During the second presidential debate Tuesday night, Mitt Romney was asked by a college student for assurance that he’ll be able to find a job when he graduates. Romney took the opportunity to not only discuss unemployment but the rising amount of debt held by America’s students:
With half of college kids graduating this year without a college — or excuse me, without a job and without a college-level job, that’s just unacceptable. And likewise, you got more and more debt on your back. So more debt and less jobs. I’m going to change that.
Student debt has indeed been rising, hitting an average of more than $25,000 per student. Romney’s plans, however, would do nothing for students struggling with the ever-growing cost of college.
For starters, he has embraced the House Republican budget, which would cut Pell Grants for one million students. Romney has also said that he would repeal the student loan reforms signed by President Obama. Those reforms, included in the Affordable Care Act, stopped the government from wasting money paying private banks to service federal student loans. The money saved was plowed back into financial aid for more students.
Paying private banks to service federal loans was one of the most indefensible uses of taxpayer dollars, yet Romney would return to that system, cutting aid for students in the process. $100 billion will be pumped into the economy via the higher earnings of students who get a better education due to expanded aid.
Romney, meanwhile, suggested that students looking to finance their education just get a loan from their parents.