On Student Debt and Bondage This paper is a reaction to an article written by Jeffrey Williams entitled Academic Freedom and Indentured Students. Fundamentally, the article is a commentary on the education system in America that emerged in recent decades wherein majority of American students graduate with substantial debt…
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The increase is attributed to the high cost of education and that more and more students secure loan because they cannot afford it. This is also aggravated by the length of term of loans and the additional consolidation and refinancing that occur in the span of amortization. The author is of the opinion that this phenomenon defeats the purpose of education, especially the kind that the United States has. There is an implication that the American higher educational system is supposedly the ideal model because it is decentralized, has liberal admission requirements, low tuition and subject to freedom of expression. He supported this by citing that the higher education has opened to an expanding body of students. The author then proceeded on explaining how the growth of student debt is analogous to the creation of a system of bondage and indentured servitude not unlike the system that permeated during the colonial period, when slaves toiled for their freedom. He argued that this is the case, owing to several important points. First, the sheer number of indebted students (two-thirds of the college student population) would mean that majority of the new generation would be tied to paying off their debts, sacrificing their desires and opportunities to better their lives in the process. The prevalence typifies the old bondage regime. However valid or reasonable the reasons given by Williams on the issue on student debt, I would have to say that calling it bondage or tantamount to slavery is not fair, or, at least, premature considering the reasons that he was able to provide. Academic institutions in the US operate within the capitalistic system and that they are able to provide high quality of instruction because of their capability to do so. Criticizing the manner by which students were made to work longer hours for their tuition fees is a legitimate position. However, the option to get a loan is their choice. They are aware of the terms and this does not involve bad faith on the part of academic institutions. It is not like they were coerced to get a loan or the school unilaterally modified the loan in the middle of the term for its own benefit. Students have numerous options available to them. For instance, if they cannot afford it or that they think they would not be able to bear the work that comes with the education they want, then, they could go elsewhere where the tuition is cheaper. Or that if they do not want to invest time and effort for education they could simply opt out of college. It is not right to just dole out a scholarship as if it is a privilege just because of one’s status in life. It is not, hence, indentured servitude because the relationship is economically legitimate and involves freedom of choices. What Williams want is a case of socialism that would reward non-performance. It is a case of reverse class privilege. In the US, we thrive and excel in the merit-based value wherein individuals are responsible for their own fates. To get something that one did not earn is un-American. The government cannot subsidize higher education for all. In this case, schools provide the opportunity for individuals to better their lives and earn higher income in the future. By allowing students to avail of debts and work to pay for it, an option is offered to those who cannot afford the tuition fees. In this issue, I would
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“Student Debt and Bondage Coursework Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/macro-microeconomics/1396432-economics.
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