in the university of your choice, the possibility of education dims in the presence of the lack of funding you have.
For decades, thousands of brilliant students have given up on their ambitions due to the scarcity of scholarships and funds for further education. Numerous students have shied away from student loans for fear of spending their life in debt. To a lot of students, until recently, student loans have meant that they would not be carefree to pursue their dreams after graduation, being up to their necks in student loans and interests. But, what really happens after student loan? How is life like to these students after educating themselves with student loans?
Since 2014, the government has opened 3096 opportunities for student loans; interest-free. Thousands of students are currently pursuing education in their dream fields, confident that they can build their future. While the concerns of paying back the student loan remains very real to these students, one might wonder, how exactly does it shape their futures and chances at a career?
To Mirfa Haleem, the cards were in her favor when she was granted a scholarship awarded to students who completed O’ Levels in the Island Schools with excellent grades. According to her, this opportunity helped her choose the field she wanted in a good university despite the higher course fees.
“If it was self-funded, I would have considered the course fees when choosing a university and a field instead of the quality of education. There would have been compromises. Since I got a scholarship, I don’t have to repay it, unlike a lot of my friends who are studying under the student loan. But I wouldn’t say the student loan is negative because it has given so many opportunities to so many students and it is a life experience as well. So it’s worth it”.
To the students studying under a student loan, the flexibility in terms of paying back the student loans is an added advantage. A grace period of six months before the student loans need to be paid and a 15-year period to pay it back is sufficient time for a student to build themselves a career with the education they received. But, how do these students really feel about the student loan?
“Student loan has definitely been a good thing for me. Firstly, it lifted the burden from my parents to provide for my further education. Secondly, it has given me a chance to pursue my studies overseas. Student loan would be the road that paved the way for my degree. It definitely benefits its recipients in my opinion”. Mohamed Muan, currently studying in Malaysia under the student loan hopes to be able to find a good job to pay pack his student loan in 15 years.
To countless students like Muan, the student loan is nothing short of a blessing to themselves and their parents, who would otherwise struggle to give these children a better education. Thanks to the government’s policies and student loan opportunities, thousands of students are receiving better education opportunities today. While the concept of having to repay a student loan may seem scary, the fact that the education one receives – with the aid of a student loan – will stay with them forever and shape their futures and careers has a happy ring to it.