Essays in Education


While the costs to attend college continue to rise exponentially, a bachelor’s degree is held up as required for economic stability within the U.S. and across the globe. With drastic disparities in earning potentials after graduation reduced by racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, ableism, and related structural disparities, the value of a degree continues to be questioned, especially for historically marginalized communities. As the loan industrial complex continues to profit off of students, President Biden has offered $10,000 in student loan relief for some borrowers, though this action has been blocked by federal courts and is currently on hold. Whether Biden’s loan forgiveness comes to fruition or not, student loans remain an overwhelming burden, impacting capacity to accrue wealth, sustain economically, engage in family planning, or emerge from poverty. This conceptual analysis thus challenges the reliance on loans and future debt to fund higher education, connecting author financing narratives within structures designed to continue wealth extraction from communities of color. The paper concludes by arguing beyond student loan forgiveness to center an anti-capitalist purpose of higher education, based upon reparations and free college as sustainable pathways from an extractive higher education system.



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