Like the rest of the country, even the students who stand to benefit from the Biden administration loan forgiveness program are divided about its merits.

The three-part plan President Joe Biden announced Aug. 24 is to help working- and middle-class borrowers in part by forgiving up to $20,000 of federal student loan debt, according to the U.S Department of Education.

José Mendiola: 409-683-5230 or jose.mendiola@galvnews.com

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(9) comments

Jose' Boix

In looking back to the developments in higher education; meaning college and university, we need to consider these points:

1. “Even after accounting for inflation, the cost for four-year public and private college has nearly tripled since 1980, according to the White House.” Based on my own “back of the envelope” estimate, this statement seems correct. Higher education costs have increased in geometric proportions above and beyond that of “graduates’ salaries.

2. Institutions of higher learning have created and marketed “degreed programs” that result in little to no employment positions. As such, these graduates find themselves having to pay student loans and no jobs.

3. Institutions of higher learning have become “top heavy” with academic positions and research programs just to name two examples. These “ancillary” educational approaches tend also to increase costs.

We must direct our efforts to fix the root cause of the problem. Student loan forgiveness is not a solution. And so, the travesty of the issue will continue. Just my thoughts.

George Croix

Jose', I always respect your opinions.

Here's a smattering of additions:

1) College costs started a much more rapid curve up after the federal government got into the student loan management business under the President's Administration in 2010. Why NOT raise fees when the process is backed by the federal government. Another case supposedly unintended consequences.

2) Absolutely correct, but nobody makes the student choose their degree program but the student. We don't have to buy the featured items on a menu - it's our personal choice, and presumably anyone old enough to go to college should have some idea that a degree in Ancient Studies or Art Interpretation or some other such largely useless thing is not a source of wide, profitable opportunities.

3) Absolutely correct. They are also top heavy with near universal same thought process and ideology. Business and education prospers, and the users of them get more real world benefit, when ideas and curriculum are not limited to one lane of the education highway. An echo chamber makes a poor classroom, and too often turns out students ill suited for anything closely resembling what life outside academia is actually going to hit them with.

Your last paragraph is so right.

But, it's not even 'forgiveness', it's TRANSFER of a loan the student took out to the pockets of other people to pay for...most of who get zero benefit from it...AND this 'forgiveness' is not just for poor and middle class as a deceptive article in today's GDN says/implies, it benefits wealthy graduate students at the Name Schools just the same...the ones with big family bucks but making less than 30K appreciating art....grin...

Imagine the cry if those same students were told they must all chip in to buy you and I new Ford F150 4x4s that we signed a personal choice contract to buy...and only we got to drive...

I personally believe the root cause is the 'evolving' into a country that more and more thinks it's someone else's responsibility to care for us....

But, I could be wrong....

Jose' Boix

George: You nailed it with this end quote: "I personally believe the root cause is the 'evolving' into a country that more and more thinks it's someone else's responsibility to care for us...." And, will add that such move could be defined as Entitled: "Feeling that you have the right to do or have what you want without having to work for it or deserve it, just because of who you are.” Not the course - meaning path - that our society is headed! Just my thoughts.

Craig Mason

A lot of folks may not remember but Texas used to have regulated tuition and fees for state universities. Meaning you could go to any state college and the costs were very similar. I believe it was 2006 when the deregulation happened. I paid tuition and fees at an exponential rate for all of my children after that. We were told this was done to help the top tier universities compete on a national level for students. If we really want o get serious about making higher education affordable, the state needs to bring back some kind of oversight on tuition and fees. The cost of college has gotten way out of hand.

John Merritt

I worked 48 years in higher education. There was a fixed amount of state tuition, but colleges have, for years, been able to add a second factor to tuition, which more than doubled the "tuition." And many four-year colleges require undergraduate students to live "on-campus", mainly because they funded their residence halls with revenue bonds, meaning that the students need to live there so that the payments can be made. And additional "fees" have been out of control for years. The only solution, as I see it, is to allow community colleges, which are not nearly as corrupted by years of top heavy costs, and useless academic programs, to have more 4-year degree programs. The State of Texas higher education legislative boards don't allow, in most cases, community colleges to offer these programs, because they dilute the student base from the 4 year colleges. This is the needed change.

Raymond Lewis

John, your comment is at the core of the Texas college/university cost issue and is where the 'deep dive' discussions should be taking place. Tuition forgiveness is a stop-gap measure at best. It will help (but not fix) the problem while providing a distraction from this 'core' issue.

As you know, I too, spent many years in higher ed. All at the professional school level where debts can be astronomical. You evidently started when you were 10!

George Croix

Society and many many 'students' would be better served by the realization that if you settle for a 4 year degree in Useless Something or Other, or Partying, it is not very helpful when it comes to making a living for yourself and family, and being a productive citizen.

It saddles you with debt you will have to repay with money you are unlikely to make.

Or, you usually have to repay, unless you get your vote bought and your debt transferred to your neighbors, and they have to pay your bills for you,,,that's a degree in deadbeat....

Don't count on that as a future financial plan....

Many would be better off attending a good trade school and learning a craft that pays good money and benefits us all, and for some get a commercial DL and move the products that move America, all honorable and necessary to society jobs.

All now paying a LOT more than they have before, and all better than a certificate on the wall testifying your knowledge of how you made a decision not to support yourself.

While the country definitely needs the skills provided by advanced education to grow, it cannot survive at all without the skills of tradesmen and craftsmen and those who make and move and sell the products on which the engines of the economy and our own bodies depend to live.

Carlos Ponce

Notice how the billions in endowments is never mentioned. These universities have money..... but when the government foots the bill.......[whistling]

Jose' Boix

A related issue in my book is the seemingly lack of active career counseling at the high school level.

Based on uncorroborated data, I understand that every year there are many available grants and scholarships that go basically unused. And, in addition, I believe that high schools (ISDs) do not do a good job helping define the "life" after high school. Basically, show what is expected. needed and the prospects of the many so called "degrees."

Just pushing to get a 4-Yr Degree may be an injustice to students. Just my thoughts.

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