Richard Pallardy is a writer with 14 years of experience, most recently as a research editor and blogger with the Encyclopedia Britannica. He is interested in the natural world, culture, aesthetics, and criticism. Peripatetic by nature, he can normally be found wandering the streets, or darting through the stacks of the Chicago Public Library in search of obscure shreds of information. He has a B.A. in English from Illinois State University.
Student Loans in the United Kingdom with Lessons for the U.S. System
The student debt crisis isn’t restricted to the United States. Graduates in other Western countries also struggle with the cost of their college educations. While student loan systems differ substantially between nations, the situations in other countries provide useful contrast to the state of student debt in America.
Gender Disparities in Student Loan Debt
Student loan debt affects certain demographic groups differently. In particular, women hold more student loan debt than men, in part because they are more likely to enroll in college and more likely to borrow. They also experience wage differences that make it more difficult for them to pay off their student loans.
Racial Disparities in Student Loan Debt
Certain racial minorities appear to be disproportionately affected by student loan debt. The debt burdens carried by black, Latino, and Native American students are much greater than those shouldered by white and Asian students. The most dramatic differences are the astronomically higher student loan debts of black students.
Can You Flee the Country to Escape Your Student Loans?
College graduates face a harrowing financial future, with a decade or more of substantial student loan repayment ahead of them. It’s no wonder that some borrowers seek to avoid repaying their student loans by leaving the U.S. But for most, the trade-offs will be untenable.
Colleges that Cater to Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
College is a difficult adjustment even for neurotypical students. The lifestyle changes necessitated by college enrollment can be even more of a shock for autistic students. Some colleges offer special programs to address the unique needs of autistic students.
College Preparation for Autistic Children
Some parents worry about what happens to their college savings if their child doesn’t go to college, perhaps because the child is later discovered to be a special needs child. But, some special needs children can go to college, especially high-functioning children on the autism spectrum.
How Do State Funding Cuts Affect Tuition Inflation?
In the quest to diagnose the cause of rising tuition costs, state disinvestment has emerged as one of the more likely explanations. Cuts to education funding are low-hanging fruit in times of economic exigency. Even when the economy recovers, funding typically does not return to prior levels and thus inflated tuition persists.
Are Lavish Facilities Responsible for Tuition Inflation?
Pundits try to pin the cause of tuition inflation on various factors, such as the increasing availability of student loans, reductions in state funding, rising numbers of highly paid administrators, and increases in enrollment. A pet theory in the popular press blames investment in lavish recreational facilities and luxury dormitories. Contributing factors include tuition discounting, technology and economic change, and regulatory costs. But, no single factor fully accounts for tuition inflation.
Do Student Loans Cause Graduates to Boomerang?
Millennials have been dubbed the “boomerang generation.” After moving out of their parents’ homes and enjoying a period of independence, they move right back in. This has been attributed to everything from the enduring consequences of the Great Recession to shifting social mores to student loans. However, student loan debt does not appear to be among the primary factors driving Millennials back to the nest.
Is the Forgiveness of All Student Loans Feasible?
Wouldn’t it be great if student loan debt could just be wiped out? Proponents argue that student loan forgiveness would simultaneously assist debtors and stimulate the economy. Opponents contend that these figures are flawed and inflated, offering little real public policy benefits. Increasing Federal Pell Grant funding would do more to increase college access and success, reducing student debt long-term.
Student Loans Will Follow You to the End of Time
Most types of debt, aside from child support and taxes, are subject to a statute of limitations, typically ranging from three to six years, and in some cases up to fifteen years dating from the last activity on the account in question. This means that while the debt does not disappear, creditors are prevented from winning a judgment against the debtor in court in order to collect after that period. Private student loans have a statute of limitations, but federal student loans do not.
Don’t Count on Getting Student Loan Forgiveness
With burgeoning student debt on the minds of matriculants and graduates alike, student loan forgiveness programs offer a sliver of hope to worried borrowers. Those entering certain professions or meeting certain income requirements may qualify for forgiveness of their federal student loans after a certain period. However, many borrowers do not ultimately qualify for student loan forgiveness and the future of student loan forgiveness programs is uncertain.
Is There a Student Loan Bubble?
At the end of 2018, outstanding student loan debt stood at $1.57 trillion according to the Federal Reserve, up from $1.0 trillion in 2012. Projections put the amount at $2.0 trillion by 2024. Such a large amount of debt raises questions as to whether there is a student loan bubble.
History of Student Loans: Bankruptcy Discharge
Until 1976, student loan debt could be discharged in bankruptcy proceedings. That year, largely baseless claims that student debtors were abusing the bankruptcy system led to the first restrictions on bankruptcy discharge of student loan debt. These restrictions were tightened even further in the ensuing decades. Little progress has been made in reversing them despite concern that they have unfairly biased the system against indebted college graduates.
History of Student Loans: The Bennett Hypothesis
In a 1987 op-ed in the New York Times entitled “Our Greedy Colleges,” then-Education Secretary William J. Bennett ventured a theory that linked federal loan subsidies and the rising cost of tuition. His hypothesis has dominated debates surrounding the cost of postsecondary education for decades.
History of Student Loans: The Free Tuition Movement
The free-tuition movement in the United States finds its roots in the Morrill Act of 1862, which instituted a system of low-cost land grant colleges. Although there was never a national mandate, the contemporary free-tuition movement has found some success at the state level and hundreds of College Promise programs have proliferated at the city level.
History of Student Loans: Origins
How education is funded and how students pay for it has changed significantly since the inception of the first American colleges. Postsecondary education was once free or very inexpensive, a far cry from the exorbitant sums now expected of students even at state universities. The student loan system that now saddles most students with significant debt is only 60 years old. The evolution of student loans has been attributed to a series of social and economic developments, from changing enrollment demographics to the Industrial Revolution to the World Wars.
How to Repay Your Student Loans by Volunteering
Volunteering can be a great way of giving back, whether in your own community or in a far-flung corner of the world. In addition to exposure to new experiences and the psychological benefits of altruism, volunteering can be a great way to build a professional network. Volunteering also offers an opportunity to earn education awards that can help repay student loan debt.
Do Student Loans Have Prepayment Penalties?
There are no formal penalties for prepaying federal student loans or private student loans. Lenders are banned from charging additional fees when a borrower makes extra payments on their student loans or pays off the student loan balance early. However, a few additional steps may be necessary to ensure that student loan prepayments are applied to the principal balance of the loan with the highest interest rate.
Are Student Loans Good Debt or Bad Debt?
Some financial experts maintain that there is no such thing as good debt. In a sense, they are correct. It’s never ideal to owe money. However, there are some categories of debt that provide discernible benefits to their borrowers, while others are purely detrimental. Student loans possess characteristics of both.