With outstanding student debt at $1.5 trillion, policymakers and education providers are looking for ways to make college more affordable. Though many argue for enhanced public investment to reduce tuition, others are turning to debt alternatives like income share agreements (ISAs). Through these contracts, universities (often with funding from private investors) contribute to a student’s

To address the $1.5 trillion in outstanding student debt that is held by American borrowers today, it is vital to have a full debate about the costs and benefits of potential solutions. But this debate must be grounded in a solid understanding of the problem. David Leonhardt’s recent takedown of universal student-debt cancellation flows from

Why This Matters is a series from Roosevelt staff connecting our individual work—from papers to reports and everything in between—to our broader vision of creating a better, more equitable economic and political system. This series will give readers the top takeaways from our latest writing and thinking, with a focus on why they matter as we

As tuition has risen over the last several decades in the U.S., student loan debt has ballooned. Despite growing debt loads, federal policy encourages the use of loans for financing higher education, based on the assumption that student debt supports increased postsecondary attainment—and, in turn, improved outcomes for individuals and our economy as a whole.

The student loan program today serves industry insiders over its core stakeholder: students. The government justifies bailing out these other participants—lenders, servicers, debt collectors, and even colleges—as being in the best interests of students, student loan borrowers, and taxpayers. These claims, however, do not hold up. In Who Pays? How Industry Insiders Rig the Student

The Financialization of Higher Education at Michigan State University is the latest report from Roosevelt’s Financialization of Higher Education project. To learn more about the project, click here. The US’s higher educational institutions today are a far cry from the promise progressives have envisioned for higher education. Successful public higher educational institutions have, rightly so, been defined

The Levy Institute recently released a research paper I co-wrote with Stephanie Kelton, Scott Fulwiler, and Catherine Ruetschlin that models the macroeconomic impact of cancelling all of the student debt that is currently outstanding in the United States—just over $1.4 trillion, held by between 40 and 50 million borrowers. The federal government would write off

In the last few years, a wave of student divestment campaigns has swept across American colleges and universities as a way to combat climate change and, more recently, Puerto Rico’s debt crisis. These students should exert similar pressure on their universities’ endowments to fight against the toxic, shortsighted forces of next-quarter capitalism—a growing trend in

In late fall of 2017, chancellors at four University of Tennessee (UT) system schools took bold action prioritizing the job security and voice of local constituents by rightly rejecting a state-level outsourcing contract to privatize the management of state facilities. The benefactor of the proposed deal—which was pushed heavily by Republican Governor Bill Haslam—was Jones

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Higher Education

The idea that higher education is an essential pathway to economic security, regardless of how much it costs, has been cemented into the public’s mind. We’ve been told that people need more education and that investment in higher education will pay off. Every day, individuals and families make decisions based on these beliefs. But the

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