Economists named Ben not bothered by student debt

Update: A retired NCC professor has more in the RG, here.

1) Ben Franklin (Penn): “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

2) Ben Hansen (UO) quoted in a well researched Daily Emerald article by Forrest Welk, which also quotes President Schill etc:

Vickie Gimm, a UO student, took the Board of Trustees’ stage during the time allotted for public comment and read dozens of testimonies from other UO students.

“I am a student who is below the poverty level and can’t afford a tuition increase like this,” read one testimony. Other students voiced similar concerns: Raising tuition would make it harder or impossible to stay at UO.

But on average, students who take on more student debt tend to be more capable of paying off their loans, said UO associate economics professor Benjamin Hansen, who specializes in education and cited national research. Just 18 percent of those borrowing more than $100,000 default on their loans, as opposed to 34 percent of those borrowing under $5,000.

“The real problem with student loans isn’t really the amount of student debt people have,” Hansen said in an interview before the Board of Trustees meeting, “It seems to be more of an issue of what income they have when they graduate.”

More than half of the money from tuition increases goes toward funding research and hiring more tenure-track faculty. Hansen sees this as an effort to provide students with a better education so they can graduate sooner and be placed into higher-income jobs. According to a 2014 study published by the American Community Survey, Americans with bachelor’s degrees earned an average of $50,515 over a 12-month period compared to $27,868 for those with just a high school diploma.

I paid off my own student loans 5 years ago. It was about a car’s worth of debt, which is the average amount for the 50% of students who have any debt. The government gave me 16 years to pay it back.

Debt isn’t the problem – so long as you graduate.

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11 Responses to Economists named Ben not bothered by student debt

  1. just a thought says:

    – Said the baby boomer

  2. David Brooks says:

    Hey can I borrow this for my editorial tomorrow?

  3. anonec says:

    “about a car’s worth of debt” – Was it a beat up Volvo 240 (professor edition with blue fabric seats and tape radio) or a shiny BMW convertible (Gleas… edition with “UCANT”-plate and subwoofer)?

    But honestly, I would rather drive the lovely “DRBEAR”-Porsche on Kincaid after graduation, then just paying for it…

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