The student loan crisis has reached epidemic levels, as evidenced by more than $1.7 trillion in outstanding debt. No one denies the problem. However, the left mistakenly claims that throwing money at the problem by forgiving student loan debt will solve it. The real culprits are the university elites, who conspire to overcharge Americans for the privilege of being indoctrinated by far-Left professors preaching to their captive audiences. In 1971, the average cost of one year at a public university was only $1,410, which was merely 16% of median household income.
Families could afford college then without going into debt. But by 2018, the average annual cost at a public university had risen to $21,370, which constituted a whopping 35% of the median household income. That means most families have to go into debt to put a child through a public college, let alone two or three children in college. At private colleges, the costs are far higher and thus the debt much greater. Among students graduating from college today, more than half are in debt with student loans. Worse, good jobs are not available to new college graduates today except in mostly STEM-related fields.
Universities have made this situation worse by lengthening the time periods for obtaining bachelor’s and graduate degrees. No longer is 4 years the expected duration of completing college, as now the government considers graduating within 6 years a success. Today less than half of students who enroll at a 4-year college actually graduate within 4 years, and only about 60% graduate within even 6 years. That winding path is enormously expensive and wasteful, as the student is typically then unable to work at a full-time job during those years of peak productivity.
Forgiving student loan debt is only a band-aid on a gaping wound. We need to hold universities accountable for what they charge young people in college tuition. The best way is to cut off their limitless funds by discontinuing the practice of federally backing student loans. While that may sound drastic to some people, only drastic action will permanently fix this drastic problem.