A New Perspective

by Andrea Stickley

For the past two years, CSCubed’s focus has been on creating a new grant program for students in the middle-income class range because studies have shown that they’re incurring the most debt from college. A recent study conducted by a Dartmouth assistant professor found that about 41% of students left school with some level of debt. However, the surprising results came from the fact that it was the lower-middle-income class ($40,000-$59,000) have the most debt post graduation. In this study, these students had more debt than those from families earning between $60,000-$99,000. While this doesn’t downplay the fact that advocating for grants for students whose parents earn between $80,000-$110,000, it does give me pause to think about those other students who are affected by debt. Everyone out there, from any range of income level, can suffer from college debt. So let’s not forget about those other students outside of our range of focus that are incurring debt because one day they may start advocating for the same thing that we’re currently doing.

http://www.nbcnews.com/business/personal-finance/which-students-have-highest-student-loan-debt-f2D11723568

President Obama & College Costs

by Carly Wray

As tuition and fees went through the roof the past decade, it makes it a lot more difficult for middle class families to invest in a higher education for their future. Today the average student borrows and adds more debt than ever before. In a recent study, students today owe more than 29,000 dollars – which surpasses the average credit card debt for the first time in history. President Obama is expanding federal support to help students pay for college and helping students promote the shared responsibility in fighting rising college costs. The government has invested in student aid since the G.I. Bill to create reform in higher education funding. This will help students afford college and manage debt. To ensure college completion, we need more security for the middle class, college needs to be more accessible, affordable and attainable (White House).

Higher Education/The White House http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/education/higher-education

Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush say Higher Education is Out of Reach for Too Many

by Gary Masino

The Washington Post reports that Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, two leading presidential candidates from opposing parties, spoke out on last month at a conference in Dallas about higher education becoming financially out of reach for too many young Americans. This is the third time over the past year that Bush and Clinton appeared at the same public event, offering a possible glimpse of the 2016 presidential election race. Bush asserts that technology could help make college more affordable in the U.S and more accessible to foreign students. He believes expanding the market of students could in turn lower the cost for our own students. Although Clinton agreed, she argued that technology is no substitute for the kind of learning that occurs in a classroom full of peers. “Technology is a tool not a teacher” — Clinton argues. Technology cannot teach creativity and critical thinking she explained. She is calling on the U.S. to “Redefine higher education” to provide more opportunities for people to gain vocational and technical skills, and to “reorient our social expectations” to encourage more young people to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/03/24/hillary-clinton-jeb-bush-say-higher-education-is-out-of-reach-for-too-many/

 

College Affordability

by Jocelyn Reinecke

College affordability is a growing concern across the country. Many students are in more debt than ever before even when just getting a Bachelor’s degree. Many students are working more than one job to try and pay for all their debt. Students are even having a harder time trying to find a job after they graduate that will help them pay back their loans.

Some parents are worried that if something would happen to their children, all the debt would fall directly back on them. This has many parents extremely concerned. Many have bills to pay on their own with mortgages and other living expenses. Many times they can barely afford those bills alone. If they would have to pay back their child’s debt as well would put an even more burden on them. State and private school are both feeling the growth in tuition, causing it to be a nationwide problem. Governor Corbett’s bill or what we are proposing for CSC_Cubed would enormously help these students. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out and how Lobby Day will effect these vote on these bills. Many students would be greatly affected by it, and it would definitely help make college more affordable for middle income students who are trying to better their lives by getting a college education and would enormously impact their future.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/13/business/student-loans-weighing-down-a-generation-with-heavy-debt.html

Middle Class Student Debt Issue

by Wade Dickey

Students going to college are being bombarded with debt after they graduate. But it is the middle class people that are truly taking the hit. An article by NBC News says that it isn’t the low-income class students that are coming out with the most debt after college because they are eligible for grants, scholarships, and financial aid. And the higher class can most of the time pay for their children to go to school out of pocket. So that middle class stuck between them are the ones that don’t have enough money to pay out of pocket, and are not eligible for grants and financial aid like the lower class. So what can they do? The answer is that they are forced to pull out student loans if they want to go to college.

The article states, “Seven out of 10 college seniors who graduated in 2012 had student loan debt, averaging $29,400 per borrower, according to a separate study by the Institute for College Access & Success, up from $26,600 in 2011” (nbcnews.com). Student debt is not just going away, this is a problem that is increasingly becoming an issue for students and specifically middle class citizens. So something needs to be done to help these kids graduate with less debt in the state and federal government.

Reforming the Expected Family Contribution

by Marissa Daniels-Benditt  

In today’s world, earning a college diploma is considered the key to success. However, when the cost of college is too high and you’re swimming in debt after you graduate you don’t feel so successful. According to the New York Times, There may be a way to fix this.

A majority of Americans turn to the government for financial aid which is based off of the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC formula uses the financial information a student provides on his or her FASFA to calculate the how much aid they are entitled to.

Believe it or not, the way to cut college costs is by eliminating Congress’ power over the EFC formula. Congress is trying to make the EFC more realistic but there are already so many problems with it that it is unable to be fixed. The New York Times article says that the EFC should be cut by 75 percent and by doing so it would force colleges to construct finanical aid packages without the “artificial price supports of inflated contribution numbers—and make paying for college less agonizing.”  

Do you think this could be a way to lower college costs? If this is a plausible way, do you think that it would pass? 

Keep in mind, lobbying expenditures by colleges, universities and other higher-education organizations have totaled more than a half-billion dollars over the past five years. Making them the 8th highest interest group attempting to influence Congress! 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/21/opinion/a-quick-way-to-cut-college-costs.html?_r=0