Today's E-Edition | Home | Contact Us | Subscribe
Athol Daily News | Athol, MA
Click for Athol, Massachusetts Forecast
VOL: CCCXVII NO: 58 Serving the North Quabbin Region Since 1934
Athol - Orange - Royalston - Phillipston - Petersham - New Salem - Erving - Wendell - Warwick
Sunday, September 14, 2014

home : opinion : editorial September 14, 2014

6/12/2014 12:40:00 PM
College debt relief is good, prevention is better

Outlandish student loan debt is forcing millions of young Americans to live with the brakes on. President Barack Obama on Monday announced a step that will help some of those who need help the most.

About 5 million borrowers with high debt and low incomes will be newly eligible for the "pay as you earn" program, which caps loan payments at 10 percent of the borrowers' monthly discretionary income. Young people looking for work or stranded in poorly paying jobs will get some breathing room.

Though welcome, Obama's announcement will help only a small number of the millions of Americans saddled with a total $1.2 trillion worth of student debt. And a great deal of outreach will be needed. Only about 200,000 of 17.5 million borrowers already eligible for a pay-as-you-work plan are taking advantage of the opportunity.

A bill that is expected to come up in Congress soon would have more of an impact. Senate Democrats are pushing to allow borrowers to refinance their loans at lower rates. Unlike Obama's proposal, this bill would also bring relief to graduates who borrowed from private sources rather than the government.

Unfortunately, Republicans in both the Senate and the House oppose this proposal, partly because it would be financed by higher taxes on some investment income.

Debt relief efforts will help, but what really is needed are tough measures to halt runaway college costs and to crack down on the predatory abuses of the for-profit college sector.

Schools at all levels have to be mindful of administrative bloat and unseemly executive salaries. State legislatures are correct to expect fiscal responsibility from their public institutions, but they must also finance schools adequately.

The biggest drivers of student debt are the for-profit colleges, many of which are shameless in their quest to enroll low-income students in order to secure government-backed grants and loans. Students leave these schools swamped by debt and with slim prospects for attaining decent-paying jobs.

The Obama administration is considering rules to prevent the worst offenders from securing students' federal aid. Similar efforts in the past have buckled under the industry's fierce lobbying. Let's hope the administration and Congress show more backbone this time.

Easing the way for young people to pay off oppressive loans is good policy. Enabling students to graduate from college with more manageable debt loads is even better.

(c)2014 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.) 







Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, who may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


weather sponsored by


Advanced Search



LOGIN


Rate Card

Forms
Wiyaka Stories


WiyakaNorth Quabbin ChamberAthol Historical SocietyNorth Quabbin WoodsLife
Home | Subscribe
Athol Daily News, PO BOX 1000, 225 Exchange Street Athol, MA 01331
Contact Us (978) 249-3535

Software © 1998-2014 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved