August 16, 2013
ROLLING STONE: The federal government has made it easier than ever to borrow money for higher education – saddling a generation with crushing debts and inflating a bubble that could bring down the economy.
Really? Do tell.
Oh, wait, there’s more:
The thing is, none of it – not last month’s deal, not Obama’s 2010 reforms – mattered that much. No doubt, seeing rates double permanently would genuinely have sucked for many students, so it was nice to avoid that. And yes, it was theoretically beneficial when Obama took banks and middlemen out of the federal student-loan game. But the dirty secret of American higher education is that student-loan interest rates are almost irrelevant. It’s not the cost of the loan that’s the problem, it’s the principal – the appallingly high tuition costs that have been soaring at two to three times the rate of inflation, an irrational upward trajectory eerily reminiscent of skyrocketing housing prices in the years before 2008.
This is sounding kinda familiar. But it’s nice to see Rolling Stone take notice. From there, perhaps the message will filter out into publications read by young people thinking of college.