Opinion: Make New York Tech Pay? By Joseph Tapia

Recently, a U.S Senator introduced a bill that would make colleges pay half of defaulted student loans. Senator Josh Hawley of the Republican party proposed the “Make The Universities Pay Act” on Wednesday, September 21, 2022. Aside from forcing universities to pay half of defaulted student loans, the bill would also prevent universities from raising their tuition costs in that would help to recover the money they would lose while paying for defaulted student loans. The bill will also make some changes to the way in which student loans are handled in the event of bankruptcy. This would mean universities disclose information about their student’s median income and their student loan default rates.

There’s no doubt that most college students in debt would be ecstatic at the prospect of paying only half of what they owe in the event that they are not able to before their set time limit. However, some students may hold a less favorable view of the proposed “Make The Universities Pay Act”.

For example, I informed a student here at NY Tech, Alexander Kaminer, of the proposed bill and had him read through an article written by Inside Higher Ed's Katherine Knott covering the subject. He believes that the bill would be an invasion of privacy and thus disagrees with its proposal. To elaborate, he referred to this portion of the article I showed him: “The six-page bill also would allow student loan debt to be discharged in bankruptcy and require higher education institutions to report mean and median earnings to graduates and loan default rates, disaggregated by degree or program.”

It is understandable to not want information about yourself to be disclosed to certain people and groups. However, I believe that your median income is not the kind of info that would inconvenience you if disclosed this (unless you disclose it to the IRS and they find that it’s different from what you’ve been writing on your tax forms) to certain organizations or people. It’s a small and almost inconsequential price to pay, given the bill’s benefits. New York Tech’s tuition is quite expensive. A bill that would require colleges pay half upon a student’s failure to pay back in time does sound quite nice.

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