Breakingviews

M&A world could teach niche U.S. colleges

March 16, 2015

The collapse of liberal arts enclave Sweet Briar is bad news for cash-strapped schools across the country. Sagging enrollment has pushed some institutions to offer debt-shy students big discounts on tuition. But that risks a spiral. Merging may be one way to ease the pressure.

U.S. student loans could need $500 bln bailout

February 27, 2015

Borrowing for education has soared over the past decade, ballooning to $1.2 trln and growing far faster than GDP. With serious delinquencies at 11 pct and Washington on the hook, there’s a mess in the making. A Breakingviews calculator shows how big Uncle Sam’s exposure could get.

Obama student loan fix spares rod, spoils borrower

June 11, 2014

Extending repayment caps and debt forgiveness to older graduates gives too many high earners a break. Making everyone pay a flat percentage of income would be simpler, fairer – and cheaper for taxpayers. It could also deliver a valuable lesson in financial responsibility.

Student debt may land double whammy on US growth

March 21, 2012

Graduates are forking over far more in loan repayments than a decade ago, easily outstripping salary growth. Over time, that’ll dent GDP. Defaults are rising, too. With Uncle Sam now holding $450 bln of student debt and rising, that puts taxpayers on the hook - again.

U.S. mortgage lessons lost in student debt policy

April 30, 2012

Lawmakers are close to making the same mistake on college loans they did with housing. When government subsidies help send prices soaring, borrowers should be restrained. To curb the crazy growth of higher education costs demands less, not more, of Uncle Sam’s involvement.

U.S. student loan fix robs the old to pay the young

July 16, 2012

To keep borrowing rates low for education, Congress is using some devilish hocus-pocus. An accounting change will allow employers to kick in less to a pension guarantee fund. That could leave Uncle Sam owing more to retirees while also increasing taxpayer risk on student debts.

U.S. student debt on scary trajectory

July 18, 2012

New statistics from the New York Fed show education loans piling up at an unsustainable rate and delinquencies staying high even as the economy improves. The path to serious trouble is becoming more obvious. Rather than tackling it, though, policymakers are fueling the problem.

U.S. student loan trouble discredits their value

November 28, 2012

If pricey education provided the hoped-for labor market edge, then 11 percent of student loan balances shouldn’t be overdue. The proportion of delinquent education debt has surpassed even late credit card balances. Maybe students need better vetting.