The student debt crisis as a macroeconomic phenomenon
The problem was the Great Recession, not anything about colleges
Although the Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness programs have generated tremendous disagreement, there seems to be a consensus that the big buildup in student loan debt is a big problem. The disagreement is mostly about the nature of the solution, with folks on the left broadly preferring more subsidy while folks on the right broadly preferring vague anti-education posturing. In fact, everyone is so mired in this dispute that I think it’s rarely acknowledged that net tuition peaked a bit over a decade ago and that both federal loans and federal grants have been declining.
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