It’s hard to know where to begin to address all the flawed, misguided, troubling thinking espoused in this NC State Technician piece about student loan debt. The story profiles members of a group called Strike Debt Raleigh, which is identified as an offshoot of Occupy Raleigh. Thus, it’s no surprise that the view the members share in common is that they are oppressed — despite the fact, of course, that they are attending a highly respected university and have the world before them. The members decry student loan debt and want it to be wiped off the books — by other people of course, not them. Nowhere in the story is their any mention or thoughts about their responsibility to pay for their education.
Rachel Davis, a member of Strike Debt Raleigh said she sees debt as less of an unfortunate misgiving in the U.S. than as a violation against citizens’ rights.
“[Higher education is] a right, not a privilege,” Davis said. “You don’t want a future generation to be held back by their debt.”
Gad said she believes legislation has become restrictive of public education in the state, and could lead to more student debt or a decrease in higher education beneath the wealthy.
“When you raise the price to go to college, you are only going to have people with the most money attending,” Gad said.
The fact is, higher education has never been so accessible to so many. Women now dominate many university campuses and degree programs, including advanced degree programs. Families of modest means have multiple public and private grant and loan programs that have opened the door widely to young women and men who would not have been able to attend college decades ago. And recruitment and talent-spotting efforts now ensure that minorities are afforded the opportunity.