Decision 2012 @ SAC

Students and Debt


You have 70,000 dollars below zero in the bank. Imagine how up and coming college students fail starting off in the real world, already owing money. If it were me, I would feel restricted as far as money goes.

Sun out, clouds dancing in the sky and I’m at the sac campus interviewing a male student named Chris, a 22 year old, 5'9 studying radiation therapy. He was with a group of friends hanging out enjoying the weather and waiting for his next class to start. I approached him then asked Chris what his main concern is, about this coming election. He replied, “Student loans and the debt that students are putting themselves in.” After that being said I thought to myself, “That is a big topic many of today’s students are worried about.”

Chris said with a concerned look on his face, “The problem with the student loans are, people don’t have the money to pay back the what they borrowed, and by the time you pay them back you gain interest, and you end up paying more than what you were originally supposed to pay.” There are a lot of students that start their lives off in debt trying to make a better life for themselves by going to college and studying for their career. Many students suffer from this. I like to call it a disease because it affects so many students and it affects them severely.

The reason why this affects Chris is because he fears that when he transfers out that he might have to take out a loan because he has not had a chance for any scholarships and he doesn’t know if financial aid will cover him going to a university. It affects him but at the same time he has friends that are in debt and he feels and sees the pain and stress and how tight they are with their money. The number of people taking out loans increase every year. In an article titled “Student Debt,” Marcia Clemmit proclaims, “New student loans surpassed $100 billion for the first time in the 2010 – 2011 academic year.” It is concerning how high the student loan amount will increase if this was 2 years ago.

In an internet article titled “Student Debt,” Marcia Clemmit states, “Tuition continues to rise and the total higher education debt has surpassed credit card debt for the first time in 2011”. This is a huge eye opener; it makes you wonder how much higher education has surpassed the credit card debt currently. From the same article, Marcia Clemmit explains, “In 2009 the average bachelor’s was borrowing $25,000 or less about $5,000 less than the average car loan.” The average bachelors borrowing has sky rocketed since then, because the price of tuition has increased.

If Chris had a chance to actually do something about the debt that students get into he would do something similar to what the 1998 higher education act did, which was reduce interest rates on student loans and increase grants for students living in lower or middle class families (Clemmit). Offer students that are in debt help, to pay for school. He would want to set up legislation that would allow him to help students across the United States get into to school without so much debt. He would also like to create legislation that prohibits schools from rising tuition. Jokingly he says, “If I could I would make school free, you would have to just pay for your dorm.”

I strongly agree with Chris, I hope that the person that is elected has something in mind for students struggling with school money. I hope they help a lot more students out than what they have been doing so far. I hate to see fellow students in America struggle. I think if school didn’t cost so much then there would be a lot more people willing to go to school who couldn’t get scholarships or financial aid. I myself am current paying out of pocket for my schooling, and luckily it’s a community college. I could not imagine trying to pay for university tuition.