College Ready, Except for the Money

On the table during negotiations around federal budget cuts are subsidized federal student loans in which low-income students don’t pay interest that accrues while they’re still enrolled in school.

I finished school just before the significant cuts in grants in the 80’s yet still deferred buying my first car or taking out my first mortgage or buying decent work (and interview) clothes until long after other friends whose parents paid for undergraduate and graduate school.    My friends still in school the year after I finished who were supporting themselves suddenly and unexpectedly found themselves deeply in debt.

And now if Eric Cantor has his way, students will be thousands of dollars even deeper in debt when they graduate, even now, when so few are finding jobs.

Many of my students are taking out tens of thousands of dollars of loans to become teachers.   They understand that the few who will get jobs in the next few years will be expected to prepare all children to be “college and career ready”, even while college becomes less and less attainable, and certainly as college becomes less the vehicle for opportunity than it was when I sat in my first lecture hall years ago.

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