The February 20 episode of Freeform’s grandiose was titled âReal Life Sh ** tâ for a reason. While graduation – and some hefty loan payments – awaits Aaron, his student debt struggle on grandiose has become more than just a scenario. The reality is that Americans must $ 1.6 trillion in student debt, by the Federal Reserve, and the price of higher education is financially crippling a generation. In addition, people of color remain the most affected. As Zoey said in a voiceover during the episode, for some people higher education just creates more space between them and their goals. âAnd let’s be honest, these ‘some people’ are black,â she said.
Take, for example, statistics grandiose launched at the top of the episode: By age 30, the average white graduate man will have paid off 44% of his student debt. The average black man will owe 11% more than when he graduates. MarketWatch reported the same numbers in August 2019 (via an analysis by think-tank Demos), adding that, 12 years after leaving school, black women’s loan balances actually increase by 13% on average.
Later, in a panel discussion, Doug dropped some experiential knowledge of how lenders prey on “black kids who want to go to college but can’t afford it.” He explained how the banks know they have no other choice and hand over “that easy money wrapped in a free t-shirt.” And by the time you graduate, he said, you realize you owe them twice as much money as the shirt you have on your back.
When Aaron attended a CalU career fair, other reasons for these disparities became painfully obvious. While Doug is sure potential employers are begging him to be their “only non-threatening black person,” what he actually faced, in Zoey’s words, was “a Caucasian corporate complication after the other “. The only moment of promise came when two company representatives from Zoey’s father, Dre, told her they were looking to “strengthen their urban division.”
Although “another person of color,” Ana argued that there was something to be said for more minorities go to university than ever before, Jazz retorted that the cost and benefits of their education are not equal. His argument was that if they all graduated with the exact same degree, the same experience, and had all ‘passed the same interview’, employers would be more likely to offer the job to Nomi first, then to Doug and Aaron, while she, Zoey and Sky âwould come last.
With the hurdles of discriminatory hiring practices removed from the equation, Aaron estimated he was considering payments of $ 750 / month on his six-figure student loans. Even if he has a Great work, he said, it would take him at least another 30 years to pay for them. And, even that, would require a “strict bologna and cup of noodle diet” for the rest of his life.
So, the icing on the potential employment at Dre’s company was their student loan cancellation program. However, even positions similar to these are currently under threat. In his new budget proposal, Trump outlined $ 5.6 billion in funding cuts to the US Department of Education, also eliminate the civil service loan forgiveness program created by George W. Bush in 2007, by Forbes. Unsurprisingly, several of the best Democratic presidential candidates of 2020 have made the issue a central part of their platforms.
Dre’s corporate agenda has become a moot point, at least temporarily, thanks to Zoey dropping the ball. Aaron ended up getting perhaps the next best thing, however – depending on how you look at him. Through a call from Dre, Charlie offered Aaron a job on campus as a personal assistant. Sure, he was paying minimum wage and the only health insurance option was a bottle of aspirin, but the dean of CalU revealed that the college offers free graduate school for its staff.
As Zoey summed it up: âThe reality was that Aaron couldn’t write off the debt he had already incurred, but this bizarre job and the offer of free graduate school would give him a financial head start on his own. ‘ensure it doesn’t become just another statistic. “