The other side of the college loan mess

  • 10 July 2019
  • NormanL

One (bad) idea sweeping the ranks of Democratic presidential candidates is for the federal government to forgive $1.6 trillion loan debt strudents have amassed to pay for college. The thinking -- this would get the next generation out from under a pile of debt they can never pay off, and start making them productive members of society.

But there's much more to the problem of student debt than the outstanding balances. There's also the very large, and largely unaddressed, role the colleges and universities have played in raising tuition sky high. And as Chris Tremoglie writes, they need to be held accountable for it:

College tuition has exploded well beyond the rate of inflation: Since 1978, college tuition has increased more than four times — a staggering 1375 percent — the rate of inflation. It’s risen eight times faster than wages since the 1980s, according to Forbes.

Why the galloping price increases? It's ripe for investigation:

There needs to be more investigation of the causes behind tuition inflation — including the ballooning in university administrations. Politicians have rarely given any attention what caused this dramatic increase. “The people in a position to call out universities for their complicity in the student loan ‘crisis’ have by-and-large benefited from their college educations and believe that it was very much worth the time and money it took to attend,” Robinson said. “They went to decent schools, they graduated on time, and they paid back their loans (if they had any) with ease.

We're sure Bernie Sanders & Co. are sincere when they call out the debt burdens many graduates face. They are wrong, however, to let educational institutions off the hook for fleecing kids, their parents, and lenders, for all they are worth.