This article was written by an anonymous guest author.
College: the best time of your life. At least that’s the case for some.
When I was in high school, college was the one burden that loomed over my head, all hours of the day. I thought; how will I pay for my future in a university? Where will I go? Should I just give up? Do I take a gap year? Is a college degree something I want to achieve?
As I began receiving acceptance letters from my dream schools, I couldn’t believe how far I had come. My excitement was through the roof. My dream schools wanted ME. They wanted ME to attend their school, and I wanted them too. The only thing that didn’t want me to go was my bank account.
From my understanding, I could only further my education through academic scholarships, athletic scholarships, loans or by working long hours to support my bills .
As I narrowed my options down, I had to make THE decision: where to go.
I could go to my dream school located across the country, in a beautiful state, with bountiful opportunities, a new city, tremendous academics and a 10.5% acceptance rate.
Or I could go to the college that I always knew of. The one I drove by everyday. The college I despised. I wanted to get out of my town and live elsewhere with new people and more of a diverse setting, but it was the only college I could afford.
The decision ultimately came down to my home town college.
I still had to face the dreaded question: How do I afford it?
Idaho schools, such as Boise State, offer a lower semester average cost for in-state students than most colleges, averaging $7,010 a year, yet I still needed to find a way to pay my way through college.
Not only did I have to think about tuition, but I also had to think about a place to live, food, extracurricular activities, clothing and my day-to-day life in general.
I made the conscious decision to not take out loans and pay off my student debt after I graduated, so I had to make adjustments.
This is how I decided to do it:
I work three jobs, have little-to-no social life, apply for all possible scholarships and juggle school work at the same time.
Being a student with a history of good grades and Native American heritage, it was fairly easy for me to find scholarships. I got grants from the tribe I am from and was able to scavenge scholarships that were offered through my college.
I am on track to graduate college debt free and loan free with some extra cash in my pocket. I am proud of how much I work, the grades I maintain and being a self-sufficient college student, worker and friend.
However, the villain that stands before me and my pride is Student Loan Forgiveness.
The Biden administration released significant new details on its plan to implement a wide-scale student loan forgiveness.
In other words, Student Loan Forgiveness no longer requires you to repay some or all of your loans from college.
Under this new initiative, millions of federal student loan borrowers will be eligible for $10,000 in loan forgiveness, or up to $20,000 if they received Pell Grants.
Most of my friends got to live out their dreams, moved across the country to go to their dream school, didn’t have to work, maintained a social life and focused their energy solely on school; all with full college loans.
Now, they may not have to pay off their loans.
After years of panic, anxiety and loneliness that come with having to pay my student bills, it doesn’t seem right that everyone else gets to walk away unscathed.
As this new plan passes, I sit back and wonder what could’ve been.
I could be in a different place, living a completely different life, more content, trying new things, seeing new places and having a higher education — all the professional opportunities and the new people I could have met.
Yet here I am, working myself to the ground so that I don’t have school loans or debt. Just so everyone else has the chance to never worry about what I have dealt with most of my early adult life: student loans.
With the implementation of a wide-scale student loan forgiveness, it feels as though it demotes all my hard work and accomplishments. It makes everything I have worked so hard for — all the sacrifices and hardships — meaningless.