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Student Loan Debt

The federal government participates in the student loan program by way of Pell Grants and work study programs(55). The congress electronically transfers funds from the Department of Treasury to the Department of Education. The liberal lending practices of the government encouraged students to obtain loans in large amounts without considering the impact of repayment. This action was encouraged by educational institutions who meet Federal requirements since it meant an enhanced student population and institutional income. During this period, the concept of family support of loans or student employment to reduce loan amounts was minimized. When repayment was demanded in the tens of thousands of dollars at low-paying student employment levels, student defaults reached epidemic proportions(56). Thus, the call for eliminating the student loan debt in its entirety was a progressive initiative.


Conservatives: Funding for education has been practiced in many ways by conservatives over the many years believing that it is the responsibility of the student and/or the family to provide the resources. In America, free education is practiced to high school and advanced education is the responsibility of the individual based on interests and life desires. For college funding, numerous options are available in the form of grants and part time jobs on and off campus.


  • Repayment of a student loan is a moral obligation which was made when the loan was granted. The obligation is assumed by the parent and/or student understanding the amount of debt and the payoff period based on the potential income for paying off the debt. Certain skills (medical, engineering or law) have good potential where as others (teacher, librarian or social worker) are limited.


  • Cancellation of student debt by the government is an unfair practice in that it is unfair to the people who have paid taxes to the government and had no opportunity for educational benefits. The people who pay taxes had no role in the loan agreement and are now asked to pay for someone else’s obligation. In retrospect, the government needs to be out of the business of guaranteeing student loans. It should be returned the banks who will address the moral issue of loan entitlement.


  • It is an unfair practice to forgive a loan since those who are wealthy and can afford to pay for the education will now benefit by the loan guarantee. Additionally, there are low-cost, two-year programs at county colleges the credits of which are accepted by many major universities as a means of reducing overall costs.


Progressives: The liberal/socialists’ element in Congress declare that the large debts acquired by students is unfair, particularly for students with low wage-earning jobs, and the government should aid them in their need. It is the progressives who have advocated the acquisition of debt on the basis that college was the only option for a successful life; even for those who could not even finance a car loan. Debt reduction from partial amounts to full payment impacts only those currently in debt leaving the next group of school candidates to face comparable payment issues.


  • If student loan debt is cancelled it will generally encourage progressives to concentrate on different classes of individuals and encourage government cancellation of other forms of debt; e.g., car loans, medical bills and personal loans. This approach is a means of relegating the populous to servants of the government.


  • Most colleges favor the progressive action to provide loans and debt relief to college students. It gives the professors the opportunity to expand their viewpoints(56) on the evils of capitalism and that the constitution is flawed. These views have become engrained in the student population. Unfortunately, many who have a soft spot for their alma mater continue to support endowments and other financial commitments.


  • Most colleges and universities who are advocates of student loans benefit in that they attract more students. As the student populous grows it becomes necessary to expand the facilities, a sort of never-ending game of indirect financial support from the government. Most educational institutions also have endowments which are closely guarded by their administration. Little is known of the amount of endowment funds available for student support, particularly for payment of student loan debt.

Commentary: Where do you stand on the government absolving student debt?

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