“Just Sign Here…We Now Own You for Life.”

BY CAMERON ROCKLIFF

There is an ever-present elephant in the room at college. Or more accurately, one that sits on each of our backs while hitting us in the face with a baseball bat made of monthly installments. I am of course talking about student loans, that thing that may well give you an early positive credit score but can cripple the early graduate job seeker. Whether federal or third party, they are a pain, but that’s been especially apparent since I came here.

Being from Ol’ Blighty (Britain) I’m stuck with one much like everyone else, but only after doing some digging did I really understand how lucky I was. Ours, put simply, is a tax that only applies to us over the 10 years after I graduate but only if I’m earning roughly over $50,000. If not, it gets cancelled. Simple as that.

But here it is not only far harsher, it’s getting worse. 7 out of 10 students graduated into debt last year with total debt claiming at one trillion dollars (that’s twelve zeros…), never a nice number in this context. The worst part is that student debt is rather flexible in how it is collected: it can still be collected after bankruptcy, through assets, inception of tax refunds, you name it.

This article is really not trying to scare you or draw attention to this ugly reality.. I’m trying to show how bloated that problem has become and the festering repercussions it has for all of us. States who consistently slash spending on higher education as well as public academic institutions, who raise tuition rates, are just a few things we should, by no means, accept. As community colleges reduce capacity waiting list continueing to appear. . It is a boon of being in a 21 century democracy that we can get public access to funds that will fuel our future careers, but its through that same philosophy that “for profit” schools that are publicly traded on the stock market ruin the system for all of us.

Education, should be for the students who want to learn, give them the opportunity to learn and reward them for doing so. Education literally makes the human world go round and not grind to a halt, so it’s important we protect it for others and ourselves. Even the Scots get it completely for free…That’s a future you can’t help but love. See the ‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’ episode entitled ‘Student Debt’ to see the inspiration for this article and for an even funnier British man explain it better than I ever could.

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