Student debt is a convenient target in a presidential election year, but it obscures the true crisis: high dropout rates from low-quality postsecondary institutions and the unmanageable debt borne by students of those institutions. And despite rising student debt, monthly loan payments as a share of income have remained steady, added earnings having more than offset the cost of debt for most borrowers, and Income-Based Repayment (IBR) plans offer borrowers protection from ballooning monthly payments.
- Even as overall student debt has been rising, the monthly burden on most borrowers has not increased.
- Those struggling with student debt are overwhelmingly “nontraditional borrowers” who took out loans to attend, but often did not graduate from, two-year and for-profit institutions.
- The benefits of many proposals to reduce student debt burdens flow overwhelmingly to college graduates, the group least in need of government assistance.