Go to college and get a job!  That’s what millions of parents, uncles, and mentors have told countless young Americans for the past century.  The prestige of a college degree is supposed to guarantee a better chance at a well paying career, but in today’s American society, that is not the case.  Blame it on automation, or the lack of Baby Boomers retiring, young adults are in a worse position than their parents were at their age.  With rising debt amounts attached to recent college graduates, everyone is looking to solve the issue of the current “debt generation”.

A recent rule by the Department of Education may be a solution to the problem, but is it a good one?  According to a recent Forbes article “The new rules will allow current and former students to file claims for loan forgiveness if they felt their college or university made a “substantial misrepresentation” about the school, including in its marketing materials.”  At first glance, this seems like the answer for every student who feels they were duped into attending college.  Unfortunately, the consequences may be much larger than they appear.

With “the Education Department itself estimat[ing] that the cost of these new rules [to] be more than $42 billion over the next decade,” small business marketing firms will be affected over the short and near term.  The rule does not properly describe what “predatory” or “intentially misrepresentative” marketing is and thus will affect all companies dealing with educational institutions, whether they were predatory or not.  The loss of revenue may free up young unemployed Americans, but it may also accidentally eliminate an entire industry adding thousands more to the unemployment line.

I believe college debt forgiveness is something the government will have to implement eventually to help millions of Americans get a start on life.  The truth is, America is not perfect, and sometimes, we as a nation get things wrong.  The loan program was meant to help lower class Americans attend college and earn a well paying job.  Millions are suffering because a move to a global and automated economy has changed the initial purpose of college.  When it
comes to college debt, America created a solution that worked in the short term, but was a disaster for the long term.  Debt forgiveness must happen for those who qualify, and a better solution must be invented.  In my opinion, this current rule is only a temporary solution.  It is time to develop a final solution, otherwise young Americans will  continue to suffer.