Student debt now tops $1.3 trillion in the United States and is greater than credit card and auto loan debt. Advocates, policymakers, and borrowers need a better understanding of the distribution of student loan debt in order to address the real challenges faced by borrowers and their communities. The Washington Center for Equitable Growth will present groundbreaking, interactive research that maps student debt concentration and distribution across income and geographies.
With Congress doing little to address the impact of student debt burdens on consumers and local economies, states are increasingly stepping up to the plate to look at consumer protections, support community colleges, and provide new options for borrowers who are stuck in loans with high interest rates. Given the magnitude of this debt, local leaders are taking action to address the problem.
Subira Gordon from the Connecticut African-American Affairs Commission will discuss how Connecticut is implementing solutions to help borrowers struggling with existing debt. Natalie Higgins from the Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts will explain the offensive campaign the state is running to lay the groundwork for free or debt-free public colleges. Tom Israel from the Montgomery County Education Association will talk about how it is exploring solutions at the county level to assist borrowers. And Whitney Barkley from the Center for Responsible Lending will discuss how states can address problems caused by for-profit colleges.
Maggie Thompson, Campaign Manager, Higher Ed Not Debt
Presentation: Mapping Student Debt
Kavya Vaghul, Research Analyst, Washington Center for Equitable Growth
Subira Gordon, Legislative Analyst, Connecticut African-American Affairs Commission
Natalie Higgins, Executive Director, Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts
Tom Israel, Executive Director, Montgomery County Education Association
Whitney Barkley, Legislative Policy Counsel, Center for Responsible Lending
Rohit Chopra, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
Coffee will be served at 9:30 a.m.