Biden talks loan repayment to student journalists

Jennifer Shore

Joe Biden

Listen to Biden talk about state school costs.

Jill Biden has a famous phrase: “Any country that out-educates us is going to outcompete us.”

Vice President Joe Biden quoted his wife’s words during a conference call for student journalists Feb. 2, which focused on financial aid for those struggling to pay their tuition bills.

“First of all, we think that when you graduate, you shouldn’t have to graduate buried in debt,” Biden said. “If you’re in a state university, you graduate in four years, and the expectation is you’re going to get your diploma and stapled to it will be a bill.”

The Obama Administration proposes to put a provision in place that will ensure a person will never have to pay back more than 10 percent of disposable income.

Biden used an example about teachers who make an average of $30,000 to $40,000 per year. If a teacher graduates with a bill of $25,000, they will only have to pay about $180 per month back instead of $300.

“That’s a difference between buying food, paying your insurance on your automobile, et cetera,” Biden said. “It makes a difference when you’re starting.”

But the federal government is making interest off of the long-term payments, so Biden proposes to “plow that money” back into the pot to fund more loans for students.

Greg Allison, senior political science major and president of College Republicans at Kent State, believes this is a quick fix to a long-term problem.

“Spending this much money is catastrophic, and temporarily, it might help students, but in the long run, it will probably be bad for America because it eventually won’t be there because they won’t have that money to spend anymore,” Allison said.

The Republicans are trying to balance the budget and stop deficit spending, and Allison thinks they want to reform the way money is spent while boosting the quality of education in America; however, Biden said higher education is about much more than money.

“This is about is about the national interest; it’s about the basic bargain with the middle class; it’s about the American dream; it’s about the dignity of your parents and the opportunity for all of you,” Biden said. “And so that’s why we feel so strongly about it, and we felt it from the day we came into office, and here’s what we have been doing and will do.”

Contact Jennifer Shore at [email protected].