Perspectives: Should Student Loan Debt Be Forgiven?

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  • Katlin Cundiff<br/>Associate Professor of Management

    Katlin Cundiff
    Associate Professor of Management

    The two cents I can add to the discussion come from north Europe – Finland and Estonia, to be specific. These two countries are known for their free higher education. However, there are only limited free places for the top students in each country. The rest need to pay tuition, just like in private universities around America. In Europe, student loans are governmentbacked with low interest rates. They are also easily available and not dependent on the economic background of the student or the parents. This merit-based system ensures every student in the country, no matter what socioeconomic circumstances they come from, have an equal chance to access higher education either by getting into free places in state universities or getting a student loan. This is the system I grew up in. Since it is merit-based and affordable to everyone, there have not been any discussions across Europe regarding forgiving student debts.
  • James Reynolds<br/>Head Wrestling Coach

    James Reynolds
    Head Wrestling Coach

    The question shouldn’t be, “Should student loan debt be forgiven?” but instead, “Should investors be getting rich on the backs of young students seeking an education?” That is what’s really happening. While I don’t believe all students deserve a subsidized education, student loan programs are predatory. Very savvy businessmen are counting on young naive students to overextend themselves on debt they are often not qualified to get based on a credit history, or lack thereof or, based on income. They would not issue a loan to students if they didn’t already know they were going to make money. Private loan companies don’t much care if that individual is going to be a productive member of society and use their education to be prosperous. They care about making money for the investors. They have lobbied for laws to make sure of it and they will be profitable whether a student defaults on their loans or pays them back for rest of their professional lives.
  • Quincy Standage '21<br/>Political Science

    Quincy Standage '21
    Political Science

    College is a privilege. The higher education individuals experience at Drury is like no other and students often work multiple jobs and apply for numerous scholarships and grants to afford the opportunity. To offer loan forgiveness is to take away the weight of each individual’s decision to go to college. Loan forgiveness requires an enormous sum of money. Estimates for the cost of such a bailout is near $1.1 trillion. Where would this sum of money come from? The answer does not lie in taxation of the top 1 percent because historically, as taxes increase, more businesses move from the United States to offshore locations. It is also unfair and unrealistic to ask those who choose to not attend college to pay for the college tuition of others. It is the responsibility of the individual to repay the loans they chose to take out for higher education.
  • Ryan Bowling '05<br/>Associate Vice President/Digital Marketing Specialist,<br/>Guaranty Bank

    Ryan Bowling '05
    Associate Vice President/Digital Marketing Specialist,
    Guaranty Bank

    Student loan forgiveness sounds like a great idea in theory, but it’s not the solution to the ballooning college debt problem. According to the Federal Reserve, Americans owe about $1.6 trillion, with one in six adults paying on a federal student loan. Asking, or in more likelihood requiring, taxpayers to pay for the individual decisions of others is itself a sticky moral dilemma. A blanket loan forgiveness program would reward those who paid too much for their degrees, while a tax on the ultrarich program would quickly trickle down to the middle class, the very group the program was trying to help in the first place. When students aren’t obligated to repay what they borrow and colleges aren’t on the hook for the debt their students incur, what’s keeping the cost of higher education in check? Without competitive forces motivating institutions to provide a quality education, the whole system spirals wildly out of control.