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Blake E

Alexander believes that by simplifying the questions asked on the FAFSA and providing easier repayment options, the financial burden that comes with college education can be reduced. The federal government and local banks would play a major part in making these changes. By allowing more people to understand the concepts behind the FAFSA and making repayment options simpler, the lower middle class and low class citizens will become more involved in the college process. Alexander provides an abundance of information on his proposed changes that informs the reader on his changes. These changes can be achieved, but changing the process would be extremely slow and deliberate.

Abbagale Perez

The reason why Lamar Alexander most likely wrote his Essay in the New York Times and not a regular Tennesse paper. Was to get more attention for his topic. Alexander intended audience are those in the age 21 through 30. The reason why is because they are done with at least their bachalores and Masters. They are trying to pay off their loans from college and are struggling with it. He is trying to add more voters to agree with his plan in order for his proposal to go through.


Alexander argues that college should be a cheap easy way for people to continue their education into the career they want. He states a couple of proposal ideas such as making the dreaded FAFSA easier to fill out. Another proposal he makes is for finaicial aid to be easier to pay off. I am still in college, and have yet to have to make payments on my loans, but I am worried that in the future they will be too difficult for me to figure out how to pay, that if they were easier, I wouldn't stress so much.

Brandon C

Alexander proposes the idea of simplifying the FAFSA in order to benefit families applying for financial aid. Families may become too stressed while trying to complete the tedious form and give up on it completely. The process to complete the FAFSA in my family was a multi-day chore of collecting all the right information and accurately filling out the form. It's easy to be discouraged when it feels like the task is never ending. Making the FAFSA shorter and easier to complete will result in more low-income families looking for financial help to receive the funds they need to put their child through college.

MacKenzie Osborne

To some college is expensive, which causes more than half a graduating class to drop out in their first year. Rather than looking at financial options like FAFSA, free scholarships, and on campus work study; students would let the debt take over and lose their dreams in education. In Lamar Alexander's text he mentions that students should divide their income up into parts to help pay off their loans. I agree with what Alexander states; that students should put aside their income and divide it up to help pay off student loans.

Phillip B

College can be too expensive and many people can't afford to pay for college. Also many people that try to advance their college carerr some majors cause you to attend more year of college making it even more costly. The author makes a lot of good points about ways to pay off college. Paying off debts is also just basically you not even earning money because you are having to put all your money back to pay off yuor college tuition. I like the idea of paying off your debt like a mortgage, and also I believe the best way to help a college student pay off their dept to work on campus.

Timothy V.

As a current senior in high school, the decision of going to college has been a big conversation at home. Now have making the decision to go to college other questions have been brought into descussion, one question is "how much is college going to cost?", another question is "how am I going to pay for college?". These are only few questions that are asked when choosing to go to college. College debt is one of those things that not only damages the individule, but socoiety at large. If stutents leave collage and get a job, and then preceed to spend the next twenty years paying off their debt, all of the money they are paying off is essentally being nullified- economically speaking. In other words, collage graduates are unable to start playing a more active roll in our consumer based economy until their debt is payed, and, may I remind you that the entire point of collage is to recieve a higher level of education in order to contribute to and better society as a whole. According to the reading, Alexander insists we who live in this society must make it easier to pay back a student loan as we must make it easier to apply for a student loan. He mentioned about "A college graduate paying more than $1,000 per month on student loans recently". Moreover he said about "Roughly 40 million borrowers owe $1.5 trillion in student loan debt. Honestly, I entirely agree with him since I think US tuition fee to get a degree is super expensive as an international student. Although I do not know well about how much US students pay for tuition fee and they get a scholarship from university, I am sure that it will help.

Peyton Wilmer

I agree with Alexander's points about college being outrageously expensive. A great majority of families in today's society can not afford to send their child or children to furthre their education after highschool. The financial need situation for a college or university almost causes the students to worry more about how they will pay for their tuition rather than focus on their academics. Most students are in debt right after graduationg college and can not get it paid off for decades or more. College is extremely expensive and the price will continue to raise as the years go on.

Z. Jackson

Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee senator and the chairman of the Senate’s education committee. I believe Alexander wrote a New York Times Article about the catastrophic debt of college student to reach more people, writing his opinion locally would not have gave his voice as much exposure . Alexander seems to be reaching out to the financial departments of colleges and also the students in debt. The proposals are to benefit them. With his article, he is trying to give out options help lessen and prevent more debt.

Nicholas B.

I agree with Alexander, because I believe that most students worry more about going into debt and how they're going to pay off college tuition, rather than focusing on their studies. In the article he gives a few proposals on how to reduce the cost of college. FAFSA is too comlicated, so he states that cutting the amount of questions from 108 to two dozen could simplify this process. He states that limiting complicity of the college process would dramtically increase the urge for students to apply for collge. Also, cutting the amount of student loans needed for college could have a positve effect on students going into collge too.

Addison Swisher

The New York Times is a well known news article that many people in our country stay up to date with. To get his word out, it was smart for Alexander to write his article to the New York Times instead of his local Tennessee newspaper. This results in catching the eyes of several college students and easing stressful concern of paying for college. This article gives many alternatives to help the common college student with ways I agree with.

Jonea Noel

In the article “Going to College Should Not Be a Financial Albatross” Alexander states, “Our country has most of the best colleges in the world. We also have the most graduates paying off college debt. Roughly 40 million borrowers owe 1.5 trillion in student loans.” College is very expensive and people should find ways to pay back their loans so they will be debt free. Alexander created a few proposals to help people pay back their student loans. The first is reducing to about two dozen from 108 the number of questions on the 20 million families fill out every year to apply for federal student financial aid. His second proposal is to replace the complicated student loan repayment system with two options, both with monthly payments deducted from employees’ paycheck. The other repayment option would be standard 10-year repayment plan, with equal monthly payments, like a mortgage. The third proposal is a new accountability system for college programs based upon whether students are actually repaying their loans. Alexander does not state who would be responsible for putting his plan into effect but, I would assume bank lenders and colleges would be responsible for putting his plans in effect. I personally like the 10- year replacement plan because I would be making equal monthly payments. Alexander does provide sufficient evidence that his plans will achieve their goal.


Going to college can be very expensive and sometimes can lead to debt. The first questions when planning to attend college are “Can I afford it? Is it worth it”? Many people tend to ask these questions when making this decision. In the article “Going to College Should Not Be a Financial Albatross” Alexander states “just as we must make it easier to apply to a student loan, we must also make it easier to pay back a student loan”. The “second proposal is to replace this complicated student loan repayment system with monthly payments deducted from the employees paycheck, or have a standard 10-year repayment plan with equal payments”. Overall he wants to be able to make college, hassle-free and affordable. I agree with the payment plans but would these plans include interest? Although these are great ideas, he does not state who will execute his plan. Bank Lenders or colleges can try to achieve these goals and help students achieve a degree and be able to pay it back.

Nathan Parker

Alexander has a powerful and very important comment on a very important issue. If he had simply submitted this to a Tennessee newspaper, it most likely would not have gotten the recognition that it deserved. Also in terms of the desired audience, the New York Times was the best option. He wanted to get his message out to those who would need to hear it, being college students and administrators, or anyone who could help fix this problem. It just so happens that eyes are constantly on the New York Times, and Alexander’s ideas did make it to where they needed to be: In the public eye. “Soul crushing” debt has already negatively affected many people’s lives, and many people still live in debt today from college. Alexander had plans to help alleviate some of these issues, and they needed to get out so that they could start to help fix the system.

DeJour Taylor

College is a way for people to be able to pursue their dreams even further than what high school prepares them for. The one major problem is that college is too expensive for most people and it can hold others back from doing thinngs later on. There is more emphasis on being able to afford to go to college than actually going to college for their actual reasons. In order for colleges to focus more on their goals there needs to be ways to pay for college or at the very least reduce the price of college. Ways that this could happen would be to have many jobs on campuses so money would be available to those who are wiling to work and to have many scholarships available. Alexander made some great points about what people that have money problems go through but the colleges and possibly higher people would need to consider the benefits of lowering the cost of education. In his proposal, Alexander made valid points that would have the potential of reducing the cost of college because he clearly has plenty of background information on this topic.

Christopher Goddard

Alexander says that simplifying the financial aid process would help lower income households apply, which is correct. It may seem as if it would be a welcome change but overall relatively ineffective, as Alexander states, but that line of thinking comes from ignorance. The ignorance that breeds such lines of thinking is not malicious, but is simply based in the idea that “low income” means “lazy” or “doesn’t work as much as they should,” when in fact, most low income families are worked to the bone. Making the FAFSA more accessible is integral to support the jump into college for low income families. Simple changes such as availability in different languages, significantly reduced paperwork, and a simplification of language opens up many doors that were previously closed to families who have these issues and simply want the best for their children. Some parents struggle to find the time to do the mountain of paperwork, others aren’t as fluent in english as the FAFSA expects you to be and have issues making it through.

Alexander’s solution is much simpler and still plenty effective. He wishes for the absurd number of 108 questions on the form to be reduced to about 24, which is about a fifth of what it is now. Coupling that with the simplification of language would do everything Alexander claims and more.

Latney Hodges

Question 1:
Alexander proposes that the FASFA should be less complex to fill out which would stop the “chilling maze” that keeps many families from applying for federal aid. This would also allow the government to avoid $6 billion dollars worth of mistakes that stop individuals from paying off a student loan quicker. The next thing Alexander proposes is to change the way in which students pay off their loans. He offers two payment systems that would reduce the complexity and time that it takes to pay off these loans. His final proposal is a new system for college programs which checks data to see if students are actually paying back these loans. This would hold the college system accountable and would even reduce the tuition. Congress, the education committee, and other departments within the state/federal government would be responsible for putting these proposals into effect. I believe he provided many efficient alternatives that would reduce student debt and help them pay it off in an effective manner. I believe that while college cannot be free for everyone, there are better ways to reduce the cost. Each of these proposals were well thought out with many great ideas that I think any government official would agree on.

Trinity Taylor

4.) Alexander’s article is about simplifying the financial aid process to make applying for and getting federal aid easier. He suggests that this can simply be done by making the FAFSA form shorter and easier to fill out. While this would be nice, there seems to be a flawing aspect to this idea. This idea may seem enticing, but it creates the issue of getting an inaccurate expected family contribution or EFC. The EFC determines how much any given family is expected to pay out of pocket for higher education. If the application is simplified, less information about the financial state of the family are asked, possibly making the EFC inflate and chances of receiving aid less favoring. He makes good points and with experiencing the tedious works of the FAFSA myself, I support making it easier, but I feel the issue of proper assessment should still be kept in mind.

Rachel Jackson

Rachel Jackson
Question: Alexander has several specific proposals for making college more affordable for US students. What are they? Who would be responsible for putting Alexander’s plans into effect? Summarize his ideas. Has he provided sufficient evidence that his plans would achieve their goal?
Alexander points out that students pay on average at least $1,000 a month on student loans and go into major debt as a result of earning a bachelor’s degree. Society and America as a whole push college on high school graduates very heavily without considering that some people cannot afford to go to college. Although our country has some of the best colleges in the world, it is becoming increasingly hard for students to finance their way through the four plus years of education. The author points out that one way to help make college more affordable are to simplify the process of filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Many students every year do not fill out the form and miss out on a large amount of free money because they are overwhelmed with fling the form. We must also make it easier to apply for student loan as well as pay back student loans.

Brendan Farmer

Mr. Alexander is responding in a national newspaper, one in which any person can respond in. If you want your writing to be heard/read all across the nation, you want someone higher in education to see your work and for them to go out and try to make a change, or if you want legislators to see your work and let them do the work, then I work submit my to a newspaper that is one of the most viewed papers in the nation. Just because he is from Tennessee does not mean he cannot react to a statement or action done in another state. Also, he is a senator, which means it is his job to combat issues, if it is within his own state, another state, or a national one. It does not have to be an election year for senators to take a stand on issues; you can do that whenever he/she wants to within their term in office. I believe that Mr. Alexander’s intended audience is for those individuals that are looking to go into college, parents who want to take a stand on this topic, and for legislators to take action to hopefully pass legislation to help ease the college tuition payment process. What is he trying to accomplish with this essay? I believe it is for legislators and for those with the same opinion to take action on this crippling issue.

Quinaisha Cox

Question 1:
Alexander believes that the first problem with going to college is the immense debt. He believes that there should be fewer questions on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form. He also believes that there should be an easier way to pay off debt. He proposes two main ways to make it easier to pay off loans and debts. Both of these ways include simply deducting a monthly cost from the borrower’s paychecks. He believes more people would be willing to setting up payment plans were no more than ten percent of their paychecks would be given up to pay for their loans each month. His other plan consists of a set amount of money being taken out of their paychecks; like mortgages. Alexander also believes that every school should have an accountability system, in which they access the number of students who are actually paying their loans back. When no one from a particular school is paying loans back the school would stop offering financial aid.

Lotoya Patrick

Easing the burden: Lamar Alexander on financing a college education
Q: Alexander has several specific proposals for making college more affordable for US students. What are they? Who would be responsible for putting Alexander’s plans into effect? Summarize his ideas. Has he provided sufficient evidence that his plans would achieve their goal? Why or why not?
A: Alexander states that the average students pays at least $1000 a month on loans and go into a tremendous amount of debt before receiving a bachelor’s degree. Society likes to push college on graduates tremendously without understanding that not many are able to afford college. Even though the U.S. has some of the best colleges/universities, it is very difficult to pay for the tuition and fees for these universities. There are different ways to get free money to pay for college such as scholarships, grants etc however, this doesn’t mean that your cost of attendance will always be $0.

Anna Pitts

Question 2
After reading Alexander’s article, it is very clear that he feels the process of paying for college and FAFSA are both complex enough to steer students away from attending college or trying to obtain financial aid. His intended audience is the federal government, people that are applying for college or financial aid, and the bank systems that are in charge of college loans and debt. In this essay, Alexander has hopes to reduce the amount of stress and debt that comes with college loans, as well as simplifying the process of filling out the FAFSA form. I think Alexander brings up great points, and his possible solutions to college debt are great steps in a successful direction. I think that Alexander decided to post this because he, in addition to numerous college parents and students, has noticed that the amount of debt our former college students is in is ridiculously huge. I understand why this is published in the New York Times because this is not only a local issue, or even state-wide, this is a federal issue that needs to be addressed soon. I think Alexander is a very proactive politician, and he should be applauded for his attention to real issues that are affecting our nation.

Anajah C Carter

Lamar Alexander has several specific proposals for making college more affordable for U.S. students. The first proposal he made for making college more affordable for students is to reduce the number of questions on form 20 million families fill out every year to apply for federal student financial aid. He states that eliminating this unnecessary complexity is the best way to help more low-income students to attend college. The second proposal Alexander made for making college more affordable for students is to replace the complicated student loan repayment system with two options, both with monthly payments deducted from an employee’s paycheck. The other repayment option would be a standard 10-year repayment plan, with equal monthly payments, like a mortgage. The last proposal he made for making college more affordable for students is to create a new accountability system for college programs based upon whether students are actually repaying their loans. Senator Patty Murray of Washington, the senior Democrat of the Senate’s education committee, will be responsible to complete work on these and other bipartisan proposals during the next six months.

Emily McYoung

Question 1: Alexander has several specific proposals for making college more affordable for US students. What are they? Who would be responsible for putting Alexander’s plans into effect? Summarize his ideas. Has he provided sufficient evidence that his plans would achieve their goal? Why or why not?

Answer: Alexander starts by proposing that the number of questions on the form to apply for federal student financial aid be reduced from 108 to two dozen. This idea would not be as effective as actually informing students of how to apply for FAFSA. The rest of his ideas and plans are more well thought out and effective. His other proposals not only help to reduce the cost of college, but to help these students pay it back in an effective manner. We believe that both the federal and state government should offer more scholarships to students for their achievements in high school. This will help to reduce the stress that is placed on student, as they will have less to pay. Some of his plans and ideas are worth a try but others like the FAFSA do not make sense.

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