Student loan debt in the United States has increased significantly over the past decade, jumping from $600 billion in 2008 to over $1.5 trillion USD today. This affects 44 million borrowers and their families, two-thirds of whom are women experiencing the ongoing gender wage gap. How did we get to this point, and where can we go from here?
To offer some context for these staggering facts and figures, Allen spends the hour with Daniel T. Kirsch, author of Sold My Soul for a Student Loan: Higher Education and the Political Economy of the Future. They take up a wide range of topics including the political function of debt, the role of higher education in the 21st century, the promises and limitations of the income-based repayment and public service loan forgiveness plans, Millennials’ inherited economic reality and the decline of the American Dream, predatory for-profit colleges, and the challenges of debt activism.
Daniel T. Kirsch is professor of political science at California State University, Sacramento. He holds a doctorate in political science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is a member of the American Association of University Professors and the California Faculty Association. He is the author of Soul My Soul for a Student Loan: Higher Education and the Political Economy of the Future (Praeger, 2019).