I long for the day when I can lead with some good
Student Loan News. Today is not that day.
The Seattle Times editorialized on a couple of my recurrent themes.
Students from middle-class families are forced to depend too heavily on student loans to pay for college. In Washington, about six out 10 students graduate with student debt, with an average of $24,600 per borrower, according to the Institute for College Access and Success. Nationally, the numbers are worse.
True so far, but the previous paragraph, not so much:
Considering how important it is to the nation’s economy that more young people go to college and get trained for the jobs of the future, lawmakers in Olympia and Washington, D.C., need to find more ways to make college more affordable and lower student debt.
Why Is College So Expensive?
Washington D.C. created the tuition bubble with its student loan policies. The article talks about the parents of today’s students being able to work their way through college, like I did.
The cost went way up, as did the cost of administration, not professor salaries. Why not?
The college has no skin in the game; they get paid whether the student re-pays the student loans or defaults.
Why do we need “more young people to go to college” when we have 5,000 janitors with master’s degrees?
Where in the Constitution does the federal government have a duty, or even authority, over the cost of college?
There are plenty of good, even high, paying jobs that do not require a college degree.
Government policies have steered people and institutions away from programs that train for trades like plumbing.
We pushed a generation, or three, into going to college regardless of the cost of repaying student loans, and the colleges capitalized by lowering standards and creating more majors and degree programs so that they could make more money, regardless of where that left their graduates.
Worse For Farmers?
According to U. S. News:
According to a survey conducted by the National Young Farmers Coalition, young farmers owe an average of $35,000 in student loans. So while many farmers go to college to keep up with the latest scientific trends, the debt they accrue makes it harder for them to put that knowledge to use after graduating.
And, of course, farmers make less money, so it is even more difficult for them to repay student loans.
The farmers’ solution:
Originally introduced in 2015, the Young Farmers Success Act is a bipartisan bill that would classify full-time positions on farms and ranches as public service jobs. As a result, these workers’ federal student loans would become eligible for public service loan forgiveness. To qualify, a worker’s farm or ranch would also have to earn a certain amount of gross revenue from the sale of agricultural products each year. For 2017, that amount would be $35,000.
This is another piecemeal proposal to a gigantic problem.
Better to address the whole picture, change the bankruptcy code, get the government out of the student loan business, and watch college costs collapse.