college affordability | WOSU Radio

college affordability

Americans owe about $1.6 trillion in student loan debt. That's about twice the current budget for the Defense Department and around 22 times the budget for the Education Department.

Lots of people have student loans: more than 45 million people. They collectively owe about $1.6 trillion.

That is, of course, a lot of debt — but amid all the national debate right now about what to do about it, it's important to remember that not all debt is created equal, and some borrowers are struggling more than others.

Columbus State Community College

Columbus City Council is rolling out a program to help lower-income students afford trade school or college tuition with less debt.

A new program at Miami University Hamilton will allow pay for college expenses of students while they work part-time at a select local company.
Miami University

A state senator is touting a new program that he says can play a critical role in college affordability and workforce development by connecting college freshmen with employers.

When Akiya Parks first got to campus at the University of Florida, everything was new and exciting. Her mom and brother had driven her to campus and moved her into the dorms, she'd agreed to try a long-distance relationship with her high school boyfriend, she was ready to start a new chapter in Gainesville.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has issued another big policy proposal as part of her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. This one concerns higher education.

Warren proposes that the federal government write off hundreds of billions of dollars in existing student loan debt.

Miami University argues studying abroad can be a life-changing experience and it wants more students to give it a try. The school is launching a campaign encouraging underrepresented students to get involved.

Inmates are among the least-educated people in America. That's despite research that shows education is one of the most effective ways to keep people from coming back to prison.

Now, there's renewed interest in giving adults behind bars better access to higher education. A new bipartisan bill in Congress would allow incarcerated people to use federal Pell Grants — designed for low-income students — to pay for higher education, including college classes and workforce training.

This time last year, McKenna Hensley had a big question on her mind: Where would she go to college? The answer — sort of — was somewhere in her pile of 10 financial aid offers. Each school she'd been admitted to had its own individualized letter, terms and calculations.

"It was very confusing," the now college freshman remembers.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is pushing for a bill that would give states incentives to help students graduate from college debt-free.

Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown,  (left) and Republican Rep. Jim Renacci speaks during a debate at the Idea Center in Playhouse Square, Sunday in Cleveland.
Phil Long / AP Pool Photo

In Ohio’s U.S. Senate race, incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown has a double-digit lead in most polls over his Republican opponent, U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Wadsworth).

Wikimedia Commons

Starting next year, Capital University will offer undergraduate students half-off tuition if their families work in the non-profit sector.

Job seekers at one of two fulfillment centers in Central Ohio.
Esther Honig / WOSU

Ohio has been gaining jobs over the last few years, and its unemployment rate hit its lowest level in 17 years a few months ago. But there are other numbers in the state’s economic overview that raise concerns for a progressive group that reviews the economy each year on Labor Day.

Ohio State

Ohio State University officials have unveiled their latest effort to help make attendance more affordable.

Our Take A Number series is exploring problems around the world through the lens of a single number.

Some high school students think of applying to colleges as a full-time job. There are essays and tests, loads of financial documents to assemble and calculations to make. After all that comes a big decision — one of the biggest of their young lives.

For top students who come from low-income families, the challenge is particularly difficult.

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