BARBARA EHRENREICH: Well, I didn’t come up with that idea, but there is organizing going on among debt-burdened young people, who come out of college, you know, with an average of $25,000 in debt and very likely no job or no professional job that’s going to help them pay that off. And there’s a movement among them for debt forgiveness, to just say, "Hey, we cannot do this. You know, we can’t—we don’t have the jobs that’ll allow us to pay these debts off." And, you know, that’s kind of exciting. That’s what’s going on in Chile right now, has to do with the cost of college, tuition. You know, all the demonstrations in Santiago in the last few days have to do with the cost of college. And I think we’re going to have to see something like that here, with people just saying, "Can’t do it. We can’t do it."They are protesting cost and also transportation issues (my post): Chilean Superheroes.
Financial Aid Policies Don't Help Low-Income Students
In “Priced Out: How the Wrong Financial-Aid Policies Hurt Low-Income Students,” The Education Trust demonstrates how much low-income students must stretch to pay for college, even after grant aid is taken into account. The report (download here)finds that just five of the nation’s nearly 1,200 four-year colleges and universities have student bodies that are at least 30 percent low-income and offer low-income students a reasonable chance at a bachelor’s degree at an relatively affordable cost. (A sixth institution, Berea College, makes it its mission to educate and graduate low-income students and therefore charges no tuition.)That is five out of 1,200. In the report, Table 6 (p 11) states: In some states, the top private university is more affordable for low-income students than the public ﬂagship. In this table, Rice University is less costly for low-income students than the UT Austin. Public universities are not really public, whatever they are.
The Education Trust,
Publication date:June 1 2011