President Frederick joins Angela Rye on the BET News Special
By Latisha Townsend
The student loan crisis is all too familiar to many Americans. Studies show that as of 2019, nearly 45 million borrowers had amassed a total of $ 1.5 trillion in student loan debt. The crippling effects of student loan debt harm many people regardless of age or class.
Federal data Results report that 12 years after graduation, white borrowers typically owe 65 percent of their original student loan debt. On the flip side, analysis shows that 12 years after graduation, black borrowers owe more than 114 percent of their original student loan debt. What does this mean for many Americans who believe that education is key to achieving the “American Dream”?
BET Networks partnered with political strategist Angela Rye on September 10th for a City Hall television broadcast of the student debt crisis. The special thing about the title Young, talented and broke was hosted at the Howard University Theater with students from Morehouse College, American University, North Carolina A&T, Howard University, and many other schools.
At the beginning of the program, students were instructed to post signs indicating the costs they incurred in student loan debt. The balances ranged from $ 20,000 to over $ 120,000. There is no debate about whether or not the student loan debt issue is a crisis. Individuals who owe more loans than they can get in income are prevented from buying the homes they want, investing in businesses, and even raising families.
Congressman Ilhan Omar (D-MN), who describes herself as a member of the “debt generation,” has been working on solving the student loan debt issue since her trip to Capitol Hill in 2018. Omar has a proposal that would require simply canceling all debts, public and private.
“We will pay [debt] by adding a small financial transaction to speculators on Wall Street. We believe we had a chance to save Wall Street and now Wall Street has a chance to save the American people, “Omar said.
A student in attendance asked why the Congresswoman believes in the possibility of canceling all loan debts when there are people who can afford to pay them off. MP Omar replied that she does not believe that credit debt is a “problem of the rich” and while there are some people who can pay it off, most of the people who bear student debt are poor and middle class.
“It must be recognized that education is a public good,” said Minnesota lawmakers, “it not only benefits me as an individual, it benefits us all. Governments around the world invest in education because they see it as an investment in their country. “
Young people are encouraged to get an education to ensure success, but instead the decision to go to college has caused more stress for some. Michael Arceneaux is a New York Times Best selling author and alum from Howard University. His next book called I don’t want to die poor, shares his experience with student loan debt, including the effects it has on his mental and spiritual health.
Arceneaux didn’t know much about college before visiting and decided not to limit his dreams. “[Are we] selfish for daring to think so [we] can dream the way [we] Seen black people on television? ”This is the question Arceneaux asked the audience when assessing his decision to go to college.
Right now, it’s not up to anyone to educate young and motivated students about how federal loans work. Congressman Jahana Hayes (D-CT), the 2016 National Teacher of the Year, is disappointed with this norm. “It is the responsibility of our education minister and our department of education to protect students, and this administration doesn’t,” said Hayes.
Predatory lending occurs when lenders take advantage of borrowers and find ways to impose high fees and interest rates on them that they know the borrower will not be able to repay. Given that Predatory Loans has been shown to cause excessive student debt, it is difficult for some to understand why the Department of Education has not taken steps to provide greater transparency for students.
Predatory private loan service providers often hunt down people who are more likely to be financially illiterate (i.e., first-generation college students and students of color). Specifically, black students are less likely to have family members who can help them get out of debt or even explain the loan process to them before going to college.
Michael Arceneaux, already mentioned, is an example of this. Arceneaux stated that he has paid back over $ 1000 every month since graduating from college and has still not made any progress more than a decade later.
The question remains why the tuition fees are so high. Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, panelist and college reporter for the Washington Post, believes the problem lies in the loss of regulations around for-profit colleges; some of them were stripped during the Trump administration.
As chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor of the House of Representatives, Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA) noted discrepancies between the level of pell grants the current generation of students compared to previous decades. “The Pell grants must be increased significantly. They used to cover 70 percent for college students, now they cover less than 30 percent. “
As the special ended, Howard University President Wayne AI Frederick took the stage to share how he plans to reduce the financial burdens on HU students from studying.
“[Howard] 40 percent less than other private institutions in tuition fees. We are accepting 60 percent of Pell Scholarship undergraduate students, which is unusual for private institutions and even more than many public institutions, ”said President Frederick.
While many Howard students feel like victims of the credit crunch and, in some cases, predatory lending, President Frederick assured the audience that the university is taking a pragmatic approach to eradicating the collective financial panic.
“We have a tuition discount program. If you complete your degree on time or early, we will reimburse you for 50 percent of the direct costs you paid for the last semester, ”said Fredericks, adding that the institution and similar institutions are promoting graduation rates for three and four years for students have to .
Angela Rye sat down with me The hill and other press representatives after the event. When asked if she thought the current presidential candidates’ solutions were feasible, she said, “There are so many times in the political landscape where people have said that things are not feasible. It’s just not doable if people don’t want it, “she continued,” I think we need to change the mindset to what we think is realistic. ”
Speaking of what young blacks need to understand about change, she said, “Incrementalism has never served black people very well. We always have to wait for what serves us, but it is our 400th year here. It’s time.”
With thoughts about the future more than ever, students and graduates can rest assured that we are not alone with our outrage. Whether teacher or student, legislator or lawyer, young professional or elder; Americans from a wide variety of occupations and socioeconomic backgrounds agree that America’s policies about the cost of continuing education must urgently be reassessed.