Published On: Sat, Aug 8th, 2015

Concerns about costs for Curaçao students in US

US StudentsWILLEMSTAD – The Independent Member of Parliament, Omayra Leeflang and the President of the Chamber of Commerce, Billy Jonkheer expressed their concern about the cost of education for the local students heading for the US.

A group of Curaçao students has recently left to the United States to continue with their education. The question is whether this is a good alternative to studying in Curaçao or in the Netherlands. According to both officials, studying in the US could be very costly for the parents of these students.

Every young person who wants to study in the United States can borrow from the Student Loan Foundation (SSC) an amount of 12,000 dollars per year. Students can borrow another 3,000 guilders if they desire. Leeflang indicates that this amount is far from sufficient to cover all the cost of education in the US.

In a statement, the Independent MP indicates that she was approached by various parents whose children are in the US. “The 15,000 dollars they receive each year is often swallowed in its entirety by the high tuition fees of some educational institutions. There are even places where the tuition is more than 15,000 dollars. These students and their parents have to come up with the rest to be able to pay for the education.”

The situation is serious for the parents who do not have it well financially. “Children are not allowed to work. They depend on what parents send to them.” Leeflang warns of additional problems. “During the holidays, the children have to leave the campus where they have a room. Students are forced to return to Curaçao. This entails additional costs. Extra costs to be borne by parents.” But the MP also recognizes that the parents are to blame for this. They have been warned by the SSC beforehand.

Because of these additional costs, studying in the region is not an alternative, according to the President of the Chamber of Commerce, Billy Jonkheer. He thinks it is still always better to send Curaçao youth to the Netherlands to study. The costs they have at the end of their studies are still less than those of young people who go to the United States. “The US is good for someone who wants to be a professional athlete.” The fact remains that the parents of a number of young people who travel to the United States, do not have enough money to pay their learning path.

Photo credit: US. Consulate Curaçao

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