You are on page 1of 18




MARCH 2021

Amisha Chander Grace Farash
Catherine Cianfrani Jennifer Janacek
Olivia DiPrinzio Jonathan Kelso
Tileya Norris Donald Sanyukta Talukdar
Adam Evans Kami Xiang

DELIBERATION stock maturity

Here are the basics for
the conversation ahead.
finance growth


Introduction Connection Proposed Reflection

Review proper Discuss all of the Listen to each of Briefly review
deliberation participants’ the approaches proposals
etiquette personal stake in Discuss areas of Review areas of
Become acquainted consensus and contention and
the issue
with the topic of areas of tension consensus
Briefly discuss
Consider how to Take part in a
deliberation prior experience
improve the final
with the issue questionnaire
proposed solution

Ensure that your input wil l Listen to al l points, from
keep the conversation on the approach team, as wel l
track, in terms of the is s u e as other del iberators, with
being discussed an open mind

Engaging in the conver s a tion Be pol ite and respectfu l of

requires equal amounts of al l participants and their
l istening and tal king opinions

American Higher Level Education:


For the past decade, college increasing. However, these students

students in America have been faced are facing financial consequences
with a steadily increasing debt crisis due to their pursuit of education.
associated with the payment of their There are several conditions partially
education. According to the responsible for the current student
Consumer Financial Protection debt crisis. Some of the identified
Bureau, “the total volume of responsible conditions include fast-
outstanding student loans has more paced increases in overall tuition and
than doubled, rising from less than associated costs, increasing interest
$600 billion in 2006 to more than rates on student loans, auxiliary
$1.2 trillion today” (“CFPB Concerned commodity spending by universities,
About Widespread Servicing Failures and an increasing wage gap. Below,
Reported by Student Loan there are statistics on each of these
Borrowers”). With almost 19.8 million conditions as well as other statistics
Americans enrolled in college in 2020 about the gravity of the student
(Duffin), the magnitude of the issue is crisis, as a whole.
apparent as it is approximated that According to College Board,
the average student will have $36,900 “between 1990-91 and 2020-21,
in debt by the time of graduation average published tuition and fees
(“Average Student Loan Debt by increased… from $3,800 to $10,560
Year”). This average debt rate has led at public four-year and from
to one in four students with loans $18,560 to $37,650 at private
defaulting or struggling to pay their nonprofit four-year institutions”
loans, even up to eighteen years after (Matea Pender and Libassi)
they graduate (DeMatteo). In the Between the fall of 1989 and the
future, the hope is that the college spring of 2016, the cost of a four-
debt crisis will be minimized and year degree, adjusting for
prevented from ever affecting inflation, has more than doubled.
students again. Currently, the issue (Maldonado)
is how to do so. A study by the New
As job markets are gradually Models/Winston Group found that
shifting towards requiring at out of the pool of participants,
minimum a bachelor’s degree, a 63% felt that college tuition
college education is becoming a prices were unfair (“Student
necessity for Americans and thus Loans: The Problem”).
college attendance rates are

The average student loan borrower on a The average college graduate

standard 10-year repayment plan will pay with a bachelor’ s degree takes
$6,405 in total or about $641 annually on just over 21.1 years to pay off
interest alone. Borrowers who take out his or her loans (OneWisconsin
private loans could end up paying even Institute).
more than that (Johnson).

While, in a Pew poll from 2012, “75% did will affect state and federal taxes as well as
not think most people were able to afford to the national economic climate, especially
pay for a college education”, the issue of the during periods of recession.
student debt crisis continues to be Over the course of this deliberation, three
unresolved as there are conflicts of interest possible courses of action to permanently
regarding proposed solutions among diminish the student debt crisis will be
Americans (“Student Loans: The Problem”). A presented as viable solutions. Along with each
primary point of contention is whether the approach, statistical information, impacts of
limiting or complete removal of future current policies, and other information will
student debt is fair to those who have already be introduced in order to create a firm basis
paid back or are currently paying back their for each participant. Each of these
student loans. In the case of limiting debt, approaches is unique in how they approach
there are also concerns regarding the equal the problem, and there is room for
distribution of debt limits- whether all improvement in each as well. As a group, the
students have the same limit or if it will vary task at hand is to determine what these
based on household income. improvements could be by identifying
In terms of the economy, some argue common ground as well as differences in
that limiting or removal of student debt will opinion on the proposed solution. The point
have detrimental effects on the economy. of this guide is to provide an introductory
This covers the impacts of lowering interest examination of the proposed solutions and
rates on loans, increasing federal aid, and background information in support of said
significantly decreasing the price of tuition solutions.
on the economy. Many worry about how this

Approach 1

The student debt crisis has gripped the nation’ s population for years. The
total amount of student debt climbs substantially every year, with the current
total reaching $1.71 trillion (CNBC). As college education prices rise
exponentially, millions take out loans to try and afford an education that will
lead them on the path to a better lifestyle. While taking loans is sufficient for
some, many continue to struggle to rid themselves of the financial burden. "In
2016, about 34 percent of Americans under 35 owned a house; when Boomers
and Gen Xers were under 35, about half of them did” as has been found by
research mentioned in The Atlantic (Thompson).
The idea of providing student debt relief has come to light before, but as of
recently, the idea has gained more attention. Many politicians have introduced
new policies, one of the more promising resolutions comes from the President
of the United States, Joe Biden. Though not the first to introduce the concept
of student debt relief, Biden has taken a stand to cancel $10,000 of student
debt (Wall Street Journal). With average student loan debt reaching up to
approximately $36,406, many are contemplating the pros and cons of student
loan debt forgiveness and elimination (

Pros Cons
Gives way to a potential boost If partial or total student debt
in the economy since many relief is enacted, then student
could re-allocate funds to loan debt responsibility is
fulfill lifelong goals such as transferred solely to the
buying a house or getting government.
With the government being
Partial elimination of student responsible for college tuition,
debt could provide a bridging expenses and rates could soar
factor in the racial wealth gap. higher than the present day.

Relief, in any magnitude, could With student loan relief, the

aid in alleviating mental health question of fairness comes to
issues and pressures light. This looks into factors
associated with student debt. such as: how much, who, and
since when? What about
Citizens in lower-income others who paid their loans
households will have the off?
opportunity to make smaller
payments and have an equal As a result of fairness issues,
chance of attaining the same this has the potential to cause
education. divisiveness in the nation.

Biden's Plan
As a hopeful presidential candidate, Joe Biden offered many plans to aid Americans past
their high school years. One such plan was to make college education through public
universities and colleges free for students with families who have an income under $125,000
( Following this initial promise, which introduced varying opinions, the search
for an answer has come to fruition. With democratic politicians such as Elizabeth Warren and
Chuck Schumer pushing for upwards of $50,000 of federal education debt being eliminated, Joe
Biden has stated that he would rather sign a debt relief bill- one that only eradicates $10,000
of federal debt, and instead allow Congress to pass it, rather than himself. Biden has made it
fairly clear that this is the option he feels he will confidently choose. After an interview with
CNN town hall about his plans, he stated, “I will not make that happen” when asked about
eliminating the originally planned $50,000. He then gave his stance on community college
finances, which he had brought up in his initial plan as well - “any family making under
$125,000 whose kids go to a state university they get into, that should be free, as well.”

Approach 2

Due to an increase in college costs,
stagnation in the growth of minimum wage,
and an increase in loan needs, many students
face a large amount of college debt. This
debt can take years to pay off. In a job
market that strongly relies on obtaining
higher education, this poses a large problem
that can cause entire families to be stuck
below the poverty line. One way to fix this is
by lowering or completely eliminating
interest rates on student loans. Between 1987
and 2016, the average cost of college
increased by 161% (Market Watch).
Meanwhile, minimum wage and starting
salaries have remained relatively in line with
inflation. It is no longer possible for a
student working a minimum wage job to pay
for all or even most of their college
education without taking out loans, receiving
financial aid, receiving scholarships, or
getting help from their family.

Pros Cons
Lower loans will allow more If there are no loans, the government
students to obtain the higher would have to take full responsibility for
education they need for today’s job all money that goes towards aid. This
market. would lead to a large increase in taxes
and could potentially diminish the quality
Refinancing loans would allow of public colleges since they can not
spend as much on their programs.
people to repay their loans at a
quicker rate.
According to "Is American Student Debt
to Big to Fail", students who owe less
Lower loan rates would make up for
than $10,000 tend to take longer to pay
the lower minimum wage compared
off their loans due to an increased
to previous decades.
likelihood of skipped payment.
CNBC reveals opinions
made in their "College Voices" Increasing
series. Many agreed that
raising minimum wage will
positively aid college students Minimum Wage
in balancing school and work.
For example, a 20 year old
Florida college student named
Sade Andrews shared her
struggle about cost of college.
Andrews works in the fast
food industry as a McDonald's
employee to help her family
with financial issues.
Unfortunately, her job has
caused her to deviate her
primary focus from her
studies at community college.
She hopes that lawmakers will
take action to raise wages so
students like her won't have
to sacrifice their education.
Months back, she even voted
in favor of Florida raising the
minimum wage price to $15 an
hour. Andrews explained that
“We all need a fair chance,
whether it’s fast food or you
work at an airport, anywhere."

Pros Cons
Earning higher pay means less work Increasing the minimum wage could affect the
which would allow college students amount of financial aid given, as financial aid
to focus on their work more. This is based on household income and savings.
could also correlate to less stress If everyone is making an increased wage,
colleges may want to increase the costs of
over paying education expenses.
certain things.
Raising the minimum wage to $15
Increased wages could also negatively impact
could help cover tuition costs,
the job market for graduating college students.
textbook expenses, as well as other
If the above point occurs, students currently
materials for an entire year. in college may also be negatively impacted as
Making more money means you they need to compete with graduates for these
would borrow less money through jobs.
federal or private loans.

Approach 3

It is universally acknowledged
that tuition for higher education
is relatively high in America. The Reduction in expense for
average annual tuition for a athletics fund will reduce
public university is about the cost of universities, and
eventually reduce student's
$35,000, and the tuition for a
private university is nearly A reduction in the cost of
$60,000. That makes higher renovating luxurious
education to be considered a dormitories will eventually
luxury, and therefore, a crisis. In lead to a reduction in
order to solve this problem, it is
important that universities
rethink their priorities and
economic distributions.
Reduction in attention for
In order to solve this issue,
athletics will lead to the decrease
universities ought to consider in training for the sports teams
changing the economic and renovating of gyms, which
may make the university become
distribution of international
less attractive.
student debt, reducing housing Reduction in the budget for
fees, and athletics funds. How renovating luxurious dormitories
will these solutions work? What will make the university become
less attractive since everyone
are the benefits and potential
tends to have a better resting
negative effects of these environment.

Approach 3


In 2010, only 19 of the 119 NCAA Admittedly, a football team is one

Division I Football Bowl Championship of the most important sources of
(FBS) schools reported positive net funding at some universities. A fully
revenues, and the median profit for functional gym is also one of the ways
those 19 was only $4.3 million (NCAA to attract potential students. However,
2010). Furthermore, not a single when an athletics program cannot
athletics program outside of Division I cover its expenses through generated
FBS profits from athletics. All these revenue, it is forced to rely on
programs—the remaining Division I as allocated funds from the wider
well as all Divisions II and III programs institutional budget. Just as the top
—are forced to rely upon wider figure demonstrated rising athletic
university resources to balance their budget shortfalls, the bottom figure
budgets. Athletics typically cost the illustrates an increased dependence on
schools additional funds, which could allocated revenue from the school
be allocated elsewhere such as for between 2008 and 2010.
reduced tuition (Fulks).

Approach 3



Recently, Universities have

funded the construction of more
luxurious dorms. Data from The
Atlantic shows that Gettysburg
College spent $27 million on a
55,000-square-foot recreational
center with a bouldering area.
Drexel University devoted $45
million to its own 84,000-square-
foot recreation center, complete
with a walking and jogging track.
The University of Memphis paid
$50 million for a 169,000-square-
foot campus center that houses a
theater, food court, and a 24-
hour computer lab. Texas Tech
University boasts “the largest
leisure pool on a college campus
in the United States, with a 645-
foot-long lazy river as the
centerpiece of the design”
(Jeffery 2017.) These funds can
potentially be invested in the
university’ s core curriculum,
research, and providing even
more financial aid.

According to Eric Luskin, senior vice president of the firm that manages student
housing assets, the competition for students has grown fiercer in recent years, and
housing plays a role in which schools attract the most desirable applicants. “Based on
what we have observed, whenever a student is on the fence among two or more
institutions, the campus lifestyle — particularly the quality of housing options — becomes
extremely influential and is sometimes the deciding factor” (Gold).

Reflection &


As the cost of acquiring a college Finally, approach 3 addressed
education increases, more and more sports spending at large universities
Americans are left with mounting like Penn State. It was shown that
student loan debt. However, as you have sports spending often relies on
heard, there are a number of solutions finances outside of just generated
to this issue. Approach 1 addressed the
revenue, which pulls funds from other
cancellation of student loan debt and its
areas around the school. The
economic benefits. It also addressed
proposed solution is to reduce sports
how the cancellation of student loan
spending so that money can be saved
debt would lessen the inequity around
for other areas, namely reducing
who is able to obtain higher education.
Approach 2 confronted how the tuition costs. Overall, despite the
stagnant minimum wage rates in the expense of American colleges and
United States affect the affordability of universities, there are feasible
college and university. The proposed solutions that would make higher
solution- to lower loan rates- would education both more affordable and
make loans more manageable for those more equitable.
who need them to afford their


Approach 1: Eliminate Student Debt Pros Cons

College graduates allocate massive Allows increased Responsibility falls
amounts of their income to help repay their participation in the on the government.
economy. Prices could soar
student loans, delaying and reducing their Could help reduce higher for college.
potential to participate in the economy. racial wealth gap. Would it be fair to
Could help relieve everyone?
Many look towards politicians and
mental pressures and Could lead to
representatives to provide relief and aid as aid mental health. divisiveness in the
the issue gains more attention with every Equal opportunity or country.
smaller payments for
passing day. education.

Reflection &

Summaries Cont.

Approach 2: Alternate Student Loans Pros Cons

Lower loans allow for Lower loan rates
Unlike in previous decades, college costs can
more students to could potentially
not be paid by working at a minimum wage job receive higher result in loans being
while attending school. Due to this and increases education. paid back slower.
Lower loans will make Large increase in
in interest rates, students take a significantly
up for the cost of taxes as the
longer amount of time to pay off student debt. This raising the minimum government will take
problem can be reduced by lowering or even wage. responsibility for the
Allows individuals to decrease in loans.
eliminating interest rates on student loans.
pay back loans faster.

Approach 3: Reducing College Costs Pros Cons

With college enticing incoming students Reduced expenses Reduced attention
Approach 3: for the University. for athletics.
w i t h v a s t a t h l e t i c p r o g r a m s a n d lu x u r i o u s Reduced tuition Decrease in
dorms, the cost of a college education has cost as a result of attractiveness for
cutting the university.
become a luxury. Re-prioritization is
renovations. Athletes receive less
i m p e r a t i v e t o c o m b a t t h e c l i m b i n g c o lle g e benefits.
prices that affect students.

Reflection Questions
How did you originally feel about the college debt crisis?
What values do you think helped form your original
opinion on the college debt crisis?
Did you feel fully comfortable sharing your thoughts and

Post Deliberation

R e f l e c t u p o n wh a t y o u h a v e d i s c u s s e d a n d
a n s we r s o me h e l p f u l q u e s t i o n s

If you are comfortable with sharing, what is your gender?

Have your opinions changed post-deliberation, and if so how?

finance growth
What themes or areas of consensus did we find?

Were there any places the forum didn’t agree?

Was there anything you wish you had more information on?

Did you feel as if information was presented in ways that were


Did you feel that there were any options that were not considered in
the deliberation?

What are some ways college debt negatively affects students? Can
you relate?

Were there any options presented that you had not considered or
heard about?

Post Deliberation

R e f l e c t u p o n wh a t y o u d i s c u s s e d a n d a n s we r
s o me h e l p f u l q u e s t i o n s

Do you think cancelling student loan debt is fair? Explain.

Do you believe that the pros of cancelling student debt (Economic

Freedom, Mental Health... ) outweigh the cons (Raised taxes,
finance growth
Potential Increase in College Costs…)?

Do you have to work to afford your college education?

Did you have to take out loans to afford your education? Do you
plan on taking out loans in the future?

Do you think the revenue generated by sports, such as football, is

worth the cost?

What type of typical university experiences do you believe could be

re-evaluated to cut college tuition?


ABC News, ABC News Network,

Adamczyk, Alicia. “These Are the New Federal Student Loan Interest Rates for 2020.” CNBC, CNBC, 13 May 2020,
“Average Student Loan Debt by Year.”, 29 October 2020,
loan-debt-by-year. Accessed 26 February 2021.
Berman, Jillian. “Did You Work Your Way through College? Here's Why Your Kids Can't.” MarketWatch, MarketWatch,
26 Nov. 2017,
Berman, Jillian. “How the Federal Government Could Make College Free.” MarketWatch, MarketWatch, 7 Oct. 2020,
Berman, Jillian, and Jay Zehngebot. “Paying your college,3 years ago vs. today.” MarketWatch, Accessed 26 February 2021.
Bond, Casey. “Here's What Could Happen If Biden Forgives Student Loan Debt.” HuffPost, HuffPost, 29 Jan. 2021,
Bond, Casey. “This Map Shows The Average Student Loan Debt By State.” HuffPost, HuffPost, 4 Dec. 2020,
Brown, Hayes, and MSNBC Opinion Columnist. “Biden Thinks Student Loan Debt Relief Is up to Congress. That's a
Good Thing.” MSNBC, NBCUniversal News Group, 22 Feb. 2021
“CFPB Concerned About Widespread Servicing Failures Reported by Student Loan Borrowers.” Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau, 29 September 2015,
about-widespread-servicing-failures-reported-by-student-loan-borrowers/. Accessed 26 February 2021.
Cox, Jeff. “Biden's Plan to Forgive Student Debt Could Have Limited Economic Benefits, and Carry Risks.” CNBC,
CNBC, 6 Dec. 2020,
CVA, Kinkpe. “Https://” Journal of Orthopedics & Bone
Disorders, vol. 1, no. 7, 2017, doi:10.23880/jobd-16000139.
DeMatteo, Megan. “This is the average age when people finally pay off their student loans for good.” CNBC, 25
November 2020,
loans/#:~:text=With%20that%20timeline%20in%20mind,26%20and%20ending%20at%2045. Accessed 26 February
Duffin, Erin. “College enrollment in the United States.” Statista, 5 November 2020,
20colleges. Accessed 26 February 2021.
Friedman, Zack. “Is Cancelling Student Loans A Good Idea?” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 16 Dec. 2020,
Friedman, Zack. “Student Loan Debt Statistics In 2020: A Record $1.6 Trillion.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 15 Dec.
Fulks, Daniel, “2008-10 NCAA Revenues and Expenses of Division I Intercollegiate Athletics Programs Report,” NIAA,
15 September 2010.


Gold, Jamie. "From Tanning Terraces To Resort-Style Pools, Student Housing Is Going Upscale" Jul 23, 2019,
Hess, J Abigail “U.S. Student Debt Has Increased by More than 100% over the Past 10 Years.” CNBC, CNBC, 22 Dec.
“Inside Higher Ed.” Colleges Need to Help International Students Now (Opinion),
Johnson, Holly. “Here's How Much the Average American Pays in Interest Each Year.” TheSimpleDollar, 16 July 2020,
year/. Accessed 26 February 2021.
Johnson Tobin Van Ostern, Anne, and Tobin Van Ostern. “It's Our Interest: The Need to Reduce Student Loan
Interest Rates.” Center for American Progress, 13 Feb. 2013,
Lombardo, Clare. “Student Debt Forgiveness Sounds Good. What Might Happen If The Government Did It?” NPR,
NPR, 10 July 2019,
Looney, Adam, et al. “Who Owes All That Student Debt? And Who'd Benefit If It Were Forgiven?” Brookings,
Brookings, 27 Oct. 2020,
Maldonado, Camilo. “Price of College Increasing Almost 8 times Faster Than Wages.” Forbes, 24 July 2018,
wages/?sh=2b21a9a466c1. Accessed 26 February 2021.
Matea Pender, Jennifer, and CJ Libassi. “Trends in College Pricing and Studetn Aid 2020.” Collegeboard, October
2020, Accessed 26 February
Miao, Hannah. “College Students Call on Lawmakers to Raise the Minimum Wage to $15 an Hour.” CNBC, CNBC, 23
Feb. 2021,
“National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Home Page, Part of the U.S. Department of Education.” National
Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Home Page, a Part of the U.S. Department of Education,
OneWisconsin Institute. “Impact of Student Loan debt on Homeownership Trends and Vehicle Purchasing.”
OneWisconsin Institute, 13 June 2013,
Accessed 26 February 2021.
“Plan for Education Beyond High School: Joe Biden.” Joe Biden for President: Official Campaign Website, 3 Aug. 2020,
Poth, Alix. “Is the "student loan crisis" really a crisis?” Liberal Arts Texas A&M University, 1 October 2019, Accessed 25 February 2021.
Rooks, Timothy. Is American Student Debt Too Big to Fail?, 2 Feb. 2021,
Roper Center. “Pay It Back: The Public and the Student Loan System.” Roper Center For Public Opinion Researc, Accessed 20 February 2021.


Schulmann, Paul. “International Student Tuition and the Funding Crisis to Come.” University World News, 25 Jan.
Selingo, Jeffery, "Why Universities Are Phasing Out Luxury Dorms" the Atlantic 22 Aug, 2017,
Sloan, Allan. “Perspective | Canceling All Student Debt Is a Bad Idea.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 24 July
“Student Loans: The Problem.” Center for Responsbible Living,
loans/student-loans-problem. Accessed 26 February 2021.
Tempera, Jackie. “How Much Would a Minimum-Wage Increase Help Students?” USA Today, Gannett Satellite
Information Network, 31 July 2013,
Waller, Adam, "Luxury Dorms, Pricey Apartments Run The Risk Of Further Stratifying College Students" July 30, 2019,

You might also like