For some time now, “cancel student debt” has been a rallying cry heard across America. But are we only seeing one side of the coin? It seems we’re not talking enough about a key factor – the importance of stopping the cycle where we saddle high schoolers with mountains of debt before they even start their adult lives. But what’s holding us back from talking about this aspect? Is it solely about tuition fees or is there more to this issue?

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Key Takeaways

  • The costs of higher education go well beyond tuition, including fees for activities and amenities, room and board, which may contribute significantly to student debt.
  • The necessity and value of a degree is being reevaluated, with alternatives such as trade schools becoming more popular.
  • A shift in lending practices, which includes more stringent requirements for loans, could potentially decrease the number of students burdened with high debt.

This is something that many soon-to-be students as well as their parents can’t wrap their head around but the cost of university education isn’t just about tuition. Many universities have ancillary charges such as activity fees, printing fees, athletic center fees, among others. Plus, students often face mandatory room and board costs. Universities may boast about not raising tuition, but the reality is these additional expenses can significantly increase the financial burden on students, sometimes without them realizing the extent of these costs.

Rethinking the Necessity of a Degree

In the past, obtaining a degree was seen as a ticket to a successful future. Today, this narrative is being challenged. More and more people are realizing that a degree is not the only pathway to success and that they can thrive without one. 

Many individuals, after accruing considerable debt, have found that their degree did not necessarily lead to a higher salary or job stability. As a result, alternative education paths, such as trade schools, are gaining traction, and young adults are becoming more informed about different options before plunging into substantial debt.

Lending Practices and the Need for a Shift

Clearly, student loans have played a significant role in the ballooning student debt crisis. But how can we mitigate this? A critical suggestion is to revamp lending practices. Rather than handing out loans indiscriminately, financial institutions and governments should require a well-articulated plan from prospective students. 

This includes clarity on their choice of major, time frame for graduation, total cost, and potential repayment plan. Additionally, maintaining a minimum GPA could be a condition for ongoing loans. By ensuring only those with a feasible plan and likelihood of repayment receive loans, we could prevent many from falling into the debt trap.

The Role of Government Subsidies and Rising Tuition Costs

However, the responsibility does not lie solely with lending practices and student choices. Government subsidies to public colleges have been gradually reduced since the 1980s, contributing to the hike in tuition. As a result, even students who work their way through school are finding it increasingly hard to meet these costs, a stark contrast to past generations who managed to self-fund their higher education.


The conversation around student debt needs to expand beyond just ‘canceling debt.’ It’s time we address the root causes, which include understanding the full cost of university education, reevaluating the necessity of a degree, rethinking lending practices, and questioning government policies. By rolling up our sleeves and facing these problems directly, we can work towards stopping the surge of overwhelming student debt. This would allow the next wave of learners to chase their dreams, free from the heavy shadow of financial worry that could otherwise follow them every step of the way.

Read also:

American Confidence in Higher Education Plummets, Reveals Gallup Poll

Record £4.8bn Interest on UK Student Loans Adds to Soaring Debt Crisis

Understanding the Dos and Don’ts of Private Student Loans

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