Student loan debt is not an exclusive problem. Oh no, the high cost and rapid increase in college tuition has pulled America into a deeper debt hole affecting students and the entire country.
It is true student loans help those of lower incomes have an opportunity to attend college and obtain a higher education to better their lives. It is also true that they have turned into America’s nightmare by worsening economic inequality.
The student debt in 2015 added up to $1.2 trillion and averaged a balance of $29,000, with a total of 40 million borrowers. The debt in student loans has grown at an uncontrollable rate and continues to increase every year.
Young Americans go into debt because they think everything will fall into place once their careers start. Unfortunately, the reality is a lot more consequential than many would theorize. Students leave college with higher debts than they imagined. Paying the loans off can turn into a real struggle affecting not only the students’ economic stability, but the fiscal strength of the entire nation.
Both the president and aspiring presidential candidates have acknowledged the terrifying numbers student loans have acquired and decided it is time to find a solution. President Barack Obama has proposed solutions like the free community college plan—allowing anyone who works at least part-time and has a 2.5 GPA to have their tuition waived.
Obama and candidate Bernie Sanders’ plans will allow young people with a fascination for education to have a better quality of life. The plans could effectively prevent the American economy from stumbling and reducing already existing income inequality exacerbated by student loan debt.
Free college tuition is an investment for America’s future. Student loans started with good intentions, but no good deed goes unpunished. The debt amassed from student loans has prevented millions of people from a life of leisure, calm and quality. The government needs to stop depending on student loans and start investing in America’s future: free college.
Other countries are investing in the education of their young people and offering free college tuition. Unlike America, these countries recognize the populace needs to be properly educated in order for those countries to be players on the international stage. Students should not be discouraged from educating themselves due to the prospect of insurmountable debt.
For example, Germany is one of the countries with free college and it seems to be working perfectly fine for them. Their government has recognized the importance of educating citizens and found a way to make it accessible for everyone.
The government needs to provide its citizens with free tuition. It will create an educated population resulting in a competitive nation able to contend in world economy. Most importantly, it will leave millions of students debt-free.
Follow Evelin Garcia on Twitter at @Eveling285.