The Bright Spot in President Obama’s Plan on Student Debt and College Affordability

Reviews for President Obama’s agenda has been mixed, but we’ll take a look on the bright side: by creating a new rating system for colleges based on affordability and student performance, the President’s new plan intends to provide the financial help that many of our students deserve, while also providing the kick that many colleges may need to shape up.

Working through college still not enough to cover high cost

A new survey by Citigroup and Seventeen Magazine reveals that while many college students are paying for most of their expenses, just a handful of students are able manage the burden of high tuition cost.

According to the survey, only 18 percent of students pay their way through college. The rest? 41 percent of students in the survey reported relying on financial aid – which includes student loans - to pay for their education, 16 percent of students said they finance their education through scholarships, and only 22 percent reported that their parents pick up the tab. On the other hand, 60 percent of respondents said their parent did, however, pay their monthly cell phone bill.

These are the faces of our student debt crisis.

Last week, President Obama signed the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act into law, effectively guaranteeing potentially sky-high interest rates for future students. However, even though Congress made the wrong deal for students, student loan interest rates are really the symptom of a much larger disease. College costs too damn much! And, that’s the real issue affecting millions of Americans.

University of Virginia Overhauls AccessUVA for Low & Middle Income Students, Creates More Debt

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Last week, the University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors – a Governor-appointed board responsible for long-term planning for the University – voted to end Access UVA, and will force low-income program participants to take out nearly $30,000 in student loans to attend UVA.

Think your student debt total is too much? Try multiplying it by four.

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While most of us can’t imagine how our debt could be any more financially damaging, a new study from Demos predicts that the real impact of student debt over a lifetime will be nearly four times the amount originally borrowed.

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Representative Tom Cotton (R-AR) opposes federal student loans and bites hand that fed him

Last week, Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) became the latest member of Congress to belittle the importance of student loans. He protested Congress’s recent proposal to deal with student loans – not because he had the same issues with it that we did, but because he doesn’t think the government should be involved with making loans. His plan: Let’s take government loans out of the equation and allow hometown banks work with students.

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