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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Utah chapter.

To begin, I will tell you that I am getting myself though college by taking out student loans. Today, you have to be an exceptional student to qualify for grants or scholarships. I am among the many who are smart, but not the smartest and have parents who cannot afford to put their children through college, but make too much to get free money from the government (#middleclassprobs). Young 20 something’s who are trying to find a way to pay for their education might think about claiming themselves as independent on FASFA. You would think this would be valid because we live on our own, have our own jobs etc. The government however, knows we are poor so they made it that we cannot claim ourselves as independent until we are twenty-four years old or are married. This is based off of a meeting I had with one of the University of Utah’s financial counselors. Student debt is the second highest debt in the United States and is a huge political issue. In any political related topic, there are always varying opinions. In this specific case there are three sides: the opponents (aka the wealthy who don’t want to pay higher taxes), the proponents (middle/lower classes who want to feel some relief from the suffocation of their student debt) and our new President D. Trump.

Last spring, student loan interest rates were reduced from 7% to 3.86%. This was made possible by a tax raise for Americans who earn between $1 million to $2 million dollars per year. Thank you, to those millionaires who are most likely putting their kids through school and paying the interest rate difference to those who are suffering. I am assuming those millionaires went through school to be where they are today and now they have a mandatory income tax of 30%. If I worked my a** off to become a millionaire and am paying a significantly higher income tax to cover the rest of the knowledge seeking Americans, I would be a little upset too. These opponents have made the argument that students agreed to interest rates when they took out the loan and taxing the rich will hurt the economy, according to “I side with. Com.” However, wouldn’t the higher income citizens want contributing, ambitious young adults to be entering society?

I am one of the low-income borrowers who looks at my statement and can feel my heart ache at the fact that my debt is rising as minutes pass because of interest. I strongly believe that students should take a mandatory crash course on interest rates and what the future holds in the decision of taking out a student loan. If I knew what I was doing, I might have made a different decision. I don’t regret my college education and I am very excited for what the future holds, but I am terrified of my debt. With 40 million Americans suffering with an average of $35,000 of student loans each, equals $1.3 trillion of total debt. One of my fellow (in debt) classmates stated, “Nothing in life is free and I understand that a high quality, intensive education cannot be free, but does it really have to put so many people in agony just because they want to better their life?” (Smith)  “I aint sorry” that my parents or myself don’t make enough to spend $35,000 (and that is being conservative) in four years to get an education. Shouldn’t it count for something that students are willing to spend years of their young adult life staying up all night studying and all the other aspects that come with being a college student? A degree is promising, but not a guarantee.

A new president going into office is a great time to have hope that this situation is going to change. According to an article on Forbes, Hillary had a detailed plan that would cost $500 billion over the next ten years. Donald made a statement about the issue such as, “Colleges are not watching their costs, we are really going to look into that.” Cool, President Trump, but what is that really going to solve? He also stated that he is going to do, “something with extensions and lower interest rates.”  

I am graduating with the class that is in the most student debt in US history. Let’s see what happens over the next 5-10 years when houses aren’t being bought and kids aren’t being produced because this newly graduated class is broke AF.

To end with a little “food for thought”, the Great Depression’s true cause has been researched and debated for years, but in my brief study of this unfortunate part of history, I realized that farmers were given much more money than they could end up paying off and indenture servants came to America on loans that also weren’t paid off. In addition, we saw a recession when it was too easy to get a home mortgage resulting in a housing and economic crash.  I think student’s loans are very over looked and the repercussions are going to affect our economy like a quite, perfect storm.



Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Krissi attends the University of Utah studying to become a journalist. When she is not doing school work, she is a part time makeup artist, full time animal lover and spends any moment she can outside. (She especially loves outdoor malls.) She quotes: "Writing is one of the most beautiful ways to express ourselves and I could not be more thrilled to be apart of Her Campus!"
Her Campus Utah Chapter Contributor