I actually find myself agreeing with yppej! At least as one part of the solution. My employer’s former parent company, a London based insurance company, had a ceo for a dedade or so until recently, successful and well respected in the industry, who did not have a college degree. He had started at the bottom of the insurance underwriting ladder out of high school and worked his way up starting in a very junior training program. He, and I, don’t need a college degree to do this job. Except that I DO because in the US a degree is required for most office jobs. No one has ever asked me for details about my degree. Nothing about whether it was relevant to the job I was applying for or how I did. Just whether I have a diploma, any diploma.

But I also agree that the cost of education has gotten way out of hand. Partially because colleges have ‘fancified’ campuses to attract more students/customers. But also because government funding has dramatically decreased. There is zero logical reason that we fully fund education through high school and then largely stop funding anything beyond that. Unless the goal is to push young people into feeling that their only choice to make it in this world is to get a degree and join the rat race to pay off that degree. Sort of in the same way that getting a good job is by far the easiest way to get reliable, affordable health insurance. Society would probably be a better place if people could afford to pursue education for reasons beyond viewing a college degree as a necessity to a good (read decent paying) job.

I say all this to say that Ldahl does in fact know someone (me) in favor of loan forgiveness even though I think a bigger solution also needs to happen. I never had a student loan because I was lucky enough to attend a private university which, at the time, was spending a lot of money on scholarships in an effort to up their reputation as a decent academic institution and also to improve the music school’s reputation beyond jazz music. I randomly happened to be able to benefit from both of those things by getting a half tuition music scholarship and a half tuition academic scholarship. I could have gone to the university of Colorado and paid full in state tuition plus room and board for about 25% more total cost than just the room and board my parents paid to the private university I went to. The education would have been equally valuable but I decided, and my parents supported the decision, to go to the private school because the weather in Miami is a lot better than it is in Boulder.