Home > The Economy > United States of Student Debt (2 graphs)

United States of Student Debt (2 graphs)

from David Ruccio

In order to afford purchases of the higher education commodity, students and their families are going further and further into debt—and having more and more difficulty paying off their student loans.

According to the New York Times,

The amount of defaulted loans — $76 billion — is greater than the yearly tuition bill for all students at public two- and four-year colleges and universities

Students and their families are going into debt to pay for all kinds of schools—public and private, large and small—but they’re having the most trouble paying off loans they take out to attend private, profit-making schools.

And the federal government has gotten into the business of collecting on student debtors who are in default.

Just like mortgages and the housing industry, student debt has become an important condition for sales of the commodity higher education.

What’s next—student debtors’ prison?

  1. Ken Zimmerman
    September 9, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Really! How else are banks and bank speculators supposed to make money? Great for banks and their shareholders. Maybe not so good for the country, US education, and students. But Hell we know who wins that debate everytime. Hasn’t privitization of education done a remarkable job!

  2. charlie thomas
    September 9, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Oh it was such a brilliant idea to shift to private loans for students and now it turns out to be even better for the private for profit colleges. They get the money up front and are able to advertise even more effectively. The private sector wins again!

  3. September 9, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Look at this — higher education omits it, to serve “The public be suckered”:

  4. Alice
    September 9, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    If one was really cynical, one could suggest the entire purpose of rising student fees and student loans to pay for an education is just another way the wealthy (corporates and individuals) push down the upper middle, middle and poor. It loads the children of these classes up with so much debt they are impoverished before they even get their first job.
    One generation pushed down.
    The elite know Mum and Dad where they can maywill try to help their children and may even mortgage their house to pay their students education bill.
    Another generation pushed down.
    Two generations with one stone and the debt plague continues.

  5. September 10, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Leaving aside the Machiavellian lies and power plays undercutting democracy in all this, the absurdity of the reality is so astonishing the one can hardly believe governments can be kept from seeing it.

    What resources do students consume that a country like America does not have in abundance? A bit of paper and electricity; food and clothes that they would need anyway. All the infrastructure already exists, though that needs maintaining (but not just for the benefit of students). All the people already exist, though their lifestyles depend on knowledge and understandings people are not born with and it is the necessary job of teachers and students to transmit and refine. The only real debt is to the multitude who supply “on tick” the food etc necessary for teachers and students to do their job, and diligent students have already repaid them by working at the studies which perpetuate the conditions of their benefactor’s lifestyles. Money really doesn’t come into this except as a convenience in rationalising distribution; it should not be recycled at interest but written off when the job it facilitates is done.

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