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As college debt approaches ‘crisis,’ Millennial Policy Center updates report

Author: Joey Bunch - January 16, 2018 - Updated: January 16, 2018

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The University of Colorado at Boulder. (Photo courtesy of CU)

The Millennial Policy Center in Denver updated its “Restoring Higher Education in America” policy paper this week after the Brookings Institution called student loan defaults a looming crisis in its report last Thursday.

The left-leaning Washington, D.C., think tank alleges that data shows “default rates depend more on student and institutional factors than on average levels of debt. For example, only 4 percent of white graduates who never attended a for-profit defaulted within 12 years of entry, compared to 67 percent of black dropouts who ever attended a for-profit. And while average debt per student has risen over time, defaults are highest among those who borrow relatively small amounts.”

The right-leaning Millennial Policy Center said in its paper last year that the cost of higher education has risen without good reasoning while tracking along with the increased availability of loans. The paper proposed reforms at the state and federal levels.

“Our research shows that the burden of student loans isn’t expanding because college is becoming more expensive,” Millennial Policy Center president and CEO Jimmy Sengenberger said in a statement. “Rather, school is too expensive because of the growth of student loans and grants.

“The fact is that ‘free college’ and student loan forgiveness would greatly exacerbate the cost crisis, not resolve it. It’s essential that any substantial higher education reform measures directly address the main drivers of this nearly $1.5 trillion college calamity by injecting real market forces – especially competition – throughout the system.”

You can read the updated Millennial Policy Center paper by clicking here.

“The Brookings report is a startling reminder that the college cost calamity and student loan bubble are indeed a catastrophe in the making,” Sengenberger said. “It is imperative for students and graduates alike that we address this crisis today, rather than kicking the can down the road.”

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.