In one of their financial models, Dudley’s students proposed all community college students pay 1.5 percent of their incomes while all four-year public university students pay 3 percent — both for the duration of 20 years after graduation. The pilot program committee will likely choose one university and one community college to experiment with the details, Dudley said.
Oregon is exploring an inventive way for students to fund their educations at community colleges and four-year public universities in the state: Free tuition in exchange for paying a small percentage of their adjusted gross incomes into a special fund for, according to one proposal, a 20-year time period. This would allow students to graduate without a heavy burden of student debt in front of them. My student loan payments are definitely higher than 3 percent of my income at the moment, so, in my view, this would be more than manageable.
The plan, which is called “Pay it Forward, Pay it Back,” was unanimously passed by Oregon’s Senate last week, and approved by the House. A committee is being formed to develop a pilot program, and the legislature will decide whether or not implement the program in 2015.
According to quarterly data compiled by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, student loan debt has been the biggest driver of borrowing since the Great Recession ended in June 2009. Student loans reached $986 billion in the first three months of this year. That’s up from $675 billion in the second quarter of 2009.