As we invest in V-shaped recoveries for businesses and their employees, we assume there is some hilltop of prosperity to get back to. For this year's college students and graduates, we forget, there is still the first hill to climb.
I'm not blaming the tenured classes who have long forgotten their eleventh thesis. Nor am I blaming college presidents in their mirror stage of consciousness, gazing into that looking glass where everyone appears as a CEO.
I won't even blame students themselves, who have no time to think about what just hit them as they are ordered off campus and told to log in for further instructions.
But somehow, America these days has fallen into a numb assumption that, even in the middle of this pandemic crisis, it can just keep its economy riding upon backpacks filled with student debt.
We instinctively rush to backstop other credit markets. We talk loud and fast about loan forgiveness to several other classes of worthy economic actors. Yet somehow we don't give a second thought to young American scholars who carry heavy loads of debt for higher education.
Read between the lines of national policy discourse, and the thesis that prevails is preservation of the student-loan credit complex. When it comes to addressing the needs of this year's college students and grads, debt forgiveness is too costly to imagine.
Readers removed from the policy kitchens of Washington, D.C., can get a whiff of what's cooking for college students by inhaling a couple of articles archived Tuesday morning at the COVID-19 web center of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA).
The first article is all about debt postponement. The second article begins with debt postponement sure enough. But the second article goes on to stir another pot where seasoned cooks are prepping debt cancellation and grants.
(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).