Is student loan forgiveness the right answer to a bigger problem? 3 reads | Opinion

By members of The Spartan staff

THE ISSUE of college costs and student loans is one that affects a majority of students, largely for the debt that they carry with them after four or more years preparing themselves for a career.

Certainly, when President Joe Biden unveiled his student loan forgiveness plan with the idea of canceling a collective sum of $400 billion of debt nationwide, many expressed their support. 

Since then, the program has met some stiff opposition, largely from conservatives; Biden’s plan is currently paused as the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals looks at lawsuits introduced by six states: Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and South Carolina, according to npr.org. These states are claiming that student loan forgiveness would hurt their tax revenue or state-based loan agencies. While some lawsuits already have been dismissed, the question of legality is still being assessed.

Some of the opposition might be related to a disagreement with the president being able to reduce or eliminate someone’s debt without going through the bankruptcy process first. President Biden issued the forgiveness plan via executive order rather than proposing legislation. The cost for taxpayers is another concern:. The Department of Education’s website estimates that the program will cost taxpayers $400 billion over the next 30 years.

Here are some links to a few recent articles on the plan and its future:

Will student loan forgiveness happen in 2023? Here’s what employers should know, Employee Benefit News

Already Applied For Student Loan Forgiveness? 6 Key Updates, Forbes

Apply By Nov. 15 for Student Loan Forgiveness. Here’s Why, Time

When could student loan borrowers know if they’re actually getting relief?, The Hill

Biden’s latest gaffe on student loan bailout plan may come back to haunt him | Opinion, Fox News

Economic pros and cons of student loan forgiveness, The Monroe (Mich.) News 

Student aid forgiveness, studentaid.gov

The Biden-Harris Administration’s Student Debt Relief Plan Explained, studentaid.gov

As part of The Spartan’s mission to not only report on campus news and offer students a voice on the issues of the day, members of the staff were asked to produce a 400- to 500-word on the issue. Several are running today and more will run Friday.

We hope that prompts some discussions or maybe feedback from readers on how they view the plan specifically and the issue overall.

Lee Kling is a senior majoring in criminology

Student loan forgiveness has been introduced by President Biden and there are many different feelings and thoughts about the idea. As a college student, we all love to hear that news, including myself. Although, what’s hiding on the flip side that we don’t know about is how will this affect everyone else who doesn’t have any student loans?

As a student currently attending York College, I agree with the program, but in the future that may change. I’m currently paying for myself to go to school so of course forgiveness sounds like an amazing idea. I have a car payment, a phone bill, insurance and many other things I need to pay for, so all the help I can get at the moment would be welcome. 

This seems like it will be a good opportunity for many people to get back on their feet, myself included. I know many people who have been through school and have been graduated for years and still struggle to pay their bills because of the loans they took out. The amount people pay for school, I think it’s nice that we’re getting a little bit of support. 

I do like the idea and agree with the program, although I do have some questions and concerns. Obviously this money is coming from somewhere, so how is it going to be paid back? I’ve seen things such as taxpayers will be paying for it, inflation is going to continue to increase, it worries me how this will affect my life now or in the future. So not only will it have an impact on me, this may have an impact on my family and friends, which also concerns me. 

A very typical response I’ve been hearing is, “Well they decide to go to school and take out the loan, so they are responsible to pay their own bills.” 

I mostly agree with that statement although there are a few parts that I would argue. In today’s world, I feel like if you want to be successful it’s difficult to do without a degree. It can definitely be done, but so many employers look for that degree now and many people need those loans and have no choice, we can’t control the outrageous prices institutions are charging. There are many studies done on the internet that show on average, people with bachelor’s degrees typically have a larger salary.

Yes, this does worry me, but if it finally clears its present hurdles and forgiveness would be offered, and I could apply, I would. I do worry about the impact it may have, but I do support the idea and hope it gives some relief to fellow students and graduates and allows us to get ourselves back on our feet.

Jack Fennell is a freshman majoring in Sport Media.

Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan is meant to do is to eliminate $20,000 in student debt for nearly 8 million borrowers. The plan also included an extension of the student loan payment pause and a proposal for a new income-driven repayment plan. 

There have been quite a few questions that have been asked, however. These questions include who qualifies for student loan forgiveness, what type of student loans qualify, and what kind of loans in general qualify. 

There are some things that need to be considered about tis plan. Student debt is already at an all-time high at an astonishing $1.75 trillion. “One in every four Americans already have student loan debt, and arguably the most important thing in my opinion is that the average student loan debt is currently around $37,500

With the plan that President Biden proposed, only $20,000 would be given, which means that the average American still would not be able to afford to pay off all of their loan debt. 

There are some pros and cons to this plan but just from my eyes there seems to be more bad than good. The average student and family of the student would not be able to pay off their loans, meaning that this plan only works to the upper end of the financial spectrum and will be able to fully utilize this plan, as I understand it.

The other issue that this plan will cause is a rise of inflation. Inflation currently sits at 8.2%, which compared to 2021 was at 4.7%. The other issue that this will cause is it is only a temporary fix for a bigger problem. It is the equivalent of trying to fix a crack in the wall with a Band-Aid instead of using plaster. 

Using this is only delaying the inevitable that taxpayers will eventually have to pay this off. Not to dismiss the positives, however. Some of these positives are that it could boost the economy and it could benefit many, especially minorities. According to research from Columbia University, Black communities have twice as much student debt rate as white students. 

Overall, my thoughts are this that there are many more negatives to this plan then positives as we are only delaying the inevitable, going for a quick fix rather than looking at the problem as a whole. 

Abigail Balderson is a sophomore majoring in Literary and Textual Studies. 

Anyone would be excited at the thought of free money. The idea of receiving possibly receiving $10,000 or $20,000 for student loans is hard to reject. It would make millions of Americans’ livelihoods improve, stress less, struggle less. 

I know it would make my own life much easier if I wouldn’t have to pay for the majority of my student loans. 

Only one problem – the money isn’t free. 

Money that exists through student loans cannot simply disappear. So where does it go?

The burdens from the debt forgiveness would shift to taxpayers. I myself am not very well read when it comes to taxes, but I know enough that raising the taxes for everyone, even those who didn’t attend college, isn’t fair.

Although there are many things wrong with the way the education system is run in America and how the cost of attendance for a bachelor’s degree is unbelievably high, canceling debt doesn’t fix the root of the problem. 

And, in fact, it might cause more problems. Things like increasing taxes and worsening inflation don’t seem like a cost every American should pay because those of us who went to college owe money.

The situation we’re in right now as college students or graduates isn’t fair either, but the more I read about the program it feels like a Band-Aid solution on a growing wound. Even in the last 10 years the cost of higher education has gone up.

Inflation when it comes to college cost is shocking. In only 20 years the cost of education has grown, and going even further back an education in 1977 that would cost $20,000 would cost more than $300,000 today

There needs to be something done about the cost, but I don’t believe loan forgiveness will give the solution that is needed. 

I would love to receive money to help get rid of my student loans, for my sister to get money for hers, for those who are also struggling, too. But there has to be a solution that doesn’t punish everyone as a whole. 

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