U.S. Higher Education

The Brookings Cafeteria Podcast: Beth Akers - Is there Really a Student Loan Debt Crisis?

Podcast | Brookings Cafeteria Podcast

Is There Really a Student Loan Debt Crisis?

August 1, 2014, Beth Akers and Fred Dews

As of last year, student loan debt in the U.S. exceeded $1.2 trillion, more than any other type of household debt except home mortgages. Media accounts have described this as the "potential next debt bomb for the U.S." and "the next financial disaster." But is there really a student loan debt crisis? To find out, I spoke with Beth Akers, a fellow in the Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings. She explains how evidence sheds light on the problem, noting that it's difficult to reconcile reports of bad outcomes with what is, in general, a very good investment.

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