GOP Rep Brags That His Kids Graduated College With ‘Zero Debt’


Rep. Barry Loudermilk boasted during a hearing on the student loan debt crisis that his kids left college with no debt.

During a hearing on the student loan crisis before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services, Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) boasted that two of his children graduated from college with no debt, according to Newsweek.

Though nearly everyone on the committee and panel agreed that the student loan debt situation has risen to the level of “crisis,” Loudermilk and one panel member insisted that it is an issue of personal responsibility.

“[T]wo of my three children graduated four-year college institutions with zero debt and no scholarship they actually worked for it, I couldn't pay for it, they actually worked and paid for their tuition even from some colleges you would recognize,” the Georgia Republican said during the hearing.

Likewise, John Delisle, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said student loan debt affects wealthy families as well as poor families, meaning even those who do not necessarily need to take out loans are doing so anyway.

"Many of the students who take out loans come from high-income families, which should tell us that many of the people who are taking out student loans aren't doing so because they have to. They're making choices, they may be making choices to attend more expensive schools. They may think the government is offering such an incredible deal they can't turn it down," he said.

"We tend to cast student loan debt as this thing that only low-income people are taking and it's this huge burden, but many high-income families are choosing to use it," Delisle added.

But Ashley Harrington of the Center for Responsible Lending noted that for low-income families, taking out loans is not an option: "Yes we do have a large number of high-income individuals taking out student loans but there is a significant number of low-income individuals who have to take out student loans and that's where the issues lies."

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Image credit: Gage Skidmore/CC BY-SA 2.0/Flickr

Comments (3)
No. 1-2

My kids graduated from universities without debt either, but that's because their first two years were spent in community college, taking basic core courses for their majors, at low cost. Interestingly, eventual employers didn't give a damn, because their degrees were awarded from major, name universities. Both kids earned grants and scholarships to help pay the bills at those universities, thanks to their CC grades and achievements. Plus, Mom and Dad had invested and saved to help with school expenses, but not enough to put two students through 4 years each at private universities. Both kids worked summers to earn spending money. I'm proud of them, but also proud we encouraged common sense solutions to college debt problems. There is a personal responsibility component to the school debt problem, one that should involve exploring all educational and financial alternatives when making decisions before committing to schools. At the same time, it seems that school counselors and others should be counseling students about not just academics, but also economic realities when choosing schools. Today, the private Uni my daughter attended charges almost $40,000 a year in tuition alone. My son's school, a top state uni, $18,000. It's mind boggling and hard to justify.

Voice of Reason 1962
Voice of Reason 1962

Student debt is a serious issue, but much of it can still be avoided if one is willing to think a little bit outside the box. For example, my oldest son graduated from medical school with no debt and received a $20,000 signing bonus plus a $2,000 a month stipend while in medical school by agreeing to serve as a Navy doctor for four years after residency. All branches of the military have similar programs, but sadly only four medical students in his graduating class of 200 pursued them. Many of the rest apparently chose instead to feed themselves into the giant debt mill that is our current economy......

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