Making a Change

Children were always told growing up, that without a college degree, there would not be a stable job for them in the world, a career was going to allow them be able to pay all the bills and support a family. So growing up, these kids worked incredibly hard in school and did extra curricular activities so they could receive scholarships and grants to pay for some of their school. Even though they may have received scholarships, tuition for college has increased immensely, making it to where they have to take out student loans.

College students after four years of college owe on average $38,000 dollars. Nearly doubling the amount that they took out due to interest. Now this poses a huge issue for students that are just beginning to start their career and begin to provide for themselves. On average, forty four million students take out loans to pay for college tuition, and for the average year of 2016, there is $1.2 trillion dollar debt for college graduates alone. A research study was conducted that polled college students and created data on what student loans they had taken out and how much of each. The study showed that 30.5 million students took out direct loans, totaling to $911.6 billion dollars, as well as 16.8 million college graduates took out the FFEL loan that was added up to $342.6 billion dollars, the perkins loans all together was $8.0 billion dollars, by being borrowed from 2.7 million people (Josuweit, Andy). Now on average this does not seem like much compared to the amount of kids that attend college, but these amount will double by the time it comes to pay them back due to a delinquency rate of 11.1%. Making it near impossible for the average college graduated to pay back there student loans in a short amount of time, creating many issues when it comes to starting their career and taking care of themselves.

Research has found that when comparing four year universities and private colleges as well as community colleges, that student loan debt was much more significant in four year colleges than community colleges. Also, they discovered that more student loans were taken out with students who attend public four year universities rather than private universities. Research also found that students who received pell grants were likely to borrow more money than other students. Forty percent of the $1.2 trillion dollars taken out for student loans was used to finance graduate and professional degrees. All of this statistical information has shown that of the forty four million students who take out student loans to finance their tuition, a majority of them go to four year public universities and rely on the middle to lower class scale. Now just because these people fall in the middle and lower class does not mean they should have to pay for it when it comes to attending college and striving for a better career. Student loan debt is an issue that needs some attention and a solution to the crippling issue.

The topic of student loan debt for college students is something that has not been talked about widely in the recent years. Attention was brought to the issue when the presidential election came around and Bernard Sanders (also known as Bernie Sanders) began proposing the forum that college should be free to avoid student loan debt. Soon after this proposal was announced the real statistics came out about the issue. Student loan debt has nearly doubled in the recent years due to tuition cost being raised, making it nearly impossible for an average college student to not take out student loans. The interest rate for the loans has been raised, causing the amount being taken out to double before even getting the chance to begin to pay it back. Sanders also brought attention to the idea that the college degree is about the equivalent of what used to be a high school diploma. Arguing that student should not be forced to pay for education that they should have received in previous years of schooling.

Many solutions have been proposed to eliminate the issue of student loan debt. Solutions have been brought to attention by the current president Barack Obama, such as student loan forgiveness, allowing college graduates to apply for a loan forgiveness problem, wiping away their remaining balance of debt. The requirements for this is that the college graduate must be employed by the government or a non profit organization, in addition they must have made at least 120 monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full time for the current employer. However this solution caused some issues as well, such that the student loan forgiveness program will not entirely take away student loan debt, it would just reduce the burden slightly. While it does some favorable things, the solution would end up costing the taxpayers a large sum of $3.5 billion dollars in order to compensate for the student loans. This idea of the taxpayers paying out of their pockets caused a huge issue on the topic.

Another solution that was proposed was something that was more local. Companies have allowed recent college graduates that have started careers with their company right after they graduated have offered contracts to pay for their debt. College graduates that sign contracts with the companies allow the companies to pay off their student loan debt if in return the students work for them for a certain amount of time. Many medical students have found themselves signing ten year contracts with a company in order to pay off their medical school debt. Now even though this solution may seem like these students are selling their soul, each student has the ultimate decisions on whether or not they want to take the offer or not.

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