Student Loan Debt and Forgiveness

Topics: Debt, Loan, Higher education Pages: 7 (2560 words) Published: November 14, 2012
Portfolio Paper: Student Loan Debt and Forgiveness
Justin Puckett
Public Administration: PMG300
Colorado State University Global Campus

When it comes to achieving success in the work force and finding a fulfilling and lucrative career there are few things more important that higher education. Going to college and getting a degree is essential in finding success in the work force. The problem is when the cost of gaining that degree outweighs the financial compensation the career that follows is able to supply. Very few people are able to pay for college out of pocket. The result of this is that students seeking higher education are forced to take out massive student loans. This means that they are entering the work force after college already thousands of dollars in debt and under water. Outstanding student loan debt topped $1 trillion dollars last year. (Block) This figure is now exceeding the total amount of credit card debt in the U.S. Thousands of borrowers are now forced to postpone important life events such as getting married, buying a home or having children until their debts are paid off. Defaults on loans are rising, which typically leads to larger loan balances. This problem is not limited to young adults. Many student loan borrowers are older adults who went back to school to finish or gain a degree that they put off due to various life events. Others are parents who co-signed loans for their children because they were unable to afford college out of pocket. There’s widespread agreement that student debt is a problem, but there's little consensus on how to go about solving the issue. The average undergraduate student leaves school today owing nearly $29,000 and graduate students leave owing about $44,000. (Heavey) Interest rates on subsidized federal Stafford student loans, one of the primary loan options available to students, are set to double on July 1st 2012 unless Congress steps in to prevent it. Recently Senate Republicans blocked a bill backed by the White House that would end a tax break for the wealthy to fund an extension of the lower rates on student loans, paving the way for possible compromise. Educators and policymakers also are looking for new solutions to a mountain of student debt. The student loan debt crisis affects everyone. This issue is not only the problem of the students accruing the mountains of debt but also educators, policy makers, and politicians as well. With the rising cost of education and the notoriously low pay for educators in this country, a teacher shortage has already begun to surface. The average salary for a high school teacher in the U.S. is $43,697 and $40,243 for elementary school teachers. (PayScale) With yearly incomes as low as this, many aspiring educators are giving up on their dreams in this career field because they know they will be unable to pay off their student loan debt for years to come. With a November 6 presidential election approaching, both President Barack Obama and his presumed Republican challenger Mitt Romney have targeted mounting student loans as a growing problem for American families and the struggling U.S. economy. Without government intervention and support on behalf of the public administration the problem of student loan debt will continue to grow out of control and undermine the education system and economy of the nation. The growing student loan debt crisis is not only the problem of the students seeking their degrees. Parents of students attending college are being forced to co-sign for student loans in order to help pay for the rising cost of their children’s education. For many of these parents this is a financial burden that puts them in an incredibly difficult position. This has a hugely negative impact on the nation’s economy in general. Politicians and political leaders are also very involved with the discussion of what to do about this issue. The President recently put forward an idea that even his presumptive...
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