Pay-it-Forward plans are sweeping through state legislatures like so many summer wildfires. Monica Potts over at American Prospect explores if the hot-idea-with-a-catchy-title is a progressive alternative to unsupportable levels of student debt, or a wolf in sheep’s clothing that will only further erode support for public funding of higher education. (SPOILER ALERT: Maybe both at the same time?)
In late July, the CFPB released new data indicating that total student debt has increased by 20% since the end of 2011. As of May, 2013, the Bureau estimates that the combined total of federal and private loans approached $1.2 trillion. For those keeping track at home, that’s $101 trillion in federal loans and $165 billion in private loans.