Guess who the Republican party wants to pay for the increasing debt limit ?—College Students.
John Boehner and Eric Cantor made it very clear last Monday July 11th that they believe college students should bear a huge burden for the necessary debt limit increase.  They proposed that student loan interest payments no longer be deferred until after graduation, but that students should start to pay interest right away. This is one attempt by Cantor and other Republicans to cut programs wherever they can, while not raising taxes a single penny.
The question is: How will a student learn if he must worry about making loaninterest payments every month? Where is the money supposed to come from if a student is still in school? Some students finance their entire college education, which could cost as much as $200,000, through student loans. If these students must start paying, say 5% every month, economics classes suddenly seem less important.
Let’s look at an example from my home state of California. Tuition plus room and board at UCLA is around $30,000 a year for in state students.  Due to budget shortfalls in the country, public universities are losing funding, charging more, and cannot afford to give as many scholarships. A student might receive a few thousand dollars of aid if he/she is lucky, but must pay the rest out of pocket. Most students take out student loans to make ends meet.
The two most common student loans are Stafford and Perkins loans. The cheapest, subsidized Stafford loans charge 3.4% interest, while Perkins loans charge 5%. Unsubsidized Stafford loans will cost a student 6.80% interest. Using the cheapest rate of 3.4%, a regular student paying $30,000 a year at UCLA will pay $1020 per month if Boehner’s idea were ever to become popular.
Now if you are an out of state student, or a student attending a private university, then you are really out of luck. Your tuition just went up to $45,000 – $55,000 a year, depending on where you go.
Of course these student loan changes would not affect students from wealthy families, because they would not need to take on any debt. Wealthy students have wealthy parents who will pay the bills right away. The wealthy students would therefore be able to focus more on their studies (less on making loan payments) and perform better in school, getting better grades, better jobs, better salaries, etc. Thisplaces an unfair burden on the middle and lower classes. Meanwhile, Republicans refuse to end the tax breaks on corporate jets … 
There is some relief for middle and lower class students that comes as financial aid from the top private universities in the country. Places like Harvard and Yale might give a large scholarship to students whose family earns under $60,000 a year, but the vast majority of students don’t go to a school with a historically huge endowment.
Considering that Republican Representatives and Senators have children and grandchildren, how is it that they could ever contemplate placing the financial burden on their shoulders? These children are the next generation who will solve, or at least try to solve all the problems that their parents could not. In order to do this, they need the best training and education possible, something that Boehner and other Republicans want to take away. This is already predicted to be the first generation ever that that will not do better that its parents. 
Fortunately, President Obama stood strong and said that he would not “screw students,” but why should a president ever have to say something so obvious?
Cuts have been proposed across the board in order to fix the budget problem, but more cuts will cripple basic social services. Revenue needs to increase so that vital programs that truly are essential do not get cut entirely. Republicans need to put the American people first and approve some tax increases, otherwise get out and let someone else who is better qualified do their jobs. President Obama said that he is offering “$3 of cuts for every $1 of tax increases,” surely a deal that any savvy negotiator would love. But no, not today’s Republicans.
I am excited to be going to college, but not as excited to pay the $50,000 per year that a college education costs. If anything like Boehner’s plan ever passes, then I do not know how I will be able to afford college without working at least 8 hours a day, while in school.
A casual observer and college student is left with one question: What is more important, Republican ideology of not raising taxes or the future generations of America?
Our Newest Articles