The Instigator
Con (against)
0 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
21 Points

Student Loan Debt

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/12/2010 Category: Education
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,962 times Debate No: 13630
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (3)
Votes (3)




In advance I would like to thank the Pro for taking this debate. I am interested in the topic at hand. I wish to debate it only for an exchange of opinion so in the end I can come to a conclusion based upon rationality.

Con's Contentions;
Parents should be forced to contribute at least an average of $24,000 a year for 4 years towards their child's higher education needs, This would be per child. I understand there are a lot of scenario's as to why a child may not receive money towards a higher education. The child is then left with a couple options, military, scholarships if they do well in school or they can choose to go to a community college if they choose to obtain a higher level of education. My arguments are debated below.

1.) The average adult begins their college education at the age of 18 or 19, this is generally some time after the completion of high school. If a parent saves $5,400 per year for 18 years, they would accumulate $97,200. This would be sufficient to pay for the average higher education fee of about $24,000 per year, $96,000 for 4 years.

-Let us use a fictional character named Jimmy. Jimmy works a construction job full time (40 hrs a week) making $13.00 an hour. Jimmy is a single dad who resides in California. He then decides that he would like to adopt a child, he knows that he will have to contribute $5,400 a year to their child's higher education. Jimmy's annual salary is $24,960. When I had lived in California my rent for a 2 bedroom 1 bathroom house was $700, utilities usually would be $300. So we will go on to assume that Jimmy pays $1,000 a month for housing. This then leaves Jimmy with $7,560 a year. Between my wife and I, we consume $400 a month on food.
Annual rate is $4,800, we will assume Jimmy uses the same amount on himself and his child. This leaves Jimmy with $2,760 a year.

A.) "The median household income in the United States is $46,326. Here in California people have a hard time understanding that yes, 50 percent of our population live on $46,000 or less a year. Dual earner households have a higher median income at $67,348."

It is apparent that some one making a below average income is capable of paying for their child's higher education. Now you ask your self, why would any one want to work their butt off only to pay for some one elses well being? The answer is essentially an opinion, maybe the joys of having a child supersedes their will to own all the cool "Knick Knacks".

2.) What would this do for our families, our society, and our nation as a whole? If Jimmy's parents had paid for his education. Jimmy would not have student loan debt, Jimmy then could pay for his child's education so on and so forth. B.) The average student amasses over $20,000 in student debt toward their first degree. This being true the $96,000 Jimmy had saved for his child to go to school would eliminate this debt. I am no expert in this field, but wouldn't eliminate student debt keep money flowing in the economy & essentially keep it growing? Not only that but Americans would not have to fear living a life in debt.

3.) C.) Let us take a look at our national debt; $13,736,959,182,346.04 (13 Trillion)
"The estimated population of the United States is 309,464,240 so each citizen's share of this debt is $44,389.49." After looking at these statistics & reviewing the average students debt after a higher education, its apparent that student debt is a large contributing factor to this nations overall debt. What If your parents do not want to pay for your education? It is called scholarships, work hard & be rewarded.
Military, serve your country and you will reek the benefits of the GI Bill.

4.) Finally let us take a look at the fact that different levels of education will cost various amounts. Those that require much more money than an average higher education should be allowed to take student loans. This is as long as they are on track to graduate, and their profession should allow them to pay back their loans quickly & offer the society much more. For example; Doctors.

5.) Why not just let families decide if they would like to pay for their child's education? My rebuttal is this, Human beings are selfish. Maybe selfish is an inadequate word to portray my thoughts. But essentially humans want all the cool things without the baggage. We want to own a BMW, A Lexus, a brand new Ford F350, pop out 8 kids while we eat Applebees every night. My point is humans live outside their means. They end up straining our society by contributing little to nothing. If we didn't make it mandatory for them to contribute the $5,400 a year they wouldn't. Make our nation stronger & smarter by contributing to education. If your child chooses not to obtain a higher level of learning then you now have $96,000 eliminating any other debt you may have obtained.

6.) Families should pay different amounts based on household income. I realize that making a individual pay $5,400 on a $24,000 is unreasonable. The lack of money could lead to more crime in our society. In this scenario the family should only be charged $1,500 so on & so forth. If you fall under $18,000 a year you should be exempt from fees.

Again I would like to thank the Pro for taking this debate. I am interested in the response. For Pro to win this debate I would like him/her come up with logical and rational reasons why my argument is unreasonable.



I thank Evolution078 for the topic.

==Burden of proof==

As the instigator, my opponent has the burden to prove why student loan debt is bad.


---Con's "contention"---

My opponent seems to offer a plan here: that all parents be required to donate $24,000 a year to their child's college tuition. There are a couple problems with this:

1. Poor people often live hand-to-mouth and cannot afford to accumulate $96,000 in savings per child. [1]

2. This is still not enough money. Attending Harvard costs $60,000 per year, for example. [2] Even someone's parents who donated $24,000 per year would still need a student loan in the amount of $36,000 per year.

---My opponent says that without money, students are forced to join the military or go to community college---

He purposely ignores student loans here. Student loans are provided at extremely low interest rates and are tax deductible. [3] Student loans are the best possible deal someone could get while borrowing money.

---Con's "arguments"---

1) My opponent offers a theoretical example of a poor family who makes roughly $25,000 a year. He subtracts the cost of housing and food for a family of two and says this would leave "Jimmy" with roughly $7500 a year to put in the bank for his child's college.

My opponent forgets payroll taxes amounting to $1500 a year, cost of transportation amounting to $2500 a year, and cost of clothing amounting to $1250 a year. [4] [5] Assuming his employer provides health insurance, Jimmy will also pay $1500 a year out of pocket for his premiums. [6] Lastly, my opponent forgets to factor in the high cost of raising a small child, which amounts to roughly $3500 a year. [7] After all these costs are factored in, Jimmy is roughly $3,000 in debt per year. Jimmy has zero money left for savings and will actually owe $54,000 in debt by the time his adopted child reaches age 18.

Conclusion: Jimmy cannot afford to pay for his child's college tuition. Student loans will be necessary if his adopted child wants to attend college.

A) My opponent argues that median incomes are high in California.

However, California is one of the wealthiest states in the Union. The poorest states in the Union have median incomes much closer to Jimmy's income. [8]

In addition, all my opponent's arguments here assume that he has proven that even a family living on minimum wage can afford college tuition and is just being selfish and buying "cool knick knacks." Jimmy clearly can't afford tuition if you factor in all the costs.

Keep in mind, also, that tax rates go up with income, and that food, clothing, and transportation costs are calculated as a percentage of income, so these costs rise as well with income levels, since the cost of living is higher in wealthier places.

My opponent has yet to prove that someone with California's median income could afford full tuition payments.

2) My opponent essentially makes the argument that eliminating student loans will boost the economy

However, student loans are just like any other type of loan – they allow people to defer immediate payment in order to engage in pursuits that will pay significant dividends further down the road (college, law school, medical school). In this way, loans make the economy more efficient. Imagine what would happen in the business sector if loans to entrepreneurs ceased to exist. No one would start new companies. The same will happen in technical fields if student loans cease to exist; there would be no more lawyers and doctors.

3) My opponent argues that student loans contribute to the national debt.

However, the national debt is caused by accumulating federal budget deficits. Congress borrowing money is solely responsible for the national debt. Personal debt does not contribute to this national debt figure.

4) My opponent argues that people can get student loans if the costs are higher than average (his example is doctors)

The average cost of tuition for a private 4-year college in the U.S. is $27,000. [9] The average tuition cost for medical school is $25,000. [10] Under his standard, doctors could not get student loans.

5) What my opponent is essentially advocating here (in his #5) is a collapse in consumer spending.

A collapse in consumer spending would plunge us even further into recession. According to the San Francisco Chronicle on September 26th, "the collective purchasing behavior of American households may determine whether the nation continues to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression or slips back into recession." [11] When people buy clothes and toys, employers can start hiring again. Without consumer purchases, employers will have to continue layoffs.

6) My opponent argues for a regressive system

Forcing people to save additional money for college each year, based on a regressive system, would have the same effect as raising taxes. Raising taxes during a recession would have a catastrophic effect on the economy. [12]

==My case==

C1) Orphans

Orphans have no parents, by definition. They require student loans if they want to go to college.

C2) Parental rights

The average parent in the U.S. spends a quarter of a million dollars to raise a child to the age of 17. [13] Parents have a right to enjoy their own incomes once their child reaches adulthood. If they get more satisfaction from taking a trip to the Caribbean before they die, parents should have the right to do this instead of being required to spend $100,000 on college tuition. If, however, parents get more satisfaction from helping their child pay for college, they should have the option of paying in full. But it should be the parents' right to make the decision of what to do with their money. Adult children are not entitled to this money as a birthright.

This is a slippery slope. If parents must save money for their adult children for college, why not require parents to also set up a fund for their adult children to buy a home? How about a dowry fund for marriage? Why not legislate that parents must buy their children a car?

C3) Paying the difference

My opponent has not allocated enough money to college students to pay tuition for expensive private 4-year colleges and has not left many college students with enough money for room and board. Student loans would still be required to pay the difference between parental donations and what is still owed.

C4) People who change their minds

My opponent says that if a child does not attend college or drops out, parents can liquidate the college fund. However, people often change their minds and decide to attend college later in life. These people would not be able to afford college without student loans.

C5) Stock market crashes

Often, people save for college by investing their money in the stock market. A downturn would erase someone's college savings, necessitating student loans.

C6) Lower attendance

Since many people would now not be able to afford tuition, fewer people would attend college, law school, medical school, graduate school, and business school. Educational declines over a period of many years would erase trillions of dollars from the U.S. economy, as people become manual laborers instead of engineers, doctors, and lawyers.

For all of the above reasons, I urge a Pro vote.


Debate Round No. 1


Evolution078 forfeited this round.


Too bad, I was looking forward to this debate.

My opponent concedes that in spite of all his arguments, student loan debt is still extremely necessary.

Vote pro.
Debate Round No. 2
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by bluesteel 5 years ago
Wow, you're screwed.

Yay for public school.
Posted by Danielle 5 years ago
I'm graduating with 120,000$ worth of debt... and that's before grad/law school -_-
Posted by Evolution078 5 years ago
Sorry man, I became really busy the last couple days. Maybe we can continue it in a couple weeks, I read your argument, very nice. As I said I'm defiantly not an expert in the field & decided I'd debate my suggestion. It shows you are a lot more educated on the matters, Anyways sorry for the inconvenience I'll shoot you a debate sometime. Have a good one, Every one vote Pro.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Evolution078 5 years ago
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