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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. “

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