There is a false belief among some, including Congressman Jared Golden, that most who have attended college are members of the economic elite.

Golden recently claimed many of those who took out student loans went on to “six-figure salaries.” While student loans were essential for thousands of low-income Mainers to escape poverty, about 40% of student loan borrowers never finished their education.

Too many dreamed of graduating from college, but didn’t realize life circumstances would make it impossible to finish their education.

It might be difficult for Congressman Golden and others in the upper middle class to understand how difficult remaining in school can be for young people from poor families with unstable incomes. Others finished college but selected occupations such as forestry, nursing, education, journalism or another job which provides financial rewards much smaller than expected. Too many worked very hard to earn college admission, but took out student loans in late teenage years to become victims of false promises of a college education.

COVID-19 presented a national emergency. In response to worldwide outbreak of disease that resulted in mortality not seen since World War II, President Biden appropriately suspended repayment of qualifying student loans.

Golden’s portrayal of the president’s suspension of loan repayments as a massive handout is an extreme exaggeration. The student loan relief proposed by President Biden will not only prevent countless student loan defaults, but also allow many hardworking young Mainers to become full participants in our economy.

James Moore, Bangor

Related Headlines

Comments are no longer available on this story