Sam H. Washington

An End to America's College Debt

College debt in America continues to progressively grow as each year passes. While it is impossible to wipe away our debt immediantly, steps can be taken to prevent college debt from further expanding.

Dear Mr. or Ms. President, America is a country of debt, with the total debt being 16.3 trillion dollars. Professors should be paid for what they do, but at the exact same time a college debt should not loom over you for 20 years. Even though America's college debt will take forever to pay off, it is possible for the cost of college to go down, preventing the debt from expanding even further.

As I have said before College debt in america is far too big for this country to pay off anytime soon. The fact is college debt will still be a thing no matter what. Even if a system was made where college was extremely cheap, somebody would eventually accumulate debt. Currently we live in a world where we have no such system, so College debt is very likely for most people. The main reason why people accumulate long lasting debt is due to the time frame they have to pay it off. In the U.S. News article titled, Student Loan Expectations: Myth vs. Reality, writer Allie Bidwell states, “The standard repayment plan for federal student loans puts borrowers on a 10-year track to pay off their debt” (Bidwell). Debt is the main issue but, the thing that makes it become a problem is the little time you have to pay it off. According to The Institute For College Access and Success when showing the average student debt of a person per state, they state, “Seven in 10 seniors (69%) who graduated from public and nonprofit colleges in 2014 had student loan debt, with an average of $28,950 per borrower.” (TICAS). So if you do the math you can tell that you would have to pay $2,895 per year (or $241 a month) on student loans. This may seem like a small number, but keep in mind that with the shortage of well paying jobs $2,895 is difficult to manage for students fresh out of college. The clear solution seems to just extend the time on the payment plan for another 10 or 15 years. While it is true that you would be in debt for longer, the payments would be much more manageable, with the monthly payments being around $120 a month for a 20 year plan, or $96 a month for a 25 year plan.

While a great way to reduce unpayable debt is to extend payment plans, the best way is to lower the cost of college outright. There are several ways to do this such as having cheaper room and board, or cutting down on book costs by making them all digital, but these things are pennies compared to dollars, in other words college tuition. College Tuition is easily the largest expense of college. The issue is getting tuition to go down is College professors should be payed for the work they do. So the best way of lowering tuition is grants. The issue of college grants is where you get the money from. The best way to get money for more grants is to create a government program, that draws its financing from our defence force. According to Business Insider article Here's how the US military spends its billions, writers Sky Gould and Jeremy Bender state, “In 2015, the US will have a declared military and defense budget of $601 billion, which is more than the next 7 highest spending countries combined.” (Jeremy, Bender). If the American Defense Force spends $601 billion dollars a year, shaving off even 1% of that could give financially challenged students a cost free college experience. As for students who don’t apply for financial aid, offer them 0% interest rate loans, that could be payed over the course of 20-25 years.

The common consensus as to why college is as expensive as it is, is because you need to go to college to succeed, so something that helps you put you on the career path you want to take, should have a high price. You can see this idea at many websites, such as, who states, “The stronger your skill development during college, the more opportunities you have for higher-paying jobs and raises.” (Kokemuller), or Centura College, who says, “Having a college degree and the skill set that comes with it often times leads to the ability to pick and choose career paths.” (Dalby). While it is true that college does help you with your future motivations and goals, it should absolutely not be as expensive as it currently is. College is something that should be valued, but at the exact same time not impossible to obtain. The skills college prevent you with are vital, and should be able to be learnt without a $60,000 price tag. So while college should cost money for what it gives you, you should be able to get to college without years of debt behind you.

College is something that almost every student aims for, but it’s great expenses, and short time frame for paying off loans have led America to having a massive college debt. College debt won’t go away anytime soon, but it can be prevented from expanding further. College should not be a monetary investment, but an investment in our nation's future, and the future of our kids.

Sources cited

"State by State Data 2015." The Institute For College Access and Success. The Institute For College Access and Success, 2015. Web. 2 Nov. 2016.

Bidwell, Allie. "Student Loan Expectations: Myth vs. Reality." U.S. News. U.S. News, 7 Oct. 2014. Web. 2 Nov. 2016.

Gould, Sky, and Jeremy Bender. "Here's How the US Military Spends Its Billions." Business Insider. Business Insider, 29 Aug. 2015. Web. 2 Nov. 2016

Kokemuller, Neil. "How Can a College Experience Help With Achieving Future Goals?" Our Everyday Life. Our Everyday Life, 2016. Web. 2 Nov. 2016.

Dalby, Holly. "How Does a College Degree Help Your Career?" Centura College. Centura College, 26 Sept. 2013. Web. 2 Nov. 2016.