President Biden announced earlier this month that he would use executive power to cancel hundreds of millions of dollars of student debt. While that was received by many as a popular, feel-good idea, nearly 60 percent of Americans worry that will only make the current 40-year high inflation even worse.
State Policy Network senior fellow Erin Norman penned commentary in The Hill arguing that Biden’s attempt – whether goodhearted or politically motivated or both – actually will prolong our nation’s student debt crisis even more.
From Norman’s op-ed:
“Despite the federal government trying to swoop in as the savior in the student debt crisis, it is a large source of the problem. As federal grants and loans expand, the total amount students are charged for tuition and fees also skyrockets, increasing the burden of obtaining a college degree on those who don’t qualify for outright aid and obscuring the real opportunity cost of going to college over other post-secondary options. If this investment, by both the government and private individuals, was creating a more educated and work-ready population, it might be worthwhile. But graduation rates within six years of starting a bachelor’s degree stand at just 62 percent — and one-third of those students are underemployed after graduation…
“There is a higher education crisis in America, but cancelling existing student debt will not solve it. Our education system is failing to prepare students for the jobs that need to be filled and doing it in a way where the investment is worth the return for the individual. The states are well ahead of the federal government on this front…
“If President Biden and Democrats really want to solve the post-secondary education crisis, they should let states keep the $300 billion for investment in programs that provide useful and affordable education and training.”
Read the op-ed in its entirety here.