Understanding Student Debt - Highlights from a Hill Briefing
April 27, 2017
During the Hill briefing, Laura Perna of the University of Pennsylvania, Nick Hillman of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Stephen DesJardins of the University of Michigan, Julie Peller of Higher Learning Advocates, and Eric Kelderman of the Chronicle of Higher Education discussed the complex landscape and policy possibilities associated with the future of higher education funding and student debt.
The panel referred to a forthcoming volume of the ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science focused on the topic of student debt, which organizes 12 scholarly papers around three themes:
- Who Borrows and Why?
- What Are the Consequences of Borrowing?
- What Are the Implications for Federal Policy?
An overarching theme of the briefing was that while student debt has grown in recent years as loans are becoming a more common piece of the funding equation, it is ineffective for policymakers to base solutions simply on the median cases. The socioeconomic profile of a borrower, along with the school they are attending and their course of study, are just some of the crucial factors in considering policies related to loan repayment, degree completion, and other post-graduate outcomes.