Just over a month before I entered the graduate writing program at The New School I was struck by a car as I stepped into a crosswalk on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Along with minor abrasions, my left ear was mangled beyond repair, and as I faced a handful of surgeries in the months and years ahead, I worried how these might affect my expensive education. I would plan each surgery around a break from school so that I could miss the least number of classes possible. At the time this was how I connected grad school to my accident, along with the knowledge that I would have to get the hell over it; I had an M.F.A. dream to fulfill.
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.
At Jacobin, two members of Strike Debt, Ann Larson and Michael Checque, argue that "Pay It Forward, Pay It Back" is a the "neoliberal solution" with lots of problems to figure out, and what we should really be fighting for is free education for all with no strings attached.
Three years ago, The New York Times profiled a then 26-year-old NYU graduate named Cortney Munna about her student debt, which at the time was nearly $100,000. I followed up with her to see how she's doing today.
Marnie Gallowy! The Internets told me that last week—eight years after you graduated from our ol' alma mater—that you paid off the last of your $48,000 in student loan debt. IS THAT TRUE? Are you a wizard?
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.
At the Washington Post, Dylan Matthews has been writing a series called "The Tuition is Too Damn High" (his previous columns are conveniently listed in a box) and yesterday, he looked at how updating facilities to lure students with deep pockets may be contributing to the rising cost of college. Of course, this kind of argument has been made time and again, but at least Matthews considers some data this time around.
Eater has a very good overview of whether or not it's worth it to go to culinary school, which costs $35,000 to $54,000 for an associates degree and up to $109,000 for a bachelor's. Graduates typically start earning around $9 an hour after they graduates, so paying student loans, and just having money to pay bills in general, is quite difficult.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced recently that it would begin to supervise the seven largest "nonbank student loan servicers." I’m pretty sure I’m not the only student loan borrower who yelled "finally!" at her radio when the announcement was made.
The Academe Blog has a servicey post about how to use the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Act, which forgives federal direct loans for those who work full-time (at least 30 hours a week) in federal, state, or local government agencies or tax-exempt non-profit organizations after making 120 monthly on-time payments on your loans. You can read more generally about it at the Federal Student Aid site.
Last month, we noted that Oregon's "Pay it Forward, Pay it Back" program was unanimously passed by its Senate and House. The program would essentially give students who attend college in the state free tuition in exchange for 3 percent of their incomes post-graduation for, according to one model, a 20-year period. In The American Prospect, Monica Potts reports that several other states have been inspired by the proposal and are rushing to implement similar programs in their own states, and some educators are worried about the rush to put a good-sounding, yet untested idea into place.