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October 24, 2003
Do student loans do more damage than good?

Michael Kantor over at The Calico Cat posts an intriguing and provocative question regarding the value of students loans to our society and their effect on tuition:

The article mentioned how the cost of college education has been increasing faster than the rate of inflation, but the issue of why was never addressed. I believe student loans are part of the reason. By making more money available to students, this just gives the colleges the leeway to raise tuition even more.

I know it's very anti-mainstream to question the value of a college education, but I'm going to go ahead and question it anyway. My experience is that the majority of college students are just in it for the piece of paper they get at the end which they think will be a ticket to a "good job." Yet we have so many college students graduating with no job awaiting them at all. And then to add insult to injury, they are burdened with student loan payments of hundreds of dollars per month. This is debt that can never even be discharged in bankruptcy.

What Michael doesn't include are the many student grants that are available on the basis of need, performance, situation, etc, that exist as well. I'm not sure that I'm in complete agreement about eliminating federally-subsidized student loans -- and I'm not even sure Michael is proposing their entire elimination -- but he's asking good questions about the overall cost to students and government. Read the whole thing, and be sure to blogroll Calico Cat if you're interested in politics and economics.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 24, 2003 11:30 AM

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