In 2017, a total of 1,548 loans were issued to students in state-guaranteed loans, of which the majority (84%) consisted of study loans (tuition fees for university studies). The remaining loans (16%) were consumer loans intended to cover the daily needs of students (student loans). In total, $ 8.3 million in loans was made available to students in 2017, which is almost one million less than the year before, when students received $ 9.11 million in loans.
The decrease in the number of loans granted
It is largely due to the lower number of students in Latvian higher education institutions and the greater sense of responsibility of students. As the number of students decreases, the number of budget places does not fall equally fast and as a result many students choose study programs where tuition is free.
As in previous years, this year and in 2018, Daisy Bank provides loans to cover tuition fees and to cover daily needs. Traditionally, this is the only credit institution to participate in the auction for the right to issue state and student loans and student loans. In the past, Swedbank also participated in this auction, but due to the economic crisis, Swedbank declined to participate in the auctions and focuses on a more solvent public.
According to the bank, the average loan amount to students is 5500 dollars. Most of the loans are taken by the students of both major Latvian universities – RTU and LU and the amount of the loan is correlated with the tuition fee at these universities. As time goes by, Daisy Bank makes sure that applying for a loan is as easy as possible. As a result, students can apply for a student loan online, but considering that the deal is serious enough, students still choose to go to an affiliate. Such a decision is understandable and justified, because it is possible to talk to knowledgeable specialists at the branch and get answers to unclear questions.
Does it make sense to take a loan to cover tuition?
Daisy Bank does not provide more accurate information on which study programs students are more likely to choose to borrow money to pursue higher education. Latvia has a relatively high number of budget places in better paid study programs in the IT sector, but others are often unable to provide well-paid work after studies, which reduces the need to borrow for a fee. On the other hand, young high school graduates are idealistic and aspire to fulfill their dreams and dreams at all costs. As a result, it is understandable that they are willing to pursue their studies at a relatively high cost, despite the fact that they do not expect high salaries.
Unfortunately, many graduates are forced to go to work abroad after studying due to the labor market situation in Riga and Latvia. There, at least initially, they do low-skilled work and do not work in the acquired specialty (study program). This is not a bad thing, because it is only through real life that you can understand what you really want to do and the education you have gained allows you to at least expand your view of the world.
Comparing tuition fees in Latvia with tuition fees in Western $ope or the US
we see that studies in Latvia are still relatively cheap. While in Latvia you have to pay only $ 5 – 6 thousand for studies (in most programs), you may have to pay tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars for similar studies abroad. The most discerning young people have already discovered that after completing their undergraduate studies in Latvia, it is possible to continue their studies at Masters level in other EU countries. This allows you to gain first hand knowledge at a much lower price, although differences in levels can always be discussed.