VIDEO: Students slam AOC's support for erasing $1.6 TRILLION in student debt
- Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said that the government needs to use taxpayer dollars to cancel student debt so people can go to their “dream colleges.”
- College students slammed AOC for her comments and gave their stories about how hard work and responsible financial decision-making allowed them to afford education.
Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) is supporting a bill sponsored by Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar, and Democrat Rep. Pramila Jayapal that would strike 45 million Americans' $1.6 trillion worth of student debt.
“I have student loans, too,” AOC admitted to reporters, according to CNBC. “It was literally easier for me to become the youngest woman in American history elected to Congress than it is to pay off my student loan debt.”
On Monday, the congresswoman told the story of a 17-year-old girl she mentored about ten years ago who would need to take on $250,000 of debt in order to attend her dream school.
“She got into her dream college,” AOC recounted, “but her dream college offered her no scholarships, just loans.”
Campus Reform collected videos from various students in response to AOC’s proposal. These students -- who are also interns of Campus Reform's parent company, the Leadership Institute -- responded to AOC’s story, detailing their own stories of how hard work and responsible financial decision-making allowed them to afford and earn their education, without a student debt relief program.
Messages to AOC:
Sophia Miller, Bowling Green State University
“I have been working two jobs since I was 16, at least, and paid for every dime of my college myself.”
Sheridan Nolan, University of Tulsa
“If you make irresponsible decisions, you shouldn’t have to have the government pay for it.”
Christian Miller, Houghton College
“One thing that I always knew growing up was responsibility. That was expected. That was what I [was] taught. That was all I knew. Hard work and responsibility.”
Rachel Carroll, Brigham Young University
“It creates an entitlement culture where they think that things are free.”
Seth Stubbs, Florida State University
“That is your responsibility as an adult to pay it back.”
Libby Krieger, Grove City College
“I got a job at 15 to try and afford the cost of education.”
Chris Shanahan, Christendom College
“College is a privilege and not a right.”
Michael Pendley, Baylor University
“I understood that it was not going to be that easy and I really didn't want to go in like hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt, so I decided then and there that 'man, I gotta get a job.'”
According to Debt.org, 70% of graduating students leave their college with debt averaging $38,000 per student. 2020 Democratic frontrunners, including Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, have called for government student debt relief programs.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @ethanycai