Did You Know? Majority of Federal Funding for College Is for Student Loans

The federal government has grown in importance for higher education for decades. The most long-lasting effect could be its status as the lender of first resort for student loans. The vast majority of federal spending on colleges and universities comes in the form of making loans, dwarfing all other activities. Of the $120 billion supplied … Continue reading “Did You Know? Majority of Federal Funding for College Is for Student Loans”


Did You Know? The State of Federal Student Loans

With the hyperbole inherent in a politicized topic like student loans, it’s important to step back and look at the data. The Department of Education recently published a quarterly report of the federal student loan portfolio with updated totals and information on what student debt looks like today. As of January 3, 2020, the federal … Continue reading “Did You Know? The State of Federal Student Loans”


Did You Know? UNC System Grads Carry Less Student Debt

Most students rely on loans to pay for college; colleges raise their prices, and student debt increases. Now, about 44 million students collectively owe $1.6 trillion in student debt. In North Carolina, at least, graduates carry less debt than their peers. North Carolina ranks 37th in the country for total debt levels of its graduates, … Continue reading “Did You Know? UNC System Grads Carry Less Student Debt”


Did You Know? Repaying Student Loans Isn’t Onerous for Most Graduates

College students have taken on so much debt that many political leaders are declaring a “student debt crisis.” Certainly, many former students are facing a crisis as they struggle to pay back their loans several years after graduation. Even graduates from low-earning fields of study, however, see their salaries improve to the point where their … Continue reading “Did You Know? Repaying Student Loans Isn’t Onerous for Most Graduates”


Parents, Student Loans, and Government: An Unhealthy Mix

Parent PLUS is not typically the loan program making headlines when student loans are in the news. But over the past several years, it has become a central part of America’s higher-education financing system. Under Parent PLUS, parents can borrow freely—with no limit—from the federal government to support their children’s education. Government programs without significant … Continue reading “Parents, Student Loans, and Government: An Unhealthy Mix”


Why Colleges Should Be Allowed to Limit Students’ Federal Loans

Student loan debt, now totaling roughly $1.3 trillion, is the second largest source of debt in the United States. This is especially concerning given that there are presently eight million people in default on their student loans. Under federal law, colleges, especially those with open enrollment such as two-year technical schools, face severe consequences if, for … Continue reading “Why Colleges Should Be Allowed to Limit Students’ Federal Loans”


The Private Student Lending Industry’s Death Has Been Greatly Exaggerated

Mark Twain’s famous quip about the rumors of his demise applies to the private higher education lending industry. Many people think that because Congress did away with the nominally private Federal Family Education Loan Program in 2010 and the Education Department’s Federal Direct Loan Program has been mushrooming, the private lending business must be dead, … Continue reading “The Private Student Lending Industry’s Death Has Been Greatly Exaggerated”


The "gainful employment" rule won’t make students better off by decimating the for-profit sector

At the end of October, the Department of Education released its much-awaited "gainful employment" rule. It is supposed to fix (or at least lessen) the problem that many students who pursue vocational training with federal student aid money wind up without a job that pays well enough for them to cover their loans.