There is a correlation between cuts in state funding for higher education and student tuition. Historically – higher education was always subsidized but after significant cuts to funding….tuition just goes up. When you hear someone talking about cutting “government spending” … this is one of the areas they’re referring to. And not only is it putting tremendous burdens on families and actually creating a drag on the economy (students paying back loans aren’t buying homes, cars, etc) … student loan debt can be so burdensome that some kids are literally just killing themselves. It’s kind of a big deal and not in a Ron Burgundy sort of way.
The Huffington Post points us to the problem of student loan suicides HERE:
One evening in 2007, Jan Yoder of Normal, Illinois noticed that her son Jason seemed more despondent than usual. Yoder had been a graduate student in organic chemistry at Illinois State University but after incurring $100,000 in student loan debt, he struggled to find a job in his field. Later that night, Jason, 35, left the family’s mobile home. Concerned about her son’s mood, Jan Yoder decided in the early morning hours to go look for him on campus, where a professor she ran into joined her in the search. The two of them discovered his body in one of the labs on campus and called campus police at 8:30AM. 32 minutes later, Jason was declared dead due to nitrogen asphyxiation.
The student loan problem is more than just a problem – it’s a crisis. Just consider these three points:
#1 – Senior Citizens still owe $36 Billion in student loans (HERE)
#2 – Student loans topped $1 trillion last year (HERE)
#3 – A study finds that unintelligent students of privilege are more likely to complete college than poor, intelligent students (source)
Another chart to show the correlation between the cost for students and government assistance.
“We have moved from a society in the 1950s and 1960s, in which race was more consequential than family income, to one today in which family income appears more determinative of educational success than race.
Family income is now nearly as strong as parental education in predicting children’s achievement.”
~Sean F. Reardon, a Stanford University sociologist (source)
The Politics of Education
The conservative philosophy around education in America can best be summed up by Mitt Romney. As we have written HERE (a must read) … Mitt Romney espouses conservative philosophy on Americans getting a college degree when he says students should “get as much education as they can afford.” No – seriously. Because – when you hear conservatives talking about “government spending” … they’re talking about Pell Grants that give poor and middle class kids a chance to go to college. Somehow we can afford tax cuts for billionaires and wars over oil but we can’t afford to give every American a chance for a good education. That’s socialism.
“One member of Congress who compared these student loans…I’m not kidding here….to a stage 3 cancer of Socialism. Stage 3 Cancer. I don’t know where to start. What do you mean? What are you talking about? Come on. Just when you think you’ve heard it all in Washington….somebody comes up with a new way to go off the deep end.”
President Obama signed a bill today to ensure interest rates didn’t double for college students with student loans. He practically had to arm wrestle Republicans into submission given their strident opposition to this bill because the $6 billion that government would spend every year to reduce tuition costs for college students is another $6 billion they can’t give in tax cuts for billionaires. Essentially – they’re against giving $6 billion in relief to college students who are already excessively burdened. You can read more about that HERE.
The more educate a populace – the better the government tends to be according to a Harvard study HERE.
You can watch Mitt Romney’s evolving position on student loans below:
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