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.