Exploring the Geography of Student Debt

How States and Municipalities Can Act

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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.

Welcoming remarks:

Maggie Thompson, Campaign Manager, Higher Ed Not Debt

Presentation: Mapping Student Debt

Kavya Vaghul, Research Analyst, Washington Center for Equitable Growth

Panelists:
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

Moderated by:

Rohit Chopra, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress

Location

Center for American Progress, 1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor, Washington, DC , 20005

Additional information

Coffee will be served at 9:30 a.m.