America is in the midst of a student loan crisis. The total outstanding student loan debt has passed the $1 trillion mark, the class of 2014 is the most indebted class ever, and graduates are referring to their student loans as a form of "indentured servitude."
Don't let the headache of untangling financial aid letters spoil the thrill of getting into college. Here are five things to keep in mind as you evaluate your options for attending and paying for school.
Is it really appropriate to compare student loans with mortgages, auto loans and credit card debt? If I put on my consumer hat, it feels like we should. If I put on my economics hat though, student loans seem absurdly incomparable to practically every other form of household debt.
Higher education is not just good for the individual's own future, which is often how we think about it. It is, in addition, good for everyone, meaning that everyone should bear its cost, and not just individual "borrowers."
The inability to defer private education loans adds tremendous pressure to these students and their families. If a student is in school when repayment must begin, there is an unavoidable shift of responsibility to the co-signer. Is this always fair?
On February 27, the Department of Education announced it will end its contracts with five private collection agencies. It's good that the Education Department is cracking down, but much more needs to be done to hold collection agencies accountable for unfair or deceptive practices.
The president's plan calls for implementing a new complaint forum for student borrowers, a centralized website to track student loans, stricter laws for debt collectors, and possibly even bankruptcy for student loans.
Now Obama envisions directing $14.6 billion from the loan program toward Pell in the next 10 years. But money is needed to cover forgiven loans. If further expansion of the generous forgiveness clauses leads to another unanticipated shortfall, will this transfer of fund still be possible?
Whether you're a parent with a child currently in diapers or a student planning to graduate from high school fairly soon, it is worthwhile to study the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) -- a 130-question form that determines who qualifies for a piece of $150 billion in federal grants, loans and work-study funds -- well in advance.
If you're looking to save thousands on student loan interest payments -- as well as time and headaches from managing multiple monthly payments -- then understanding the consolidation process is critical. Here's the rundown you need to determine whether student loan refinancing and consolidation is right for you.
Ultimately, the student debt strike is not about "illegitimate" vs. "legitimate" debt, but the illegitimacy of student loan debt as such.
We need faculty to make the switch and drop their traditional textbook for an open textbook. It's not hard, but it's not easy, and institutions can make a huge impact by providing training and resources for interested faculty to make the switch.
Most families aren't able to cover the full cost of their children's college experience, which means financial aid will play at least a part of their college planning. If you're thinking about applying for financial aid for your college-aged student (or thinking ahead for a child who's got some time left to go), here are the fundamentals you need to know.
Colleges make it simple for students to borrow by packaging several different types of federal loans... Sometimes, schools even give students more loans than they need. The students have to accept the package and deal with the loans when they leave, whether they graduate or not.
Kevin Carey posits that the market dominance of federal student loans combined with income-driven repayment plans has solved student debt crisis. It's an intriguing and optimistic thesis.
Education has always been central to the American Dream: the promise that if you work hard, you can achieve anything. Unfortunately, the skyrocketing cost of student loan debt means that when millions of Americans should be building their careers, starting their families, and pursuing their dreams, they are instead being held back.