Synopses & Reviews
This illuminating investigation uncovers the full dimensions of the student loan disaster. A father and son teamone a best-selling sociologist, the other a former banker and current quantitative researcherprobes how weve reached the point at which student loan debtnow exceeding $1 trillion and predicted to reach $2 trillion by 2020threatens to become the sequel to the mortgage meltdown. In spite of their good intentions, Americans have allowed concerns about deadbeat students, crushing debt, exploitative for-profit colleges, and changing attitudes about the purpose of college education to blind them to a growing crisis.
With college costs climbing faster than the cost of living, how can access to higher education remain a central part of the American dream? With more than half of college students carrying an average debt of $27,000 at graduation, what are the prospects for young adults in the current economy? Examining how weve arrived at and how we might extricate ourselves from this grave social problem, The Student Loan Mess is a must-read for everyone concerned about the future of American education.
Hard facts about the student loan crisis:
Student loan debt is rising by more than $100 billion every year.
Among recent college students who are supposed to be repaying their loans, more than a third are delinquent.
Because student loans cannot be discharged through bankruptcy, the federal government misleadingly treats student loan debt as a government asset.
Higher default rates, spiraling college costs, and proposals for more generous terms for student borrowers make it increasingly likely that student loan policies will eventually cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.
"The Student Loan Mess offers a compact, useful history."
"Probably the best and clearest book on the United States complex student debt problem."
"Written with clarity and grace. . . . My highest recommendation."Jonathan B. Imber, editor in chief of Society
"Edgy and astute. . . . This engaging book will appeal to a broad audience of interested, general readers."John Iceland, Penn State University
About the Author
Joel Best is Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware and author of Damned Lies and Statistics, Stat-Spotting, and Everyones a Winner, all from UC Press. Eric Best is Assistant Professor of Emergency Management at Jacksonville State University.
Table of Contents
List of Figures and Tables
1. Good Intentions and Wasted Brainpower: The First Student Loan Mess
2. Disillusionment and Deadbeats: The Second Student Loan Mess
3. Outrage and Crushing Debt: The Third Student Loan Mess
4. Dread and the For-Profit Bubble: The Fourth Student Loan Mess
5. Whats Next? Prospective Student Loan Messes
6. Beyond Making Messes?