13 people who have been successful in talking about student loans

You can pay off your student loan debt in one of two ways: become president or get hired Grey’s Anatomy.

As 44.7 million Americans, I have student loan debt.

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My alma mater is New York’s famous affordable * university, and even though I got a scholarship, taking on thousands of debt at age 17 seemed too central to the American college experience to miss out on (and I, uh, need the money).

* Note: New York University is not, in fact, affordable, famous or not.

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However, Biden is reluctant to do so, arguing that he may not have the authority, and that this amount would disproportionately benefit people with higher degrees (which, in theory, equates to people with higher degrees). higher wages). Instead, he asked Congress to consider forgiving $ 10,000 per borrower, which would make about a third of borrowers debt free.

The presumption with student debt (or, at least, as I’ve seen it) is that you make the sacrifice (by entering, on average, $ 37,584 in debt) in order to benefit from the advantages of a college education (both in terms of personal experience and value in the labor market).

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But even if you get astronomical success from your college’s most famous alumni, you still risk struggling with higher education costs well beyond the day you graduate.

These 13 people have reached the top of their fields, but that hasn’t stopped them from saying how the cost of their degrees affects their lives.


President Barack Obama

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Profession: Most notably, President of the United States, but also a community organizer, senator, teacher, lawyer, author, and currently the most difficult job of all: professional podcaster.

Alma Maters: Columbia University (BA in Political Science, 1983); Harvard Law School (JD, 1991).

On student loan debt: In August 2013, President Obama speaks with SUNY Buffalo students on the cost of a university education in the United States. While calling higher education the “best investment you can make in your future,” Obama noted that over the past 30 years, tuition fees have increased by 250%. He then surprised his audience by telling them that he and Michelle Obama had just finished paying off student debt when he was elected to the Senate, despite their well-paying careers.


Michelle obama

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Profession: Former First Lady of the United States, in addition to being on several occasions a lawyer, activist, nonprofit executive director and author.

Alma Maters: Princeton University (BA in Sociology with a Minor in African American Studies, 1985); Harvard Law School (JD, 1988).

On student loan debt: Speaking at a women’s leadership conference at Simmons College, Michelle Obama said that after graduating from Princeton and Harvard, she felt limited in her career choices because of her. “mountain of debt. “The combined debt of Barack and Michelle Obama upon graduation from law school was $ 120,000.


Jon hamm

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Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

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Profession: American representative

Foster mother: Boston University (BA in International Relations and Economics, 2011).

On student loan debt: In 2018, Representative Ocasio-Cortez stressed that she must “do something that was almost impossible“(became the youngest American woman ever elected to Congress) for a chance to get health care and pay off her loans. In 2019, the MP had $ 19,000 outstanding student loans, which is lower than the Congress average of $ 37,000. Needless to say, AOC is in favor of canceling student loans, pointing out in a Tweet that, “Very wealthy people already have a student loan forgiveness program. It’s called their parents.”


Lost cheryl

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Profession: Writer (his most notable works include Wild and Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar).

Alma Maters: University of Minnesota (BA in English and Women’s Studies, 1991); Syracuse University (MFA in Fiction Writing, 2002).

On student loan debt: When Strayed sold Wild, she and her husband had incurred $ 85,000 in credit card debt. On Twitter, Strayed noted that they were “buried in student debt in their 40s (we both grew up working / poor with families who couldn’t / didn’t contribute dollars to our college education) “. The advance she got Wild allowed Strayed to pay off his student loan debt for his undergraduate degree on his 44th birthday. (His MFA in Syracuse was fully funded.) The author celebrated the momentous occasion with a sushi dinner.


Miles teller

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Profession: Actor

Foster mother: Tisch School of the Arts at New York University (BFA in theater, 2009).

On student loan debt: Despite the fact that he is successful enough to have a “business leader” (when I am not successful enough to know what a business leader is), Telller said in 2015 that due to low interest rates, he was told there were.no Sens“by paying off his loans to NYU, unless he wants to” get that badge of accomplishment. “


Gina Rodriguez

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Profession: Actor

Foster mother: Tisch School of the Arts at New York University (BFA in theater, 2005).

On student loan debt: During Interview 2017 on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Rodriguez shocked the late-night host by telling her that she had only recently finished paying off her student loans at the age of 32, after graduating at the age of 21. Colbert asked, “Did a TV star with a hit show take 11 years to pay off his student loans?” Rodriguez replied, “Yeah, man! NYU is so expensive, college education is so expensive, but what if necessary.”


Kerry Washington

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Profession: Actor

Foster mother: George Washington University (BA in Anthropology and Sociology, 1998).

On student loan debt: During his speech on the Democratic National Convention in 2012, Washington described herself like, “a person who couldn’t afford college without the help of student loans.” A Profile 2016 said Washington was unable to repay these loans until it was Scandal.


Roxane Gay

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Profession: Writer (his most notable works include Bad feminist and Hunger: memory of (my) body)

Alma Maters: University of Norwich (BA, 1999); University of Nebraska – Lincoln (Masters in Creative Writing); Michigan Technological University (PhD in Rhetoric and Technical Communication, 2010).

On student loan debt: In one Editorial November 2020 about forgiving student loans, Gay wrote that every month she “pays[s] $ 1,000 to the federal government. My balance has hovered around $ 140,000 over the past 10 years because the bulk of every payment is spent on interest. “Although she noted that she is lucky that she can afford to pay off her loans, they are nonetheless” still on the periphery of my life, influencing every budget decision I make. “


Pete Buttigieg

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Profession: Former mayor and presidential candidate, current transport secretary

Alma Maters: Harvard University (BA in History and Literature, 2004); University of Oxford (BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics).

On student loan debt: During his campaign for the presidential nomination, Buttigieg said that he and her husband Chasten had more than $ 130,000 in student debt. In one interview with VICEButtigieg noted that even though he graduated from college without too much debt, the higher degrees required by Chasten to become a teacher resulted in a significantly higher salary.


Kate walsh

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Profession: Actor

Foster mother: University of Arizona (studied theater but did not graduate).

On student loan debt: During an interview with Refinery29, Walsh said she left school with “just thousands, thousands and thousands of dollars in debt.” The accrued interest was so large that she was unable to repay it until she was Grey’s Anatomy at 37 years old.


Cecil III Shorts

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Profession: Retired NFL athlete (wide receiver for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers).

Foster mother: Mount Union University (BA in Health and Physical Education, 2011).

On student loan debt: In 2012, Shorts said he believed he was the only NFL player on student loans, since most of his comrades got athletic scholarships. He said he had about $ 50,000 left to pay for his education at Mount Union, an Ohio college that’s a powerhouse of NCAA Division III football. Shorts drew a contrast between college athletes who play “in front of 100,000 people every week” and those in smaller schools who “are used to buying [their] clean gloves and crampons. “


Martin o’malley

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Profession: Former governor and presidential candidate

Alma Maters: O’Malley and his wife took out loans for their daughters’ education at Georgetown University and the College of Charleston.

On student loan debt: While campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, O’Malley said his family had a balance of over $ 339,200 in student debt, most of which are parent PLUS loans, which currently have an interest rate of 5.3%. O’Malley said if he wanted his daughters to go to school in the state, he “lost the vote.”

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