The Problem of Student Loan Debt

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Colleges and universities must lower their fee structure so that more and more students are enabled to take the education without falling in the prey of loan debt.

Working thesis

Lowering the cost of tuition would lead to less student debt and allow more students to attend college, which, in turn, would increase the number of educated people in the general public. This will increase the revenue earned from education and will lessen the burden of student's loan.

Many students want to pursue a degree in college, but the cost of education is pulling them back from their dreams. Some students are determined to get a degree but when they finish college, they graduate a degree they incur a tremendous amount of student loan debt. The rise in the college student debt and low enrollment to colleges is often blamed on the rising tuition (Elliott 29). Since the early 1980s, the financial aid of a student has been transformed into a loan-dominated system from need-based grants (LIEBENTHAL 18). As grant programs lack the potential to match the tuition increases, more college students are borrowing loans and others opting not to enroll to bachelor degrees in college to avoid debts. Thus, lowering the cost of tuition would lead to less student debt and allow more students to attend college, which, in turn, would increase the number of educated people in the general public.


Explanation of its nature

In the United States, after mortgages, the student debt load is the second largest consumer debt category. On an individual basis, Americans have higher student loan than both auto and credit cards loans. Thus, in America, the student loan debt had been depicted as a crisis. Currently, more than 56% students have federally funded loans contrasted to students ten years ago (Fraser 104) However, the increase in the student debt load has come as historically high shares of young adults in the US enrolled in college and the cost of higher education escalates. At least in financial terms, the value of a bachelor's degree has never been higher, although, over the last decade, the tuition fee of a college education has increased three times faster than other expenses associated with the school (Fraser 105). Therefore, most students are taking out federally subsidized loans, and today, nearly half of students borrow to cater for accommodation and tuition expenses linked to a college education.

Furthermore, the latest statistics for 2018 on student loan debt depict how serious the crisis of student debt load has become for borrowers across all age groups and demographics (Shabazz 40). Based on the most current figures, the student debt has dramatically amplified and currently sums to over $1.3 trillion (LIEBENTHAL 20). Today, nearly 70% of students are graduating with a student loan, where one in four Americans have student loan debt that is spread to around 44.2 million borrowers (LIEBENTHAL 21). However, that sum of money is not only owed by current college graduates, but also by students who have been out of school for a decade or more.

Evidence of its significance

In the United States, outstanding student debt load has increased three times over the last decade, and the average student borrower ends up with $37.171 in debt upon graduation (Shabazz 38). Thus, with that such colossal debt, the economic life cycle for the younger generation is delayed. For instance, due to loans, most students are impaired from home purchases and saving for retirement later in life as well as inhibiting business information and crimping consumer spending. Additionally, repaying those loans can be a substantial hurdle not only for the graduates but the economy as a whole, where it is anticipated that by 2023 almost forty percent of borrowers are projected to default on their loans (Shabazz 42).

Apart from graduating with massive debt, some high school students are averse to borrowing and will not enroll in college courses. Numerous reports have pinpointed the burdens faced by college students who have loans, but less is known about those who are averse to taking loans. For these students, the increasing loans' prominence narrows their options and decrease their chances of completing and attending college (Elliott 29). In other words, students who are loans averse may not seriously consider the merits of higher education; thus downgrading themselves to fewer opportunities and lower-paying jobs.

Therefore, considering the factors mentioned above, the problem of student loan debt is significant since these financial burdens are affecting how Americans spend, save, and live their lives after colleges. Furthermore, the issue is also relevant since experts in the job market are demanding for skilled workers, and this will be difficult if individuals fail to enroll in colleges due to high tuition fees that necessitate loan debt (Leonhardt 8). Solving the problem of student loan debt, the student will be able to demands of the labor market, without taking out loans.


Explanation of its nature

To solve the problem of student loan debt, colleges need to lower the fee structure. As college tuition fee increase and student debt loan continue to climb, universities and colleges should offer reduce or free tuition for students (DERVARICS 8). The goal of the reduced fee structure is to provide increased access to higher education for students despite their financial profile or socio-economic status, as well as to limit the amount of student debt loan which a student has to borrow (DERVARICS 8). The reduced fee structure financial aid packages would also help to replace the student loans with scholarships or grants that do not need to be repaid later after college or graduation (Shabazz 41). In other words, when the colleges and universities lower their fee structure more and more students will be able to take the education without falling in the prey of loan debt.

Furthermore, two steps can aid to lower the fee structure of the colleges, where universities or colleges need to design a quality college program at a tuition of up to $10,000 per year. Such a strategy or pathway can be possible by tapping into the educational technology and instruction design (Shabazz 39). First, higher education institutions need to research innovative methods to lower instruction cost (DERVARICS 8). Colleges need to make progress in this sector, mainly via introducing options of e-learning into their core programs. However, as universities have adopted various methods to e-learning, it is challenging to overstate the value of e-learning. Second, the higher education institutions need to search for means to reduce the cost of course materials (DERVARICS 8). Although textbooks amount to merely around 2.5% of the college cost, it should not be overlooked. College students already prefer options which are a fraction of the print cost (Fraser 104).

Additionally, the state should also be very decisive and vigilant, and enact strict laws in curbing down the fees of the private universities. At the same time more government universities should be opened and the fee structure there should take care that students do not run in debt (Fraser 105). For the students who are more on the poor rung of the society, distance education or e-learning facilities should be brought into fore. This will enable the students to work for self as well as continue studies if required. The schedule for procuring e-learning degrees should be lengthened in such cases without compromising on the structure of the curriculum and the quality of education (Leonhardt 8).

Evidence of its effectiveness and practicability

The reduction of fee structure in colleges and universities in both colleges and universities is applicable since it will the help both loan averse students and those from low socio-economic backgrounds to enroll in universities (LIEBENTHAL 18). In regards to applicability, colleges can provide freshman courses online to any individual around the world without charging cost, and a student will only pay a little fee for the credits after they pass the course (Fraser 105). Furthermore, universities also utilizing a recently-developed personalized adaptive learning system will also give students room to learn at their own pace (LIEBENTHAL 22). For instance, a university or college can design a system where a student attends class on campus only two days per week and leave the other weekdays flexible for the student to study online and also work. In other words, using the e-learning system will help reduce the fee structure and at the same time help students explore their dream careers with no debt burdens or worry of the tuition fees.


The menace of student loan debt is a cause of great concern and is brewing tension and disturbance in society especially in the United States. The high tuition fee is the prominent cause of huge student debt among the graduates as well as low college attendance. Some students are averse to borrowing and will decide to forego college education due to a high fee structure that will force them to borrow federal loans. Therefore, the present proposal has shown that lowering fee structure can lead to an increase of students enrolling to universities or colleges hence resulting high trained workforce in the long run. The higher education can lower tuition fee by looking for innovative ways such as e-learning which can aid to reduce the cost of instruction and course materials.

Works Cited

DERVARICS, CHARLES. “Some Advocates Want Long-Term Student Debt Solutions.” Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, vol. 29, no. 9, June 2012, p. 8. EBSCOhost, db=a9h&AN=76389124.

Elliott, William. "Student Loans: Are We Getting Our Money's Worth?." Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning 46.4 (2014): 26-33.

Fraser, Max. “Student Debt and the Next Bailout.” New Labor Forum (Sage Publications Inc.), vol. 25, no. 1, Winter 2016, pp. 104–107. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1177/1095796015620151

Leonhardt, David. "Is college worth it? Clearly, new data say." The New York Times 5.27 (2014): 14.

LIEBENTHAL, RYANN. “UNFORGIVABLE.” Mother Jones, vol. 43, no. 5, Sept. 2018, pp. 16–25. EBSCOhost, /login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=131040657.

Shabazz, Sa’Iyda. “A Generation in Crisis: The Overwhelming Crush of Student Loan Debt.” New York Amsterdam News, vol. 103, no. 19, 10 May 2012, pp. 36–44. EBSCOhost, db=a9h&AN=76112700.

August 21, 2023




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