Download PDF Outstanding U.S. student loan debt is now estimated at over $1 trillion. The problems of student loans are generating sharp debate, including claims that they represent a new credit bubble. Colleges (and all purveyors of post-secondary education) arguably receive the greatest benefits from student loans, since they pump up colleges’ revenues with no credit risk and allow colleges to keep increasing their prices and expenses. Meanwhile, many students graduate — or even worse: drop out — with mountains of debt and unattractive or no job prospects to boot. Even more dismal is the fact that defaults on student loans are high.
American colleges in effect practice the “originate and sell” model of lending, while the price of their product keeps going up. This practice is reminiscent of the mortgage bubble that has brokered loans and escalating housing prices. One possible improvement would be for colleges to retain “skin in the game” for student loan credit risk, which is the same treatment Congress has prescribed for mortgage lenders. This event addressed the problems and improvements needed for student loans, beginning with a keynote presentation by former secretary of education Bill Bennett and including this presentation from AEI Resident Fellow Ed Pinto.
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Please join us for the third-annual Walter Berns Constitution Day Lecture as James Ceasar, Harry F. Byrd Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia, explores some of the Constitution’s most significant contributions to political theory, focusing on themes that have been largely unexamined in current scholarship.
We invite you to join us for this year’s international conference on housing risk — cosponsored by the Collateral Risk Network and AEI International Center on Housing Risk — which will focus on new mortgage and collateral risk measures and their applications.
Please join us as Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) delivers his five-point policy vision to reset America’s economy.
Please join us as a panel of distinguished experts explore the implications of the report and the consumer role in shaping the future of Medicare.