By now, we’re all aware that the cost of college is excessive for most students in the United States. Unfortunately, programs that address the resulting debt instead of controlling the source of rising costs are growing more popular, a problem examined by Jesse Saffron in today’s article for the Pope Center.
A bill under consideration in the North Carolina legislature dedicates $500,000 a year to providing student loan debt relief for public interest attorneys. This proposal would restore state funding to a program which has already received more than $3 million from the state, but has proven that it can be sustained through charitable donations.
A similar bill would allocate $38.5 million to establish the North Carolina Help Educations with Loan Payment Fund, to pay down student loan debt for teachers in the state.
According to Saffron, these proposals, and ones like them, pose significant problems for both students and taxpayers. Not only are they duplicative of federal programs, but they also present an ethical problem by luring students into degree programs.
Worthwhile and fair approaches would instead address the various causes of the rising cost of college. Saffron concludes that “By addressing those issues, state policymakers would help reduce costs and student debt loads in the long run.”