“Welcome to life,” Rep. Michele Ugenti blatantly states in response to the countless objections from students and other protestors over HB 2675. According to Ugenti, drowning in debt is a part of life — nothing to be too concerned about. Yet Ugenti fails to acknowledge that a large reason for the economic suffering of many people is a result of being unable to pay off their student debts. Driving college students into debt will not help their economic well-being. Rep. Chad Campbell states that an increase in the already rapidly rising tuition would turn students away from furthering their education.
It is not right to force students to pay money that they do not have just to satisfy the discontented taxpayers of Arizona.
According to USA Today the typical college graduate owes around $19,000 in student loan debt. Rep. John Kavanagh overlooked the fact that not only will students have to borrow $14,000 just to pay off HB 2675, but they will also have to pay for the other $19,000 they borrowed just for college tuition. The Center for Responsible Learning estimates that nearly 30 percent of the monthly income of people ages 18-24 is spent just on repaying their debts (“College Student Debt Statistics”). Although this drastic change may encourage some students to take their education more seriously, it will nonetheless discourage many others from enrolling at Arizona’s three state universities or from continuing their education at all. Our economic problems won’t be solved by charging more for college tuition.