The very founding principles of our entire Government can be found in the Declaration of Independence... Most importantly in this argument, the things "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness". What does it mean? It means that each and every individual may choose their own choices, live their own lives and do whatever it takes to make themselves happy... As long as it doesn't interfere with anyone else's unalienable rights.
Knowledge is power, and power is success (meaning you yourself feel successful, not just by the numbers but by how you feel).... Success is happiness. Each individual should be allowed to choose their preferred career choice and not have to be bound in chains, which restrict their Liberty and ultimately, their lives. What is the point of life if all you're after is the next buck? And what is it when you can neither be happy nor know how you'll get your next meal? When the individual disregards the norms of society and pursues their own interests, suddenly, their happiness no longer matters to the United States. All that matters is the Capital they can get from that person because of their craving for knowledge, for purpose... For happiness. And they make completion just out of reach, so they can continue to get money from them again and again without granting their happiness. Worse still, after the nightmare of that endless hill, you gotta' pay off thousands of student loans just for deciding what you want to do in life... Just for deciding to be different/yourself. Tell me, if we do not have the right to knowledge, every single one of us, then what is the pursuit of happiness? And if the dangling of someone else's personal gain/individuality for your own is not slavery, what is it, then?
Student Loan Debt is the latest craze in the United States, which has already saddled the United States with over 1.5 Trillion dollars in debt. Many students from the Millennial Generations are being pushed into college at record-breaking rates with the promise that a degree will better their job prospects, my own school in particular has been admitting more undergraduates than ever, going so far as to run out of rooms in dormitories on campus, which led to the breaking their own policy of requiring Freshmen students to live on campus. These students are not just there to learn, but to get jobs. Chances are that you, the reader, may be competing with some of them in the job market. The rising costs of college, of student loan interest, and the grand total of debt itself are cause for alarm. What rational reason would financiers allow this problem to get out of hand in the way it has? You have to pay off your debts, and chances are, you might not even get the job you were training for because someone years older than you have beat you to it. What then? Will degrees be required for more menial jobs, until you need a degree to work on a garbage truck? The Student Loan crisis is an indication to me that the next generation is not only in debt for wanting an education, but they may very well become the victims of a new form of Debt-Slavery if this crisis continues to grow.
IF we're going to say someone's a slave, I think we need to really prove that at no point did these people have a choice, and the fact is, you definitely do. As a graduate with 56K to pay back, I'm going the no route here, and I'm going to explain why.
1. College is optional, and many very profitable jobs are available.
Dangerous jobs, jobs in which you spend long times away from home, or jobs in which you are trained by an employer for exclusive work for them, or even entrepreneurship are all options for people without degrees,
Nudging aside the fact that educators and other people don't know these jobs exist or won't advocate for them, College is a very optional thing to do. You may assume that you have no choice, but you do. You can budget, you can do trade schools, and you can pay without high loan borrowing. The problem is students aren't doing it, because it's provided easily for them. If it is a form of slavery, its slavery that is decided by the person, they choose to be a slave.
2. Colleges can charge more because students are getting more to play with.
Think about it. Supply and Demand. When everyone wants an education, and you only have so many seats to fill, you have to charge more to keep the applicants down. This isn't working right now because loans are so easy to procure. So price continues to hike, because there's no-one saying no to it. In essence, we're seeing an increase of demand to limited supply, but the demand won't wane with increased cost, because the increase in cost is being artificially played with.
3. Bad degrees - Poor choice in degree is going to basically put you in debt with no recourse. The college however has no responsibility in this, they're not held to any accountability if their degree issued is worthless, and the people footing the bill (banks and the government) are left to strong-arm the borrower into paying the debt back, while their degree of choice has prevented them from actually earning anything.
In short, the choice is yours, you can choose whether or not you want a college degree, you must decide if it is worth it. And maybe it's a bad idea to leave that choice in the hands of 17 year-olds.
I agree that college is way too expensive, but that expense, like any other must be thought about and addressed in a professional way by both the buyer of the education, and to an extent, the loan givers.
IF we're going to say someone's a slave, I think we need to really prove that at no point did these people have a choice, and the fact is, you definitely do.