The US government should discontinue all Federal loans and grants for college students
Debate Rounds (4)
Looking for some intelligent debate against this viewpoint. 4 rounds, Round 1 for acceptance.
I'll say beforehand that I don't think loans and grants to CURRENT students should be nullified, they will be grandfathered in. I just think we shouldn't issue anymore new ones
Sorry for the wait. Thank you for accepting and good luck
I agree with my opponents belief in the importance of college in the lives of students and in society. Hopefully, we can also both agree that the college system at this point is flawed. Right now the amount of student loan debt is staggering, and because it is debt to the federal government, you can never default on it. You can never declare bankruptcy on student loans. They are unavoidable. They will be with you forever until you pay them. The price of college is going up and the economy, meaning the likelihood of getting a job after school with which to pay off your loans, is going down. Soon we will se more and more people who cannot pay their loans. I believe this will lead to an enormous default bubble. Loans by the government are investments the government makes in kids, and if kids increasingly cannot pay off that investment than the student loan "bubble" will pop, similar to the internet bubble and the sub-prime mortgage crisis. The ONLY way of rectifying this problem is bringing the cost of college down. Simply increasing the amount of grants and loans is a temporary "kick-the-can-down-the-road" solution that will one day blow up in everyone's face.
I think my opponent probably agrees with the problem of high student debt rates so I feel no need to argue this. However I introduce to him the main point of my argument:
LESS Students have to start going to universities for the price to come down.
The government wants as many kids as possible to go to college, as does my opponent. This is a noble viewpoint because they believe this will get more people into jobs. However this forgets the fundamental concepts of the free market. Price can be dictated by supply and demand. If students do not go to college because it is too expensive than colleges will have to lower the price. (Yes, typically as demand decreases prices go up to account for the lack of business. However, colleges know the reason for any decrease in demand would be because of high prices so raising the price would be counter-intuitive. They will be forced to lower the price to get more students on board.) Right now, because they understand the importance of education, the government has promised to kids, "Hey, you pay what you can and we'll pay the rest." Under this policy, colleges have NO incentive to bring costs down. In fact, they have incentive to bring it up because they know the government will just increase the grants to kids. This is pretty much what's been happening for the past few decades.
Competition is the corner stone of the free market. Providers need to feel that kids are looking for the best deal so that they will adjust their prices to be more reasonable than their competitors. If you subsidize college education you destroy competition. The competition is no longer on the schools to bring down prices, ut on the kids to earn the best grants that they can. This is terrible. Why even have private education if we're going to screw with the concept that makes private industry work. We might as well just embrace a public college system like many European countries. I do not actually believe this because I think such programs are unsustainable over time. However i makes more sense than a Private option where competitive pricing is done away with.
I further posit that even if these European country embraced a private college system, it would work for them better than it works for us. In Europe, if you get Cs and Ds in high school you are NOT going to a university. You can go to community schools, trade schools, or apprenticeships but you are not going to a university. Europe does not place the importance on 4-year universities that we do. In America, that is the end all, be all of our school careers. GET TO COLLEGE. If you don't go to a 4 year university you are doomed. Right now the idea that they are going to go to college comes before the idea of what they will study for kids. Some even choose what to study after they choose their school. If you aren't going to school to study a specific thing, don't go to college. This is the mindset that floods our universities and encourages colleges to rase the prices because they know people will still want to go. Instead of working on getting kids into college no matter what, teachers should working to find out about kids goals and develop more sensible options unique to their career plans.
This brings me to my last point. My opponent may say that even though prices may come down in the long term, this generation will be left without a degree and have no job oppurtunities. I disagree, we need to encourage community colleges and trade schools. Community is seen as a failure for many kids, poor man's college. But it is affordable, you can learn pretty much anything at community college that you want to at a 4-year university, and if more kids went there it wouldn't have the reputation it does now. Furthermore we need blue collar workers in this country. We need trade students and manufacturers. Because we teach our kids from day one that college is where they need to be, our system doesn't have the capacity to satisfy that need. I understand that teaching our kids to work towards college is our idea of investing in them, but it is unsustainable. We have to make a change and our glorification of college to kids, our subsidizing of high tuition costs, and our acceptance standards for 4 year universities are all where we should start.
My opponent must prove that there is another way of bringing the price of college down. Or else, I am the only one with a viable long-term solution to the problem of student loan debt.
How Student Loans Can Bite You Later in Life
The biggest danger in taking out student loans " bigger, even, than the impact of the mortgage crisis " is the student loan bubble. Student loans have been protected by legislation which allows these loans to be treated like good old IRS debt in bankruptcy court. This means that even if a person filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy and was forgiven on all other consumer and real estate debts, he would be left holding the bag for his student loans. There"s no walking away from it. If you"ve made the temporarily devastating decision to file Chapter 7, you"ll still have to find a way to repay all principal and interest on your student loans.
Because of this legal protection, private universities and technical schools have been able to use their accreditations to qualify for federally guaranteed student loans and offer them to any student who wishes to attend. These schools don"t have to worry about the default risk, unlike a bank. This, in turn, has inflated the cost of tuition at many schools because the student can enroll without any upfront investment. Schools have made massive profits using government guarantees. This practice may be seen by some as unethical, albeit completely legal, since the promises made to aspiring students often exceed the real-world likelihood of their professional opportunities after graduation. The key message here is for you to make an informed decision about the value of an institution"s education before taking on the associated debt.
Why College Degrees May Not Fulfill Their Promise
Like any other kind of financial transaction, individuals need to consider the basic principle of return on investment when thinking about student loans. If you invest in "good debt," your use of other people"s money (OPM) is an extremely useful tool to gain more with less. If you invest in "bad debt," this improper use of OPM can result in a lifetime of pain and indentured servitude.
Taking out a student loan to earn a degree should be vieId like any sophisticated business investment. What"s the likelihood of the borroIr receiving her investment back " and then some " in a reasonable amount of time? For instance, to take out student loans valued at $20-50,000 per year, a borroIr earning a degree should be guaranteed to return double or triple that amount in income potential on an annual basis. Without this kind of return, the borroIr won"t likely be able to pay back the loan in a 5-year period.
The belief that a formal college education is the key to Ialth is flaId. It"s a faulty paradigm that keeps poor and middle-class children and their families deep in debt for years. As a society, I value a 4-year degree at a higher rate than it can typically return in actual income potential. Education is great for intellectual and personal development, but it"s not a guarantee of earning potential " only highly specialized fields, like medicine, can justify the risk, and not nearly as Ill as they once did. If there"s not a clear way to profit from the risk of borrowing, then grants or other methods of obtaining education and experience would be a better investment.
As a young and enterprising businessperson, intelligent decision-making is at the core of your success. Don"t simply follow in others" footsteps and get a college degree just because common practice says you should. Determine whether the pros outweigh the cons, and make sure college is a smart investment before you put your future down on student loans. The best education is one that will pay you back.
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