As a parent, if you played by the rules and lived the American virtue of self-reliance and personal responsibility, you're paying exorbitant tuition now. When you went to secure aid or a scholarship, your child did not qualify because you made or had saved too much money. You are punished for working hard, sacrificing for the future, and dutifully saving for your children's education. While those who saved little have children who easily qualified for scholarships, loans, and a "cheap" education. They got aid! You had to mortgage your house or deplete your savings.
Are you sitting down taxpayers, parents and students? Economists predict the cost of attending state colleges will soar to $120,000 by 2015. So, what's the answer?
President Obama has a plan--student loan forgiveness for some Americans suffering from extreme student loan debt. If you're lucky enough to owe a lot, make little, and take forever to pay off your student loan, the president has a gift for you. He wants to lower your loan interest rate, consolidate your loans, and cap your payments to 10% instead of 15% of your discretionary income. And now the big prize--if you qualify, your balance of debt owed will be waived after 20 years instead of 25.
If that is not enough, President Obama and even some Republicans are talking about passing the Dream Act to allow qualifying children of illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates and qualify for funds to attend college. Getting "easy money" to fuel their dreams means taking more money from American taxpayers to fund those dreams.
Such expensive plans will just result in higher taxes, even higher tuition costs, more unaffordable debt for future generations, and less money available in the private sector to create the economic growth and jobs American students desperately want when they graduate.
It's time to let colleges compete for your business. By limiting the loan money available and requiring full payment, students will have to shop for the best deals, work hard to complete class credits faster, and pick majors that might actually produce well-paying jobs so they can pay off their debt. While the goal of getting more lower-income Americans enrolled in college is noble and education can be a key to lifting future generations out of poverty, providing more "easy money" from government is obviously not the answer.
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