OPINION: I went to community college. I shouldn’t be responsible for other students' debt.

If I had known that Biden would be giving away school money, I could have skipped a year of community college and spent an extra year at the college I am currently enjoying.

Earlier this week, President Joe Biden announced his plan to cancel up to $20,000 worth of debt for borrowers making under $125,000. 

As a student who worked hard to be able to afford college, I was frustrated to hear that taxpayer dollars would be used to pay off the irresponsible debts of other students.

Why should citizens who are responsible with money be punished by having to pay off someone else’s debt? 

Even though I would have loved to experience a big university, I did the first two years of school at Wabash Valley Community College to stay within budget. Though the school was excellent in terms of academic quality, the student body was small and extracurricular activities were few. Despite this, I considered it a sacrifice worth making so I could stay out of debt.

Upon graduating from Wabash Valley College, I had my heart set on attending The Master’s University (TMU), a private Christian school in Santa Clarita, California. Being a private school, tuition was high at TMU. 

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As a musician, I knew that I could get a significant amount of money off my tuition by auditioning for music scholarships. However, these scholarships were reserved for students majoring in music. Though I wasn’t interested in becoming a professional musician, I wanted to attend TMU and graduate debt free. I felt that having a music degree and no debt was better than getting another degree with debt.

Given these considerations, I decided to major in music to avoid student loans. 

Because of the precautions I took, I will be graduating from my dream college in two years debt free. Though it took a lot of hard work and effort, I made it work because I knew it would be worth it.

Now that Biden is forgiving thousands of dollars worth of student loans, I am angered that students who didn’t make the sacrifices that I did are getting off free.

If I had known that Biden would be giving away school money, I could have skipped a year of community college and spent an extra year at the college I am currently enjoying.

Student debt is often avoidable. Through hard work and planning, it is possible to graduate with little to no student debt. 

Based on data from financial aid offices, students who choose to go to a community college for the first two years of school instead of a private four-year university can save $30,000 or more. For students who plan to attend a private school, that decision alone could save students more than Biden’s plan is giving them.

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Students who choose to go to an in-state college can save $8,000 by attending a community college first.  

Additionally, 24 out of the 50 states have community colleges that offer free tuition. For students who live in the north, upper Midwest or West Coast, the odds of finding a free two-year degree are particularly good.

Forcing taxpayers to pay the loans of college students is a gross breach of government authority, especially in times of economic decline. 

For students who would rather go straight to a university, that is their decision. However, they should have to pay the price, not society.

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