Cost of college responds to availability of loans and grants, says Denver's Millennial Policy Center

Cost of college responds to availability of loans and grants, says Denver’s Millennial Policy Center

Author: Joey Bunch - May 2, 2017 - Updated: July 31, 2017

The climbing cost of higher education is responding to the availability of loans and grants, according to a report out Monday from Denver’s Millennial Policy Center.

“Restoring Higher Education in America” looks at cost and reform for higher ed from a conservative point of view. Jimmy Sengenberger, the author of the report and the center’s 26-year-old president and CEO, said competition is the answer.

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“It’s essential that any substantial higher education reform measures directly address the main drivers of this $1.4 trillion college calamity by injecting real market forces – especially competition – throughout the system,” he said in a statement.

The center used May Day, the spring festival and the socialist International Workers’ Day, to provide its research and analysis on the cost of higher education.

“It’s that time of year again when graduating high school students, consumed by ‘senioritis’ are making that ever-intimidating, all-important decision on where they will go to college. And it’s a stark reminder of the skyrocketing cost of college in America today,” Jimmy said.

“In the last decade alone, the cost of college has skyrocketed 170 percent, the average new graduate is $37,000 in debt, and student loan debt now stands at $1.4 trillion. The trajectory we are on is both unsustainable and destructive, and strategic reforms are needed.”

The full report is available here.

It also calls for:

Dramatic Reforms to the Financial Aid System. A fundamentally broken system requires dramatic reforms. There are five key steps which, phased in over a period of no more than 2-3 years, will remedy the flaws inherent in the student financial aid system and lower costs.

First, the duplicitous nature of our various student loan programs – Perkins, Federal Direct (subsidized and unsubsidized), and the PLUS loans – is unnecessarily complex. Congress should instead consolidate these student loan programs into two programs, one for students and one focused on parents. Congress should also reinstitute the option of private servicing of loans, as opposed to having the Department of Education as the exclusive lender, and establish academic performance standards and time limits on loans.

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.

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