President Donald Trump has introduced his tentative budget for the 2020 elections with some shocking plans. According to the information brought forward by Forbes, Trump plans to cut funding for the US Department of Education by 10 percent, giving them only $64 billion in funding.
This may seem like it isn’t the worst that could happen, but for any undergrad and graduate student, it is nerve racking to see this in news headlines.
Even though the plan has the overall intention to decrease student loan debt, it is going to start by wiping out the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program created by George W. Bush.
According to the Federal Student Aid website, PSLF “forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer.”
As for how to qualify for the program, you must work full-time for a government agency or a certain non-profit organization. If this plan is erased because of Trump’s proposal, students could see their debt from higher education for longer than expected.
Not only would Trump’s proposal be saving the Federal Government money, all while screwing students who are eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, it would also change the payment plans that are implemented after students graduate. This is where graduate students would see the biggest impact.
The rationale behind this part of the policy is to create a simpler plan for borrowers and to narrow it down to one type of payment plan. But with the change, graduate students would see an increase in years spent paying back their loans until they are forgiven.
As of right now, the tentative policy Trump has issued states that “monthly student loan payments would be capped at 12.5 percent of income. After 30 years of monthly payments, any remaining student loan debt would be forgiven.”
This plan adds five years of more payments for graduate students. Isn’t that a bit much? Also keep in mind you’ll be making student loan payments until you’re in your 50’s or more. That means if you had dreams of owning a home and paying a mortgage instead, that dream may be dead.
Granted, the current payment plans that the government has in affect may not be the best, but it’s better than the policy that Trump has brought forward for 2020. Not to mention, the policy could even wipe out subsidized loans.
Subsidized loans are the type of loan that don’t start accruing interest until after you have graduated due to the federal government paying the interest while a student is enrolled. This meaning, if you are enrolled full-time, you don’t have to worry about your loans having daily interest added to them.
However, with the loss of subsidized loans, federal loans would be accruing interest from the start which makes higher education more expensive for students. Now wait, isn’t the budget’s overall objective to decrease student loan debt? That won’t be happening with the death of subsidized loans.
In the end, even though students may not be happy with the current government’s ideas on how to pay back student debt, it’s certainly better than what could possibly take effect in 2020 if Trump were to be reelected.
Students already have enough issues with finances to begin with. The price of tuition- even if you are an in-state student attending a community college- is a price that people more often than not can’t pay out of pocket.
Trump’s plan to “ensure fiscal discipline in discretionary spending” is something that students don’t need and is an absurd approach to making sure students pay back their loans after graduation.