Students Drown in Debt: Congress Throws Them a Cinderblock
It’s no secret these days that students are facing an uphill climb in attempting to obtain college degrees. Student debt has surpassed even credit card debt, with total student debt over a trillion dollars. Average student debt per student is around 25 thousand dollars. Here’s the kicker: There is no foreseeable light at the end of this tunnel.
Congress is passing a budget today that could end up hurting college students even more. Although they are raising the limit for Pell grants, up to 5,500 dollars, many of the new policies could end up denying many many people their college degree. The two major changes are a shortening of the years one is eligible for the Pell grant, and an elimination of the grace period to pay back the loan. The changes are expected to save the government 11 billion dollars over the next decade.
There is a huge consequence for this change though, and it will hurt some of the most vulnerable people in our society. It is expected that these draconian cuts, along with the rapidly rising cost of education, will hit African-American and transfer students the hardest.
These changes could affect 100,000 students very badly, at a time when education is already under attack.
We just finished 9 years of war in Iraq. In those 9 years we spent about 1 trillion dollars to invade and occupy a country that had nothing to do with 9-11, that had no way of attacking us, that was no danger to us in any way. 1 Trillion dollars, with a capital T. Yet we cannot provide a decent college education to our citizens. Just this year over 600 billion dollars are being allocated to the military, to continue an occupation of Afghanistan that is serving no one’s interests but the defense contractors.
It’s time we got our priorities straight. Stop the attack on education, stop the attacks on students. Free education for everyone, NOW.
Forgive ALL student debt.
We can’t afford not to.