Comments about ‘Richard Davis: Let students perform service to retire their loans’

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Published: Wednesday, July 3 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Republicans would never allow this.


Learning not to go into debt may be a better teacher and it would teach a civic responsibility. I worked all through school, had very little of a social life, but left debt free. It's going to get worse for your son, if we start importing millions of graduates.

Debt incurred in school should be treated no different than credit card debt.

American Fork, UT

We used to just call it work. Maybe after four years of university, students can pay the debt off by going into the trades, where real jobs are.

Salt Lake City, UT

I disagree with the thesis that debt can be repaid by "service". Debt is repaid by money, that which was borrowed. No one forced these adults to borrow the money to spend on college. The military has programs to support post high school education while on active duty and then there is a G. I. Bill to help with expenses.

Also, students should do some shopping as to college costs, and working a few years to save up to go to college may result in better decisions as to major or career field. Analysis of cost of degree versus salary once in the career would open some people's eyes and result in a change of course.

Young people clamored for age of majority to be lowered to 18, well now you have it and are adults, with the responsibilities of adults. Deal with it.

Ivory tower academics seem to be cloistered from the world and lack an understanding of reality. This essay is an example of a lack of understanding about where money comes from and why it is important to understand commitments and to be responsible for your actions.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

how does this service reimburse the taxpayer for the funds the taxpayer lent?

perhaps learning early in life how enslaving debt can be is a GOOD thing, and will help grads be more fiscally responsible. If enough people obtain that attitude, maybe we can eventually instill some fiscal responsibility in the federal government. nah, won't ever happen; dems have worked too hard creating a dependent underclass.

Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT

Wonderful ideas, Richard. I figured nobody could disagree with such a reasonable suggestion, but I underestimated the "out-of-touchness" of the conservative ideologues who cannot imagine that anyone could possibly not pay his or her way through college without going into debt.

Strider 303, for instance, argues that debt cannot be repaid by service but has to be repaid by money. This is wrong on two levels. First, the editorial suggests paying for this through donations, so you're setting up a straw man. And second, debt sometimes does not need to be repaid with anything. It can be forgiven. Under the Law of Moses, for instance, all debts were forgiven every seven years. Now, there's a program the conservatives could never support!

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

I"m sure many commentators on this forum went to college when tuition rates were much more reasonable. Over the last 20 years tuition has skyrocketed, inflationary rates between 5-10%. Luckily, I was able to get through school when tuition rates were more reasonable and rate hikes were closer to actual inflationary rates. Also, there were actually jobs available for me to work to escape debt and my parents saved a bit so they could assist with my tuition. It's a triple whammy for many as their parents have not saved any money to assist, jobs are less available and of course tuition rates continue to soar.

I would not mind the idea of these students serving as teachers, firefighters, construction (to repair our fast decaying infrastructure, etc.) as a way to earn some forgiveness of their debt. This investment to me would be way better than crippling a whole generation with debt they can never pay and certainly a better investment than most entitlement programs or going off to a foreign country to fight an unnecessary war.

There You Go Again
Saint George, UT

Pay off the loan...

Then serve...

No problem.

Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT

Lost in DC:

So it's the dems who have created a dependent underclass? Republican economics with its compulsion to funnel all wealth to the top, ship decent-paying jobs overseas, and refuse to increase the minimum wage has nothing to do with it? Your comment proves that it is possible to be simultaneously callous and misinformed.


Strider says,

Young people clamored for age of majority to be lowered to 18, well now you have it and are adults, with the responsibilities of adults. Deal with it.

Um, the "young people" who did the clammoring are in their 60s now. I don't think "you asked for the benefits, now face the responsibilities" is really applicable in this case.

Mark l

Interesting idea, but there is no free lunch. Someone always has to pay.

Another Perspective
Bountiful, UT

In the 1970's in Utah it was possible to work during the summer and make enough money to pay tuition and books at a state university the following school year. What are universities doing differently now that makes them so much more expensive?

Salt Lake City, UT

KCDF alludes to Moses and forgiveness of debt. Nice point, except that system was a theocracy designed for a specific group of people. I would suggest that perhaps loans could be interest free, and there can be an argument for that concept especially since we earn squat on savings and the Fed dishes out money at almost no interests.

I disagree with the service for money because it implies, to my not so humble thinking, a sort of lackadaisical "show up when you want to" mentality toward payment of a significant debt.

How about including in the original loan a surcharge for administration and the debtor agrees via contract to serve a certain amount of time, on a time clock, under supervision and performance standards, per week, or some other time period in a specific area or field of talent at a market rate for work performed. Failure to comply means loan is turned over to debt collection.

Oh, the clamor for age of majority to be 18 was binding on not only the people who wore tie-dyed shirts and long hair but their kids too. We need to be careful for what we wish.


Anybody claiming they worked, attended college and paid their own way either graduated many years ago or didn't attend a major university outside of UT and lived at home.

Prof. Davis has a good idea, worth considering.

Bountiful, UT

Sounds like a nice idea, but I can't imagine anyone donating to such a fund.

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