People Want More Affordable Education Over Forgiven Debt

National Public Radio (NPR) recently ran a poll to determine what Americans think about student-loan forgiveness. More than half the respondents favor President Biden’s plan to forgive $10,000 in student debt per borrower.

Among people with outstanding student loans, 84 percent support Biden’s debt relief plan, and 68 percent want the Biden administration to forgive all student debt.

That’s not surprising. I would certainly say yes if the President offered to pay off my Visa card.

And here’s the NPR poll’s most interesting finding: Among college-loan debtors, 82 percent believe making college more affordable should be the feds’ priority.

The NPR poll results show that most Americans understand why the federal student-loan program is out of control. College education costs too much.

Giving student debtors $10,000 in student-loan relief will do nothing to solve the student-debt crisis, which worsens with each passing month.

While politicians and pundits debate whether President Biden should forgive some of this massive debt, the colleges keep raising their tuition.

The United States has too many colleges and too many frivolous degree programs. Too many universities offer over-priced, mediocre graduate degrees that don’t lead to good jobs.

Most universities are bloated with platoons of highly paid administrators who draw higher salaries than the professors. Several for-profit schools have been found guilty of fraud; almost all charge too much for degree programs that don’t pay off financially.

It’s easy to shower college-loan borrowers with helicopter money– a one-time gift of $10,000 in loan forgiveness to every student debtor. Kind of like giving a couple of bucks to a panhandler–how hard is that?

It is much harder to grapple with the underlying reasons for the student loan crisis: corruption, mismanagement, and price-gouging at American universities.

Richard Fossey is a professor at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, Louisiana. He received his law degree from the University of Texas and his doctorate from Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is editor of Catholic Southwest, A Journal of History and Culture.

1 thought on “People Want More Affordable Education Over Forgiven Debt”

  1. The author could not be more right about the reason for the student loan crisis. Many colleges have taken advantage of liberal student loan policies to raise tuition costs to feed bloated budgets and grow an empire. Yet student loans are necessary and a blessing for the poor who can’t afford money for higher education. It is not right that just the rich have opportunities for learning. These loans are federally guaranteed. Taxpayers face the consequence when these loans are not paid in mass. The amount of student loan debt guaranteed by the government is nearly two trillion dollars. Because these loans are guaranteed by the taxpayers it would be entirely appropriate to require an additional step before a loan is given. One way to help alleviate the problem would be for Congress to require a student loan applicant to take an hour class where education and student loans are discussed. For example, explaining that student loan debt doesn’t go away. It can’t be bankrupted. Explain the future payment amounts, interest charged and for how long payments would be required. Explain in detail how much in student loans would be required to complete a course of study. How if payments are not paid Social Security in a person’s senior years could be offset to pay past-due student loans. Include a discussion on specific courses of study and job opportunities and pay in that field. Require that applicants be given information on the employment rate for graduates of the specific college they plan to attend. The class could teach ideas for applicants to consider to lessen education costs- for example community college, scholarship opportunities, etc. Taking this class would be required each year before a loan is approved. Require a parent signing a Parent Plus loan to take a similar class explaining the consequences of a child’s failure to pay a loan to them. Educating student loan applicants each year might give them pause to think before applying for a loan thinking it is “free money” and ending up with a frivolous degree with no job opportunity at the end. It is the taxpayer footing the bill- requiring an extra step like this is not unreasonable. Colleges would oppose this as it would affect their current gravy train.


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