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Student loans: A look at the evidence

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 has invited half a dozen economists with expertise in this area to discuss some of the big questions and controversies. 



Loan burdens and defaults: Failure of the repayment system or failures in accountability?

Dubravka Ritter

Senior Research Fellow - Consumer Finance Institute, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Should we raise or lower the ceilings on amounts students and parents can borrow?

Matthew Chingos

Vice President, Education Data and Policy - Urban Institute

Lesley Turner

Associate Professor of Economics - Vanderbilt University

How big a macro-economic problem is the run up in student debt?

Sandy Baum

Nonresident Fellow, Center on Education Data and Policy - Urban Institute

Laura J. Feiveson

Principal Economist, Household and Business Spending - Federal Reserve Board

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