Many millennials hope for loan forgiveness

Student debt illustration

Robin Gee

Student debt illustration

Mackenzie Smith, Staff Writer

Today’s economic market is at an even-keel among global, national, and local venues.  To be honest, even-keel is a reserved way of saying America is doing pretty good.  What isn’t at even-keel is my economic status, and I do not feel too good about that.  As a full-time liberal arts transfer student, while working part time as a line therapist, money is tight.

My current economic status isn’t what worries me.  It is the doubts that surround student financial aid as well as loans.  Simply put, I want to know how we, as students, can gain control over our financial future.

I have experienced too many nights where I find myself sick with worry stemming from two grimacing words: financial aid.  Typically what I do to mask my already-building façade is think to myself, “Once I get to my educational goal, I’ll be fine.”  This thought may sound amusing to some; but I know I am not alone in thinking this way.

College students embark on the treacherous road that college paves because, well, we expect something in return. A study that was published on November 12, from Junior Achievement USA conducted by Ypulse, provided a new, staggering statistic that represented what the Millennial generation thought about their financial future. “24 percent of Millennials expect student loan forgiveness.”  This percentage is shocking to me, because it is my opinion that one in four students are knowledgeable to this grandiose, alluring policy.

It’s not the policy, nor the students that I am shaming, it’s the road that’s leading to this development that I am condemning.  On the Student Federal Aid’s website they describe what the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) is, and to be honest, it doesn’t sound like it would be accessible to many students.  Students need to be working full time in a service position job and meet the requirements for having qualified employment: “Qualified employment is any employment with a federal, state, or local agency..” I see many glitches within this broad-span of information, it permits disconnection to occur amongst students and technology.  What lies within the tiny print is concerning and narrowing for student’s expectations.

So, where or why do the 24 percent of students think that PLFS applies to them?  Nobody knows this answer and why the assumption occurred. To elighten the haziness that is constructed around financial aid, and the feelings of student’s hopefulness, I want to mention one word: politics.

As much as students hate to admit or see it, politicians have more control than any other player when it comes to student grants and loans.  Hence, Governor Walker’s proposal on freezing tuition costs for two years.  This sentence may be obvious to some; but as of right now, politicians have the control, not the students.  Nic LaMorte, a current student at MATC suggests to change this pattern there needs to be, “more progressive politicians.”  Adding later that, “We, as young people, need to be more engaged with the political process.”

LaMorte is absolutely right.  I assert his position, and take it up a notch.  Instead of hoping, and anticipating that our student loans will be forgiven, we must take action in a different direction.

One-way of doing so is to bring forth the idea of a no-loan policy.  Forbes recently touched on this subject, describing, “No-loan policies replace undergraduate government student loans with grants paid for by the university and other donors.”  Why is it that 24 percent of Millennial-students are expecting, anticipating, and hoping that their loans will vanish when we could just have no loans?

There has got to be an even-keel somewhere in the wide, dark, mass of student debt.  My doubts and uneasiness that surround my financial future is real and should be validated.  Living in an individualistic society and being concerned with your economic-status is not selfish.  It’s reality.  There has to be something done and there has to be a side that’s picked.  I don’t believe that the loan-forgiveness act (PSLF) is it, nor Walker’s tuition-freeze.  I have my eye set on the no-loan policy.  Now with that said, does anybody know someone that could donate a billion dollars to Madison College?