Student loan forgiveness and free college have been prominent topics in the upcoming presidential election, with candidates such as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders proposing plans to eliminate student loan debt. The topic has drawn much debate, with many taking issue with how such measures would be achieved. An argument that appears often is that free college and student loan forgiveness are unfair to those who have already paid off their student debt.
This argument arises from concern over an increase in taxes in order to fund free college. Those who have already paid off their loans would then pay for the tuition of others, in part, through their taxes. I understand why it might seem unreasonable to have these people pay for others' tuition. What I don't understand is why people who only finished paying off their loans long after they graduated and who might have been set back by their debt would want future generations to have to do the same. Why would those who have been negatively impacted by tuition costs want others to go through the same difficulties? This mentality of "I suffered, so everyone else has to do it too" isn't productive. If you feel student debt has held you back or been a major difficulty in your life, why not strive to make a change?
Furthermore, the rise in tuition over the past few years must also be taken into account. Going to college is much more expensive than it used to be. If people who graduated years ago have struggled to pay off their loans, what does that mean for the upcoming graduating classes?
I understand concerns about the logistics of free college and funding these plans, as well as any alternate plans to address the rise in student loan debt. However, free college and student loan forgiveness shouldn't be considered unfair or some kind of "slap in the face" to those who have already paid off their loans. There are many arguments that can be made against student loan forgiveness, but this shouldn't be one of them.