Student loans

For a UCSB student, the federal student loan forgiveness plan is a “tremendous burden on my shoulders” | Local News

Daniel Park, a fifth-year sociology student at UCSBreceived a Pell grant, a Cal grant, took out subsidized and unsubsidized loans, and received an emergency grant at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He also works part-time as a barista and has done other jobs to pay for his tuition, housing, food, and other essentials while attending UCSB.

Below of President Biden student loan forgiveness plan, Park said he expects to erase two-thirds of his remaining debt.

“I mostly feel relieved and happy to be able to accept this loan forgiveness,” Park said. “[Debt] is one of my biggest stressors that I have been thinking about as I am about to graduate soon. It takes a huge weight off my shoulders.

August 24, the Biden administration with the US Department of Education announced a student loan cancellation plan up to $20,000. In 2022 alone, 50.5 million Americans attending public universities received federal student loans.

According to a fact sheet released by the White House, “The Department of Education will provide up to $20,000 in loan relief to borrowers with loans held by the Department of Education whose individual income is less than $125,000 (250 $000 for married couples) and who received a PellGrant.”

Pell scholarships are generally awarded to undergraduate students who need “exceptional financial need,” according studentaid.gov.

Those who have not received a Pell Grant but still meet these standards can receive up to $10,000 in loan relief.

With the loan forgiveness, Park said he would be able to pay off his loans faster and start saving for a car and a place to live.

“I get less financial aid every year,” Park said. “The older you get in college, the less you want to take out loans, because you slowly realize you have to start paying them back.

“I feel like all of these things – the car and having my own house – would take much, much longer in my twenties if it wasn’t for that loan forgiveness, so I am very happy.”

According Forbes.

At UCSB, 7,958 students received Pell Grants averaging $5,304 for the 2021-22 academic year alone.

The cost of undergraduate tuition and fees at UCSB in the 2021-22 academic year was $14,416.98 for in-state tuition and $44,170.98 for out-of-state tuition. The average cost of tuition at a four-year public university is $10,338 for in-state tuition and $22,698 for out-of-state tuition according to American News.

According to Ryan King, associate director of media relations for the UC president’s office, 55% of University of California undergraduates pay no tuition or fees.

In 2021, 77,647 undergraduates in the UC system received Pell Grants, according to King.

“We continue to work to provide students with even more pathways to a debt-free degree,” King wrote in a statement to Noozhawk.

Noozhawk posted a caption asking how student loan forgiveness would impact readers. Although no response was from current students, or still in the process of repaying their loans, several readers shared their thoughts on forgiveness.

A common criticism mentioned by several commentators at Noozhawk was that students should not pursue a degree they cannot afford.

However, college used to be more affordable – and government subsidized.

In 1963, the average cost of room, board, and tuition for a four-year public university was $929, which, adjusted for inflation, equals $7,923 according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The average cost of tuition alone for a four-year public university such as UCSB was $243, or $2,076 adjusted for inflation, but the The UC system did not charge tuition until 1970.

In the 2020-2021 school year, the average cost of room, board, and tuition at a four-year public university was $21,337.

Part-time jobs also paid more. In 1965, the minimum wage was $1.25, which in today’s dollars is about $11.48, according to Statistical. Today it’s $7.25.

“Older generations of students did not have so much debt, not because they were more virtuous individually, but because they benefited from a collective social investment in their education”, Ronald Brownstein wrote in the Atlantic. “Many of those who oppose debt cancellation…seem conveniently forgetting about all the ways the government has provided ‘baby boomer benefits.’

“Nobody should be in debt but thousands and thousands of dollars to get a college education,” Park said.

Park also mentioned that after getting part of his degree over Zoom during the pandemic, he feels like he’s not paying for what he fully got from his education.

“I think the quality of education has definitely been watered down and with technology everywhere,” Park said. “Everything is different now. College education, higher education is constantly evolving.

While relieved to receive the forgiveness, Park said he was also skeptical about the legitimacy of the loan forgiveness and whether the U.S. economy would suffer any consequences.

“I know it’s silly to say, but I just feel like a lot of promises made by the government, whether it’s free health care, or raising the minimum wage and all those other things, are sometimes really performative,” Park said.

“Anytime the government comes up with something, there’s always like an undercurrent of ‘f— you,’ I always say.”

Although the loan forgiveness program is only planned as a one-time effort, Park said it will still help many students like him who face debilitating debt once they graduate.

“Everyone deserves the right to higher education,” Park said.

— Grace Kitayama, editor of Noozhawk, can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Login with Noozhawk on Facebook.