The push for free college is a topic resonating with many students across the U.S., especially as the current total student loan debt in America continues to rise.
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According to recent figures from the Federal Reserve, the current student loan debt total is more than $1.3 trillion. On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Education announced they would be helping nearly 400,000 disabled Americans get their student loans forgiven.
Students nationwide have been protesting for free college, and debt forgiveness, which is playing a key role in the 2016 presidential race.
Darletta Scruggs, the organizer of Million Dollar Student March, argues some politicians have forgotten about those causes.
“Politicians like Hillary [Clinton] don’t prioritize things like education, quality education, affordable education, which is why I participated in this Million Student March,” she told FOX Business Network’s Neil Cavuto.
“What we are seeing as a crisis where millions of students are being faced with the question of debt and how they’re going to pay for education. I, myself, being one of those young people that don’t know what to do around the question of going to college, receiving a degree. I am told as a young person that is a requirement in order to get a good job, in order to have a quality life, but yet it has become so inaccessible for a large majority of young students.”
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Scruggs said she believes the government should focus more attention and funding on education, instead of investing in nuclear weapons.
When asked how the government’s $19 trillion plus debt would impact the ability to finance education, Scruggs said:
“Well, that’s always the excuse that is often being told. We don’t have the money for anything… What the system has shown us, and particularly the system of capitalism, [is] that it cannot produce any substantial quality of life no matter how hard you work… We see one million students last year alone default on their student loans. $176 million were garnished from working people’s wages to pay back student loan debts… maybe we need a new system because it isn’t working.”
The Million Student March organizer discussed raising taxes on high-income earners.
“Statistics show the higher you go up the economic food chain, the less they’re paying in taxes anyway. So there’s plenty of room to actually raise taxes. The 0.01% are not paying the same amount of taxes as a working class person is paying. We need to acknowledge that.”
Scruggs also wants the government to acknowledge that student debt is a quality of life issue, in her opinion.
“We live in a system of capitalism where the idea is to make money. If it doesn’t make money it’s not a priority. We need to restructure our society and how it’s set up and reprioritize what we value as important. Money and profits should not be more important than education and human life. The fact that it is, is a problem.”