Well, for starters, it would help if the interest rate were allowed to double. Yes, that would cause some pain among students, but consider the side effects. At 3.4%, student loan interest can be essentially viewed as "free." At twice that, not so much--it's nearing the rates one pays for a mortgage or car loan if one has sketchy credit.
Now is that fair? Well, if you're going to college, you might say "no," but consider; what do you call an unsecured debt taken out by someone with little or no credit record, and where the creditor has no say in whether the debtor studies engineering, medicine, law, English, or transgender weasel studies? I'd call that a risky loan, especially inasmuch as the creditor--our government of course--really does not even control whether the person is qualified to attend the university they're going to. Fully 35% of students entering college today require remedial courses, and only 17% of them can hope to graduate.
So while it may be too hopeful to ask that government prohibit student loans paying for remedial classes, or for government to set a minimum standard for getting a student loan at all, perhaps letting the interest rate to up to its natural level would instill some clearer thinking among students and college officials alike. "Maybe at 6.8% interest and 810 on my SATs, I don't need to go to a first class college after all." "Maybe without all those marginal students cluttering the big lecture halls, we need to figure out what kind of education we really ought to be delivering."
And finally, "without all those hung over kids in class, my professor is finally free to teach!" Hey, I can dream, can't I?
Yepper - I don't use Twitter much, but I admire people who use it intelligently (h/t AoS): It's easy if you try Top left is the Jason Howerton's tweet of Chris Cill...
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