May 27, 2019
National news was all abuzz with the surprise announcement made by billionaire Robert F. Smith at Morehouse College’s graduation ceremonies. His family pledged to pay the full college debt of 40 million dollars for the entire 2018 graduating class. So on that day, 400 young people could heave a sigh of (debt) relief.
That left about 44 million present and former college students still in debt for 1.57 trillion dollars.
Today, higher education costs are more than four and a half times more expensive than they were 30 years ago.
Public grants for college and university students have disappeared.
Instead, student loans have replaced mortgages as the new money-making scam for both banks and the federal government. Students take out huge loans – not only to cover skyrocketing tuition costs, but also higher costs of living in expensive housing.
And then, when and IF they graduate, with tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, they are still not likely to find good-paying jobs.
No, the massive problem of student debt cannot be solved with individual acts of philanthropy. It can only be solved with a complete reorganizing of the priorities of this society, one of which would be to make education, and life, affordable after school.