90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
How To Tackle Ballooning College Costs

Student loans, front and center again as the President and more push for change in how we pay for college.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., center, joined by other women of the Senate, holds a news conference on her bill, the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, that would allow people with outstanding student loan debt to refinance at the lower interest rates currently offered to new borrowers, Wednesday, June 4, 2014, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., center, joined by other women of the Senate, holds a news conference on her bill, the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, that would allow people with outstanding student loan debt to refinance at the lower interest rates currently offered to new borrowers, Wednesday, June 4, 2014, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP)

College costs are through the roof, and student loans, student debt, are beyond that.  A trillion-plus in debt for American college grads.  Yesterday, the President moved to cut the college debt burden for several million Americans, capping monthly payments at ten percent of “discretionary income.” And calling on Congress to cut interest rates on federal student loans.  Republicans called it a partisan political stunt.  Critics said it ducks the question of high cost.  But it’s something, on a big American sore point. This hour On Point:  student loans, student debt, and the cost of college.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Nirvi Shah, education editor for POLITICOPro. (@NirviShah)

Kevin Carey, director of the education policy program at the New America Foundation. (@kevincarey1)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), senior U.S. Senator from Massachusetts. (@SenWarren)

Elizabeth Baylor, associate director of post-secondary education at the Center for American Progress. Former senior investigator for the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. (@littlebethb)

From Tom’s Reading List

Politico:  President Obama to order help for student loan debtors — “Federal student loan debt reached more than $1 trillion last year, an amount that has some economists concerned is creating a chilling effect on spending, home-buying and other economic drivers.

The Guardian: Obama woos student borrowers with executive order on loan repayments — “Obama extended the four-year-old Pay As You Earn initiative, which has lowered monthly payments for student who borrowed federal student loans for the first time between 2008 and 2011. The program lowered monthly payments to 10% of a borrower’s after-tax income. Borrowers who graduated before 2008 or after 2012 had access to another program, which limits student payments to 15% of income. Monday’s executive order will extend the initiative to anyone with a federal student loan.”

Washington Post: Where the average student loan burden is largest — “Per-student higher education spending, adjusted for inflation, has dropped in all but two states—North Dakota and Alaska—since before the recession, which has been matched by sometimes-dramatic tuition hikes, CBPP found. In Arizona, for example, average inflation-adjusted tuition at a public, four-year college rose more than 80 percent from the 2008 to 2014 fiscal year. On the bright side, however, tuition hikes last year did slow to their lowest level since the early 1980s, thanks to tuition freezes and increased funding across states, the National Conference of State Legislatures reports. “

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 31, 2015
Some of the hundreds of people who gathered outside the Indiana Statehouse on Saturday, March 28, 2015, for a rally against legislation signed Thursday by Gov. Mike Pence stand on the Statehouse's south steps during the 2-hour-long rally. (AP)

Indiana’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Critics call it anti-gay. Business leaders say bad for the economy. The governor’s not backing down. We’ll dive in.

Mar 31, 2015
Jazz icon Billie Holiday performs in New York City's Club Downbeat in February 1947.  (Library of Congress / Creative Commons)

A meditation on the life and music of Billie Holiday. The lady who sang the blues.

RECENT
SHOWS
Mar 30, 2015
Sweet Briar College, an all-women's liberal arts college in Virginia, announced in early 2015 that it would unexpectedly close its doors at the end of the school year. (Courtesy Sweet Brian College)

Fareed Zakaria weighs the value of a liberal arts education in our technology-driven time.

 
Mar 30, 2015
A stele and flowers laid in memory of the victims are placed in the area where the Germanwings jetliner crashed in the French Alps, in Le Vernet, France, Friday, March 27, 2015. The crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 into an Alpine mountain, which killed all 150 people aboard, has raised questions about the mental state of the co-pilot. (AP)

The pilot who crashed his plane in the Alps. What we know now. And what to do about pilots’ psychological health.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: March 27, 2015
Friday, Mar 27, 2015

More on the incessant email debate, plus some goats living their best lives and the sad allure of Manhattan’s shuttered Pommes Frites.

More »
1 Comment
 
Mobile Payments Offer Convenience If You Keep Your Email Safe
Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

Thinking about moving your wallet to your phone? You can! And maybe you should? But TechCrunch senior writer Josh Constine has a few things to tell you before you do.

More »
1 Comment
 
Using Technology To Get Your Kids Outside
Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

The latest and greatest — using apps to make natural exploration more fun for your kids.

More »
Comment