College Costs

List of College Cost Posts

How to Reduce College Debt Burdens — Introduction

This introductory post documents the increase in college debt for the current cohort of students and the increase in the number of older Americans retaining student debt. The post recommends four types of policies to reduce college debt burdens – (1) increased financial assistance for first-year students and internships, (2) reform of debt relief programs and laws, (3) programs to improve on-time graduation, and (4) improved information on college costs and outcomes for students and parents.

Proposal One: Increased Financial Assistance for First-Year Students

This post discusses advantages of targeting more financial assistance toward first-year students.

Proposal Two: Improvements to Work Study and College Internships

This post advocates the allocation of funds for work-study programs and internships at private companies.

Proposal Three: Reforming Income Based Replacement Loan Program

This post provides a detailed description and evaluation of pros and cons with the Income Based Replacement Loan program and public service loan programs. Potential modifications of the program are discussed.

Proposal Four: Delayed Interest Rate Reductions on Student Loans

Should interest rates on student loans be automatically reduced after 12 years of payments? The analysis presented in this post suggests adding this provision to the standard student loan contract would provide better results than complex debt relief programs.

Proposal Five: Potential Changes in Bankruptcy Law

This post discusses bankruptcy rules impacting people with student debt including – (1) the means test used to determine eligibility for chapter 7 bankruptcy, (2) rules governing the repayment of student debt in chapter 13 bankruptcy plans and (3) rules governing discharge of private student loans in bankruptcy. Potential modifications to these rules are discussed.

Proposal Six: Improving On-time Graduation Rates

The issue of on-time graduation rates from college is impossible to separate from the issue of the quality of K-12 education. This essay focuses on three narrow policies – (1) Improving performance on AP exams, (2) credit award policy for students passing AP exams, and (3) improving and expanding learning on computer science and languages prior to college.

Proposal Seven: Improving Information on College Costs and Quality to Students and Parents

This post discusses President Obama’s effort to rank colleges and potential improvements to the College Score Card web site.

Authors Note: One way to read these eight posts is to start at the introductory post and move to the next post by clicking the link at the bottom.

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