Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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It’s time to address student debt

Student debt ceases to be the number one worry for college graduates across the country as thousands of dollars are owed on average. Photo credit: Clarissa Arceo

As of 2022, students owe $1.75 trillion in loan debt.

In 2020, President Joe Biden promised to cancel at least $10 thousand worth of student debt per American student.

Since his pledge to students – Biden has provided a select hundred thousand students with debt relief across the country. His promise remains unfulfilled; millions of students continue to reside with indescribable debt.

As the president continues to delay and re-extend pauses on this issue, many students- many of whom vouched for his candidacy during the controversy throughout his election- are beginning to worry about whether or not he will fulfill this promise.

With over 23 million students currently borrowing money to pay for their education, the average student owes somewhere between $25 and $50 thousand in student loans.

There are a lot of great things that can come from forgiving or canceling these loans; An increase in homeownership, and a potential decrease in financial insecurity and racial inequality of income.

After graduating college, many young adults often struggle with being able to live comfortably and purchase their own home due to the toll their student loan debt takes on their credit scores and financial state.

Women, people of color and older Americans would greatly benefit from student loan forgiveness or cancellation the most.

Did you know that two-thirds of the country’s balance is carried by women? The higher averages belong to people of color.

Statistics show that Black and Hispanic households shoulder the most student debt. And half of student loan borrowers over the age of 75 are falling behind in paying their dues.

More relevant to our time, the pandemic took a huge toll on the world’s financial and economic state. A record number of jobs were lost and many struggled to survive paying off their loans in addition paying rent, bills, gas and essentials.

Those hit strongly by the COVID-19 pandemic would greatly benefit from a cancellation in their loan debt. It would allow them to focus on applying their income to the cost of living rather than loans.

If the president is not going to keep his promise in canceling student debt which seems be the case due to the continuous pauses there are relief programs available still taking applications.

Programs that you can apply and potentially be qualified for include waivers for public service and volunteering, income-based repayments like Pay As You Earn and career-oriented rewards for those who study to become nurses, attorneys, teachers and more.

These programs cover part or all student debt but trillions of graduates and students lie in major debt because the majority of these programs are need-based.

A graduate or student can make a decent amount of money and still struggle. The cost of living and living expenses varies upon zip-code.

The money we make isn’t always the money we have for ourselves. A majority of college graduates’ money will go to paying off loans.

Our president is failing to comply with his promise to cancel student debt, it’s time to take matters into our own hands- and we have a few options.

We can either cancel student debt now or reduce the cost of college education.

Many students would like to attend schools like Stanford University or the Universities of California (Santa Barbara, Irvine and more)- but every year, qualifying students often turn down these schools as a result of tuition.

A student shouldn’t have to turn down a school because they are worried about their future in debt. Isn’t college supposed to enlighten our futures?

No one likes paying extra on their taxes- and surely Biden will turn to that if he decides to officially cancel student debt. So, if we want to better our futures we must normalize higher education and decrease the cost of all ‘name schools’ (or those of higher status) across the state.

No student should have to refrain from pursuing higher education in spite of loan debt- It only discourages them from seeking a college degree and hinders their potential.

In normalizing pursuing higher education and decreasing the insane tuition of these schools, we can slowly decrease student debt and gradually work towards a future where a college degree will be sought after by everyone.

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About the Contributor
Clarissa Arceo
Clarissa Arceo, Community Editor
Clarissa Arceo is Community Editor for Talon Marks covering community news, Life, and arts & entertainment. She is a Journalism major transferring to a 4-year university in the Fall. Aside from reporting, Arceo enjoys photographing community events, reading contemporary romance and psychological fiction novels, and taking trips to the beach.  
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It’s time to address student debt