Student Debt Crisis and the Path Forward
Student debt has grown to crisis proportions, burdening our young people and becoming a drain on our economy. As Oregon and other states have dramatically reduced the level of state support for public higher education, tuition at public universities, as well as private institutions, has skyrocketed. Federal and state education grants have increasingly been replaced by loans, both private and federal. Oregon students now graduate from our public universities with an average of $25,000 in debt. Mary C. King, professor of Economics at PSU and PSU students will describe the causes and magnitude of student debt, review our most promising Federal policy options, and propose a bold new method to finance public higher education in Oregon, called "Pay-it-Forward."
Ariel Gruver is a senior at Portland State University pursuing a bachelor's degree in economics with a minor in mathematics and statistics. She also works full-time in Foreign Exchange Services at Wells Fargo Bank. After graduation, she is interested in beginning graduate studies and pursuing a career in international development.
Nathan Hunt is a senior at Portland State University studying political science and economics. He resides in Woodburn, Oregon with his wife, Courtney and son, Mason.
Mary C. King is a Professor of Economics at Portland State University, specializing in labor economics, with a strong interest in policy issues. After studying at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, she earned her PhD in Economics at U.C. Berkeley in 1991. She lives with her family in Portland, Oregon.