Let's not treat the symptoms -- high tuition sticker prices, student debt, the failure of families to save, fixed labor and land and recurring technology costs -- without understanding that the goal is to find the cause of the disease. It's important to know the facts to cure the problem.
Bipartisan legislation that will tie interest rates on federal student loans to market rates is headed to President Obama's desk, after the bill passed the House with a 392-31 vote. The president is expected to sign the bill into law, which is based on a deal formed by members of the Senate.
Our country's future demands that we embrace our next generation of leaders -- the often-underestimated Millennials -- who are the largest, most diverse, and most progressive generation the country has ever seen.
Congress will likely hammer out some sort of deal on student loans, which Republicans will love and Democrats will be forced to swallow, but it's worth considering whether we view education in entirely the wrong way here in America.
Under this system, everyone who is admitted to a qualifying institution receives a college education for $5,000 per year, making college no longer dependent on socio-economic standing.
All across this nation, small publics are getting squeezed out of the mix, disappearing between rapidly growing research universities, small private colleges with healthy endowments, and for-profit institutions offering online programs in every conceivable field.
Each year, millions of American students rely on the federal student loan program to pursue higher education. For many families, without the ability to pay for their students' education over a longer term, college would simply be out of reach.
With market interest rates so low this year, students taking out loans will pay a lower rate than current law of 6.8 percent -- for now. But without strong enough protections from high rates in the future, this infographic demonstrates how the deal will actually milk students in the coming years.
Low or inconsistent income can create a cycle of taking on debt (particularly "bad" debt) to make ends meet. And unfortunately, the recent economic crisis has affected those in Gen Y dramatically.
The economy and our nation's future depend on having more Americans get a college education. We should be doing all we can to encourage students to go to college.
With tuition, living costs and transportation costs all escalating, some students are opting to cut back on their academic career, attend a different college than their first choice, take longer to graduat and even stall or forego the college process altogether.
What if the American people proclaimed through action that after seven years of payment, the first $180,000 owed on owner-occupied home mortgages are annulled, released?
Let's take a few steps backward and review how we got to where we are. A generation ago, public universities were for the working and middle class. Tuitions were extremely low, and it was rare for students to incur large debts. Most of the cost was paid by state legislatures. These institutions, mostly dating back to the land-grant subsidies of the Lincoln era, were one of America's great mechanisms of upward mobility. Then three things happened. State legislatures got caught up in tax cutting fever. They had to compensate for lost revenues, and little by little cut back on public support for public universities. By 2012, most public universities got less than a third of percent of their support from the public. In some states, the figure was less than 15 percent. The burden of tuition was shifted to students. Today, the social class of one's parents determines educational and financial success more than at any time since World War II. But the children of the non-rich, who far outnumber the children of the rich, need higher education once again to be the great meritocracy.
Well, maybe it's time for Wall Street to contribute, rather than siphoning off our wealth. How about a sales tax on all transfers of stocks, bonds, and derivatives in order to fund tuition-free higher education at public institutions?
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The increase in rates on federal student loans will not only impact students -- members of the Catholic Church fear this will also affect faith. Graduates with large amounts of debt will now be less likely to pursue priesthood and will contribute to a significant shortage of priests in the U.S.