We need President Biden to #CancelStudentDebt immediately. But this alone won’t solve the student debt crisis; Congress must fix the root of this issue by addressing the cost of college to ensure no one is ever put in the same situation as today’s borrowers.
The fact that millions of Americans, particularly Black and Brown and low-income borrowers, are saddled with student loan debt is a shameful testament to the broken promise of the American Dream.
With the cost of college rising by over 1,000% from 1982-2012, and another 25% in the last 10 years, it’s no surprise that we’ve landed our country in a dire student debt crisis. 45 million student loan borrowers hold $1.7 trillion in debt and for many, there’s no way out from under the debt burden.
Which is why we need President Biden to #CancelStudentDebt—borrowers immediately need their balances reduced. But this alone won’t solve the student debt crisis; Congress must fix the root of this issue by addressing the cost of college to ensure no one is ever put in the same situation as today’s borrowers.
The heart of the debt crisis is the fact that higher education has become incredibly unaffordable and inaccessible due to decades of divestment from federal and state governments. Simultaneously, the cost of living and inflation continued to increase while wages stagnated.
A quality higher education shouldn’t only be accessible to the rich. EVERYONE should be able to choose their education, path, and future, regardless of background or wealth, without taking on the burden of debt or financial strain.
Debt cancellation and making college free are two sides of the same coin—both are key to making higher education equitable across racial, gender, and economic groups. #FreeCollege is a social, economic, and racial justice issue.
There are already several #FreeCollege proposals on the table. In recent years, Senator Bernie Sanders introduced his College for All legislation and Senator Brian Schatz, the Debt-Free College Act. We have the momentum. To start, two years of free community college is an excellent down payment on affordable higher education.
Debt-free college legislation that accomplishes the following would truly transform higher education and go a long way towards making it accessible to everyone. These solutions must be made accessible to undocumented students, incarcerated students, and all who are traditionally excluded from most financial aid policy.
So we have legislation on the table. We just need you to tell your senators to support #FreeCollege and to #CancelStudentDebt!