Nobody Forgave My Student Loan Debt!

Old Main at Penn State Campus

When I left Penn State in 1971, I had a student loan debt amounting to about $4,000. (Perhaps I should phrase that as “When Penn State dropped me”. Something about my grades.)

I had received a loan of exactly $1,000 each year that I attended Penn State, and that covered the tuition and partially covered the room and board, The rest was paid by my parents and some money that I earned during summer jobs.

For the next several years, I had to pay the loan off while I worked at jobs that paid not much more than minimum wage, which was $1.60 per hour in 1971 and rose to $2.90 by 1979. I remember the bank teller saying how relieved I must feel when I finally made the last payment in (I think) 1978.

And nobody helped me pay off that loan; I did it all myself.

Now I understand that some folks are complaining about President Biden’s partially forgiving some student loan debt—$10,000 for those making up to $125,000 per year.

And I’m cheering him on. I think he should forgive a lot more.

I just took a look at the the current tuition costs at Penn State. The combined tuition, fees, room, and board costs now total $32,270 per year. For Pennsylvania residents. That’s $51,635 for non-residents.

So yes, today’s college costs have skyrocketed since my university days. That $10,000 forgiveness is a good start, but it ought to be a lot more.

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