Okay, so I’ll admit right off the bat that this is perhaps the epitome of what ideological views are all about, but it’s worth the discussion in any case. Hopefully one day somebody will be crazy enough to follow-up on the ideology and perhaps even lead a much-needed paradigm shift, but yeah, there really is no need for any student to leave the best years of their life and enter the professional workplace environment with a single penny of debt to their name. There’s absolutely no need for student debt at all, but preventing it requires a level of togetherness and self-organization which so far has proven to be absolute it its illusiveness.
The Student Economy
If you take a look at the typical life of a student with specific focus on what they spend their money on, those expenses which form part of the core expenditure can be classified to fall under the Student Economy. This would include the likes of the prescribed textbooks required as part of the course material, the accommodation and all other costs you can think of which are normally covered by something like a bursary or scholarship. Yes, this would include tuition as well, but that’s not part of the scope of the elements which are earmarked to be used in the annihilation and complete prevention of student debt.
For now just consider what expenses form part of the mainstream student economy – what the typical student spends money on as part of their core student life.
The Student Shadow Economy
Now consider the student shadow economy, which is comprised out of everything else around the support structure of the life of a student. This would include the money spent on a night out, food, clothes, etc. Everything which isn’t part of the core costs required for the academic course itself.
Doing the Math
Okay, so we’ll eliminate tuition from the list of student life expenses to consider, simply because the ideology of there being absolutely no need for student debt is based on students themselves seizing control of the industries and markets they spend so much money on.
Doing the math reveals a rather remarkable story of how the total expenditure associated with students on the various elements of their student life is greater than the total combined cost of their studies. To put it more simply, students spend more money on expenses which are in support of their studies than what their actual studies cost. This is of course in reference to the combined costs.
So for example, students will in total spend $100,000,000 per year on food, transport, textbooks, equipment, alcohol, accommodation, etc., while their combined expenditure on tuition would be something to the tune of $70,000,000 per year. I’m making reference to an example featuring just one institution of higher learning here, but either way, what if the students themselves assumed ownership and the operation of those student economy industries they spend so much money on?
The profits thereof would effectively become their profits and they can then use them to cover the costs of their studies.
Again, so far the amount of self-organization which would be required for this to work doesn’t seem to be in existence, so I guess for now it shall remain an ideology.