This recent opinion piece in Newsweek by Denisa Gándara, assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at UT Austin, sums up CFCT’s position on the recent decision to forgive college debt by President Biden, and its relationship to free college tuition.
After much anticipation, the Biden-Harris administration recently announced that college-student borrowers will have up to $20,000 of their student debt forgiven. Student-debt forgiveness is an important first step in addressing societal inequities caused in part by structural barriers to wealth-accumulation, labor-market discrimination, and the predatory practices of many private, for-profit colleges. Now, we have to make sure no one is crushed by student debt in the first place.
We must reinvest in public higher education.
The benefits of higher education are well documented. Higher levels of education lead to better jobs, healthier lives, a stronger economy, and a more civically-engaged society. But we are poised to miss out on many of these benefits, both individually and collectively. In the last few years, we have seen precipitous drops in college enrollment. These declines are especially pronounced at community colleges, which mostly serve low-income students. This is a warning sign that inequities in educational opportunity could grow. Even worse, higher education is about to get more costly, which could further restrict access for students with the greatest financial need. Fitch, a credit ratings agency, projects that tuition is set to increase as inflation strains college budgets. This means even more students will have to choose between skipping out on college or taking on burdensome debt.
It is time to make college free. ...
Our goal is to make higher education a possibility for every American, without regard to their financial circumstances.
We have a lot to do and not much time to do it, so your support is critical for our campaign to succeed. It’s with your investment that we can fundamentally reform how higher education is financed in this country, opening the doors to a more equitable society.
If you agree with our goal, our plan, and the urgency of the problem, we ask that you give what you can to help us write the next chapter in our nation’s history of continuously expanding access to universal, free education.