Friday, August 3, 2007

B-On-Time Project

Following the increasing tuition, student loans became popular and essential in Texas. Some students need to work to cover expenses while they study at the same time. “B-On-Time” program was innovated and introduced in 2003 to relieve students’ economic burden. It is free interest and forgivable if students graduate in four years with a B average which is a great solution for both students and government. For students, this program can encourage them to succeed in their education and relieve economic stress at the same time. For government, “B-On-Time” program can allow students graduate faster to relieve the shortage space and resources at college or university.

However, in order to support this program, the government spent $ 49 million last year for 12,800 students and this year the government declared that they do not have enough budgets to cover so many students. Thus, they cut $ 8 million of the budget this year which can only support 9,900 students in the state not included new students. The number of money that government needs to spend on this project is variable each year which I believe government funding should be fixed and universities should find some alternative ways to recover those amounts such as scholarships or other loans. But, there is no other loans that have better benefits than “B-On-Time” which offers no interest and forgivable.

I think “B-On-Time” program has its benefits that cannot be replaced. It forces students to work hard to get through school and take seriously on studies. They make such great efforts in four years, they should get some awards. Also, it is good for schools, too. It can keep schools rating high and encourage students to study harder. On the other hand, it may has the drawback which is students may do whatever it takes to get higher grades. They may cheat in exams or take the shortcut to have better grades result instead of learning something down to earth. But, in general, the program can bring most benefits to students.

High tuition fees and high interest rate on loans bring more concerns to students in recent years when they choose a college or university to study. They do not want to pay huge debts when they graduate. So, it is essential for government and schools to find some ways to relieve their stress. I believe “B-On-Time” program can solve students’ financial problems and cannot be eliminated. Government should maximum its budget to finance students and schools should get more scholarships and funds for students who achieve better academic results.

5 comments:

KSeago said...

Nice post. Excellent (and relevant) post. It's striking that we (Texas) can't come up with a few million dollars in an $80 billion budget to fund this program....

DEM said...

In response to Laws Vs. Liberty article on “B-on-Time Project” I have to agree. Personally having the B-on-Time loan I do understand the benefits of it. It is a loan that you do not have to pay back if you meet the requirements (graduate with 3.0 and in 4 years). I found out about this loan during my freshman year by one of my friends. I was immediately accepted into the loan. The loan has another advantage if you do not make the forgiveness requirement it becomes an interest free loan. This loan has huge potential and should be available to all. With my next semester coming up I received an email telling me that my loan wouldn’t go through till after September because of financing from Texas. The main reason that I accepted the loan was for the forgiveness; my little brother went to a two year school and was able to also get accepted for the loan. He was able to maintain the requirements and did not have to pay anything back. With the popularity increasing in this loan I have noticed a problem with Texas A&M. I initially got into the program knowing that they gave engineering students 5 years instead of 4; Texas A&M has gone in and stated that Engineering is a four year degree. So I don’t know if the current cuts in money have caused for this statement but I still endorse the Loan to anyone looking for help with rising cost.

Alexandria said...

A colleague of mine has commented on and brought to my attention the “B-On-Time” program in her blog Laws vs. Liberty. While I had never heard of this program before, this commentary was well written and informational. I agree that it is a great idea to encourage students to do well in school as well as completing their education in a timely manner. While Nina pointed out that this may promote cheating or other forms of academic dishonesty to achieve higher grades I do not think that this is any different from the competition required for competing for scholarships. There will always be some form of academic dishonesty regardless of any precautions to prevent it. There will always be a few students who lack the moral integrity to earn a grade on their own and are willing to risk their entire academic career, but these students should not stand in the way of those willing to put in the extra time and effort to earn the better grade.
Another concern pointed out by Nina is the limited and decreasing budget for this program. While the additional money needed to support the large number of students cannot simply appear out of thin air there could be the possibility of working with the limited budget instead of fighting against it. One suggestion could be to treat this program as a scholarship fund which would require students to apply for the funding and could be evaluated and compared to other students applying. This would indeed require additional work by the students applying for it, but this could also be a way of discouraging those students who are inclined to take the easy way out, who would most likely be the ones inclined to cheat.
Overall after reading this blog commentary I have come to the same conclusion as Nina that the “B-On-Time” program should be upheld and given as much government support as possible.

Jeana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeana said...

Thanks to my classmate Nina's blog I have become aware of a program for students I might have otherwise continued to be oblivious to. I had no idea that there was such helpful aid as the "B-on-Time" loan program. I am however appalled that lately it seems every budgetary crisis Texas seems to encounter results in a simple solution involving cuts from education! It's the 21st century. Education should be approached by our government as a priority, not an option.

Government cut $8million dollars from what was a $49million dollar budget for the upcoming fiscal year. $8 million dollars is such a minimal amount in the grand scheme of Texas' monetary budgets, however it may cost many students their education. While I am incredibly patriotic, I have always been a firm believer that college education in this country is ridiculously expensive and there are far too few opportunities for students to receive support and aid for achieving a higher education. Requiring that students finish in four years with a 3.0 GPA seems to be a fair stipulation. I don't think the debate here is whether or not those should be legitimate requirements, or if they will impact the quality of education. The travesty to me is that we, as a state, would go so far as to offer a program that is so unique and pretty awesome, and then sacrifice it's integrity for $8million dollars.

Personally, I am incredibly disappointed that I didn't find out about the "B-on-time" program sooner, and now that I have, I can't apply because of the recent budget cuts...