MassBudget: What would it take to make Public Higher Education Debt Free in Mass?

Yesterday, the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center released a new report: Debt-Free Public Higher Education: What Would It Take?

The Report calculates the cost of (1) eliminating tuition and fees for all current in-state students at Community Colleges and State Universities, (2) providing grants to cover Community College costs, including tuition, fees, books, and transportation, at Community Colleges, State Universities, and UMass campuses, and (3) eliminating tuition and fees for all current in-state students at all public campuses.

This report provides really important data in taking on the Student Debt Crisis. Earlier this year, we released a paper by Anastasia Wilson, The Causes and Consequences of Mounting Student Debt in Massachusetts. Her research found that Massachusetts students are more likely to borrow student loans if they attend a public college or university rather than a private one. Moreover, Massachusetts loses more than $1.5 BILLION in forgone savings and equity due to student debt loan repayment each year.

We cannot remain silent. We must address the student debt crisis, both making sure students can attend public higher education debt-free and borrowers who are struggling under mountains of debt can find relief.