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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Student debt on ballot in November

<ir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-8de69274-309e-bb92-a6b5-06e8695aafbf">As a current college student, my goal is to find a job after graduation, and begin my own journey in life. While most of my peers share this dream, many find themselves unable to pursue meaningful careers or opportunities because of the ballooning cost of college debt. During this college debt crisis, we need more advocates in Washington who understand how high tuition costs impact students.

College loan debt in the United States has skyrocketed in the past decade. Currently, 43 million students have borrowed a total of 1.3 trillion dollars for college. This reality not only discourages students from going to college, but prevents many graduates from being able to afford a mortgage, stymies economic growth, and, most importantly, pushes recent graduates away from pursuing their passions. As a result, an increasing number of students are moving back in with their parents to avoid high rent prices and taking jobs that they are overqualified for, just to pay student loan bills. Student loan debt is stunting the ambitions Carleton has helped to instill in our student body.

Furthermore, Minnesota has the fifth highest level of student debt in the nation and that 70 percent of Minnesota students graduate with some level of debt. This forces many students to play catch up for five to ten years after graduating, instead of focusing on their post-collegiate careers. Therefore, in this upcoming election, it is critical that we elect a representative who understands the crippling effects of student debt not only in regards to our current financial standing, but in regards to our fundamental livelihoods as well.

This is why I support Angie Craig for Congress in Minnesota’s second district. Angie has focused on the issue and proposed numerous solutions to directly help students. In fact, at her visit to Carleton last month she laid out ways she will fight for students as our congresswoman.

First, Angie believes graduates should be able to refinance their student loans. Most debts, like mortgages or credit card loans, can be refinanced to ease the burden on those borrowing, allowing for some financial breathing room. However, under the current system college graduates are treated differently and do not have this option. Second, Angie will fight to strengthen Pell Grants by indexing them to the Consumer Price Index. Doing so would give 9.2 million students a tuition subsidy increase of $1,300, and every bit counts. This is an important step in ensuring the most needy are able to continue to afford college immediately and into the future.

Angie will also work with the private sector to help eliminate student loan debt. She believes student loan reimbursement as part of a benefits package leads to companies’ investing in their employees and allows recent graduates greater economic mobility. These types of common sense solutions are what we should expect from our elected officials.

Angie also understands that the student debt crisis is a real crisis, and has proposed thoughtful and thorough solutions. That is why Angie is the only person I trust to fight on behalf of students and graduates in Minnesota’s Second District. I urge you to join with me in voting for Angie Craig on November 8th because college debt is too pressing of an issue to leave to the current gridlock in Washington.

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