Education is one of the most important long-term policy issues that we as a nation must contend with if we want to continue to prosper. Our President has done great things with his changes to financial aid policy for higher education. However, he has not gone far enough. We must insure that everyone has access to education programs after high school, be it college, a trade school, or vocational education and that college graduates are not allowed to continue to drown in student debt for the rest of their adult lives. We are the only developed nation that does not provide adequate funding for higher education and it must change.
Additionally, steps must be taken to reduce the cost of higher education and the weight of debt shouldered by future generations of college graduates. For that reason, I propose that complete student loan forgiveness be enacted for current or future students who have completed a degree within the past 6 years under certain educational guidelines or who choose to serve in the Armed Services, AmeriCorps, The Peace Corps, OR by teaching in our public school system for three years.
Finally, we must provide greater oversight to the institutions of higher learning. For profit institutions offering online degrees have a place in our system and could, if properly regulated, offer great opportunities to their students. However, many of these organizations prey on unprepared and under funded students. They exploit our student loan systems, which are in place to provide a path for students to achieve greater success, for their own profits and often provide little in return. As digital classrooms become increasingly commonplace, we must make sure that students utilizing these institutions are getting the services they need and pay for.