Research

Less Debt, More Equity: Lowering Student Debt While Closing the Black-White Wealth Gap

Less Debt, More Equity: Lowering Student Debt While Closing the Black-White Wealth Gap

Summary & Key Findings The dramatic increase in wealth inequality over the past several decades now forms the backdrop for many of today’s most pressing public policy debates. Currently, the top 1 percent of U.S. households controls 42 percent of the nation’s wealth, and nearly half of the wealth accumulated over the past 30 years

No Recourse: Putting an End to Bankruptcy’s Student Loan Exception

No Recourse: Putting an End to Bankruptcy’s Student Loan Exception

In the past two decades, we have gone from a system of financing higher education primarily through public investment, grant aid, and modest family savings, to one in which the majority of graduates take on debt. While a college degree is one of the surest methods of gaining a foothold in the middle class, this

The Case for Debt-Free College

The Case for Debt-Free College

Today, the typical young person aspiring to go to college in the United States faces a higher education system that is fundamentally different from what previous generations enjoyed. For generations, our system of colleges and universities, and the federal aid system undergirding it, were generously funded and made higher education the primary lever of upward

The Debt Divide

The Debt Divide

Today, taking out loans is the primary way individuals pay for college—a major shift in how our nation provides access to higher education. While concerns about the growth in college costs and student debt are nearly universal, much of this concern focuses on how college debt is impacting the economic well-being of college graduates and

Pulling Up the Higher-Ed Ladder

Pulling Up the Higher-Ed Ladder

In today’s competitive economy, nothing is more important than getting a college education. Yet college tuition costs in the U.S. have been increasing at a breakneck pace, making college unaffordable for millions of Americans. In the last decade alone, the average tuition at public 4-year universities has risen by nearly $3,000.1 There is a broad

The Affordable College Compact

The Affordable College Compact

As a postsecondary degree has become more important than ever in the labor market, and the primary means by which one enters the middle class, the U.S. has simultaneously made it more difficult and more expensive to attain. Over the course of three decades, the cost of public colleges and universities—which educated nearly 3 in

The Great Cost Shift Continues

The Great Cost Shift Continues

As student debt continues to climb, it’s important to understand how our once debt-free system of public universities and colleges has been transformed into a system in which most students borrow, and at increasingly higher amounts. In less than a generation, our nation’s higher education system has become a debt-for-diploma system—more than seven out of

Five Stories on Student Debt

Five Stories on Student Debt

These stories were taken from the thousands of stories submitted to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau when they requested comments about private educational loans and struggles with student loan debt. Download these stories —1— It’s absurd to think that the average 18-year-old understands how to make an informed decision about financial commitments they may keep

The Great Cost Shift

The Great Cost Shift

This report examines how state disinvestment in public higher education over the past two decades has shifted costs to students and their families. Such disinvestment has occurred alongside rapidly rising enrollments and demographic shifts that are yielding more economically, racially, and ethnically diverse student bodies. As a result students and their families now pay—or borrow—a