First and foremost, I am all for supporting to cap interest rates, add controls to schooling costs, etc… Fixing the problem at it’s source. But not for just giving money to those who knowingly took those loans and got into the financial mess.
Everybody has choices and opportunities, regardless of your financial situation. If you are poor and want a high caliber school, get the grades and obtain the scholarships you need to cover the costs. If not, chose cheaper schools that offer programs in what you are interested in and choose wisely for what you can afford (both present and in your field of study… Don’t take $100K+ in loans in a silly field that won’t ever allow you to pay it back, for example).
When I was choosing my college, it came down to two schools… One was a city college, which at the time, was something like $8K a year tuition (today, it appears to be $11.5K per year). The other, was a private college that was around $30K a year (today, $61K). I attended between 2008-2015. Of course, those costs also don't include books, commuting costs to/from, etc... For additional perspective, I went to an city public high school which was renowned for being part of a horrible school district, one of the worst in the state (Out of 608 districts in the state, mine was 6 away from dead last). So I wasn’t coming from some wonderful school district with wealthy parents or anything like that.
Both schools offered me a half-ride scholarship for grades and such. Both had respectable programs in Mech. Engineering, which is what I wanted to go into.
I ultimately chose the cheaper school for a few reasons, but a big reason of course was the cost. I was paying for ALL my schooling, no help from mom/dad or anything like that. I knew at the more expensive school, I would still have a bunch of student loans after graduation. I also likely could not pay off as I went, especially if for some reason I lost my scholarship due to grades, for example. At least at the cheaper one, if I had no aid at all, I still had a fighting chance to pay the tuition year to year by working.
In the end, it took me around 7 years to get my undergrad, because I took semesters off to work internships/coops to help pay my way through. I graduated with -0- debt because of this, it just took me a bit more time (but on the flipside, had shy of 3 years of experience at 5 different companies upon graduation). Every job I have applied for and interviewed with, I have gotten. So it was quite beneficial in the end.
Back to the topic at hand, it just seems a bit unfair for those that were responsible to get nothing at all. Why not also reward those who paid off everything, without a handout, as well?
Instead, the Government should just wipe all the interest accrued from those federal loans, or at least severely cap them, and fix the problem at the source.