Get out of the burden of student debt

Biden’s proposal will undeniably change the trajectory of millions of families. However, if we don’t find a way to make the student loan system profitable, it could collapse and dash the hopes of millions of students of getting a college degree.

Robert Hildreth


The Hildreth Institute


Don’t overlook the bottom-up efforts of protesters who pushed for debt relief

Janelle Nanos’ article on Senator Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s long-term efforts for debt relief does a good job of documenting the work they and other elected officials have done. to push the Biden administration toward student loan debt forgiveness (“A Decade of Student Debt Relief Efforts,” page A1, September 12). However, in addition to downplaying the role of Senator Bernie Sanders , the article ignores the role of long-term bottom-up organizing against student debt.

Strike Debt, an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street, launched the slogan “You are not a loan” and began organizing the cancellation of student loan debt and other forms of debt more than 100 years ago. ten years. He played a key role in canceling billions of dollars in debt for for-profit college students. Subsequently, the Collectif Dette, recognizing that “Only our debts are a burden. Together they make us powerful,” drew on the shared identity as debtors of millions of people in all walks of life to begin building a debtors union and worked with other bottom-up groups to effectively pushing Biden towards canceling student debt. Please give credit where credit is due.

Richard Levy


The author is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Politics, Politics, and International Relations at Salem State University.

We bail out a sinking boat without repairing the leak

I read with interest Janelle Nanos’ article on canceling student loan debt. While I agree that everyone should have access to higher education if they have the motivation and talent for it, I think the article missed several points.

First, a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found a correlation between the availability of student loans and tuition fees, a clear indicator that increased access to student loans puts inflationary pressure on the cost of a college education. . Foregoing these loans will exacerbate this inflationary spiral and limit future access for deserving students.

Second, this new policy does not address how we got here, and if the causal factors are not resolved, we will be back in the same place in a few years. Refloating a sinking boat without repairing the leak is not a viable solution.

A better solution would be for states to design their own tuition assistance programs, which may involve state college voter-approved grants or state-funded loan programs, which may involve block grants. federal. As we saw with the bailout of the banks nearly 15 years ago, the federal government’s ability to print money allows our elected officials to avoid finding viable and essential solutions.

David B. Weden


Richly endowed private colleges should share their wealth with public institutions

In a 9/11 letter (“Don’t Blame Student Debt on the Few Schools with Large Endowments”), Terry W. Hartle of the American Council on Education asserts that “there is no relationship – none, nada, zip, zero — between “the size of one college’s endowment and the amount of another’s student debt. Hartle may not have benefited from the advice of my college writing professor according to which of the repeated assertions imply their opposite After all, his argument that there is no relationship also implies that there might be one.

Hartle’s main claim is that the primary cause of student debt is declining state support for public higher education. Addressing this in the context of strangely bloated endowments at private colleges and universities suggests a remedy. Why not impose a modest tax of, say, 2.5% on multi-billion dollar endowments and use the revenue to dramatically reduce state and community college tuition?

I bet there would be enough left over to throw in universal preschool!

Harris Gruman


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