Tuesday November 29 at 8p we will be having a Frameworks discussion on the costs of higher education and the proposed loan forgiveness program. Many believe that loan forgiveness is unfair to those who have paid for their education or those who chose a different path due to the expense of higher education. Others have pointed out how social inequality is reinforced and magnified by the high costs of college.
We aim to have a conversation focused on solutions. To do so we need to identify the various elements and learn from one another perspectives.
What is the purpose of education? Are colleges and universities living up to the educational mission they have been charged with? And consider that "charge" is partly in the form of tax exemptions. There are often grants and other benefits as well. Why is it widely accepted that public funding is appropriate for grade school and high school but not other education? Are the right things being taught in high school? Specifically, how often has the message of college being a required next step been put forth.
What is the result of a generation saddled with college debt?
Report Highlights. The effect student loan debt has on the economy is similar to that of a recession, reducing business growth and suppressing consumer spending.
- From 2019 to 2020, the average student loan debt grew 3.6%; meanwhile, the national economy shrank 3.4%.
- In the last decade, student loan debt increased by an average of $78.7 billion every year.
- The average college degree offers a 14.0% return on investment.
- Adjusted for inflation, 9.0% was the average annual growth rate for the national federal student loan debt from 2007 to 2021.
What should be expected of the financial institutions lending this amount of money to young borrowers?
"The people who brought us college student loan debt did so legally at the time, but gamed the laws, despite the harmful results for some. How might those responsible compensate for the harm they caused? Those who exhibited carelessness and indifference to the consequences of their machinations? Civil cases aim less at punishment than repair. Now is the time to talk about a reparative policy that aims for corrective justice for those who have suffered, as well as mandating restitution from those who so carelessly gained."
"The White House claims it cares about fairness. But if it really wanted to promote true equality and fix America’s costly higher-education system, it wouldn’t support student debt forgiveness programs at all. Instead, it would focus on pursuing policies that would lower the cost of attending college and incentivize educational alternatives, such as skilled-labor training programs."
We cannot dish out bandaids without fixing the problem that is hurting us.
The colleges and universities need to be held accountable for the cost they are charging students.
Financial institutions need to bear the risk of the loans they are offering. Fees and interests need to be looked at for student loan classification.
Our public school systems through grade school and high school need to better prepare our youth for the decision of college and the responsibility of taking on the costs associated. Alternatives such as trades and military service should be encouraged as viable, respectable alternatives.
It may be worth encouraging a year of service or some alternative skip year between high school and college.
When we look at all of these areas of accountability, we could reach a place to discuss how to address the current student debt burden.
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