The news site of Marquette High School

Marquette Messenger

The news site of Marquette High School

Marquette Messenger

The news site of Marquette High School

Marquette Messenger

Earlier this month, Taylor Swift took her jet from the Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield to the St. Louis Airport in Cahokia Heights, taking 13 minutes, 2 tons of carbon emissions and $844 worth of fuel.
Taylor Swift Causes Needless Carbon Emissions
Aubrey Lacavich, Sports Editor • April 5, 2024

Eight hundred and twenty two celebrities flew into Las Vegas mid-February for the Super Bowl LVIII in their private jets. Among them was pop-star...

This comparison photo shows the hallway seating (left) verses the standard lockers (right). The expanded seating has outlets and USB plugs for charging.
Opinion: Remove the Lockers
Elliott Jorgensen, Associate Producer • March 14, 2024

In a school of more than 2,000 students, MHS students are rarely seen loitering around their lockers. This raises the question: does anyone use...

Most students have very busy schedules which can make time management a big struggle. By keeping a planner it can make it easier to visualize your tasks and can help in remembering what you need to get done.
Opinion: Students Should have Part Time Jobs
Morgan Siegel, Staff Reporter • March 4, 2024

As job openings increase, so does the need for employees. With total payroll employment rising from January 2023 to January 2024 by 42,100 jobs,...

A screenshot of a AP French Canvas assignment that has the students use ChatGPT for feedback.
The Evolution of Education
Prashu Sidella, Online Editor • February 29, 2024

With the rise of online platforms and the integration of cutting-edge technologies, educators are redefining the way students engage with and...

Shelly Justins Black Literature class creates posters for Black History Month. Throughout the semester, the students will read literature written by Black authors. A similar class is the topic of controversy in the Francis Howell School District.
In Defense of Black Literature
Editorial BoardFebruary 12, 2024

Francis Howell North High School students organized a walk-out on Thursday, Jan. 18, in response to proposed changes to the curriculum of their...

Debt-free college should be universal

Debt-free college should be universal
Media by Elliott Jorgensen

Washington University (WashU) in St. Louis has updated their financial aid policy to no longer issue federal student loans starting in the fall of 2024. Instead they will be issuing grants and scholarships in a new loan-free program. 

“We want to get them here, support them during their time here, and prepare them to do great things. Now, when they graduate from WashU, they will do so debt-free,” Andrew Martin, Chancellor of WashU, said in a statement.

In a growing trend among more than 20 elite colleges across the country, loans are becoming a thing of the past. This is great news for the students of these colleges who will receive an affordable education if they qualify. But, this opportunity is only offered by non-profit institutions with large endowments. Some of the other colleges that have joined the ranks of debt-free financial aid programs are Princeton, MIT, Pomona, Wesleyan and others.

According to the Education Data Initiative, the average student owes $37,338 in student loans and the average private institution student owes $54,921 in student loans in 2023. 

In a time when student loans have increased exponentially, this possibility of a debt-free education is exciting.

Student loan debt is a polarizing issue that has plagued America for the last 30 years, with federal student loans now considered a “debt trap” as tuitions rise 134%, according to U.S. News Data

Institutions like WashU offering debt free education is a step in the right direction for elite institutions, but for the rest of the colleges in America such as Truman State and UMSL, another solution is required.

The only reason these elite institutions are able to offer debt-free education is because their endowments are astronomically higher than others in the country. An endowment consists of the total amount of donations and assets to a college from organizations or individuals. 

According to Bloomberg, WashU’s endowment was $15.3 billion for the year in 2021. The endowment of Missouri State Univeristy was $193 million in 2021, and average debt of Missouri State is $22,412, according to the U.S. News & World Report

WashU’s total enrollment in 2023 was 15,484 while Missouri State’s enrollment in 2022 was 24,978 students. There is an unequal distribution of endowment per student, and that is the reason that elite institutions are able to create loan-free education programs.

Other solutions, like government re-budgeting and school re-budgeting, are required for the rest of the colleges in America to offer debt-free education. 

There have been attempts to address indebtedness like through President Biden’s 2022 plan to provide $20,000 in student loan relief, but that was struck down by the Supreme Court. 

Debt-forgiveness programs like WashU’s and Public Service Loan Forgiveness may help a little, but more is needed to ensure that all students have access to a debt-free education. 

Tuitions are still sky-high, and debt will continue. While elite institutions have started figuring out loan-free programs, we must ensure other schools in America exist in the minds of both the population and lawmakers.

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About the Contributors
Eli Ferguson, Features Editor
Eli Ferguson, junior, is the Features Editor of the Newspaper and this is his first semester on the staff. He is the Co-President of Marquette Model UN and is part of RSD Lives, Key Club, and Tri-M. He enjoys writing and playing violin in the Symphonic Orchestra.
Elliott Jorgensen, Associate Producer/Production Editor
Elliott Jorgensen, Senior, is the Associate Producer for MHSNews and Production Editor for The Messenger. He enjoys going to theme parks, going on bike rides, and creating video content. He is the publicity lead for the MHS Theatre Company and participates in the politics club.
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