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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

$1.7 trillion in college debt is 'mostly unrepayable'


Even if President Biden is able to figure some student loans, most of the $1.7 trillion in college debt will not be repaid -- ever, write Laura Beamer and Marshall Steinbaum, researchers at the Jain Family Institute.


"The promise of higher education leading directly to high incomes is hollow," they write. Some college graduates do well in the workforce fairly quickly. Others never earn enough to pay the interest on their loans, much less the principal.


Males and white and Asian borrowers do the best at paying down the principal and interest on their student loans. Females and black and Latino borrowers do the worst: Their loan balances keep rising.


Males, whites and Asians are more likely to go into STEM careers, which offer higher pay. I wonder if math proficiency in elementary and middle school predicts adult incomes.

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14 Comments


linsee
Jul 20, 2023

Individually measured IQ predicts life outcomes, for better or worse. That was well-established long before The Bell Curve was published, That book's thesis was that Individually measured IQ predicts life outcomes *better* than family SES. No doubt higher IQ is correlated with math proficiency in elementary school.

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Guest
Jul 20, 2023

STEM, PECS, etc... What is the acronym for students who are "good with numbers" but are not talented with the abstracts of algebra, geometry, statistics... Is there no track for accounting any more? Or for careers that demand careful --and so, accurate -- arithmetic?

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Guest
Jul 19, 2023

Certainly, financial math and personal finance math could have come in handy.


Ann in L.A.

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Guest
Jul 20, 2023
Replying to

can't do financial math without statistics these days.

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Guest
Jul 19, 2023

I won't be paying for the student loan debt with my taxes as I work to make my tax footprint as small as possible...


I didn't take out the loans, why should I have to pay someone else's debt (point is that I shouldn't)...I don't have a car loan, why should I subsidize those persons who come up lame,

cannot pay the loan back, and get their car repo'd.


I'd be in favor of forgiving student loan debt provided that the degree(s) conferred are revoked at the same time and a person would be charged with a felony if they put that down on their resume or on a job application.


Sigh

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phillipmarlowe
Jul 22, 2023
Replying to

You could barter like Karl Hess (“Extremism in the defence of liberty is no vice!”) He did that starting in the 1970s when he refused to pay income taxes.

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Guest
Jul 19, 2023

Over 30 years ago, the edworld suddenly discovered that kids who took 8th-grade algebra (at the time, it was real honors-level only), Latin, debate, modern foreign languages, AP classes etc. did better on a number of metrics. (surprise!) than kids who had not done so. A middle school near me started offering Latin because of it. However, all of those things served as proxy variables for the identification of the brightest, best-prepared and most motivated kids - because only those kids had been taking those classes. Correlation; not causation. Those kids did better because they were different from the kids who had taken different classes.


The “college premium” is more of the same. In the days when a lower percentage…

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