Student loan cancellation should be targeted and need-based (letters)

One of the main debates in Washington today is about relieving students in debt. Progressives are proposing debt relief of $ 50,000 per student. President Biden is at $ 10,000 with free education proposals at community colleges. The Conservatives are not part of the discussion. I agree with any proposal that passes as long as it is based on need. It must be a targeted aid, not a shotgun approach.

I graduated from college debt free when tuition, accommodation, and meals were around $ 3,000 a year. My parents paid for the part that was not covered by financial assistance. To spend the money, I did the right thing. I turned burgers, worked in factories, drove taxis, cleaned dorms and toilets, sat down for alumni kids, and donated my body to medical science. Loans were not part of the package. However, higher education was a different story. We had substantial loans that needed to be repaid, which we did after several years. Because we have paid off our loans, you might think that I am totally opposed to canceling student loans, but I am not. Things change.

The huge amount of debt that many students graduate with today is nowhere near what it used to be. The cost of a college education has increased much faster than average incomes. Financial aid and loans help elite schools, but there is no economic fallout in education. Unless the school you attend has a multibillion dollar endowment, you depend on your parents, scholarships, student loans, and term work. Excessive debt affects job choices, quality of life and the ability to consume. This is clearly a direct consequence of income inequality, which is then exacerbated by students unable to continue their education. If a worthy student needs a break, that’s fine with me.

Paul Chiampa, East Longmeadow

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