U.S. student loan forgiveness versus global education systems

A recent college graduate deletes their student loan receipt.

The student loan crisis is as huge as $1.7 trillion, which is a staggering amount for any nation. President Joe Biden recently announced to the public that, for millions of Americans, student loans up to $20,000 would be waived based on certain criteria. For example, households earning lesser than $125,000 annually are eligible for $10,000 of loan relief, whereas students who have received Pell Grants are entitled to the full $20,000. The White House also claims that this action will nearly make 20 million borrowers’ debts completely disappear.

While most middle-class families received this news with excitement and gratitude, there was backlash from some channels, who claim that the action is unfair towards students who have already paid off their student loans by working multiple jobs. But the Biden administration believes that introducing such an initiative is a step in the right direction toward helping out many hard-working American students by taking some pressure off of their bank accounts.

Although a fantastic step in the right direction, is this initiative the most practical step for American students? Could there be more attractive options for education that could take the financial edge off? Let’s look at some countries that also offer fantastic education systems, which could potentially be great options for American students.

Universities in Germany offer free undergraduate education to U.S citizens with the exception of some administrative fees. U.S. students can potentially earn a degree from a well reputed German university, such as the University of Munich, while accruing absolutely no debt whatsoever. With this option, there is no need for U.S. students to trade prestige for their finances.

Norway is another country that offers a fantastic education system with free college tuition for U.S. students with a high school degree and at least one year of college completed. Students can opt for great public universities such as the University of Oslo or the University of Bergen, which can be great choices as they offer free undergraduate degrees.

Sweden offers free, research-based doctoral degrees but students are to be wary of the high cost of living that may increase their expenses even if their tuition fees are much lower than expected—or even free of cost. Denmark is also an interesting choice, as students hailing from the European Union and Switzerland are eligible to take advantage of free tuition. International students from anywhere else, though, are expected to pay anywhere between 6,000 and 16,000 euros a year, which is an expensive sum for many students. However, some great universities, such as the University of Copenhagen, make Denmark a credible option in the search for universities around the world.

While university tuition prices in the U.S. are considered higher than other parts of the world, students still opt to go to school in the U.S. due to the quality of education and the proven track record of U.S. universities producing some of the most innovative and successful people in the world. Other universities from different parts of the world have achieved this feat as well, but U.S. universities hold a better reputation for this, in my opinion. In the end, it comes down to finances in a pricy world where students must carefully weigh the pros and cons between the education system in the country of their choice and the competition.

There is a lack of information in many countries when it comes to foreign education; therefore, students should consider exploring all credible options in the global market before deciding on their higher education path. Getting an education abroad could not only save them a lot of money, but also increase the cultural exposure of the student on a global scale and offer them greater insight into many important aspects of the world.

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