Putting aside the reality that the proposed student debt relief plan is a vote-getting strategy, let’s ask ourselves why major contributors to the student debt mess – our universities and colleges – receive a free pass in helping to resolve it.

Too many U.S. colleges have serious financial woes because their dated business model can no longer cover the inefficiencies. They survive by increasing tuitions to absurd levels and encouraging students to take out loans – especially after the government introduced federal loan programs for higher education. Colleges share responsibility that should be acknowledged. A good start would be for the government to arbitrarily reduce all student indebtedness by 10 percent and rewrite the loans it holds at reduced amounts. Taxpayers will get some relief in growing debt, while colleges will learn to do better with less income.

If any reduction in student debt becomes a reality, and is followed by additional debt rescue efforts, there should be a national service requirement of some kind for recipients. Noncitizens should not be eligible for relief, and graduate-level courses should be excluded.

Finally, whatever levels of forgiveness and assistance may be provided going forward, military personnel should always receive the most we can provide.

Charlie Galloway

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