Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, speaks at the Univision, Washington Post Democratic presidential debate at Miami-Dade College, Wednesday, March 9, 2016, in Miami, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

College Socialism Has Nearly Triumphed: Our Nation Is Doomed

I really hope this isn’t true. If the latest survey by student loan refinancing company LendEDU is correct, our nation is doomed.

Question 15 in the survey asked 500 students “Do you believe that you will be helped by federal student loan forgiveness programs after graduation?”

When asked, 49.80% of college students believed they would in fact be helped by federal student loan forgiveness programs after graduation.

Even worse: the entire survey was about a program called FAFSA, which stands for “Free Application for Federal Student Aid.” The application is free–the money isn’t. But the kids don’t know this.

78 percent of students surveyed didn’t know what FAFSA stands for. 79 percent couldn’t identify the current repayment term of a federal student loan, and 44 percent didn’t realize that unsubsidized student loans accumulate interest during deferment.

Socialism wins. These kids have no idea that they have to pay for their education, and that they will owe money for years. They think it’s free. These people will run the country in 15-20 years. We’re doomed.


Being in a college mood, let’s run some numbers.

There are about 20.5 million college students in the 2016-17 academic year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, an obscure office of the Department of Education responsible for collecting and analyzing–you guessed it–education statistics.

Tuitions, fees, room and board averaged between $16,188 and $41,970 depending on whether the institution was public or private, for-profit or non-profit. Let’s call it $20,000 to be stay on the cheaper side, assuming more expensive educations are also more selective. For 20 million students, that’s a round $400 billion.

If FAFSA provides $150 billion a year in grants, loans and work-study funds to 13 million students, that means 7 million aren’t helped at all. But FAFSA doesn’t forgive loans–that’s a different program. And forgiveness isn’t really their language (unless you’re bankrupt, or dead). But students can apply to have their loans forgiven, and be disappointed when they find out they still owe.

Apparently, however, nearly half of the students in the LendEDU survey think they’ll qualify for a loan discharge after signing their direct loan, FFEL, or Perkins loan papers. We’re talking hundreds of billions of dollars a year, plus interest.

Student Loan Hero, another refinance website, quotes the following statistics:

  • $1.28 trillion in total U.S. student loan debt
  • 44.2 million Americans with student loan debt
  • Student loan delinquency rate of 11.0%
  • Average monthly student loan payment (for borrower aged 20 to 30 years): $351
  • Median monthly student loan payment (for borrower aged 20 to 30 years): $203

These college kids don’t expect to pay back nearly $1 trillion in student loan debt.  That’s 5 percent of America’s GDP. Even at the high pre-Obama growth rates of 3.5 percent, we still lose. At our current 1.9 percent GDP growth, the student loan bomb cancels out our entire economy’s growth.

We cannot afford to keep sending kids to college who don’t expect to ever pay for it. Yet liberals continue to push for “free college” for everyone. No wonder they don’t think they have to pay. But the most frightening part is that even if we try to fix it today, socialism has nearly triumphed. We’ll be paying their bills for 50 years.

President Trump thinks we can “work it out.”

Trump proposed students pay 12.5 percent of their income toward paying down their student loans for 15 years. At that point, the balance would be forgiven. “The debt should not be an albatross around their necks for the rest of their lives, and that’s what it is,” he said at the time. “We’re gonna work it out.”

This is just one more promise we’ll never see kept. Prepare yourself for a whole lot of disappointment, class of 2020, because it’s coming.

About the author

Steve Berman

The old Steve cared about money, prestige, and power. Then Christ found me. All at once things changed. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

I spent 30 years in business. Now I write and edit. But mostly I love. I have a wife and 2 kids and a dog and we live in a little house in central Georgia.

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