WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Alejandro Arias-Esparza didn’t apply to college his senior year of high school right away.
“It did take me a semester to kind of convince myself to go to college,” said Arias-Esparza. At seventeen, what he feared most was racking up a giant pile of debt. “I had heard so many horror stories of people saying that oh I’ve been paying my debt for 20 years.”
After careful consideration, he decided to attend college after all. In 2019 he graduated from Wichita State University.
“I definitely don’t regret it, I did find a lot of resources to kind of push me through. But I know that if I didn’t have those resources, I’d be in a lot deeper debt,” said Arias-Esparza.
Jeremy Hill, the director of the Center for Economic Development and Business Research at WSU, said that high tuition rates become a barrier to entry to higher education.
“That means there’s some households that look at that cost and say we can’t afford it,” said Hill.
He said that some loan forgiveness would help ease the burden for those, like Arias-Esparza, who have to consider taking on debt for higher education.
“So there’s some stimulus effects by doing this where the student has a little bit more availability with less burden sitting on their shoulder because of the debt,” said Hill.
Hill warned however, that putting too much federal funding into loan forgiveness could have some adverse effects.
“A concern in the long run it can actually hurt the US economy, to continue to get in debt without having a manageable way to pay for it.”