On June 27th of this year Oregon’s Senate passed the House Bill 3472 – being dubbed the “Pay it forward; Pay it back”. This bill was in response to the issue regarding college student debt and their loans, after the Federal Government opted to not extend the lower federal student loan interest rates. This bill acts as a way for a student to go to college, taking out no loans and having no debt, and then repay the state through Oregon receiving 0.75% of your annual income per year of schooling. This idea was brought about from a group of senior students at Portland State University during a Senior Capstone project focusing on student debt.
While the idea of no debt is fantastic, I personally have tons of financial aid debt looming over me, I feel like just changing the name of a loan into something else still doesn’t take away the fact that school is not affordable for most. Under this plan the student still has to land a job after school, something of an increasing problem, and then still have these payments to make. The debt doesn’t go away, it is just renamed.
I did find two upsides to this plan though. First is the issue of how financial aid loans are handled now. Currently I do not know who is in charge of my loan. They have been given to other companies or redone so many times I can not remember who has them now. Banks are profiting on me at the end of my schooling career. With this plan I only have to worry about the state of Oregon and ensuring they get their money, which goes right back into the community and schools in the state. I am not the only college student with this issue.
The second upside is this can get high school kids who are afraid when they see the initial cost of higher education and maybe create more desire for them to apply and enroll. Increasing the number of college graduates through this could be beneficial for many reasons.
So what are your thoughts? Are you jealous at this possibly being an option in the future while you are paying back your financial aid? Or do you think this plan is just another in a long list of ideas that don’t really solve the issue of affordable education?