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UW Oshkosh students have mixed reactions to student debt cancellation plan

UW-Oshkosh Students
Posted at 8:31 AM, Mar 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-01 09:31:08-05

OSHKOSH (NBC 26) — As the Supreme Court hears challenges to the Biden administration's student debt forgiveness program, members of Oshkosh Student Association, UWO's student government, are having their own discussions on the plan; and much like their federal counterparts, aren't all on the same page.

Community and Government Relations Director Devin Heinz said the plan "will be a 100% net benefit for our society," while President Daniel McKearn said he feels uneasy about shifting the liability of student loans away from those who first took them out.

“If people make a choice to take out debt and do that, why is it other people’s responsibility to help them in their bad choices?” McKearn questioned.

Heinz disagreed though, emphasizing that college has become a requirement, not an option, for most workers.

"I fundamentally disagree with the fact that college is a choice to achieve success and happiness, unfortunately in today’s economy [it's a requirement]," Heinz said.

They seemed to agree on at least one point though; the cost of college has become too high in recent years. Heinz suggested cuts to faculty pay as a possible solution, but Senator Jesse Ramsey said the solution might lie in changing how we view higher education.

He said that the current costs are a function of high demand and suggested an increased emphasis on trade schools and community colleges as a possible solution.

"There's many different alternatives for college," Ramsey said. "It's not the only solution and when you realize there’s a market for other things, you will be able to see that it will get cheaper.”

The Supreme Court is expected to make a decision on the Biden administration's plan to forgive $10,000-20,000 in student debt for eligible borrowers sometime in June.