In a Facebook post Monday, TV host and personality Mike Rowe denounced student loan forgiveness and encouraged people to reconsider taking on debt for a four-year degree that may not even land them a job.
“Many it seems, suspect that I’ll be supportive of these efforts since I’ve written at length about the outrageous rise of college tuition and the scandalous ways in which hundreds of thousands of students have been conned into borrowing ridiculous sums of money to purchase degrees that never lead to an actual job,” Rowe wrote.
“Well, for the record, I do not support student loan forgiveness,” he added.
Sharing a National Review article on the issue, Rowe explained that forgiving student loans is not only unfair to those who have already sacrificed to pay off their loans but it “would send a terrible message to the very same universities that already gouge their customers with sky-high tuition.”
“Tuition will never come back to Earth if we bail out those who borrowed more than they could repay,” he wrote.
Rowe also said he pities those who took on “the yoke of a crushing student loan.”
“You were quite possibly sold a bill of goods. You were very likely pressured by your friends, your parents, or your guidance counselor, to attend the ‘right’ school. You were perhaps a victim of this persistent, pernicious, and preposterous push to peddle a four-year degree to every person with a pulse, and for that, you have my sympathy,” Rowe said.
“But that’s not my fault. Nor is it the fault of the American people. The fault belongs to you, and so does the debt,” he added.
Instead of taking on debt for a four-year degree, Rowe encouraged people to explore all of their options including learning tangible skills and trades.
“This is why I’ve spent the last twelve years discouraging people from slipping into hock at the outset of their careers. This is why I push back against the insane notion that a four-year degree is the best path for most people,” he said. “I don’t want to see more people borrow money they can’t afford to pay back. But nor do I wish to pay it back for you. I will, however, encourage you to apply for a work-ethic scholarship, and wish you every success in the future.”
Rowe concluded by plugging his foundation mikeroweWORKS, which awards money to people “looking to master a useful skill.”
“We have no objection to a broad-based, liberal arts education,” Rowe said. “We simply object to the cost, and therefore assisting students who wish to pursue a trade that doesn’t require a four-year degree.”