The Supreme Court will issue an opinion on President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan on Thursday, according to a Tuesday NPR article.
The Supreme Court will decide whether the president and secretary of education have the power to forgive student loans. If approved, those with student loans will be eligible for up to $20,000 of debt forgiveness.
While this idea may seem appealing, especially to those who have accumulated student loan debt, it would do more harm than good. The Supreme Court should not allow this because of the financial harm it will cause to future college students and taxpayers in the long run.
At USF, 36.5% of students took out loans in 2019, borrowing an average of $17,663 per student during their time pursuing an undergraduate degree.
By forgiving student loans, this plan sets a precedent that will increase the demand for college. Increased demand means universities will likely raise the prices of tuition. If students are able to borrow more with the expectation of it being forgiven, schools will raise their prices when they know students have more to spend, according to a 2022 article by senior economist at the Competitive Enterprise Institute Ryan Young.
The cost of tuition at a public college like USF has nearly tripled in the last 20 years, according to 2022 data from U.S. News & World Report. A plan that would potentially lead to further tuition increases is shortsighted.
This plan does nothing to fix the root of the problem, which is the high tuition rates. It is a temporary solution to surface-level issues.
Not only would this loan forgiveness affect college students, but it will cost all taxpayers.
This plan is estimated to cost the U.S. taxpayers $311 billion, according to a 2022 budget model by Penn Wharton.
While $190 annually may not seem like a lot, it can be for a person with a low income. That money could pay for their housing, food or gas, rather than a government program that may not ever benefit them.
This plan may appeal to those who are struggling to pay back student loans, but it will be harmful to college students as well as all taxpayers. Instead, they should focus on limiting college tuition prices to avoid students having to take out such expensive student loans in the first place.
Biden’s loan forgiveness plan is shortsighted and irresponsible, and it should not be approved by the Supreme Court.