This piece makes an oft-ignored distinction between helping students/grads now in debt from educational borrowing and the cost of education for future generations of students. When we conflate these issues, we get wrong-headed policy. But, I do want to suggest that there is a link between the cost of education in the future and the approaches to repayment — these front and back end issues need to be linked. If borrowing is high but there is back end relief, that eases the burden. And, while on this topic, we need to be cautious with respect to the unintended consequences of free community colleges; there are four year colleges (some HBCU’s) that may suffer if we don’t reflect on articulation agreements and other strategies.

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Author, Educator & Commentator; Former President, Southern Vermont College; Former Senior Policy Advisor, US Dept. of Education; Former Law Professor

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