A few weeks ago when we talked about the guy with 13 kids, I mentioned how I liked the idea of my kids “working their way through college” like my parents did. Many of you were quick to point out that this was no longer feasible, that “working your way through college” now means ‘working your way through college and then also spending the next decade or more paying off your student loans.’ Which, come to think about, is exactly my experience.
Karen Weise at Businessweek breaks down a proposal from a group of “student-aid advocacy and research organizations” whose aims are to simplify student loan repayment. The plan includes “auto-IBR,” or automatically enrolling all federal student loan borrowers in a repayment plan based on income, and then collecting payments through an employer withholding system. Whoa now.
The Federal Reserve of New York released some numbers last week that show — surprise! — student loan debt is higher than ever. Sam Frizell at Time talks about how student loans aren’t just bad for our own personal economies, they’re bad for THE economy.
Two states Oregon and Tennessee consider two new ways to fund college tuition: Tennessee is considering the “Tennessee Promise,” which proposes free tuition for two years of community college or technical school and would be funded through sales of lottery tickets. Oregon is considering “The Pay It Forward” program, which I’ve previously discussed here, in which students would pay no tuition upfront—rather they’d pay a small percentage of their income for a set number of years after graduating from college.
In 1984, it cost $10,000 a year to go to Duke University. Today, it’s $60,000 a year. “It’s staggering,” says Duke freshman Max Duncan, “especially considering that for four years.”
But according to Jim Roberts, executive vice provost at Duke, that’s actually a discount. “We’re investing on average about $90,000 in the education of each student,” he says. Roberts is not alone in making the claim. In fact, it’s one most elite research institutions point to when asked about rising tuition.
Autostraddle has a great interview with Emily Gould, which is mostly about Emily Books and you should read it. But this is the part that is relevant to us:
Generation Progress (formerly Campus Progress) is putting together state-by-state factsheets about the student debt crisis. They’ve done six states so far, including California, where I went as an undergrad. State and local funding dropped by 25.4 percent in the U.C. system in the last decade, and in-state tuition has now skyrocketed by 114 percent, according to data from the College Board.
It seems like the best thing to do would be to try to apply any extra payments towards the principal of the 9% interest rate loan before moving on to the other two lower interest loans. So, is this possible and if so, how do I do this? — J.