After four (and more) years of hard work, study and learning, university graduates are ready to take on the world and begin their careers. However, these college graduates face obstacles soon after graduation. After studying for years and specializing in one area, their career should be ready for them, but that’s not always the case. College graduates struggle to find careers after college, making it increasingly difficult to pay off student loans and start life. Student loans cripple college graduates and make it incredibly difficult to pay anything.
Kids were always told growing up that without a college degree there would be no steady job for them in the world, a career would allow them to pay all the bills and support a family. So growing up, these kids worked incredibly hard in school and did extracurricular activities so they could receive scholarships and grants to pay for part of their schooling. Even though they may have received scholarships, tuition fees for college have risen tremendously, making it the place for them to take out student loans.
University students after four years of college owe an average of $38,000. Almost double the amount they withdrew due to interest. Now, this poses a huge problem for students who are just starting their careers and starting to support themselves. On average, forty-four million students take out loans to pay their tuition, and for the average year of 2016, there is $1.2 trillion in debt for college graduates alone. A research study was conducted with students and created data on the student loans they had taken out and the amount of each. The study showed that 30.5 million students took out direct loans, totaling $911.6 billion, as well as 16.8 million college graduates took out the FFEL loan which amounted to $342.6 billion, perkins loans totaling $8.0 billion, by borrowed from 2.7 million people (Josuweit, Andy). On average, that doesn’t seem like a lot compared to the number of kids going to college, but that amount will double by the time it comes to paying them back due to an 11.1% delinquency rate. It is almost impossible for the average college graduate to pay off their student loans in a short time, which creates many problems when it comes to starting their career and taking care of themselves.
Research found that when comparing four-year universities and private colleges as well as community colleges, student loan debt was significantly higher at four-year colleges than at community colleges. In addition, they found that more student loans were taken from students who attended public four-year universities rather than private ones. The research also found that students who received pell grants were more likely to borrow money than other students. Forty percent of the $1.2 trillion taken out for student loans was used to fund college and professional degrees. All this statistical information showed that of the forty-four million students who take out student loans to finance their tuition, the majority of them attend four-year public universities and rely on the class scale medium to low. Now, just because these people are middle and lower class doesn’t mean they should have to pay for it when it comes to going to college and fighting for a better career. Student loan debt is a problem that needs some attention and a solution to the crippling problem.
The topic of student loan debt for college students is something that hasn’t been talked about much in recent years. Attention was brought to the issue when the presidential election took place and Bernard Sanders (also known as Bernie Sanders) began to propose to the forum that the university be free to avoid student loan debt . Shortly after this proposal was announced, the real statistics came out on the matter. Student loan debt has nearly doubled in the past few years due to rising tuition fees, making it nearly impossible for the average student to not get a student loan. The interest rate on the loans was increased, which caused the amount taken out to double before they even had the chance to start repaying it. Sanders also drew attention to the idea that a college degree is roughly the equivalent of what used to be a high school diploma. Arguing that the student should not have to pay for the education he should have received in previous years of schooling.
Many solutions have been proposed to eliminate the problem of student loan debt. Solutions have been brought to attention by current President Barack Obama, such as student loan forgiveness, allowing college graduates to apply for loan forgiveness, erasing their remaining debt balance. The requirements for this are that the college graduate must be employed by the government or a non-profit organization, in addition, he must have made at least 120 monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for current employer. However, this solution also caused some problems, so the student loan forgiveness program will not eliminate student loan debt entirely, it would just reduce the burden slightly. Although it does some favorable things, the solution would end up costing taxpayers a hefty $3.5 billion in order to offset student loans. This idea that taxpayers pay out of pocket has caused a huge problem on the subject.
Another solution that was proposed was something more local. Companies allowed recent university graduates who started a career in their company right after graduation to offer contracts to pay off their debt. College graduates who sign contracts with companies allow companies to pay off their student loan debt if, in return, students work for them for a period of time. Many medical students have found themselves signing ten-year contracts with a company to pay off their medical school debt. Now, even though this solution may seem like these students are selling their souls, each student has the ultimate decision whether or not to accept the offer.
Student loan debt can be solved in different ways, but the most effective way would be to make tuition free, eliminating the idea of student loans altogether. When Wall Street collapsed, the middle class helped bail them out. Wall Street can help end student debt. Bernie Sanders has come up with a great idea, and with the help of a few little revisions, it could be the end of student loan debt for college grads. Taxing Wall Street with a speculation tax would bring in enough revenue to eliminate tuition fees. And even if the revenue isn’t enough to eliminate tuition, it will exponentially reduce interest rates on student debt. Another way to get income would also be to raise taxes for the upper class. Both of these ideas would bring in a significant amount of revenue to fund college tuition.
Although the issue of student loan debt for college graduates has just come to the public’s attention, the problem has been going on for quite some time now. More and more over the years. Little has been done to address the problem, but some ideas have been offered to ease the burden on students. With the combined efforts of important people, we could find America creating a real solution to the problem and eliminating student loans and even tuition in general. Although the idea may not seem realistic in today’s economy, there will come a time when a student can strive for a better education for their future without having to worry about being in debt because of what it takes to get there.