Student Debt & the Economic Crisis: How to be an Activist!

student debt

YOU ARE NOT A-LOAN!

Student debt has reached a record high of 3 trillion dollars, exhausting any other debt levels within this country, including credit card debt. The first step to comprehending one’s financial situation when it comes to student debt is to realize that, you are not alone. In fact there are millions of people in the world, just like you, that are curious and want to understand how to get a hold of and manage their post-graduate financial woes.  Or even better, begin change to the entire system so that the next generation may see the day where post-secondary education is either dramatically lower in cost or perhaps free.

student loan

 To begin the end of college loan scams, we must all learn the fundamentals of this situation that have created this giant mess for our nation.  Only when we understand the truth about what is going on in this crazed financial scheme will youth be able to fight back against these unjust creditors and systems.  We should start by making the claim that education is a right.  This day in age I am positive that many students would even deem post-secondary education as a right.  We live in a country that claims it is the “land of opportunity.”  As time progresses everyone has begun to understand that education promotes opportunity.  One who graduates with a high school diploma will most likely not have the same opportunities as someone who graduates with a college degree.  Therefore many students possess the mentality that the only way to claim a good career for oneself is to attend college. This might explain why admission has increased dramatically over the years.  Unfortunately at the same time that median household incomes have decreased, tuition in both the private and public sectors of post-secondary education have increased exponentially.  Now we understand why there is such a gap and such disparity pertaining to who wants to attend college and who actually can.

Student Debt Emergency is the first outlet that we wanted to spotlight because this is a blog that emphasizes the student debt issue in a public manner.  This blog doesn’t try to make light of such a serious issue rather it hits its reader with the negative effects so that they can become informed and take action.  This blog does a great job at rallying the 99% so that they can come together and fight for economic justice.

Rearranging Deck Chairs on the Titanic!

This is a concept the author of Student Debt Emergency plays around with when speaking about the financial student debt crisis.  The author compares students to the poor passengers of the boat who were destined to sink, while corporate credit lenders and politicians are the rich passengers who manage to escape the sinking ship.  These lenders are making astronomical profits, and politicians aren’t taking a stand to defend the youth.

student debt

Our school, the University of Massachusetts, is also taking a stand when it comes to the terrifying financial futures a great percentage of our students will face upon graduation.  The bottom line is that when UMASS students sign their lender forms upon entering their freshman year, what they do not recognize is that they are signing a significant portion of their lives away.  This time will be spent repaying their students loans.  This is why the UMASS Amherst community has began to form a coalition to work towards a new normal when it comes to financing one’s post-secondary education.  Does this future include higher state funding and lower tuition, loan forgiveness, or maybe even FREE higher education?  The bottom line, and what UMASS Students Against Debt have realized, is that no change will happen unless the youth formulate plans to initiate change and awareness.

UMass Student's posting their debt stories to the debt fence outside the Student Union.

UMass Student’s posting their debt stories to the debt fence outside the Student Union.

umass debt

This image can be found on the UMASS Students Against Debt Facebook page and shows the newly constructed “debt fence” that includes both posters and stories that reflect the trial, tribulations and sorrows local students will face as they try to manage their student debt.

Network news stations are also taking concern with the student debt crisis.  CBS news in particular has done a great job showcasing personal accounts of people in our nation who attended college and are having tremendous issues paying off their student loans, or having trouble finding a job post graduation.  This news-story focuses on the issue of students borrowing from private lenders.  Private loans cannot be claimed in bankruptcy and also stay with students for years and years because of their high interest rates.  These stories must be expressed more often throughout the media so that sufferers understand that so many others are affected as well.  The ability to relate and connect with one another will promote change.

Students from NYC schools, and universities rallied at Union Square in solidarity then marched to Wall Street to protest for the Student Debt Movement.

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