From Brookings:

If you are looking for an extension activity, have your students dive deeper and read the introduction (first 5 pages) of this research report to understand more details about where the student loan crisis is having the biggest impact.  This should pique their interest:

Between 2000 and 2014, the total volume of outstanding federal student debt nearly quadrupled to surpass $1.1 trillion, the number of student loan borrowers more than doubled to 42 million, and default rates among recent student loan borrowers rose to their highest levels in twenty years. This increase in debt and default and more widespread concern about the effects of student loan debt on young Americans’ lives has contributed to a belief that there is a crisis in student loans. Using new administrative data sources, we examine recent changes in the market for federal student loans with a particular focus on the sources of rising default rates, the roles played by educational institutions and the labor market outcomes of borrowers.

Key questions for them to answer:

  • For those students having the most difficulty paying back their loans, what are they types of schools they are attending?
  • Why do you think these students are struggling the most?
  • What are the job prospects for students from these schools generally speaking?
  • How can you use the results of this research to make the best decision about what college to attend?


Check out the NGPF Case Study on What College Should I Attend?