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Letter: Happy to help pay inflated student debts

Sep 28, 2022

I read with interest Louise Brown’s op-ed, “The Folly of Student Debt Forgiveness.” While she makes some interesting points, I believe she comes to the wrong conclusion. She glosses over the relative cost of education saying only that they were commensurate with earnings. What she fails to say is that tuition and fees sky rocketed — far faster than the cost of living. And the cost of living has accelerated faster than earnings. I am probably some decades older than Ms. Brown. When I entered Weber College in 1953 with a full tuition scholarship, the tuition was $17 a quarter. It was the same four years later when my wife went there on a full ride of tuition and fees: $25 a quarter. Granted, we earned a lot less then, but it was sufficient to pay our living and college expenses. Upon completion of our associates degrees at Weber, we enrolled at Utah State University, where tuition and fees were only slightly higher, and we were able to live in married student housing for $30 a month. We both attained bachelor’s degrees at Utah State, and I was fortunate enough to get an assistantship for graduate school. Like the Browns, our first child was born while we were both in school, and we were still able to finish our degrees. I will grant Ms. Brown that the ceiling for student debt forgiveness ($125,000) may be high, but the concept of student loan forgiveness is sound. The basic cause for the huge student debt has been the failure of the state and federal governments to fund higher education, forcing colleges and universities to raise tuition and fees far beyond the ability of students to pay. Even those who work, as we and the Browns did, still have to borrow money unless they have family resources to cover the cost. So, unlike Ms. Brown, I am delighted to have part of my taxes help worthy students get an education. Tax payers certainly helped my wife and me as we got our public and higher education, and it’s payback time.

Vance Pace



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