In the wake of the Covid pandemic, we have seen one of the largest asset shifts in recent history. Corresponding Forbes660 billionaires more than the previous year. Simultaneously enroll in community colleges and four-year universities crashed in the United States, as the student debt crisis has created a situation where low-income communities are reluctant to complete a college education due to the likelihood of leaving with crippling debt.
To stop the student debt crisis and prevent future generations from being condemned to the reality borrowers face today, we need to establish a free university system. Such proposals already exist in both the House and Senate, with two of the most notable previous bills being that of Senator Bernie Sanders and MP Pramila Jayapal College for All Act, as well as Senator Brian Schatz and Representative Mark Pocans College Debt Free Law. Such bills would allow students to get a college education without fear of running into lifelong debt, while also helping communities that have historically been marginalized.
The current Budget Reconciliation Act, which is under scrutiny by Congress, includes two years of free Community Collegewhich would be a monumental first step in the fight for free higher education. The plan is a priority for President Biden, who has identified it as a critical part of his Build Back Better plan and views the free community college as part of his domestic and international economic agenda. During the campaign, Biden stated that “sixty-five jobs out of 100 today require more than a high school diploma” and warned that “any country that overwhelms us will overtake us”. According to the White House, the plan would allow nearly 6 million students and workers to earn a degree or qualification for free.
That proposal is at risk, however, as Senate Republicans and a handful of moderate Democrats are threatening to take the proposal out of the package. Despite the fact that Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema previously said that “any American willing to work hard should be able to receive quality education through our country’s community college system,” she and Joe Manchin of West Virginia are the most notable objectors.
Today, 45 million U.S. student loan borrowers owe over $ 1.7 trillion in federal student loan debt, with the average borrower owing $ 37,000. While the debt crisis has been catastrophic for students of all ages, it is disproportionately affecting younger Americans as one in three adults ages 25 to 34 has student loan debt. The effects of the debt crisis are preventing younger borrowers from buying homes, growing their families, and saving for retirement. It takes the average borrower 20 years to pay off their loans, with the average payment being $ 400 per month. Borrowers are overwhelmed by the student debt crisis – to resolve it we need to address its root cause: the dramatically inflated cost of college education.
Unlike most lawmakers, current students and graduates are all too familiar with the rising costs of college education. For example, from 1982 to 2012, tuition fees at private four-year colleges rose by 250 percent, and in the last 10 years alone they have increased by a further 25 percent. For example, the University of California’s Board of Regents has voted to start Increase in tuition fees for each new class arriving, leading to a 20 percent increase by 2026.
Earlier generations of college graduates could pay for their education with a college job, but that is becoming increasingly difficult as school prices rise eight times faster than wages. With 70 percent of students needing student loans to finance their education, the college’s cost doom the majority of Americans to ongoing economic uncertainty and hardship. Student debts also have a disproportionate effect on colored borrowers; Twenty years after starting college, the middle white borrower has only 6 percent of their debt, while the middle black borrower has 95 percent of their debt intact.
“The exorbitant cost of higher education fuels a system in which the differences between race, gender and wealth are growing. To build an economy that works for Millennials, Generation Z, and future generations of Americans, we need Congress to stop the student debt crisis at the source by passing a free college bill, ”said Charlotte Hancock, senior Director of Generational progress.
Not only would student debt relief be one of the most powerful ways for us to build better; it would also be one of the most sensible political avenues to a fairer economy. As college costs skyrocket and the student debt crisis worsens, it becomes clear that in order to rehabilitate our higher education system, we must offer both free college to those seeking an education and the student debts of those who need to be forgiven. the ones through our broken systems.