Practical way to cut debt

The whole world is concerned about student loan debt.

The president, Congress and editorial writers across the nation have decried the staggering debt totals college students amass while getting a degree. Everyone seems to be trying to find a way to help the graduates get out from under the burden of what they owe.

The University of Hawaii is also proposing a different approach:

Cut debt before it is run up by pressuring students to take enough courses every semester to graduate in four years. Let’s face it – the longer one goes to school, the more that will be owed in the end.

According to Ka Leo, the university’s student newspaper, the proposal would require undergrads to take a minimum of 30 credits per year to move up to the next class standing. The move is designed specifically to increase the number of students graduating in four years.

Jan Javinar, vice president of student affairs, told the newspaper that each campus’s academic affairs department agreed on the change. Javinar expects the proposal to be formally accepted soon with likely implementation in the fall of 2015.

The story said the new proposal on class standing complements the university’s already announced “15 to Finish” campaign. That move urges students to take at least 15 credits per semester to graduate “on time.” Vice chancellors across the system voted to support the credit change last December.

We think it is a great step by the university and students will appreciate it in the end. Saving a year (or two) in room, board and tuition will reduce a lot of students’ debts.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.