The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

102° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Debt hurts student’s ability to grow up

    The Occupy Wall Street movement has brought attention to student loan debt. Students tuition bills are trumping credit card debt, with loan debts reaching $1 trillion this year.

    Gone are the days where college served as a downright path to success, guaranteeing a good job and financial security. Students that owe thousands in loan debt when they graduate are left with minimal choices.

    They can either work incredibly diligently and save every dime for paying off the loan or resort to financial help from family members.

    The Occupy Wall Street movement has included “free college education” in its list of demands, which is obnoxious, however many students have expressed their debt concerns on the We Are the 99 Percent Tumblr. “I am a 20-year-old college student. I have thousands of (dollars in) debt for every year and I am only halfway through college,” writes one student on the forum. “When I go home, I find no food in the fridge. Food is, apparently, less important than the bills in today’s world.”

    In today’s economy student loans don’t just help us through college, they ruin families. Parents will do just about anything to help us out when we ask, but is putting them in risk of default or bankruptcy worth the help?

    When students graduate owing thousands in debt, it is impossible for them to live out their career dreams they worked so hard for in school. Time is money. The longer it takes to pay off a loan, the more the debt increases. Student loans 101: pay them off as you go. How is that even an option when students can barely afford to pay rent or are not able to have a job during school?

    In 2009, President Barack Obama made an income-based repayment plan that forgives student debt to those who pay 15 percent of their income for 25 years. The plan reduced the amount of years to 10 for those who work in public service. Any plan involving decreasing student debt is helpful, but it is still not enough considering the outrageous $1 trillion in student loan debt.

    A recent Rasmussen Report conducted a national telephone survey asking if students feel that the federal government should forgive loans. Shockingly, only 21 percent think student loans should be taken care of, 66 percent are opposed, leaving 13 percent undecided.

    These results show that graduating young adults strive to live and act independently. That is the whole point of going to college and earning a degree. Although it doesn’t seem like it now, in the midst of college life with all its freedom and minimal responsibility, there will come a time when we want to grow up. Unfortunately, student loan debt is a major roadblock to “growing up.”

    On the brighter side, there is a small ounce of financial hope left for students who do not want to spend the majority of their lives paying off college. Finaid.org, a leading site for student financial support and opportunity, advertises November as National Scholarship Month. According to the site, there are 1.5 million scholarships available, equating to more than $3.4 billion in free money. Where does this money come from when these days there is more debt than credit? Who knows and who cares? The best advice out there for students in loan debt is to apply for these scholarships that are practically waiting to give us money.

    We can continue to watch occupiers protest for free education but realistically, students will have to face their debt one way or the other.

    — Caroline Nachazel is a junior studying journalism and communication. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search