The Wall Street Journal published a provocative article – titled “Should anyone be eligible for student loans? Some economists say no” . The article highlights the challenges that face the nation and the students who borrow to pay for college.   See more here – http://on.wsj.com/1HP5irn

College Parents of America has written on this topic many times. We assert that it is in the nation’s best interest to increase the capacity of its citizens to contribute to the society and economy.  Higher education is one step to achieving this result and funding should be available without regard to the capacity to pay.

falling behind wsj chart copy

However, as a society we face a complex issue of how to help those least prepared to complete their degrees.  In fact, as we have written 80% of student loan defaults are from those students who did not graduate.  Therefore, we encourage greater discussion surrounding how to structure eligibility for student loans. It is worth asking – should funding be tied to a combination of academic readiness or college success rates of the institutions who benefit from the funding?  Should the institution who admits and takes the money from the student have some shared responsibility?

The article correctly highlights, that “the average amount owed by those who default is relatively low—just under $9,000—largely because many borrowers have dropped out after one or two years, leaving them without a path to a good job.”  We need to correct this policy issue and find a remedy that keeps the doors open to college while also enabling students to increase their capacity to repay their debt.  We welcome your ideas and encourage the active discussion of this topic.

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