Home, Opinion

Opinion: Students are in dire need of debt relief

As tuition rates rapidly increase each year, college students are left with no choice but to take out thousands of dollars in student loans to help pay for their advanced education. 

According to USA Today, the average college graduate is $37,388 in debt. The financial service company, Bankrate, says the average interest rate on each student loan is typically 5.5%. The high interest rates associated with student loans can be avoided by obtaining a subsidized loan that allows students to postpone their payment plan until they’re no longer enrolled in school. However, the stress of these payments at any time can be enough to make a student second guess if the expenses of a higher education are worth it. 

With those statistics in mind, it is evident that there is a massive issue going on with student loan debt in the U.S. As of Nov. 1, the total amount of student loan debt in the country has accumulated over $1.77 trillion.

An outline of U.S. President Joe Biden’s Student Debt Relief Plan. (Photo courtesy of 9News Denver)

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been a struggle for college graduates to find a job that will help pay back their student loans. With the current rise of inflation in the U.S., all college students who fit the criteria should be receiving some sort of student loan forgiveness, especially since most college graduates are in the early stages of adulthood.

As of Aug. 24, 2022, President Joe Biden introduced the Student Debt Relief Plan that offers $20,000 in debt forgiveness for Pell Grant recipients and $10,000 for non-Pell Grant recipients. This plan specifically applies to individuals who make less than $125,000 a year, which includes a majority of college graduates who desperately need this money to help pay off their student debt.  

If this plan is approved by the Supreme Court, it will provide former college students with a helping hand when it comes to paying off the debt they’ve accumulated from their higher education. 

While the student loan forgiveness plan sounds intriguing, the Supreme Court has not been quick to sign it. One of the reasons for their reluctance is the loaners who want all their money back, including the accumulated interest.

Supporters of the Student Debt Relief Plan stand in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington D.C. on Feb. 28, 2023. (Photo courtesy of The Associated Press)

Many supporters of the debt forgiveness movement publicly voiced their opinions in late February, when protests in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building demanded the nation act on student loan forgiveness.  

According to the personal finance company, SoFi Technologies, there are approximately 45.3 million college students who have taken out loans in order to fund their college tuition.

In relation to this statistic, a recent poll was conducted on Twitter asking NMSU students if they’ve garnered debt while attending the university. While the results portray a condensed capacity compared to the total students enrolled, the poll showed that 59% of respondents have garnered debt, while the other 41% have not received any student loans. This adds to the point that student loan debt is a massive issue that needs to be addressed and resolved in the near future. By finding a solution, college students across the U.S. can eventually become debt-free and not have to always stress about paying off their student loans 

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to New Mexico State University, the NMSU Department of Journalism and Media Studies, Kokopelli, or any other organization, committee, group or individual.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *