Going to college should not mean you're in debt for the rest of your life.
Student loans are affecting millions of us every year. They are putting immense financial pressure on both the young and old, and the worst part is that it might only get worse. The only winners are for-profit colleges and lenders who are receiving ruthless interest payments. Student loans are essentially dictating whether students enroll at a certain college, whether they graduate, and even where they work afterwards.
It is especially affecting Latinxs who might already be worrying about their family’s immigration status, English being their second language, or being a first-generation student and having to adapt to college life. Now they also have to worry about the immense debt they will acquire.
The necessity for them to go into debt to get a college degree is something that not only affects students now, but will continue to affect them in the future. First, because a lack of higher education really does limit long-term salary and career opportunities–so opting out or dropping out may not be a good solution. Second, when students make decisions on which university to go to, or whether to go to university at all, for financial reasons, it hurts them and all of us because they may be limiting their full potential. Lastly, those that do go on to higher education but accumulate crippling amounts of debt are less likely to start their own business, buy a house, or go into lower paying professions like teaching or nursing. This hurts all of us–our economy and our society.
There are many solutions to this student loan crisis. For example: debt free college, free college, student loan forgiveness, increased funding to state schools, regulation to stop predatory lenders and crack down on for-profit scam universities, and more! The solutions exist, we just need the political will to enact them. It’s the lack of federal action that keeps the $1.6 trillion student loan debt climbing.
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