Oct
10
2011

Student debt forgiveness would discourage hard work

Anything that benefits students, especially financially, catches fire on campus. The Minnesota Daily has been igniting over a plan to boost the economy by relieving student debt. However, this idea is extremely selfish and shortsighted.

It targets a specific group of young adults and unfairly excludes the rest of the population. The former students who have already paid off their loans didn’t see their debt vanish. Future students aren’t going to get the same bailout, and we certainly shouldn’t set them up to expect that their debt will simply go away.

This idea unjustly benefits one small part of the population, which isn’t having serious trouble finding jobs. As of August, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that national unemployment for college graduates is at 4.3 percent. It’s higher than usual, but other demographics are hurting worse.

We must avoid the message that this type of stimulus would send. When students know they’re going to have big bills to pay after graduation, they’re going to work harder to ensure they find a job. They’ll work hard in high school for a scholarship or they’ll work hard on their college grades in order to keep a scholarship.

Student debt also pushes students in the right direction when it comes to jobs. If you want to major in underwater basket weaving, you need to think about how those skills apply to the job market. The fact that engineering and science majors have many more job opportunities persuades young students to pursue these disciplines. This is a boon to our economy, which desperately needs these skills.

It doesn’t mean a student shouldn’t major in a dead language if they love classical culture, but one accounting class, or a math minor can make a student qualified for a plethora of other jobs.

We’re hearing a call for the forgiveness of student loan debt and I presume it’s coming from those who let their grade point average slip, those who didn’t think about marketable skills or those who didn’t work for a scholarship.

We should not be telling the rest of the population, the majority of whom do not even have a college degree, that these individuals alone deserve a personal bailout.


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