College Students facing 10, 20, and up to 40-thousand dollars in student loan debt stood with Chuck
Schumer in Syracuse today to support his plan to reduce it. The Democratic Senator proposes a multi-part plan to reduce the debt students have to take on and eventually see all students’ graduate debt free.
S-U Senior Paul Handy is about to graduate with a Policy Studies degree. He says his debt load of a whapping $88,000.00 is forcing him to live at home after graduation and look for a job there.
“Oh most definitely, I’ve definitely looked into factoring in commute time from where I am,’ cause living at home is going to make it make sense because I won’t have to pay rent and move out. Of course I want to move out, but paying off loans is my top priority after I graduate. So finding a job with a salary and commute-wise which is feasible has really limited my job search."
One of Schumer’s “In the Red” plan proposals would help Paul out by allowing graduates to refinance debt at lower levels. Schumer criticizes the government for making money on the backs of people trying to get a college degree.
“The idea is higher education shouldn’t put students in the red. And our goal over the next few years is to have people graduate debt free. That’s a little different than saying tuition should be free, because you may have to work to put your way through college. You’ll get some help from college, you may have to pay some in depending on your parents income, but when you get out of college you shouldn’t have that burden of debt on your shoulders. This is amazing. The federal government charges these wonderful young people, the future, our seed corn, the whole of America, 7-8-9 % on their loans, when they charge banks, when the Federal Reserve lends them money, 1 or 2 %...How can that be?”
The program proposes making two years of community college completely tuition free through a partnership with states, where the federal government would pick up 75-percent and states the rest. It also calls for increases in Pell grants to help low income students require less in student loans.
Schumer is asking college students to spread the word about the program through social media…using the hashtag “In The Red.” He points out there is more debt held by graduates in student loans than there is in credit card debt or car loans.