Series Previewing The Real College Debt Crisis

Monday, May 11, 2015

A post from a few weeks ago previewed our forthcoming book, The Real College Debt Crisis, to be published in July and officially released at an event at New America in Washington, DC on July 15, 2015. We are eager for this work to contribute to the critical conversations within the financial aid arena, and grateful to those thought leaders in the field who have agreed to read and comment on the book, as we prepare for its release. Over the next few weeks, this space will feature posts from leaders in and around the education and asset fields. Dr. Martha Kanter, Distinguished Visiting Professor of Higher Education and a Senior Fellow at New York University, served as the U.S. Under Secretary of Education for President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2013 and graciously wrote the foreword for The Real College Debt Crisis. Her post positions the book within the evolution of financial aid in the U.S. Tom Shapiro, Director of the Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University, is one of the most prominent scholars considering racial wealth gaps and the policy change required to upend them. A distinguished author and thoughtful analyst, Shapiro's post will address paths to economic mobility in today's America, and how changes to financial aid could restore a viable route to prosperity for those disadvantaged. Reid Cramer is Director of New America's Asset Building Program, longtime champion of Children's Savings Accounts, and a good friend to AEDI. Reid has thought as long as anyone in this country about what it would take to invest in asset opportunities, at scale, for every American child. He works at the nexus of policymaking and thought generation, and will offer reflections on what it will take to cross the chasm between student debt and an asset-empowered financial aid system. The series will conclude with reflections from Dr. Willie Elliott on his aspirations for the contributions this book can make to financial aid policy and practice.

We look forward to hearing from you, too, particularly as you have a chance to read and critique the book and its arguments. It is our fervent hope that this work contributes to much-needed changes in how we organize, administer, and, in particular, finance, higher education, as the central path to economic mobility and lifelong well-being for American children.

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New Book Released

Today’s student loan system is in place because of a political compromise, and growing discontent with student debt may signal that this arrangement has run its course. While there are resources and organizations in place to help those struggling with debt, the time has come to consider a new direction for financial aid, William Elliott III and Melinda Lewis argue in “Student Debt: A Reference Handbook.”

Why KU
  • One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
  • Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
  • 44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
    —U.S. News & World Report
  • Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
  • 23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times