Authors of this report conclude that “we do not have a debt crisis but rather a repayment crisis.” Among the findings: More than two-thirds of all borrowers take out loans for less than $10,000, and 98 percent borrow $50,000 or less--yet seven million student loans are in default. The authors propose what they term “a better model of loan repayment,” namely an income-based repayment system they call Loans for Educational Opportunity (LEO). Through LEO, borrowers would make higher payments as they earned higher income, and the payments would be deducted from each paycheck over a 25-year period. Loans could be paid off faster, which would reduce the interest paid on the loan. The proposed repayment system is intended to address the 98 percent of students who borrow what the authors call “a manageable amount.”
Among full-time, first-time degree or certificate-seeking undergraduate students receiving any grant aid, differences in average cost of attendance and net price of attendance for the 2011-12 academic year varied by institutional sector.
Public four-year institutions: average cost, $18,300; net price, $11,700
Nonprofit four-year institutions: average cost, $35,300; net price, $20,600
For-profit four-year institutions: average cost, $27,000; net price, $21,900
A major takeaway of both reports was that almost half (49 percent) of the student aid was in the form of grants, the highest percentage in the past ten years. Federal grant aid to undergraduates more than doubled in constant dollars between 2002-03 and 2012-13, representing 24 percent of the total $185 billion in undergraduate aid. The number of Pell Grant recipients increased from 4.8 million in 2002-03 to 8.8 million in 2012-13. The percentage of undergraduates taking out federal loans increased from 24 percent in 2002-03 to 34 percent in 2012-13.
PSCUs open doors to many of the 13 million unemployed and 90 million undereducated Americans by providing a skills-based education. To remain competitive over the next decade, we must identify between 8 and 23 million new workers with postsecondary skills. PSCUs are a necessary part of that solution, having produced over 800,000 degrees last year alone.