Advocating for a Solution to the Student Debt Crisis

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The Advocacy Project (AP) builds on your CP. Where the CP asked you to describe the landscape of the problem, the AP asks you to advance from exposition to argument. Accordingly, the AP asks you to move beyond shedding light on a problem to the work of advocacy, which means developing an argument in one of the following two ways: 1) Positive advocacy: You can advocate on behalf of one or more specific policy proposals as a solution, or the next step(s) toward finding a solution, to the social problem at the center of your focus. 2) Negative advocacy: Instead of positively backing a given solution, you can opt for critique and make the case for why current solutions (either implemented or proposed) do not work, and then leave your readers with questions about possible next steps. In the process of crafting your AP, you will develop a richly-textured argument that deepens your articulation of the problem and argues convincingly for ways to move forward in solving it. Think of it this way: in the CP, your goal was to research and present existing positions on a given problem. Now in the AP, your goal is to take a position.  The AP project should operate on two different levels: (1) you will build on your CP in framing the problem in both historical and analytic terms (and thus incorporate elements already set out in your CP); (2) you will introduce, evaluate, and advocate on behalf of a specific solution or set of solutions (e.g., reforms, policy changes, changes in law). You might think of these two levels as different dimensions: the descriptive dimension (describing and contextualizing the problem) and the prescriptive or normative dimension (advocating a solution or set of solutions). Overall, your AP should be organized around the solution(s): the goal of advocacy is to compellingly argue on behalf of a particular solution to a social problem. To achieve this, both the solution and the social problem must be explained, historically contextualized, and positioned within a broader conversation among experts (scholars and advocates).  Requirements: 9 page minimum (roughly 2,400 words; 8 double-spaced pages + 1 works cited page) MLA formatting (using Times New Roman, font size 12) At least 3 “multimodal” elements (charts, graphs, photography, etc.) 8 sources (at least) that range in kind (academic, popular, governmental, etc.) and purpose (argumentative, solution-oriented, informative) In addition to meeting the requirements listed above, you will be graded on the following: In general, project demonstrates mastery of chosen topic (or “social problem”) through advocacy (i.e., by developing an argument on behalf of a solution or set of solutions). Project covers all 7 required areas or “components”: (1) Introduction/Statement of Problem, (2) Advocacy/Argument (thesis statement backed by argumentation and evidence), (3) Historical Context, (4) Leading Voices Debate, (5) Past and Proposed Solutions (“past” solutions have been attempted/implemented; “proposed” solutions have not), (6) Counter-Arguments, (7) Conclusion. NOTE: Avoid thinking of these “components” simply as separate “sections” of your paper. These components will in many cases overlap with one another. For instance, the “historical context” you provide will generally involve some account of “past solutions” (i.e. social programs that solved an earlier problem and contributed to new problems). Accordingly, you don’t need to have a distinct “section” on “past and proposed solutions” in your paper; you just need to be sure that your paper addresses solutions from both angles at some point. Generally,  your historical account will generally discuss past solutions, and the argument you advance about what for the future will center on a proposed solution. Use these “components” as a heuristic to keep in mind everything that needs to be covered in your AP.  The solution advocated is skillfully situated among other (possible or past) solutions and is examined in terms of its relative merits. Keep in mind: your solution does not need to “solve” the problem conclusively. In fact, you will be more than likely need to concede the complexity of the problem and the limited effect that any single solution can promise. Nonetheless, you need to capture the solution you are advocating as one among a host of solutions, and argue that it stands out as a necessary measure moving forward. Overall organization and coherence (the sources, information, and multi-modal elements gathered in the research process are thoughtfully presented in the final project) Sentence-level grammar proficiency *** Extra Notes.  Please Use this as your introduction: “Despite ensuring to make his payment on time, Akshay Ahuja remarked, “I was told I was on the wrong payment plan and that none of my payments would be eligible towards the Public Student Loan Forgiveness Program.” Akshay’s story presents a picture of the struggles of student loan borrowers with the increased complexities of current repayment programs. At nearly 1.6 trillion dollars, and only rising, the skyrocketing student loan debt has played a significant role in delaying major milestones such as purchasing a home. In a survey conducted by Equifax, one of the three largest consumer credit reporting agencies in the nation, 55.7% of the respondents blame their student loan debt as the primary reason why they couldn’t afford to purchase a home (“Equifax”). Much of the current programs in place for repaying the student loans revolves around the idea of Income-Based Repayment plan (IBR), in which the student borrower’s payments are binded to a set percentage of their income, and after a set amount of payments has been made, ultimately cancels all the outstanding debt. However, the undeniable complexity of these programs, the predatory interest rates, and the harsh punishments for failing to comply with the terms specified by the program further fuels the rising student debt which consequently reverberates to the majority of american households. Many solutions have been proposed to address these issues ranging from cancellation of all student debt to the modest student loan forgiveness up to a set dollar amount for all borrowers, which all have their merit and specific costs. Nonetheless, in what follows, this paper singles out the proggressive reformation of the current IBR plans as the most efficient and effective solution in addressing the housing crisis brought forth by the trillion dollar student debt crisis. ” – Please provide a historical context of the problem as well as three multimedia sources.
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