student debt

  • History Shows Debt Relief is All-American

    by Chloe Thurston and Emily Zackin

    Throughout American history state legislatures have passed debt relief over the objections of creditors and the courts, responding to the economic needs of the citizenry and defying the idea that indebtedness was a personal failing. 

  • The Lost Promise of College for All

    by Jack Schneider and Jennifer C. Berkshire

    The expansion of college education—and the encouragement directed at all Americans to pursue a degree—was driven by bipartisan agreement that education could increase prosperity and alleviate inequality. Unfortunately, without a commitment to public provision, the price has been massive individual debt. 

  • The Half-Century Road to the Student Debt Crisis

    by John Thelin

    A fatal mistake made by Congress in 1972 was to expand aid to students, imagined as consumers, through the Guaranteed Student Loan program, instead of subsidizing institutions to control costs. 

  • Is There a Biblical Solution to the Modern Problem of Debt?

    by Eva von Dassow

    Many are inspired by Old Testament rules for debt jubilees, but, while the practice has a historical basis, that history shows debt forgiveness was part of an unequal society in which forgiving old debts simply enabled the masses to take on new ones. 

  • The Crushing Contradictions of the American University

    by Chad Wellmon

    The proliferation of student loan debt reflects the acceptance by banks, borrowers, and the federal government of the idea that higher education is transformative and beneficial. Is this ideology bordering on magical thinking? 

  • Claire Potter: Big Debt for Students, Big Perks for University Elites

    Claire Potter is a professor of history at the New School for Public Engagement. She blogs at Tenured Radical for the Chronicle of Higher Education. New York University's 2010 graduating class owed a total of more than $600 million in student loans. It's unlikely the university will forgive them. But NYU has forgiven portions of mortgages they have extended to President John Sexton, other university executives or star faculty - money that has been used to buy properties in Manhattan or vacation homes in the Hamptons.Does this shock you?Or, how about this: Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, a former executive vice president at NYU, received an "exit bonus" of $685,000. Just to put this in perspective, Lew's NYU exit bonus alone would have provided free tuition for 275 undergraduates, or a little more than 17% of the incoming class.