I graduated from the University of Maine in 1975, with a degree in engineering, and was one of those middling students who had to study long and hard to absorb what the professors were teaching. My background was lower middle class, and there was no familial help of any type with college costs. My education costs were paid for via lots of hard part-time work, a few scholarships and loans.

When I graduated, I owed $10,000 in loans, which I paid off over the next 10 years. It wasn’t easy. I was married with two children, and while my wife’s work didn’t generate any income, it was vastly more important, as she instilled our values in and raised our two children. For perspective: $10,000 in 1975 is equivalent to $55,000 today. Statistics of “average student loan debt for a four-year degree” are all over the map. I Googled it and found the following: $29,000, $32,731, $37,200 and $40,300.

One of the difficulties in raising children is how to temper the urge to provide them with all the things you never had. Nonetheless, I’m very much against President Biden’s decision to attempt to forgive $10,000 to $20,000 in student loan debt; that will do nothing to build character or resiliency in today’s graduates.

Additionally, a strong legal case can, and I hope will, be made against it.

Rick Kelley
North Yarmouth

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