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College student loans: Too big for Trump's wallet

by The Stylus
Tue, Feb 20th 2018 09:00 pm
Elliott LaPoint/EDITORIAL CARTOONIST

Loans, for many college students, can make the difference between being able to attend and having to forgo the college experience altogether.  Trump, disconnected from the middle and lower classes of America, seems to lack this understanding for those less financially fortunate than himself.
Elliott LaPoint/EDITORIAL CARTOONIST Loans, for many college students, can make the difference between being able to attend and having to forgo the college experience altogether. Trump, disconnected from the middle and lower classes of America, seems to lack this understanding for those less financially fortunate than himself.

Unless your parents are fully covering your four-year college tuition, you probably know a few things about what student loans are. You would also know that student loans often tend to result in debt after college, but despite their long term troublesome reputation, student subsidised loans are the reason why more than 5.7 million students per year are able to afford a college education. Well, President Trump’s 2019 budget proposal would take away subsidised loan programs and end the loan forgiveness system. 

Being able to afford a college education has never been an easy thing to do for any middle-class family. It can be especially hard and almost impossible for an 18-year-old student to afford it, and although a few research reports that student loan programs amount to debt for over 37 percent of graduate students in America, loans allow for more than 70 percent of young adults to attend college. 

So how exactly is President Trump preparing to take higher education away from thousands of students across the country? We don’t know about you, but we  at The Stylus wouldn’t be able to continue pursuing our dream jobs or educations if loans were to be taken away from us. 

Trump’s plan to gradually make college loan programs obsolete was announced on Monday, Feb. 12, and is a major part of his proposed budget that is scheduled to take effect in July 2019. Developed to slowly cut away from the 1.3 trillion dollars owed to the United States by graduate students that are still paying off loan debt, the suggested policy is going to take shape by increasing the amount of years in which a loan recepient will be forgiven of his or her loans.  

According to cnbc.com, Trump wants to completely change the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, doubling the 15 years that graduate students are currently given until their loans are completely excused, which will result them having to pay significantly more. 

Despite the fact that the loan forgiveness program may only be exercised by certain public service positions like health researchers and teachers, the elimination of this program would affect more than just students pursuing a job in the public service field. With a much greater chance of not being able to afford an education in public services, less people will pursue a degree in that area, which will result in less teachers and breakthroughs in the medical field. 

Along with the fact that your loans will not be forgiven for another 30 years if you’re a graduate student, you will also have to pay more per month. This would only apply to graduate students, as undergrads will actually be forgiven of their loans in 15 years as opposed to the current 20 year period that is currently in place.

The new budget will increase the cap of the amount of money taken out of a graduate’s job salary from 10 percent to 12.5 percent, which thousands of people won’t be able to keep up with. In addition to that, the inability for students to afford subsidized loan programs would mean that less colleges across the United States will have a use for the programs, economically isolating more than 30 current programs. Leading loan programs, like Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants and 21st Century Community Learning Centers will lose out on business. Does Trump’s plan seem unfair yet?  

Well, it sounds like no matter whether you are able to pay for a full college education without having to take out loans, or trying to attend college with the help of the subsided loan program, there’s really no way around Trump’s budget proposal if it passes legislation. A deeper look into the bigger picture of shifting how higher education is paid for, unveils that there is much more than the elimination of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. 

The divide gap of college loan utilization between white and black students has been a staggering one for a couple of years now, but the future of getting a college education under Trump is on track to increase that gap by a far wider margin. Trump has repeatedly proven that his policies only benefit the top one percent who own over 50 percent of the nation’s wealth, and his 2019 budget plan would prove that theory more than ever before. 

As it is, 57 percent of black students use loans compared to the 43 percent that of white students, with an additional $2,000 more borrowing per student. Comparable to modern segregation, taking away the loan forgiveness program would make the opportunity of getting a higher education unattainable for  of thousands of black students across the nation. 

The scary thing behind all of this is that Trump’s presidency has just began, and his reputation doesn’t entail for a happy ending, unless you are part of that glorius one percent, of course. 

From current college students, families and businesses that exist to aid those families and students, to the common folk that rely on future teachers and medical experts to help make their communities a better  place and help sustain the current infrastructure that and based on education, the president’s decision of implementing loan elimination as part of next year’s budget will have a consequence on the daily lives of most people in the country. 

 The possible passing of the 2019 budget would go against one of the core aspects behind U.S. growth: an affordable college education. With only a year and a couple of months to go until we find out if paying for a college education will get tougher than it already is, students like us can only hope that Congress disapproves of Trump’s nonsensical decision. Congress legislators are the only thing standing between Trump and students being able to afford a higher education.

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