The Student Loan Crisis: Celebrities Are Speaking On The Issue, But Is Congress Listening?

July 12, 2013  |  

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Since the onset of the recession, the national student loan debt among current and former college students has climbed to over $1 trillion dollars, surpassing credit and auto loan debts in 2012, says The Washington Post. With this grim statistic, the debt crisis from student loans is continuously making headlines, leaving many college students across all generations worried about their financial well-being and baffled at Congress’ inaction. On July 1, student loan interest rates doubled. When given the opportunity to put the lower 3.4 percent interest rate back in place on Wednesday, the measure failed because of a “procedural hurdle.” At this point, we can only hope that Congress will take another look at a short-term reduction and long-term strategy before the break in August.

The rising debt toll has prompted an outcry among former college students, current students, politicians and some celebrities, concerned with the impact of this growing financial and economic issue will have on the nation as a whole.

US Weekly magazine reported on stars like actress Scarlett Johansson and fellow actress Kerry Washington, who spoke out on the student loan debt crisis and more at last year’s Democratic National Convention in September. At 28 years old, actress Scarlett Johansson expressed her concern for the welfare of her generation, who are now facing issues like affordable health care and the debt that has crippled many young Americans looking to build a stable future with their college education.

“I’m here not just as an actress but as a woman, an African-American, a granddaughter of Ellis Island immigrants, a person who could not have afforded college without the help of student loans,” Washington proclaimed last year during the DNC.

Other celebrities who have shed light on the issue via their outlets on social media and on television include Think Like A Man actor Romany Malco, comedienne and actress Roseanne Barr, famous financial guru Suze Orman, MMA fighter Gerald Harris, TV One news analyst Roland Martin and others.

Although celebrities are advocating for the temporary fixes to remain permanent, Congress is still pegging students in the middle of this crucial debate, even as the average college loan debt rises to about $30,000, as reported by Generation Opportunity.

With even celebrities flexing their star power and standing up for the crisis that faces nearly 40 million Americans, this current economic dilemma needs to be a major priority to Congress and other leaders at the forefront of this issue. As former and current college students in America, we need to demand more productivity from Congress to ensure that this looming debt bubble is being noticed politically and economically, as it spans across generations. Without a proper and concrete plan of action nationally, the traditional “American dream” will soon become only a daydream for many. The hefty college loan debt crisis will be a rude awakening to young people heading out into the world and their adult lives.

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