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October 7, 2022
Ithaca, NY | 57°F

Opinion

Editorial: Student debt relief is a step toward progress

One of the major platforms that President Joe Biden ran on for the 2020 presidential election was student debt relief. His promise to relieve $10,000 of debt for college students and college graduates is finally taking action. The action of this administration is commendable, but it only serves as a first stepping point for necessary change in the structure of our higher education system.

The average cost of a full college education in the United States is approximately $35,551 per year, or $142,204 over the course of four years, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

This one time relief package certainly helps those who are paying off loans, but it does little for the future cost of college and the hundreds of thousands of students preparing to take more loans in the coming years. The root cause of this issue is the cost of college. If the current administration would address the problem at the source rather than the symptom, our country would stand to benefit for decades, rather than a few years. 

The system was already unfair, but making higher education affordable for lower class individuals points us in the direction to enable class mobility. It may be unfair, but it is not unjust. By taking on a student loan, it is true that you assume total responsibility for the repayment and interest of that loan. It will never be wise to take out a loan with the assumption that this will happen again. But when college prices continue to rise, wages continue to stagnate alongside inflation and the cost of living rises, something must be done about the affordability of higher education. 

There will always be a population that attends university and college; to say that individuals should neglect their desire for attendance based on their financial status is to suggest only the upper class should receive the career positions garnered from a college degree.

The current administration should refrain from enacting temporary measures to combat the issue of college pricing. A price ceiling, or more comprehensive student aid must be instituted to truly relieve the future generation from drowning in the same sea as their elders.

The Ithacan can be reached at ithacan@ithaca.edu or via Twitter: @IthacanOnline