Activists hold signs at a student loan forgiveness rally on...

Activists hold signs at a student loan forgiveness rally on Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House on April 27.  Credit: Getty Images/Anna Moneymaker

Student loan burden does not benefit the nation ["Partial student loan relief expected," News, May 23]. Talented students may not become tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, buy homes, start families, and contribute to our economy to the best of their potential. They may eschew important work because of lower pay, or take higher-paying jobs that don’t utilize their expertise. For this reason, it makes sense to assist graduates with loan payback. On the other hand, there is the legitimate issue of unfairness to past graduates who paid back every penny.

There is a compromise: loan assistance in exchange for service. There is already precedence for this in the GI Bill, the National Health Service Corps, and the Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program.

Surely, Democrats can get on board with the win-win concept of serving the public while helping the graduate. And only the most hypocritical of Republican representatives would oppose service-for-payment when they themselves get generous taxpayer contributions to retirement and health care after only five years in office.

Daryl Altman, Lynbrook

As a Democrat, I am incensed at the thought of any amount of student debt being forgiven. Lower the interest rate, if needed, but why forgive a loan that someone willingly took on? I need a new car. If I buy a Mercedes instead of a Hyundai, will the government wipe out $10,000 of my loan? Why should I pay for someone who went to a private school, lived on campus (when they could have easily commuted) and a year later switched gears and decided that school wasn’t for them, after racking up $50,000 in debt in one year? Who is going to give my kids money for a house? College wasn’t for them, so they have no debt, but they may earn less during their work career because of that. Should they expect someone to make up the difference? No, they should accept the results of their decisions. Actions have consequences, and student debt is one of those consequences.

Laura Smith, Centereach

We want to assure access to a college education without folks needing to get into large debt. We need to foster responsibility to pay off loans. Loan forgiveness is using other people's paid taxes to pay off loans, which seems unfair.

But what no one has pointed out is that after many student loans are taken out, some of the money might not be used for education. It is not like a car payment going directly to pay off a car. The money borrowed is given to the student and can be spent on other items. The amount of the loans would be much less if the money went directly to the college.

I tend to side with children and their parents working and saving money for college when children are young. It also serves as a motivator for the student to succeed in college and dare not waste that hard-earned money. I fear that this generation does not understand the difference between wants and needs and because of this will struggle to get ahead in life.

Karen Ferguson, Glen Cove

I truly feel bad for those suffering with student debt. I want no one to suffer. However, I am 60. My wife and I and our brothers and sisters-in-law chose affordable public colleges. We had no one to help us. We worked during school and summers to pay for our education. We did not travel or do any of the fun stuff that we watch young people do today while in college.

When it came time for our children to go to college, nursing and medical school, again we paid. Again, we put off travel, new cars and home renovation. We sacrificed. It was well worth it for us and our children.

The wrong message will be sent by loan forgiveness. Instead of that, find a compromise. Decrease interest. Increase the time allowed to pay. Why is college tuition increasing far above inflation?

Students need to have the responsibility of choosing schools they can afford. Schools seem like greedy institutions preying on our young. Today's parents need to sacrifice and help when they can.

Neil Ferrara, Oceanside

One of the individuals interviewed spoke of being left with more than $60,000 in student debt after obtaining a master’s degree in philosophy from the  European Graduate School and after working for nonprofits. It  has left him unable to repay. Perhaps he should have thought of that before racking up the debt. Attending graduate school in Europe to study philosophy sounds like a fabulous experience -- and an exceptionally poor financial decision -- that taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot the bill for.

David Forman, Huntington Station

I’m frustrated. When is someone going to address the root problem as cited in the last sentence of the article: “And canceling student debt would do nothing to address the real problem, which is the out-of-control cost of higher education.” The whole college experience is broken -- from the admissions process to how much it costs.

Liz Savitsky, Huntington

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