Biden’s administration must cancel student loan debt

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Just a few grades up to a bachelor’s degree, my mother made an impossible choice: continue or drop out of college. Faced with health problems, mental illness and the stress of raising seven children while homeless, she struggled with difficulties – her grades deteriorated and she dropped out of university. When students do not complete their degree, their student loans cannot be forgiven or canceled, and the first bill arrives within six months of graduation. My mother was unable to return to school with thousands of dollars in student loan debt and accrued interest. Although a college degree could lift my family out of poverty before our conditions got out of hand, and the cost of her unfinished education made it worse.

I applied to college to change trajectory my life and graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2020. Like my mother, I have accumulated nearly $ 40,000 in debt, as evidenced by the student loan bill that hangs on my bedroom wall. The brighter future offered by higher education is marked with an asterisk – a debt that impedes social mobility and prevents many college graduates from buying houses, getting married, and even having children.

While education is often cited as an excellent equalizer, the high cost of a higher education degree reflects growing controversy. The systematic cessation of state and federal funding for public higher education has fueled the exclusivity and inaccessibility of “public choice.” The hypercompetitive nature and burdensome administrative tasks of college admission alienate many students from low-income communities, while the high cost at many public and private colleges limits door access for these same populations. The cost of college does not stimulate poor and working-class applicants while threatening those who attend with growing debt

As of 2021, the student loan debt crisis has reached $ 1.7. trillion and influences about 42 million borrowers… Most of this debt belongs to students from low income families. According in Demos research, 84 percent of Pell grant recipients in public institutions, graduates with student debt compared with 46 percent of those who do not meet Pell’s criteria. In addition, black student borrowers disproportionately carry more debt go to college and after graduation default at rates five times higher than white students. In accordance with research done at Columbia University, higher default rate part of this can be attributed to attending commercial colleges and the historical divide in racial wealth.

Hence, the burden of student loan debt acts as a barrier to individual participation in the economy. Many borrowers have fewer opportunities to buy homes, start a business, and save for the future. Households without students debt “Have retirement and liquid assets that are significantly larger than households with student debt,” according to Demos’ research. Some borrowers even Default on their loans if they cannot pay them, which lowers their credit rating and their ability to rent an apartment or take loans from others areas… Those struggling to complete their college education face the burden of student debt without a degree. Like my mother, they are obliged to give them money back without the higher salary that a bachelor’s degree usually gives – college graduates typically earn $ 1 million more throughout their careers than those without an advanced degree.

These overlapping issues require immediate intervention to reduce the economic burden of higher education and promote intergenerational equity: complete cancellation of student loan debt and investment in college.

Some oppose a complete cancellation of student loan debt, arguing that writing off student loan debt will “Raise your hand for the best.” While debt cancellation will inevitably benefit a small fraction of wealthy households, it will mostly improve the plight of the poor, working-class and black communities hardest hit by the crisis. In addition, it will bring broader social benefits. by increasing the opportunities for an entire generation to invest in entrepreneurship, retirement accounts, and intergenerational welfare through home ownership.

The Biden administration has the right to cancel all federal student debt by its own order right now. 92% of the total student debt belongs to the federal budget. government, Biden proposed he would support a student debt write-off of only $ 10,000. Members of Congress have instead advocated $ 50,000 in debt repayment, which the erased debts 80 percent of all borrowers

If student loan payments are set to start off again in October, following the Biden administration’s extension of the pandemic moratorium, the president has a unique opportunity to go beyond another extension… By canceling all federal student loan debt, it will free borrowers from their debt sentence by delivering on the promise made by education and create opportunities for social mobility for those most in need of a chance to fulfill the American Dream.

Timothy Scalona but first year student of Suffolk Law School.

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