The Gatepost Editorial: Student debt crisis demands attention

Students are drowning in debt.

Since 1980, tuition in the United States has risen 757 percent, according to debt.org. Gone are the days when students could work for an entire summer and pay their way through school – now, either you have the money or you borrow it.

The gross amount of student debt now totals $1.2 trillion, according to debt.org. The typical college graduate owed $33,000 in 2014.

Graduating with such a high amount of debt impedes young Americans from purchasing homes and cars or starting businesses.

Not attending college, and avoiding student loans, means competing in a job market in which almost every entry-level position requires some form of a degree, and three-plus years of experience.

In other words, student debt has young Americans in a chokehold.

And while Millennials are struggling to pay their loans and make ends meet, the federal government is profiting from their debt.

According to studentdebtrelief.us, the Federal Student Loan programs made a profit of $41.3 billion in 2013.

We at The Gatepost believe it is crucial that the next United States president address the student debt crisis.

In an election fraught with discord and slander, even Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton agree that the federal government should not be profiting from crushing debt of the next generation.

Clinton has a plan for student loan forgiveness which centers on refinancing federal student loans and cutting interest rates in half.

Donald Trump said he aims to alleviate the student debt crisis by creating jobs in the private sector.

Instead of simply lowering the interest rates, we at The Gatepost believe interest rates for federal student loans should be completely eliminated. There is no reason the federal government should be profiting from students.

Furthermore, more government jobs should offer student loan forgiveness programs, similar to the those offered to doctors, lawyers and public servants.

However, in order to truly free America’s young adults from this massive financial burden, the cost of college itself must be addressed.

States should contribute more money to state universities so that tuition, as well as room and board costs, can be lowered. Additionally, states should take care of all the little fees that add up, such as parking and campus maintenance.

The student debt crisis doesn’t just affect Millennials – it’s detrimental to our nation as a whole. When Millennials eventually inherit the workforce, the government and American culture, they will be burdened with that massive debt. This will greatly impede their ability to run our country.

Investing more money into public education will only improve our future economy, culture and nation as a whole.

The student debt crisis is just that – a crisis. Millennials are America’s future. If the next United States president has a vested interest in that future, they will address the student debt crisis with the urgency it deserves.

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