Connor N. Illinois

The Threat of Student Debt

Student debt is becoming a growing problem in our society and it needs to be stopped.

Dear Mr./Mrs. President,

Education is a very important thing in the society we live in. The difference between a good and a bad education could be the difference between a good job and a bad job. Most people want that good education, so they to go to college. At college, they learn all of their classes and subjects and accumulate a lot of knowledge, but a lot of them also find themselves in student debt.

The amount of people and the worth of the student debt landscape is massive. The worth of all of the student debt in the US in 2016 was $1.26 trillion. To put that in perspective, if all that debt was combined over 8 years, it would be challenging the US' loss of $18 trillion. The amount of people that have student debt are staggering. The amount of students in the US in 2016 that had debt were around 44.2 million people with an 11% delinquency rate. A delinquency rate means that someone has not turned in their loan payments within 90 days of when it was due. The average 20-30 year old with student debt usually has to pay the pack $351 dollars. These trends are not just exclusive to 2016 though, in 2012 the student debt market was looking similar to what it is now. In 2012, 71% of people graduating four year colleges had student debt. Also, 66% of people from public colleges had student loans, 75% from private non-profit schools, and 88% from private profit schools. 

The reason why this need to be looked into is that after college, you should be trying to get a job, trying to get a house, stuff like that, but because of student loans most of them end up in cheap apartments trying to juggle rent and loan payments. This is not what your 20's should be like, it should be a time to make choices not dig yourself out of a debt hole that you couldn't stop from caving in. In the end this is really just a hard time for the middle class in their 20-30's, but what it really hurts most are the lower income families. Most poor families cannot pay for their child's college education and if they do, the kid will be swimming in student debt. The option for most poor families is to have their kid get a scholarship, but not all scholarships cover 4 years. Finally, the one of the problems with the system is that as the job gets better the loans increase. Statistics from 2012 show that in graduate school the better degree or job education you get, the higher the loan. This is a problem because this means that you might have to get a lesser degree just to save some money. No person should ever have to do that, they should be able to get whatever education they want. 

I think that a good plan would be to have a system in which some support is given by having there be an extra tax that provides for people in college debt. I think that the way one is determined how much support they receive should be based on income of the student and amount of support the child got while in college from parental figures. Basically, if you were an unemployed student with no support from your parents, you could apply for this support and get a certain percent of your debt payed for. Not insane amounts like 20-30% but more like 5-10% of the debt. However, if you were an employed person who could make a living, got support from parents, but is struggling with debt, you might only get 3-5%. This would be because the richer person could support themselves unlike the poor person who wouldn't. In the end I just hope you look into this issue and help to fix it.


Connor N.

Chicago, IL