Americans have borrowed heavily to go to college. Student debt now amounts to $1.5 trillion, more than Americans owe on their credit cards. More than 10 percent of that debt is 90 days delinquent or in default. And student loans have become a potent political issue. The Trump administration has rolled back some of the limits and rules imposed by the Obama administration, and several Democratic presidential candidates are proposing to forgive some or all student loans, or to make the first two years of college (and sometimes more) free of tuition.
To inject rigorous research and evidence into this heated debate, the Hutchins Center on Fiscal & Monetary Policy at Brookings invited half a dozen economists with expertise in this area to discuss some of the big questions and controversies.