College Loans Are Worth It

by Stuart Shapiro

As Congress fiddles, interest rates on loans are about to double on July 1, and debates continue to swirl around the value of a college education.  Susan Dynarski and Sarah Turner say there is no real debate:

…borrowing for college is one of the best investments a young person can make. College graduates earn more than other workers. They are more likely to have health insurance and pensions — a good thing, since they live longer.

When a small number of consumers suffer, the answer is not to upend the entire market but to tighten consumer protections. The mortgage crisis spurred an overhaul of financial regulation. It did not lead us to decry home ownership as not “worth it,” or rally to forgive all outstanding mortgage debt. That would have been a disproportionate response to a serious but limited problem.

And just like college is a good investment for an individual, having a lot of college graduates is a good investment for a society.  Hopefully Congress can end its quibbling and come to some resolution before they feel compelled to go on vacation.

About Stuart Shapiro

Stuart Shapiro Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels. Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush.

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