Parents Saddled with Debt
I just ran across an October 7, 2012 article by Miriam Wang at Alternet on the “joint examination” by ProPublica and The Chronicle of Higher Education on the Plus Loan program. There’s some great reporting on the Plus program, but no mention in Wang’s article and the joint report on borrower’s right to know of capitalized interest, replete with formulas used to determine interest and infographics that educate borrowers as to how the loan will balloon over time due to capitalization.
These loan stories, so very reminiscent of a Charles Dickens novel, suggest to me that the real issue is just too taboo to discuss: the right to education and heaven forbid, a right to a free education. A right to education in the form of achieving universal primary education (Goal 2) has already been laid on in the Millennium Development Goals.
The recent protest of Cooper-Union students begs the discussion society-wide on the subject of free education as a societal good and long term form of “alternative” wealth (emphasis and links added):
NIKI LOGIS: My name is Niki Logis. I teach sculpture at the Cooper Union. I have been at the Cooper Union for 43 years. I am devoted to the Cooper Union because it is the only tuition-free undergraduate college in the United States that is prepared to take provincial American teenagers, and a sprinkling of others, and turn them into mature artists who are capable of critical thinking and original art making. You cannot have a contingent of students attending any aspect of an institute that had the name Cooper Union on it be the same if those people are paying tuition. The nature of your abstract and theoretical speculations would be different. The nature of where you recruited your students from would be different.