It seems lately one of the topics for discussion is that of the heavy burden from college loans. Some are calling for the loans to be completely forgiven. That means the debt is eliminated.
The money was borrowed from a lending institution, where that might be a private bank or the US government, papers were signed agreeing to pay it back, the student received the education, and now they don’t want to pay it back. It’s too much money. The banks knew they were lending these people more than they could afford to pay back. “Predatory lending.”
Interestingly, an NYU professor is actually advocating for students en masse to simply stop paying their college loans
New York University professor Andrew Ross led a discussion about the burden of student loan debt — now estimated to be between $550 billion and $829 billion — and proposed a radical solution: “A Pledge of Refusal.” The idea is that protesters would sign a pledge to stop making payments on their student loans as soon as 1 million had joined in making the pledge.
The article goes on to ask about the professor biting the hand that feeds him.
Ross acknowledged the irony of protesting against one of the main sources of his salary but added, “I feel very bad that my salary has actually been financed (by these debts). … To me it is just heartbreaking to see my students carry so much debt. It’s just immoral.”
However, the repayment of the loans isn’t a source of his salary. He already has his money. He won’t be out anything and neither would NYU. It is the banks and the US government who would be out their investment.
Also, the money that is repaid by graduates for their loans goes directly back to current students to pay their college costs. So if Professor Ross is successful, what will happen is the low-income students today won’t be able to go to college because the money won’t be available. Is that what they want to be responsible for? Some hard-working, low-income student not being able to go to college?
Where is the personal responsibility in this? Where was the plan here? Where was the forethought in signing for five- or six-figure loans for an education that may not have jobs available to pay the bill?
Some people today believe that higher education is a basic human right. I would disagree. People have a right to an education through high school and then the rest becomes a privilege. Especially when today, a college education is not a requirement to get a good paying job in many fields. Yes, there are fields where a college or graduate education is required, but for many other fields, it is not. I would love to have a 6,000 square foot house on a cliff overlooking the ocean with a garage full of fast cars. I can’t afford that. College is no different. People need to learn to live within their means. If that means going to CCRI for a couple years to get the general education requirements in first and then transferring to get the bachelor’s degree to save money, then that’s what they should do. If it means getting a low-level job at a company and using a tuition reimbursement benefit to get a degree, then do that. If it means working your way up in your chosen field and getting experience instead of the education, then do that.
The bottom line for these people is they took on the debt, there’s no way to give anything back like you can when your house or car is foreclosed on, so the debt has to be collected on. That’s why it is guaranteed. This is explained to people when they sign the note and agree to put themselves in debt. Forgiveness? No. Please pay what you owe so the next person in line can make their decision about whether they want to borrow the money to go to college too.