Welson M. Maryland

College Debt

I created a letter about my concern for the amount of debt college students attain by the time they graduate and how it affects them and their future.

Dear future president,

There are many jokes being made about the harshness and difficulty of life as a college student with college debts, but they all, or most of them, are true. Many college students who barely gathered enough money, still have to take out loans from various banks and other sources to meet the minimum tuition rate. This debt just keeps building and growing because the students don’t have a stable career yet. College debts should be regulated by the government to minimize their effects on college students and their families because it jeopardizes the financial capabilities of those with debt, discourages students from furthering their education, and affects the opportunities of students after college.

Student debts are a major source of stress in the lives of college students and their family members. A 2014 study found that “the average student graduating with debt had borrowed $28,950” (CNBC). This in turn causes the student stress because all of their money from their jobs, if they even have one, goes straight to paying off the debts that only seem to grow and not be slowed by the payments. The same goes for the family members who have to work non-stop to help with the debts. On average, charges for public four-year colleges “grew by almost $5,000 over the decade from 1994 to 2004,” while “the median debt load for public college graduates who borrow is $15,500” (Warren).

Many students either choose convenient, affordable schools, go to community college, or don’t even go to college at all. Many students, to save money on tuition, register at cheaper colleges, not even thinking about the quality of their education. A staff member from American Honors, an honors program for college students, says that some students are “required to take [pre-required] classes, that don’t even count for college credit (but still cost money)” (Bynon). All these expensive requirements make potential alumni to be reluctant to attend college, seeing that even “less expensive state schools may therefore not be an option” (Warren). Some people don’t even think about attending college solely because of the cost, and instead take menial labor jobs, and end up complaining about the low pay and how they cannot support a family with so little.

Students also face hard times after college as well because they don’t have as many job opportunities. College is a good investment, meaning it’s not going to provide students with the benefits in the job market early on, but “the typical repayment period of a student loan occurs during the earliest years despite the fact that the benefits accrue later” (Merino). College graduates also face “the general uncertainty in labor market outcomes for individuals at any education level,” which in turn, makes paying back student debt soon after college nearly impossible (Merino).

College students and graduates should be protected from loan sources who ask too much to be paid back until they are capable of making reasonable payments to minimize their effects on students and their families, encourage higher education for students, and improve confidence in finding a career. The cost of student loans is increasing so much that “the price of college has grown twice as fast as the price of health care” (Warren). We, as a nation need to alleviate this effect before education is seen as a luxury many can’t afford.

Holland, Kelley. "The Long-Term Consequences of Student Loans." CNBC, 9 Dec.

2015, www.cnbc.com/2015/12/08/

the-long-term-consequences-of-student-loans.html. Accessed 9 Oct. 2016.

Bynon, Erika. "3 Reasons Why Students Actually Choose Community College."

American Honors, 27 Apr. 2015, americanhonors.org/blog/article/


Warren, Elizabeth, Ganesh Sitaraman, and Sandy Baum. "College Debt Can Be Managed with New Social Programs." The Rising Cost of College. Ed. Ronald D. Lankford, Jr. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2009. At Issue. Rpt. from "A Ticket to the Middle Class: Working Off College Debt." Tobin Project, 2007. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 7 Oct. 2016.

"A College Degree Remains a Good Investment but Debt Is an Issue." How Valuable Is a College Degree? Ed. Noël Merino. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2016. At Issue. Rpt. from "Taking Action: Higher Education and Student Debt." Vol. 5. 2014. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 7 Oct. 2016.