What I meant by this was that I don’t get how so many people don’t do the things or make the choices that would lower or eliminate their debt. “I have no idea” was the wrong wording.
I got scholarships by working hard at school, and being a poor minority. Smart kids and poor minorities make up a large amount of people - the millions of scholarship money that go unclaimed each year could probably go towards some of these people.
My point is that many people don’t make the best choices. Yes, many people can’t afford college, and many don’t get the aid to help them out. But I think too few people are doing these things:
1). Get a job as soon as you possibly can and save as much money as you can
2). Apply for as many scholarships as you possibly can - I’ve read several (obviously, these are the exceptions) stories of kids who would spend hours at the library searching for them, and accumulated hundreds of thousands of dollars towards school. It’s a pain in the ass but it’s possible.
3). Go to community college to get your generals. Spend your first 2 years there, super cheap. Now, go to the next cheapest university you’re able to. I was accepted to Notre Dame, but decided to go to a small public university in my hometown. Would Notre Dame have been cooler? Hell yeah. Probably would’ve looked better on a resume as well. But by going to the other school, I got low enough tuition that not only will my scholarship money cover the costs, it will be enough that I’ll get a few thousand every semester refunded back to me. If I went to Notre Dame, I wouldn’t have had enough to cover it.
4). Work during college - I plan on working full time throughout the school year, and every summer in between.
5). Live cheaply. I don’t own a car. Never have. If you stay in a town with family, you can probably make do without one. Small towns are easy to get across since they’re small, big cities have public transportation. Maybe you can’t buy new clothes/shoes or the newest phone every other week. Maybe you can’t eat out that often. Maybe your dorm room won’t look like a Crate & Barrel catalogue.
I literally just had this debate with my uncle. He’s a pretty far left leaning, Bernie fan, do away with all student loan debt. He didn’t do any of the stuff I listed above, and owes about $60k.
I fully understand that not nearly everybody will walk away with no debt. I’ve lived poor enough to truly get what it’s like to go without, live in debt, etc. It’s not fun, and very hard to get out of. I just think the above listed items are steps a LOT of people could take that they’re not doing, and imo, that’s on them. Maybe you won’t walk away debt free, but you can sure do everything you can to minimize it.
Case in point, one of my classmates is going to a $50k a year school. Wants to be costume designer for plays lol. Why would you spend a fifth of a million dollars to come home and work at the local theater? Because she wants to get away from her mom, and party, cause, you know, YOLO. Those are the people I’m saying are dumb, and are the cause of a lot of their debt.