Forget about canceling student loans, go to college for 3 years instead
If you really want to help student borrowers with student loans, now is the time to consider this.
Here’s what you need to know.
Whether you support or oppose large-scale student loan cancellation, there are some undeniable facts about higher education:
- The cost of college is expensive;
- Tuition fees continue to rise;
- Students will continue to borrow student loans; and
- Overall student loan debt will continue to rise.
Although some states offer heavily subsidized public colleges and universities, it is not uncommon for some private colleges to have annual tuition fees of $ 50,000 or more. Democrats in Congress have focused on canceling student loans as a major solution and want President Joe Biden to cancel up to $ 50,000 in student loans.
- One-time cancellation of the student loan: However, this proposal concerns the one-time cancellation of a student loan and does not resolve the underlying problem of the college cost.
- Only benefits existing student loan borrowers: If there is a student loan cancellation, it will only benefit existing borrowers. The day after the student loan is canceled, students will continue to borrow student loans.
- Only for federal student loans: Any student loan cancellations would likely be federal student loans, so student borrowers with private student loans would still have student debt.
Canceling student loans would help existing student borrowers, but it would not help future student borrowers. Simply put, while there are benefits to canceling student loans, canceling student loans does not solve the rising cost of higher education. That’s why it’s time to be more creative.
Canceling a student loan is not the only solution
If lawmakers are serious about tackling growing student loan debt, they need to consider a bipartisan solution that doesn’t weigh heavily on taxpayers. That’s not to say Democrats in Congress haven’t explored various proposals to cancel student loans. For example, Democrats proposed canceling student loans with four changes. If Congress or Biden cancels up to $ 50,000 in student loans, it could wipe out the student loan debt of 36 million student borrowers. At the same time, canceling student loans could cost taxpayers up to $ 1 trillion. Republicans in Congress won’t support canceling student loans, and many moderate Democrats won’t either. There are at least 5 signs that Biden will not embrace student loan cancellation either. Remember this: Student loans are important to deal with, but student loans are not the product that students buy. This is the mechanism for financing education. If it weren’t for high tuition fees, student borrowers wouldn’t have to borrow so much student debt. That’s why Democrats and Republicans in Congress should instead focus on working with colleges and universities to reinvent higher education.
Go to college for three years
A potential bipartisan solution is to do three years in college rather than four years. Think of it as a better way to “write off student loans”. It won’t happen through legislative action – Congress will not force colleges and universities to pass this change. This proposal is intended for a wider discussion among the president, lawmakers, governors, mayors, educators, students, administrators, employers and other stakeholders. Will this solve the cost of higher education or will it eliminate student loans? No. However, it is worth exploring as one potential solution, among many, that will not directly burden taxpayers or alienate people who no longer have student loans or who have not gone to school. ‘university (which represents about 80% of adult Americans).
The argument is simple: three years of college means three years of student loans. Student loan borrowers wouldn’t be burdened with an extra year of student loans. They could start working a year earlier and earn an income. They could start paying off student loans a year earlier. They could start saving earlier for retirement, start a business, and start a family. It’s a softer approach than “free college” or “write off all student loans,” which is currently a harder sell to Congress.
Colleges and universities would lose a year of revenue, which could be untenable for some colleges and universities. Again, a three-year college would not be compulsory or legislated; that would be optional. Colleges and universities could offer three years of college education or keep the existing four-year college program. For colleges and universities that offer a three-year university degree, the federal and state governments might consider various financial incentives. The program may need to be redesigned to allow students to complete their academic requirements in a shorter time frame without sacrificing academic rigor, but most students would likely appreciate the opportunity if it meant borrowing less student debt.
The three-year university will not solve the cost of higher education or eliminate student loans. However, it is a first step to consider as America seeks to make higher education more affordable and accessible.
If you have student loans, make sure you know the next steps for paying off a student loan. Consider these potential options, all of which are free: