By: Mary Schaefer
A national bi-partisan poll of adults ages 18-34 reveals that young adults today believe a college education is more important than it was for their parents' generation, that it has become less affordable in the last five years, and that students are leaving school with too much debt. Much of this is true. In order to find a job in today’s economy, it is the standard to have a college degree and almost impossible to find a job without one. Despite how important having a college degree is, it is more expensive than ever to obtain a degree, due to rises in tuition and the reduction in public funding. Even after receiving an education college graduates face a job market where 50% of them will be under/unemployed. With 2/3 of college graduates graduating with loans, it is vital that interest rates remain low to give students a chance to afford a college education.
Check out this graph by The Project on Student Debt:
At the end of June there is a threat that student loan interest rates will double unless Congress is able to pass a bill to prevent it. Both parties agree that the interest rates cannot increase. However, Republicans just terminated debate on a bill that would make up for the cost of keeping interest rates low by forcing wealthy tax payers to pay more for Social Security and Medicare by classifying their income as cash income instead of dividends. If the republicans continue to shut down bill proposals by the Democratic Party, interest rates will double, effecting 7.4 million Americans. It is more important then ever that Congress works to ensure students have a chance at an affordable college education and keep the middle class alive.