College is a time of fun, meeting new people, learning about your major(s), finding out about yourself, and gaining a lot of debt and expenses. As college has become the expected next step of the majority of high school students, within that expectation is the consequence of increasing student debt. I think is time to shift the paradigm that massive student debt is necessary and should be put on the shoulders of recent graduates. As someone who recently graduated, an obvious objection would be now that you have your education you just want the easy way out. However, I have a few ideas that can improve the educational landscape for students, employers, charities, and universities.
1.Grant tax incentivized financing for employers who pay for education while the student is in school
In the current landscape the norm is for the government to take the burden of student debt directly through financing loans at artificially low interest rate. Private companies can get better educated employees through offering the incentive of paying education expenses while the employee is a student-employee. In turn the government would grant the employer a full or partial tax credit for the amount paid towards education. This would result in the government holding less debt and debt related expenses, the company getting employees with a higher education, and employees who feel free to work for a greater number of employers.
2. Grant tax incentivized financing for future employees
The ability for an employee to not feel the weight of their student debt immediately after graduation would allot for well trained graduates to take jobs they would not have been able to otherwise. If an employer was able to take on the student debt of a graduate in exchange for a multiyear contract beneficial for all parties then smaller companies could attract higher qualified employees, who have their debt payed and a new sense of freedom. This is done through the transfer of bearing the debt to the private company from government owned debt, in exchange for a tax credit.
3. Grant charities the option to donate towards volunteers’ educational expenses at a government matched rate
If a student is willing to donate their expertise towards a certified charity, then that charity should be able to get a matched donation towards the student’s education. Charities can often times use a greater pool of talent, and if university is as influential and great as it claims, then the students’ talents would be of immense worth. Exchanging time serving for investing in a student encourages a life of philanthropy for the student, a value that I have seldom had encouraged in my formal education.
Education should not cause a worry of student debt, especially for those who give back to the economy or charities. I have many friends who have felt or are feeling the pressures related to student debt. As a country, we ought to work towards eliminating student debt. This can be done with exchanging the money already paid towards deferring interest on loans for tax breaks for organizations assisting students with their debt. This effort should also work towards a setting where these institutions can give their input into the education system to ensure that students gain skills and knowledge needed for the present work environment. May graduation be a season of hope for graduates instead of the dread of debt.