Opinion | How the cost of higher education will change under Biden
The Biden administration has been reluctant to cancel student loans. Here’s why.
Americans have incredible student loan debt. In March of last year, student loans stood at about $ 1.5 trillion, with the average American holding about $ 30,000 by the time they graduate. One in 10 Americans continue to go into debt until their forties and fifties. It is clear that student loans and the cost of higher education, which has doubled since the 1990s, are a problem for our generation.
As Gen Z begins to enter the workforce and the economy, our student loans will prevent us from buying the homes, cars and other big ticket items that make up “the American dream”. So what has the new presidential administration promised to do about it? On their campaign website, Biden pledged to make public colleges and universities free for families with incomes below $ 125,000, to increase federal aid in the form of Pell Grants so more Americans can benefit from more of their studies and create more generous subsidized loans. . But while the Biden administration has pledged financial aid for students and graduates, there has been a lack of action on the part of the administration.
Democratic leaders in the House and Senate have called on the Biden administration to relieve $ 50,000 in loans to Americans through executive action. However, Biden is reluctant to do so. Although he is prepared to write off $ 10,000 in loans in the COVID relief bill, he said he does not have the executive authority to write off $ 50,000 in student loans. Additionally, the Biden administration places more emphasis on reducing the cost of education than on actual loan forgiveness by encouraging students to attend two-year community college, which is cheaper and then be transferred to a four-year university. While Democratic leaders and many students find this plan disappointing, Biden’s policies are correct.
The reason the cost of education has skyrocketed is that student loan programs are increasing demand, which allows colleges and universities to increase their tuition fees. Implementing vast levels of student loan forgiveness will, in all likelihood, make the problem worse in the long run, even if it will help millions of Americans in the short term. Loan forgiveness may be unhappy for some students who have chosen to attend a cheaper public university in the state over an expensive private university to save on costs, which is true for many Tuscaloosa students. Whether justified or not, they would feel penalized for making the profitable decision to attend the University of Alabama.
While there is no easy fix to the cost of college and student loans, it’s clear Americans and students need relief now. But it would be in the best interest of current and future students to find solutions that provide long-term benefits, namely solutions that keep the cost of college down.
Siby Suriyan is a recruit specializing in computer engineering. His column works regularly.