Education

How We Got to $1 Trillion in Debt: An Illustrated History of Student Loans in America

Jillian Berman: “With student debt recently hitting a record $1.31 trillion and policy makers and educators searching for ways to clamp down on the rising cost of college, it’s a topic that’s hard to avoid. But for the vast majority of the history of higher education, credit, particularly from the government, wasn’t available specifically for students to pay for college.”

“Below is an illustrated history of the student loan:”

In 18 Years, A College Degree Could Cost About $500,000

Buzzfeed: “Tuition has been rising by about 6% annually, according to investment management company Vanguard. At this rate, when babies born today are turning 18, a year of higher education at a private school — including tuition, fees, and room and board — will cost more than $120,000, Vanguard said. Public colleges could average out to $54,000 a year.”

“That means without financial aid, the sticker price of a four-year college degree for children born today could reach half a million dollars at private schools, and a quarter million at public ones. That’s for a family with one kid; those with more could be facing a bill that reaches seven figures.”

More Than 1.1 Million Borrowers Defaulted on Their Federal Student Loans Last Year

CNBC: “The number of people who have defaulted on their federal student loans increased 17 percent from 2015 to 2016, according to a Consumer Federation of America analysis of U.S. Department of Education data.”

“Last year, 42.4 million Americans owed $1.3 trillion in federal student loans. More than 4.2 million borrowers were in default as of the end of 2016, up from 3.6 million in 2015. In all, 1.1 million more borrowers went into or re-entered default last year.”

Why American Universities Need Immigrants

Jonathan R. Cole: “…the willingness to assimilate foreigners into American society has been part of the nation’s strength—a productive force that has added vitality to a maturing culture. The same has been true of U.S. universities’ attitudes toward foreign faculty and students with talent. Now, with President Trump’s actions that stigmatize those who are foreign-born and limit immigration, in addition to his promise to deport millions of undocumented immigrants, universities and the nation are under threat. The history of the past 75 years suggests how important the contributions of immigrant scholars and students have been to the vitality of America’s universities.”

“…recent statistics on America’s success at conducting Nobel-quality research suggest that the contribution of immigrants to domestic universities is still very much alive. In 2016, six Americans won prizes in physics, chemistry, and economics. Each of these winners was an immigrant.”

Educational Equality and Excellence Will Drive a Stronger Economy

Arne Duncan: “This election taught me two things. The first is obvious: We live in a deeply divided nation. The second, while subtle, is incredibly important: The election was a massive cry for help. People across the country–on both sides of the political spectrum–feel they have been left behind and are fearful their basic needs will continue to go unanswered. Rhetoric may win votes, but it doesn’t put food on the table. There’s been much discussion of how we’re divided by race and class, but I believe a huge driver of our nation’s current challenges is created by educational inequity.”

“When compared to 17 other industrial countries, U.S. workers ranked last in ‘problem solving in technology-rich environments.’ If we expect to compete in a global economy that demands increasingly higher skills, we need to concentrate on closing the digital divide. The reversal must begin in K-12, where currently only one in four schools teach computer programming.”

The Biggest Economic Issue Facing America Is Not Job Creation

Quartz: “The biggest economic issue for the future is closing the skills gap and retraining workers who have been displaced from their old jobs that have been automated. Both the US unemployment rate and the total job openings have been relatively unchanged in the past year. The unemployment rate in January was 4.8%, down only 0.1% from the same time in 2016. The total job openings were 5.5 million in Dec. 2016, up from a mere 100,000 the same time in 2015. We simply don’t have people with the right skills to fill millions of jobs, yet many of them are still underemployed or living in poverty.”

“The problem is that one in every five adults globally has no formal education, which is a total of 682 million people, and jobs that require formal education are the ones expected to grow by nearly 8% in the next seven years.”

Which States Pay Teachers the Most (and Least)?

Education Week: “Alaska and New York pay teachers nearly double the salaries of those working in Mississippi and Oklahoma, says a new study by GoBankingRates.”

“The average teacher salaries in 50 states (not including the District of Columbia) were calculated using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The authors averaged the mean salaries of elementary, middle, and high school teachers to get the average salary in each state. The calculations did not include the salaries of special education teachers.”

School Gun Violence Is Linked to Economic Insecurity

“Episodes of gun violence at America’s schools are both heartbreaking and disturbingly frequent, but the circumstances that inspire them remain elusive. A new Northwestern University study comes up with at least a partial answer,” Tom Jacobs writes for Pacific Standard.

“It finds such incidents are more common during periods of high unemployment. During an economic downturn, the assumption that a diploma leads to a good job is revealed as false (at least for the moment), leading to frustration, disillusionment, and, sometimes, violence.”

How Immigrants Have Made America a Leader in Technology Innovation

“The vital role of immigrants in American technology innovation is so well documented that it shouldn’t need repeating. But in light of last week’s executive order that blocks access to the United States by citizens of seven countries with a collective population of well over 200 million, a few reminders might be timely,” John Villasenor writes in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

“America’s well-deserved reputation as a global leader in technology innovation is inseparable from its tradition of welcoming people from other countries. The list of American companies co-founded by immigrants includes Google, Yahoo, eBay, Qualcomm, VMware, Facebook, and many more. A 2016 study by the National Foundation for American Policy found that over half of the 87 tech start-ups valued at over $1 billion at the time of the study were co-founded by immigrants and that each of these companies had created an average of 760 jobs.”

“When children of immigrants are included, the impact on job creation and economic prosperity is even larger: A 2012 report from a group of business leaders and mayors from across the political spectrum noted that ‘more than 40 percent of America’s Fortune 500 companies were founded by an immigrant or a child of an immigrant.‘”

 

Investment in Early Childhood Programs Yields Robust Returns

UChicago News: “High-quality early childhood development programs can deliver an annual return of 13 percent per child on upfront costs through better outcomes in education, health, employment and social behavior in the decades that follow, according to a new study by Nobel-winning economist James Heckman and researchers at the University of Chicago and University of Southern California.”

“The findings, released Monday in a working paper titled ‘The Lifecycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program,‘ show how high-quality programs can reduce taxpayer costs, improve economic prospects for parents and provide enduring benefits for children well into adulthood.”