Melanie Arougueti/Staff Writer
Even though student loans are one of America’s biggest crises, they should not be forgiven. However, they should also not be forgotten.
The issue has been at the center of debate between the 2020 Democratic candidates, who are either offering tuition-free college or forgiving student loans altogether. Candidates like Reps. John Delaney, Seth Moulton, and Sen. Kristen Gillibrand propose other forgiveness programs for students who decide to go into national service.
But instead of suggesting a far-fetched idea about the debt forgiveness from student loans, the Democratic candidates should be promising a more concrete plan for past, present and future students.
Sen. Bernie Sanders is the only democratic candidate to suggest completely erasing the debt, according to CNBC, which would be done by taxing Wall Street. This proposal is quite different from Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s, which proposes to remove certain amounts of student’s debt depending on their household income.
Other candidates take a more reasonable approach. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Sen. Kristen Gillibrand propose to lower interest rates for student loans instead of forgiving them completely, which is a much smarter idea.
Those who graduated with tons of debt should definitely look for programs that help relieve some of that, especially interest rates. Forgiving them altogether could destabilize the economy and seem slightly unfair. If Bernie Sanders gets his way, then taxpayers would have to pay for students who took on the loans.
While America has a long way to go in making universities free, jumping from one end of the spectrum to the other will certainly affect the country.
Tuition-free college would allow students to attend university based on their merit and merit only. It would also entice the younger generation to go to school without worrying about the tuition they might not be able to pay.
Countries like Germany and Sweden offer tuition-free higher education; however, it’s unlikely the United States will join that category. The U.S. is a money-driven country, and the educational system here is expensive, long, and frankly, based more on social class than intelligence.
Because of this, forgiving student debt could potentially ruin the economy, especially since there’s no concrete plan behind it. Questions like how long it will take for student debt to be absolved, whether the entire debt or just a part of it will be forgiven, and what will happen to those that paid off their debt a couple months before the law passes, are still up in the air.
Improving the already standing student loan forgiveness program would be better than simply wiping out the debt, and options like removing the interest that adds up throughout the years should be considered. After all, allowing students to take loans in the first place is what increased the rate of tuition, according to a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Doing so wouldn’t isolate the people who have sacrificed many other things to pay their student debt first and foremost.
The student loan crisis has many perspectives to consider, but removing debt from those who owe won’t help the crisis.
The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.
Featured photo from FIU Flickr.