After already being banned from one country for talking about controversial issues on his Netflix series “The Patriot Act,” comedian Hasan Minhaj did not learn his lesson and decided to go after the United States next, specifically the Department of Education. In his episode titled “Student Loans” Minhaj discussed how much the student-loan crisis had escalated, crippling many Americans with the help of the loan servicers provided by the government. This hit young audiences like a truck because of the current extremely high costs of college tuition everywhere in the U.S. causing them to borrow more. In fact, between everyone in his live audience that night (200 people), they had accumulated about $6 million in student loan debt. This caused such an uproar that the comedian was called to testify for Congress on the loan crisis where he slayed it in a humorous way.
There Hasan Minhaj was not afraid to pull out ALL the receipts about congress to savagely prove his point on student-loan debt. According to his research,“ two-thirds of all jobs in America require at least some college education. This is the standard now and that wasn’t the case when most of the members of this committee were in school. And you paid far less for your degrees that’s not speculation.”
For example, Chairwoman Maxine Waters’s tuition for Cal State LA from 1971 was about $1,000 a year while today it was about $6,000 (including the adjustment for inflation). And if that 500% tuition jump didn’t scare the committee, Congressman King’s statistics sure did. Apparently, when Congressman King went to St. Francis College in 1965, his tuition was about $10,000 a year but today it would be $25,000. By bringing up these personal statistics, Hasan Minhaj caught Congress’s attention to the point where New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez opened up her phone during the meeting and made a payment of her own; “I literally made a student loan payment while I was sitting here at this chair, and I looked at my balance, and it was $20,237.16. I just made a payment that took me down to $19,000 so I feel really accomplished right now.”
Also, at one point congress tried to call Minhaj out on his claim on how loan servers screw over Americans. Hasan Minhaj did not hesitate to call out Naviant as the worst company in the world, declaring them the “Comcast of student loan serving” and describing their service as “an arranged marriage you can’t get out of.” These are just some of the many TOO REAL facts Hasan Manhaj brought up in his testimony to Congress when he tried to fight for college students in debt. Whether or not it made a difference is up to the Committee of Education who are taking his points and research into consideration. Hopefully, thanks to Hasan Minhaj, college loan servers and loan legislation will be reformed for the better and we will no longer be in a crisis.
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